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Articles from 2005 In July


WA Tourism Minister to open CDU 2005

WA Tourism Minister to open CDU 2005

This year's conference gets under way with a welcome cocktail party hosted by Fremantle Ports staff and ceo Kerry Sanderson.

Speakers include Professor Ross Dowling, Foundation Professor and Head of Tourism at WA's Edith Cowan University, whose topic is 'Cruise Tourism - Growth, Markets and Issues.'

Tourism Australia's director-Australasia Andrew McEvoy will discuss 'Marketing Australia As A Key Cruise Destination' and current port issues will be covered by John Hirst, ceo of the Association of Australian Ports and Marine Authorities Incorporated (AAPMA).

Grant Hunter, who opened an office in Sydney for Classic International Cruises in May 2004 in the leadup to Funchal's arrival in WA on December 30 last year for her inaugural three-month cruise season, will give the keynote address, 'Establishing A Cruise Line in Fremantle.'

As earlier reported, another keynote speaker is Captain Cook Cruises founder and executive chairman, Trevor Haworth, whose topic is 'Establishing A Successful Australian Cruise Line.'

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Pier should boost Belize numbers

Pier should boost Belize numbers

& plc.

'Now, it's the world's longest tender ride, which makes it difficult to offer many tours. By bringing the ship alongside and shaving off 45 minutes each way, we will be able to enhance the experience,' Israel told Seatrade Insider. He counts tender time from the moment the first person embarks until the last person gets off.

As reported earlier, Carnival and Belize Ports Ltd. are moving forward with their joint venture project to build a $50m cruise facility in the Port Loyola Area of Belize City. The post-Panamax two-berth pier is scheduled to become operational in late 2007. Construction could start as early as Sept. 10, Israel said.

Belize is famous for its enormous reef and small cays. Israel thinks the mainland also has much to offer. 'The sheer magnitude of this country is unbelievable. It's not only the little cays. It has everything from Mayans to mountains to jaguars to national parks. There are a lot of soft-adventure possibilities,' he said.

Belize posted breathtaking cruise growth from 1999 to 2004, but numbers slowed this year because some ships redeployed to the booming Mediterranean.

Israel declined to project future numbers for Belize, saying that itinerary decisions are up to Carnival's individual operating brands which have two- to three-year planning cycles. The pier will also be open to non-Carnival ships.

Shareholders in the joint venture port project expect it to generate more than 1bn Belizean dollars (US$508m) in revenue over the first 20 years of the agreement.

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Month-long Fun Ships sale

Month-long Fun Ships sale

Rates begin at $249 for three- and four-day Bahamas/Caribbean cruises, $299 for four- and five-day Caribbean sailings and $499 for six- to eight-day Caribbean cruises.

The month-long promotion applies to new individual bookings made between July 31 and Sept. 2, and is valid on most three- to eight-day departures between Aug. 1 and April 2.

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A promotion for Palm Beach security chief

A promotion for Palm Beach security chief

Since joining the Florida facility two and half years ago as manager of security, Hern has forged productive relationships with such agencies as the U.S. Coast Guard, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Riviera Beach Police Department and Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

'Ken Hern has proven his ability to initiate and implement policies and procedures that are essential in the post-9/11 environment,' said Lori Baer, executive director of the port.

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Port Canaveral welcomes NCL boost

Port Canaveral welcomes NCL boost

In addition, Norwegian Majesty will call at the Central Florida port in 2006, bringing the total number of NCL visits to 45 in the next two years.

'Port Canaveral offers a wide variety of options to our guests. The shore excursion program we've introduced with Norwegian Dawn has been very successful and we're looking forward to offering those options and more to our passengers on board Norwegian Spirit and Norwegian Majesty next year,' said Andy Stuart, evp marketing, sales and passenger services for NCL.

This November, Norwegian Spirit joins Norwegian Dawn for year-round deployment from New York. In 2006, Norwegian Dawn will call at Port Canaveral every Tuesday from May to August. Norwegian Spirit is scheduled visit Canaveral every Tuesday from February through May then every other Tuesday May through October. Norwegian Majesty will reposition from Boston, calling at Canaveral on Oct. 20, 2006.

'We appreciate Norwegian Cruise Line's confidence in Port Canaveral as a gateway to the Space Coast and Central Florida as a port of call,' said port authority ceo Stan Payne. 'We plan to announce some exciting initiatives during the next few months that will further enhance our status as a port-of-call destination.'

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Dawn Princess wonapos;t call Australia home, after all

Dawn Princess wonapos;t call Australia home, after all

Instead, Pacific Princess will return for a fifth extended South Pacific season, Carnival Australia president Gavin Smith announced today.

Pacific Princess, the former R Three, commenced her inaugural six-month South Pacific programme from Sydney in November, 2002. She was to have made her fourth and final annual season Down Under from November this year, after completing a charter to circumnavigate Australia on October 9 for Cruiseco.

Smith said Pacific Princess will now operate the 28-night 'Grand Voyage Around Australia' which was to have been undertaken by Dawn Princess on November 7, 2006 and that almost sold out immediately bookings opened. He said she will also circumnavigate Australia again at the end of the 2006/07 South Pacific season.

With Sapphire Princess scheduled to operate eight 12-day cruises between Sydney and Auckland from January 11 until April 5, 2007, was capacity control behind the decision to replace the 1,950-passenger Dawn Princess with the 670-passenger Pacific Princess?

A spokeswoman for Carnival Australia was noncommittal. 'The move stems from some changes in global fleet deployments which mean that Pacific Princess continues to be available for our market,' she said.

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HAL expands Canada-New England program

HAL expands Canada-New England program

Amsterdam and Maasdam will sail a total of 22 cruises from late April into October. Maasdam again will operate mainly cruises between Boston and Montreal, plus a spring Fort Lauderdale-Montreal sailing and a fall Montreal-Norfolk cruise. Amsterdam will sail between New York and Montreal.

'The Canada/New England cruising region is really an up and comer for our industry, especially among families seeking summer cruises,' said Rick Meadows, HAL's svp marketing and sales.

Saguenay -- scheduled for four calls by Amsterdam in 2006 -- is surrounded by three national parks, including a marine preserve. Meadows called the opportunities for wildlife and marine viewing, kayaking, fishing and flightseeing 'exceptional.' HAL is developing excursions around these activities plus cultural, culinary and tree-top canopy tours.

Amsterdam's four 10-day cruises between New York and Montreal depart Sept. 7 to Oct. 7, 2006, for prime fall color viewing. In addition to Saguenay, ports are Quebec City, with scenic cruising of the St. Lawrence River and Saguenay Fjord, and Newport, R.I.; Gloucester, Mass.; Bar Harbor, Maine; Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia; and Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Fares start at $1,699.

Maasdam's week-long cruises between Montreal and Boston sail the Saguenay Fjord and visit Quebec City, Charlottetown, Halifax, Sydney and Bar Harbor. Fares start at $999.

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Barcelona: passengers up 27% in first half apos;05

Barcelona: passengers up 27% in first half apos;05

Joaquim Coello, president of the port, and dg Josep Oriol, announced this week that 428,621 cruise passengers passed through Barcelona between January 1 and end June this year. This is a 27% increase over the 337,677 passengers recorded in the first half of 2004.

Each month in 2005 has shown an increase over the corresponding month last year. Especially strong growth was registered in May, with 155,867 passengers compared to some 120,000 a year earlier, and in June, when 132,704 people used Barcelona, against 110,000 in 2004. During the first half of 2005, Terminals B and C have been brought into service to handle the growing traffic.

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Early bookings for Deilmannapos;s Europe apos;06

Early bookings for Deilmannapos;s Europe apos;06

Deilmann's nine deluxe river ships will operate more than 270 departures of seven to 14 nights, with cruises on the Danube, Rhine, Moselle, Rhône, Saône, Seine, Elbe, Vltava, Oder and other rivers from late March through mid-November.

Deilmann will offer 14 cruise-tours in 2006 with more than 50 departures. For the first time, the line will introduce fully escorted tours with five itineraries -- one in Holland marking the 400th anniversary of Rembrandt's death and others exploring the regions of Bohemia and Normandy. Among new independent cruise-tours are a Cézanne Centenary celebrating the 100th anniversary of the artist's birth.

Complete cruise-tour information will be available around Sept. 1. Distribution of the '2006 Great Rivers of Europe' brochure is planned for late September, the same time the information becomes available online.

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Cruise lines weak in apos;online customer respectapos;

Cruise lines weak in apos;online customer respectapos;

The study examined areas like responsiveness to inquiries, how personal data is treated and the general attitude customers experience when interacting with a company on its website. Scores were compiled in a Customer Respect Index (CRI).

The average CRI rating was 7.2, with Marriott International's website topping the list with a CRI score of 8.4, followed by Alaska Air (8.3). Disney's website led the study's four-brand cruise group with a 7.6 score, placing it 16th overall. Carnival Cruise Lines followed (7.1) at 25th and Royal Caribbean International (7.0) at 27th. Of the 41 companies, only four received CRI scores less than 6.0, and NCL came at the bottom of the list, with 5.1.

The independent study by The Customer Respect Group, an international research firm based in Ipswich, Mass., looked at six sectors: cruise, airlines, car rentals, hotels and resorts, passenger transportation and web-based resellers. Brands ranged from Avis and JetBlue to Hilton and Expedia.

Relative to the other sectors, the cruise group finished last in 'responsiveness' to customer inquiries, with a CRI score of 4.4; last in 'transparency,' or the clarity of privacy policies; and next to last in 'simplicity,' or the ease of finding information on a site. The average score for all companies in the 'attitude' section of the study -- how customers feel about a company after visiting its site -- was 8.0. NCL was at the bottom of the index with 6.6. No other company scored lower than 7.0.

'Cruise lines are probably doing worse than airlines, etc., because a lower percentage of customers today book cruises online through cruise firms vs. airlines, car rental firms, etc.,' CRG spokesman George Cohen told Seatrade Insider. 'But the fact that more people continue to book cruises online every year means that these firms should begin to pay attention to "respect" factors now. They won't be able to make changes overnight.'

NCL did not respond to requests for comment.

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