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Articles from 2001 In August


Market report bullish to 2010

Market report bullish to 2010

' The study argues that despite current fears of recession, pricing concerns and postponement by Princess/RCI of some newbuilding options, the 'rate of growth of (North American) passenger numbers shows no signs of declining.' The industry successfully weathered a 'two-year period of weak demand back in 1994 and 1995, when zero growth occurred,' it points out, and since then the 'massive potential for growth in mainland Europe during the current decade' has become evident. Thus 'unless a major world recession lasting several years occurs,' it concludes that the high rate of newbuilding activity should continue. In fact, considering the costs of operating older ships under various fuel price scenarios and of making the technical changes required by SOLAS in 2005 and 2010, the study suggests that the current newbuilding rate of 14 to 15 vessels a year may actually 'increase modestly' to an average of around 19 (totalling 29,500 berths) for the period 2006 to 2010.

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Here comes the bride ... 5,000 times a year

Here comes the bride ... 5,000 times a year

And Skip Alligood, director of new business, tells Seatrade Insider the concessionaire expects to double the number of marriages it arranges in 2002 by beefing up marketing, branching out to new destinations like the Far East and signing on as exclusive wedding provider to more lines. The Wedding Experience already furnishes packages for Carnival (its biggest client), Cunard, Delta Queen, Festival, Holland America, Seabourn, United States Lines and Windstar. According to Alligood, the Caribbean as a year-round market is the top bridal choice, and Europe is gaining popularity. While most couples marry in port, Alligood says weddings may be performed on ships of Liberian registry and in Canadian waters ('the captain records the latitude and longitude of the ship on the wedding certificate'). Prices start at $800 or $1,000 for mass-market lines and at $3,000 or $4,000 for luxury lines and cover the officiate, licensing and legal requirements, music, basic floral arrangements, a small wedding cake and a bottle of champagne - all of which can be upgraded, for a price. But the real revenue for cruise lines comes in extra catering fees and cabin sales. 'Brides are very desirable customers,' Alligood says. 'They travel with a lot of people. They pay full price.' Some 25-30 guests cruise in a typical wedding party. 'But it's not uncommon to have 100 people,' he adds, 'and we've done weddings with 600 people, who were all sailing.'

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Carnival cuts air commissions to 5%

Carnival cuts air commissions to 5%

Carnival president Bob Dickinson was quoted as saying the move would allow it to keep ticket prices for its air/sea packages at competitive levels while also matching the commissions paid by airlines. In a special edition, travel agent newsletter Cruise Week quoted American Society of Travel Agents president and ceo Richard Copland as denouncing the decision, saying 'There is no logical reason for this policy since Carnival is using net fares for these programmes which are not impacted by the most recent (airline commission) cuts.'

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New Caledonia to join CDU

New Caledonia to join CDU

Mike Bartlett, who was re-elected chairman at the agm yesterday (August 29), said the French territory's membership would reinforce CDU's mission to promote Australia as part of a cruise region that includes New Zealand and the South Pacific. Bartlett also signalled that Cruise New Zealand, which has 25 members, may amalgamate with the 38-strong CDU. He unveiled a 2001-2003 strategy and action plan that calls for continued commitment to Seatrade Miami, sales calls to 20-plus cruise industry executives a year, assistance for new destinations and research into the economic impact of cruising to all stake holders.

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Conroy assesses RSSCapos;s performance

Conroy assesses RSSCapos;s performance

' The line just finished a 'very successful' Alaska season and 'Europe finally came together pretty well.' The new Mariner continues earning rave reviews, Conroy adds, and its 54-night South America circumnavigation is sold out. 'We have about 350 guests on each segment of the Navigator world cruise so we need to sell about 100 more guests on every segment to make her a success. Our biggest challenge will be the Song of Flower in Asia.' Consumers are responding to RSSC's business-class air offer, but Conroy voices concern about 'a bit too much capacity in that market' with Silversea, Seabourn and Renaissance heavily committed. Also, for the first time, Hanseatic has about 70 cabins open in Antarctica during January-February. 'We sell this product very well, but people are so used to having us sold out that we are not on their radar screens,' the Radisson chief says. 'If we don't fill the space it will be a real shame because it is the only ship that combines a real expedition cruise with comfort and luxury service.'

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Panama plans big splash at FCCA in Aruba

Panama plans big splash at FCCA in Aruba

'This is in our quest to maintain a high profile within the cruise community,' says Martin Harrington, cruise director for the Panama Tourism Bureau (IPAT). In the last two years, the country's public and private sectors have teamed in a major bid for more stopover calls by instituting financial incentives, developing new port facilities and attractions and marketing to trade and consumers. Even though awareness of the country is already high among industry execs, Harrington says Panama won't rest on its laurels but will go 'all out' in Aruba with its own pavillion. Exhibitors will include The Panama Canal Authority, The Panama Canal Railway Co., Aventuras 2000, Panama Ports Co., Gamboa Tours and IPAT. Harrington hopes the delegation will add an eight-member folkloric group similar to the one that created a sensation on the trade show floor at the FCCA convention in Puerto Rico two years ago. And it's possible that representatives of Panama's seven indigenous groups will come to show the diversity of the country's 2.8m population.

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Disney celebrates 1 millionth guest

Disney celebrates 1 millionth guest

Disney Magic launched in mid-1998 and the Disney Wonder mid-1999. As reported here, the company is gearing up to build new ships.

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Renaissance to sublease some HQ space

Renaissance to sublease some HQ space

Recent corporate streamlining has left some space 'underutilised,' says president and ceo Manfred Ursprunger. The line has signed global real estate specialist Cushman & Wakefield to handle the leasing of a portion of the company's four floors and 80,000 sq ft of office at 350 East Las Olas Blvd. If interest in the space is sufficiently great, Renaissance has stated it would consider relocating its entire corporate headquarters to nearby premises.

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NCLapos;s big week

NCLapos;s big week

'It's only just hit me,' NCL's Andy Stuart, svp marketing and sales, confides in a call from Europe. 'We're delivering one ship, seeing another delivery in a couple months and laying a keel for third.' The 77,000gt, 1,900-passenger Sun is a heavily modified sister to 1999's Norwegian Sky. The vessel will be handed over at a Bremerhaven ceremony by Lloyd Werft md Werner Luken to NCL president and ceo Colin Veitch in the presence of Star group chairman, ceo and president Dato' KT Lim. 'The delivery of the Norwegian Sun is really an exciting moment for NCL,' Stuart tells Seatrade Insider. 'It's really the first ship that's had the group influence, both Star's and NCL's, on a new product and the first chance to build a new product for the Freestyle Cruising concept.' Stuart singles out 'the key difference' between Sun and other ships as its nine restaurants. 'For a couple months before Star comes out, that will be more restaurants than any cruise ship in the world. It will carry Freestyle Cruising to a new level.'

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R8 seeks tony pax with Casa de Campo turn-arounds

R8 seeks tony pax with Casa de Campo turn-arounds

R8 will depart every Saturday from the posh Dominican Republic resort starting in late October through mid-March in a new programme that is likely to become a long-term addition to the Renaissance roster. Passengers will board at Casa de Campo then sail to the Dominican Republic's Catalina Island, Tortola, Antigua, St. Lucia and St. Barth's before returning, on Friday morning, to Casa de Campo where they'll overnight on board but can take advantage of the 7,000-acre resort's facilities, including its world-famous golf course. Plus, a special, complimentary evening of entertainment for Renaissance guests is planned at Casa de Campo's Grecian-style amphitheatre. 'We're really going after more of the upscale, well-heeled traveler who's looking for something different in the Caribbean,' Renaissance spokesman Brad Ball tells Seatrade Insider. 'If we're going to compete in the Caribbean, we need to offer something different.' Fares will start at $2,499 per person, and Renaissance will also market golf packages and resort stay add-ons.

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