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Articles from 2004 In July


Malta Shipyards to refurbish Saga Ruby

Malta Shipyards to refurbish Saga Ruby

Preparations are well advanced for 'the large scale refurbishment,' Saga informs Seatrade Insider with work starting this November and proceeding through to February 2005.

The ship will undergo substantial structural work and a full refurbishment of cabins and public rooms. Whilst the contracts for the hotel furnishings have not yet been awarded, the designs for the public areas and cabins are nearing completion.

Alison Clixby of Clixby Associates in London has developed a new design style for Saga Ruby, incorporating a contemporary feel with rich fabrics and high quality materials, says Saga.

The major structural alteration being carried out is the extension of the Lido area at the stern of the ship. The Lido Café will be enlarged, giving a more spacious area for passengers to enjoy breakfast and lunches. The Lido deck itself will take on a different look, as the swimming pool is moved to a new location, closer to the rear of the deck.

The deck above the Lido Café will also be extended to create more outdoor deck space for a new bar and a venue for deck parties and entertainment.An alternative dining area will also be created. The new View restaurant promises a stylish and contemporary venue with an intimate atmosphere.

Caronia's last cruise for Cunard departs Southampton on October 20. The vessel returns to the UK on November 1 and will be handed over to Saga a week later.

Saga Ruby's inaugural cruise is a 32 night voyage to the US, Belize, Costa Rica and Mexico departing Southampton March 1, 2005 and returning on April 2. Both Ruby and Saga Rose (originally built as sister ships, Vistafjord and Sagafjord) will sail out of Southampton and Dover next year.

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Child-class on Paul Gauguin

Child-class on Paul Gauguin

The aim is to get children interested and wanting to explore the underwater world and ecosystem. The course takes place on 8-day Polynesia cruises between July 23 and August 27, 2005. Cost is $50 per child.

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St. Kitts venue for FCCA in apos;05

St. Kitts venue for FCCA in apos;05

26-30, 2005. The event is expected to bring more than 1,000 industry executives and partners to the island for five days of meetings and networking.

Events will include a trade show, golf tournament, conference, workshops, seminars, a gala closing party and tours. Functions will be held at locations including the St. Kitts Marriott Resort, Ottley's Plantation Inn, Port Zante and Brimstone Hill Fortress.

Tourism minister G. A. Dwyer Astaphan called the event 'a truly wonderful opportunity for us here on St. Kitts to showcase not only our recently updated cruise port but the diversity and strength of our all tourism offerings for cruise passengers and crew alike.'

This year's FCCA conference, Oct. 4-8, will be hosted by the Cayman Islands.

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Princess announces 05/06 Caribbean routes

Princess announces 05/06 Caribbean routes

Sea Princess returns to the fleet with two alternating routes roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. Seven sailings call at Princess Cays, Tortola, St. Maarten, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Vincent, Trinidad, Bonaire and Ocho Rios. Six sailings visit Princess Cays, Tortola, Antigua, Dominica, Martinique, Barbados, Grenada, Isla Margarita, Aruba and Grand Cayman.

Altogether, Princess will operate six Caribbean ships in 2005/06. The seven-, 10- and 14-day routes will sail from Fort Lauderdale, San Juan and Galveston, with one departure from New York.

Caribbean Princess launches its second season with an Eastern itinerary roundtrip from Port Everglades. The vessel will offer 27 Saturday departures between late October 2005 and late April 2006 that visit St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Princess Cays. Before, throughout the summer of 2005, Caribbean Princess will offer Eastern and Western routes, the latter calling at Princess Cays, Ocho Rios (or Montego Bay), Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

Grand Princess returns for a second season of seven-day Western itineraries from its new Galveston homeport, departing on Saturdays for Belize, Costa Maya, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. The ship offers 23 sailings between late November 2005 and late April 2006.

Star Princess returns to the Caribbean with seven-day Western itineraries from Port Everglades on Sundays. The ship will operate 27 sailings between October 2005 and May 2006, featuring Princess Cays, Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios.

Based in San Juan, Golden Princess offers alternating seven-day Southern itineraries, departing on Saturdays. One calls at Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Maarten and St. Thomas, while the other visits St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Grenada, Caracas and Aruba. The ship will offer 13 sailings on each itinerary. In addition, Golden Princess will introduce three Eastern Caribbean cruises between New York and San Juan.

Sun Princess will offer alternating 10-day sailings roundtrip from Port Everglades -- one to the Southern and the other to the Eastern Caribbean. The Southern route is offered on 11 sailings to Curaçao, Isla Margarita, Barbados, Dominica, St. Thomas and Princess Cays. The Eastern itinerary (10 sailings) visits St. Vincent, Grenada, St. Lucia, Martinique, St. Thomas and Princess Cays.

Early booking fares begin at $549 for seven days, $899 for 10 days and $1,299 for 14 days.

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QE2 world cruise includes QM2 crossing

QE2 world cruise includes QM2 crossing

3, heading west to Los Angeles, across the South Pacific to New Zealand and Australia, through the Far East to India, Arabia and Europe.

The final leg will be an Atlantic crossing from Southampton to New York on the Queen Mary 2. The voyage also features five maiden calls: Phillip Island, Fremantle and Exmouth in Australia; Sokhna, Egypt; and Marmaris, Turkey.

Prices for the full 108-day circumnavigation begin at $30,999 per person, double, for an inside stateroom; Grand Suites are $399,799 per person, double. Segments starting at 12 days begin at $1,999 per person.

The complete itinerary follows: Fort Lauderdale; Curacao; Fuerte Amador, Panama; Acapulco; Los Angeles; Honolulu and Kona, Hawaii; Papeete and Moorea, Tahiti; Auckland and Christchurch, New Zealand; Sydney, Phillip Island, Melbourne, Adelaide, Fremantle and Exmouth, Australia; Bali; Manila; Nagasaki and Osaka, Japan; Keelung, Taiwan; Hong Kong; Bangkok; Singapore; Kuala Lumpur; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Bombay; Dubai; Muscat and Salalah, Oman; Aqaba, Jordan; Sokhna, Egypt; Marmaris, Turkey; Naples; Barcelona and Malaga, Spain; Southampton; New York.

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Harris chalks up 10 years at helm of CNZ

Harris chalks up 10 years at helm of CNZ

After the meeting Harris, md of McKay Shipping, told Seatrade Insider CNZ's membership has grown over the decade from three to 29.

As well as attending every Seatrade Cruise Shipping Convention in Miami since 1995, the CNZ team has staged regular roadshows in the United States. Harris, who is also chairman of NZ Conventions and Incentives, said the roadshow will go to Europe for the first time next year.

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NCL: Non-adjustable service fee to go fleetwide

NCL: Non-adjustable service fee to go fleetwide

Until then, passengers can elect to adjust the amount or remove it from their accounts. (On NCL America's Pride of Aloha, the service charge is already non-adjustable.)

'Ninety-five percent of our passengers pay this service charge and welcome the convenience,' said NCL spokeswoman Susan Robison. Of the 5% who do not pay, she said the reasons are typically that they prefer to tip in cash, they found the service unacceptable or they don't want to tip at all (or at the $10 per day rate).

NCL research shows that most passengers who say they prefer to tip in cash in fact do not leave a gratuity. 'One of the unintended attractions of Freestyle Cruising for some passengers is that it is much simpler to avoid tipping the crew than it is on a traditional cruise where crew members are primed to receive cash in envelopes on the final evening in both the dining rooms and the staterooms,' Robison said. 'Moving forward, we believe it is fair and equitable that all passengers pay a daily charge for the service they receive.' If service is poor, Robison said NCL wants to hear about it immediately to rectify the problem during the cruise.

'We recognize that, just on principle, not everyone will find this new policy acceptable and we also recognize that some people budget their cruises with the intention of not paying the service charge regardless of their on board experience,' Robison said. 'That is why we are giving plenty of notice of this adjustment in our policy prior to its implementation across our fleet next summer.'

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New ships chart Port Everglades

New ships chart Port Everglades

They include Royal Caribbean International's Jewel of the Seas, Holland America Line's Westerdam and MSC Cruises' MSC Opera.

Also, vessels like Princess Cruises' Star Princess and Costa Cruises' CostaAllegra will sail regularly from Port Everglades for the first time. In addition, the port will celebrate first visits by Carnival Miracle, Hapag-Lloyd's Europa and Princess Cruises' Pacific Princess.

'We make each first call special with welcome banners, water displays, decorations in the passenger terminals and roses for each couple on the inaugural voyage,' said port director Ken Krauter.

On Nov. 6, RCI will present its 90,090gt Jewel of the Seas, sailing on six- and eight-night Caribbean itineraries from Port Everglades on Saturdays and Sundays through April. HAL's 85,000gt Westerdam debuts seven-night cruises from the port on Nov. 29, sailing Sundays, also through April. On Dec. 2, the 58,600gt MSC Opera will make her North American debut offering the line's first seven-night Caribbean cruises every Saturday through April.

The 109,000gt Star Princess -- following in the wake of sisters Grand and Golden Princess -- comes to South Florida on Oct. 24, sailing seven-night itineraries every Sunday through April. On Dec. 16, the 28,430gt Costa Allegra will begin a series of 11-night Caribbean cruises through March.

Nearly 50 ships from 20 cruise lines call at Port Everglades.

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Steiner exceeds Q2 expectations

Steiner exceeds Q2 expectations

The results compare to 32 cents per share in the second quarter last year.

'The results of the maritime business generally start slowly this quarter due to repositioning of certain ships to Alaska and the Mediterranean. This year we saw strength in the maritime business throughout the quarter,' said Steiner president and ceo Leonard Fluxman, adding that business continues to improve.

Revenues rose 26.1% to $83m for the quarter, up from $65.8m in Q2 last year. Income from continuing operations was $8.4m compared to $5.3m.

Steiner management told analysts it has been hearing anecdotally that its spas have been 'significantly outperforming' the new in-house spas on Sapphire Princess and Caribbean Princess. Analyst Robin Farley said Steiner's results support UBS Warburg's opinion that onboard revenues can continue to grow despite the recovery in ticket prices.

'Not only have cruise line onboard revenues been growing, the rate of onboard growth has been accelerating as we saw in RCL's results yesterday, which seems to indicate that onboard revenue did not grow merely because passengers were paying less for tickets, in our view,' Farley wrote in a research note.

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Enchantment of the Seas to undergo EUR45m stretch at KMY

Enchantment of the Seas to undergo EUR45m stretch at KMY

The midbody will be built at KMY's Turku yard and the lengthening will take place between mid-May and early July 2005 while the vessel is being drydocked at the Keppel Verolme Shipyard in Rotterdam. The contract is valued between EUR40-45m. The project has been developed by Kvaerner Masa-Yards Inc.'s Customer Service Division.

'The refurbishment of Enchantment makes tremendous sense from both an economic and a strategic standpoint. We add substantial revenue without adding commensurate costs, while significantly improving the overall guest experience,' says Royal Caribbean chairman and ceo Richard Fain.

According to KMY's president and ceo, Yrjö Julin, 'This revitalisation and lengthening project is strategically important for Kvaerner Masa-Yards in the growing market of cruise ship conversions. Through services of our new Customer Service Division, we want to support the cruise operators to ensure that year after year cruise customers receive the state of the art experience onboard that they are used to.'

The project includes an extensive public area revitalisation program, as well as a lengthening of the ship by building a 22.2mtr midbody, cutting, inserting and joining of the midbody, as well as final outfitting, powering up and recomissioning of the ship. After the lengthening, the ship will be 301.8 mtr overall, and will include an additional 151 passenger cabins.

The 1,950 lower berth capacity Enchantment was built by KMY for RCI in 1997 at an original cost of $300m. The ship is now sailing 4-5 day cruises in the Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale.

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