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Greek seafarers unions highlight poor port infrastructure

Greek seafarers unions highlight poor port infrastructure

The collision was the fourth incident in a month involving passenger ships.July 23 the 1,530-passenger Blue Star Maritime ferry Superferry II, built1974, collided with the 350-passenger-capacity Theologos P built 2000, whichwas berthed at Andros island. A week earlier, a ferry carrying 295passengers struck a reef off Kythera, south of the Peloponnese, and June 28the Nel Lines-operated ferry Theofilos with 550 people on board hit a reefoff Oinousses in the eastern Aegean. In all cases the ships were damaged butno serious injuries were reported.


Though two of the incidents appear to be down to navigation, the Piraeus and Andros incidents have fueled criticism from seafarers unions which maintaininadequate coordination of crew and human error were less of a problem than poor port infrastructure at Piraeus and other ports. With Marine and IslandPolicy minister Giorgos Voulgarakis pledging full investigations into allincidents, the Masters & Mates Union representative Achilleas Tarlamissaid: 'Most ports do not have adequate piers and are not large enough toaccommodate large cruise ships.'

Voulgarakis said ship inspections would be tightened and in a letter to theHellenic Chamber of Shipping, the Union of Greek Shipowners, the Associationof Greek Passenger Shipping Companies, the Asssociation of Greek CoastalShipping Companies and the Panhellenic Masters & Mates Union, the ministerstressed the need for compliance to safety rules for passenger ships.

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Piraeus prang: Aegean Pearl undergoing repairs

Piraeus prang: Aegean Pearl undergoing repairs

None of the 3,300 passengers and crew on the two ships were injured and no pollution caused.

During her approaching manoeuvring to the pier Pullmantur's Zenith, carrying 1,819 passengers and 619 crew, collided with the Aegean Pearl which had 505 passengers and 349 crew onboard. All were disembarked safely.

Due to the difference in height between the two vessels, Zenith touched the upper starboard side of the Aegean Pearl producing damages in the lowerpart of her lifeboat davits. Aegean Pearl (managed this summer by Golden Pearl Cruises) was passed by the authorities to sail without passengers to Neorion Shipyard on the island of Syros whereit is currently undergoing repairs. The ship is scheduled to resume sailing in a week's time, a Louis spokesman told Seatrade. In the interim passengers booked on Aegean Pearl will be offered similar itineraries on Louis Hellenic's Aquamarine or Cristal he said.

Zenith continued her voyage without detention or delay reports Pullmantur. Zenith's master,after the official Port Authority search and declarations, was left freeand came back to the Zenith command.

Pullmantur told Seatrade Insider insurance companies are working on the damage extension definition, on the repairs and on the compensation for both companies for which an agreeable position was found on the day of the collision.

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Ambassadors swings to Q2 loss

Ambassadors swings to Q2 loss

8m, or 48 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter when the company realized a tax benefit of $7.7m.

Without that tax benefit, Ambassadors would have recorded a $1.9m loss in the second quarter of 2007.

Revenues in the recent quarter were $80.6m, compared to $80.3m a year ago. Cruise revenues decreased $2.4m in Q2 due to a $1.6m decline in revenue from Windstar Cruises, acquired in April 2007, and a $.8m decline in revenue from Majestic America Line.

Costs and operating expenses were $81.5m, down $.1m from a year ago. The recent quarter included a $5.9m decrease in Majestic America Line operating costs, offset by an increase of $2.4m in operating costs for Windstar Cruises.

Revenues in the first six months were $137.4m, compared to $113.1m in the first half of 2007. This year benefited from a $16.2m increase in cruise revenues primarily due to the addition of Windstar Cruises.

Costs and operating expenses were $149.7m in the first six months, up from $128.2m in the first half of 2007. The increase was mainly due to a $13.9m rise in total cruise operating costs due to the addition of Windstar.

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Steiner pushes up profits a penny per share

Steiner pushes up profits a penny per share

6m, or 68 cents per share, a penny ahead of last year's Q2 when the profit was $11.6m, or 67 cents per share.

Revenues rose 4.5% to $135.7m, up from from $129.8m a year ago.

Net income for the first six months was $20.3m, or $1.29 per share, on revenues of $272.4m, compared to net income of $22.3m, or $1.28 per share, on revenues of $253.6m in the first half of 2007.

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Palermoapos;s port regeneration plan

Palermoapos;s port regeneration plan

Around 200 cruise ships a year are currently calling at Palermo, mainly from April through to end of November.

Port Authority president Antonio Bevilacqua says the regeneration plans for the port area include the renovation of the cruise terminal. 'Currently there are numerous activities co-existing inside the port: shipbuilding, commercial (ro-ro and containers), movement of passengers and pleasure craft,' remarks Bevilacqua. The new master plan intends to open the port to the town by identifying those areas which are able to create a real and useful connection between the port and its town, including cruise tourism, he adds.

The most popular excursion for cruise passengers is sightseeing in Palermo itself, which rests on the edge of the orange and lemon tree-covered plain of Conca d'Oro. The city boasts a Baroque square and three churches plus a cathedral which was begun in 1185 and houses the tomb of Frederic II. The archaeological museum is one of Italy's largest, known for the sculpture and carvings unearthed at Selinunte.

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Dessoapos;s apos;cradle to cradleapos; designs

Dessoapos;s apos;cradle to cradleapos; designs

Desso has started an exclusive partnership agreementwith the Hamburg-based Environmental ProtectionEncouragement Agency (EPEA), launched in 1987 by German chemist Michael Braungart. Dr Braungart is famed for developingthe concept of 'cradle to cradle' design, which aims at the creation of waste-free products which can eventually be recycled in their entiretyto provide the raw materials for new goods.

Desso, headquartered in the Netherlands, manufactures contract carpets and carpet tiles for the office, aviation, hotel, marine, hospital and consumer markets. Its Desso Sports Systems arm produces artificial grass for sports use. Cruise clients include Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. In April 2007 investment firm NPM Capital NV took a majority shareholding in Desso and its subsidiaries.

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UK agents: new site for Royal Caribbean ship visits

UK agents: new site for Royal Caribbean ship visits

cruisingforexcellence.co.uk/visitus. Any agent who uses the new programme has to have registered for cruisingpower.co.uk and must have completed Cruising for Excellence up to at least Cadet level.


During August through to October RCCL is offering 12 ship visits throughout the UK and Ireland across its three brands: RCI, Celebrity and Azamara Cruises. Celebrity Constellation can be viewed in Harwich and Azamara Journey three times in either Edinburgh, Belfast or Dublin. Agents wishing to visit Independence of the Seas have a choice of seven occasions including five days in Southampton between August and October, or on a Cork call on August 25 and in Gibraltar on September 9.

Michelle Russell, Royal's training manager for UK and Ireland, commented, 'It gives the opportunity for us to maximise the different ships across our brands that we have in ports around the UK and Ireland and ensure they are as accessible as possible to agents. The instant nature of an online booking reduces any possible disappointments and makes ship visits, an essential element of the training, even simpler to plan. First hand experience of the fleet is crucial to help agents sell the right cruise, to the right person, at the right price.'

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G.A.Papos;s new polar cruise ship delayed

G.A.Papos;s new polar cruise ship delayed

P's 120-passenger Expedition has been delayed and her maiden Antarctic season, due to commence in January, has been cancelled.


A spokeswoman for Adventure World, the gsa in Australia for Canadian-based G.A.P Adventures, told Seatrade Insider that Expedition will now enter service in June 2009 for the commencement of the 105mtr ship's Arctic season.


G.A.P bought Alandsfarjan, a former car-passenger ferry built in 1972, from Viking Line this year to replace its polar cruise ship, Explorer, that sank in the Antarctic Ocean in November.


G.A.P renamed its new ship Expedition and in June she sailed to Aker Yards' shipyard in Rauma for a multi-million-dollar conversion.

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Louis completes purchase of Norwegian Majesty

Louis completes purchase of Norwegian Majesty

The 1,790-passenger ship, currently operating for Norwegian Cruise Line, has been chartered back to Star Cruises until December 1, 2009.

A Louis Group spokesman told Seatrade Insider discussions are ongoing with partners concerning chartering the ship after this date but nothing has yet been firmed.

Norwegian Majesty enters the Louis Cruise Lines fleet following the sale of two of the company's older vessels, Princesa Marissa and Serenade.

Group executive chairman Costakis Loizou underlined the importance of this expansion, not only for the company but also for the Mediterranean cruise market and stated: 'We remain unceasingly focused on the strategy for renewing our fleet and we are going ahead with the implementation of our announced plans to further upgrade the services we provide to the 350,00 passengers, from Europe, North America and a large number of other countries.'

The purchase of a second ship, Norwegian Dream, is expected to be completed during September, reports Louis.

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MSC adds real-time webcams to sites

MSC adds real-time webcams to sites

By clicking on 'Fleet' then 'Webcam,' visitors can see the position of each ship almost in real time.

The sites display the latitude and longitude coordinates of each ship and mark their positions on a map. A second click on the ship image opens another page that displays full-screen images of what the webcams see.

Two webcams have been positioned on the prow and pool decks of each of the ships in the Musica class (MSC Musica, MSC Orchestra and MSC Poesia) and on MSC Sinfonia; webcams are to be installed on the other ships in the fleet over the next few weeks.

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