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Articles from 2005 In August


SeaKing celebrates 20 years

SeaKing celebrates 20 years

By working with all the major cruise lines and shipyards, SeaKing blossomed from a small Finnish start-up to an international group of companies with offices in Germany, Finland, France, Italy, Poland, Switzerland and the U.S. The group employs some 300 people.

SeaKing supports its customers throughout the ship's life cycle with basic design, consulting, equipment deliveries, training, maintenance and upgrading. The company operates a large production facility in Poland for tailor-made stainless steel furniture including refrigerators and hot and cold service counters and cabinets. A second production facility in Fort Lauderdale focuses on responding to the industry's fast-growing renovation activities.

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Cruisingapos;s US economic impact hits $30bn

Cruisingapos;s US economic impact hits $30bn

S. economy in 2004, an increase of more than 18% over 2003.

In an annual study commissioned by the International Council of Cruise Lines, Business Research and Economic Advisors (BREA) found that the industry supported nearly 316,000 jobs nationwide and paid a total of more than $12.4bn in wages and salaries in 2004.

'Despite an ongoing war in Iraq and consumer uncertainty about the economy last year, the cruise industry continued to grow, spending a significant amount of money in the United States and supporting a lot of jobs,' said ICCL president Michael Crye. 'The spending is not just in seaport cities either; virtually every business sector and every single state -- from Alabama to Wyoming -- benefited from cruise line expenditures.'

Cruise lines, their passengers and crew were responsible for a total of $14.7bn in direct economic impacts last year -- nearly $2bn more than in 2003. BREA attributed much of that increase to a rise in U.S. passenger embarkations of nearly 14% percent, to 8.1m. These direct expenditures supported 135,000 jobs paying $4.8bn in wages and salaries.

Direct economic benefits arose from five principal sources: spending by cruise passengers and crew for goods and services, including travel to the port of embarkation and pre-/post-cruise vacations; shoreside staffing by lines for offices, marketing and tour operations; the purchase of goods and services such as food and beverages, fuel, supplies and equipment; payments for port services; and ship maintenance and repair at U.S. shipyards and capital expenditures for terminals, offices and other capital equipment.

Cruise line operational expenditures for wages, taxes and goods and services accounted for approximately 80% of direct spending, while passenger and crew spending on transportation, accommodations, food and other retail accounted for the remaining 20%. Indirect economic impacts included expenditures by cruise line vendors and businesses that supply goods and services to passengers and crew.

The complete study is available at www.iccl.org in the 'Resources' section.

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Delta Queen steamboats, staff safe

Delta Queen steamboats, staff safe

'We know many of our associates lost their homes, and Delaware North Companies is setting up a sizable fund to help them with temporary housing, food, etc. In addition, the company is making a large donation to the American Red Cross,' said Wendy Watkins, vp corporate communications and marketing for Delaware North in Buffalo, N.Y. 'Our reservationists are also here in Buffalo, since our emergency reservations center was set up a couple of years ago at our corporate headquarters.'

The upcoming itinearies are unaffected, however the American Queen trip that was scheduled to sail from Memphis to New Orleans will now operate roundtrip from Memphis, Watkins said.

'Fortunately, all three of the Delta Queen steamboats, their passengers and our onboard crews, weathered the storm without any incident or damage,' said Delta Queen president Bruce Nierenberg in a statement from Buffalo. 'The Delta Queen and the Mississippi Queen were up on the Ohio River and the Upper Mississippi and out of harm's way well up river from New Orleans. The American Queen had left New Orleans for a trip to Memphis several days before the storm hit the U.S.'

Nierenberg said the steamboats would continue to operate on up-river itineraries during the peak fall season. 'Any future itinerary changes necessitated by the storm and its aftermath will be communicated to the travel agents and our customers as they are finalized,' he said.

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AAPA: How to help the Gulf Coast

AAPA: How to help the Gulf Coast

fema.gov/news/newsrelease.fema?id=18473.

AAPA has received numerous inquiries about what member ports can do to help the Gulf Coast, spokesman Aaron Ellis told Seatrade Insider. 'The focus is still on search and rescue/evacuation efforts, and the quickest way to help is to provide assistance - financial contributions, blood donations, etc. - directly to the relief organizations involved in the area,' he said. AAPA plans to match any cash donations made by its employees.

'As the focus shifts to reopening and/or rebuilding ports and terminal facilities, we will determine needs and coordinate assistance by AAPA members,' Ellis added.

AAPA has been in touch with acting U.S. maritime administrator John Jamian. 'MARAD is making its ships available and coordinating with the crisis management center with regard to the availability and capability of the vessels,' Ellis said.

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Princess rolls out digital photo kiosks

Princess rolls out digital photo kiosks

Princess said the kiosks accept all popular forms of digital media, enabling owners of most types of digital cameras to access the service's features.

A Pixel Magic digital kiosk is located adjacent to the photo services desk on each ship. The machines provide a range of printing options, including editing functions to crop or enlarge images plus add borders and other special effects.

Prices begin at 45 cents for a 4x6 print.

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Costa Classica fire still under study

Costa Classica fire still under study

The Greek and Italian coast guards conducted investigations before the ship was cleared to sail, and surveyors are still preparing their reports on the Aug. 24 fire, said Costa spokeswoman Fabrizia Greppi.

The blaze occurred while the ship was en route to Piraeus, and burning synthetic ropes produced thick black smoke. No injuries were reported, and Costa said the crew extinguished the fire in 35 minutes. The rest of the week-long cruise was canceled. After repairs, Costa Classica resumed sailing on Aug. 28 from Venice.

Cleaning and the painting of the external part of the damaged stern were begun inPiraeus and completed in Venice under the authorization of the local coast guard and port authorities, Greppi said, adding that anti-pollution measures were fully complied with. Internal painting was carried out by Costa crew. The other repairs were completed by specialized technicians under the supervision of the Costa Technical Department ship and shoreside.

The cost of damage and repairs was not released.

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US modifies passport deadlines

US modifies passport deadlines

government modified its timeline for passport requirements for citizens traveling within the Western Hemisphere.

As of Dec. 31, 2006, a passport or other accepted document will be required for all air and sea travel within the hemisphere. The deadline will be Dec. 31, 2007 for all U.S. land border crossings.

Originally, the government had proposed three different deadlines for U.S. citizens to present passports, depending on the region they were visiting. The first deadline, for travel to the Caribbean, Bermuda, and Central and South America, had been proposed for the start of 2006, which the International Council of Cruise Lines and other travel-related associations said was too short.

ICCL said it was pleased the government eliminated the initial December 2005 deadline. 'However, we would prefer implementation of all phases of the WHTI [Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative] to be delayed until January 2008,' ICCL said in a statement. 'There is no basis for treating travelers who travel by air or sea any differently from those who travel over land borders, and having two different sets of rules, depending on one's mode of travel, would be extremely confusing to travelers.'

Having a unified implementation date of 2008 for all modes of travel will give time to the federal government, the travel industry and the traveling public to adapt to the new passport program, ICCL said.

ICCL noted that the Western Hemisphere includes the regions that are the world's most heavily visited cruise destinations, accounting for approximately 70% of all cruise ship visits, or 7.6m passengers. The U.S. State Department estimates that only 20% of Americans carry passports.

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CLIA lines boost passenger counts

CLIA lines boost passenger counts

3% increase over the same 2004 period. The North American customer total was 2.41m, a 6.2% increase over the year-ago quarter.

CLIA's 19 lines posted a collective total of 101.7% occupancy, up one point compared to the second quarter last year.

For the first six months of 2005, the lines carried 5.3m passengers, a 5.5% increase over the 5,024,465 carried during the first half of 2004. North American customers for the period totaled 4.73m, up 9.4% over the 4.33m carried during the first six months of 2004.

CLIA's second-quarter passenger carryings report also found that itineraries of one to five days accounted for a 34.8% market share, itineraries of six to eight days (53.3%), nine to 17 days (11.6%) and 18 days or longer (.34%).

The average length of a cruise in the first half was 7.33 days versus 7.09 days for the same period in 2004.

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Millennium, Infinity apos;trade placesapos;

Millennium, Infinity apos;trade placesapos;

Millennium will replace sister ship Infinity in South America, while Infinity will sail in the Caribbean.

'Drydock availability for Infinity changed following completion of our 2006 deployment plans, so to avoid disrupting any of our guests' vacation plans, we chose to swap ships,' said Celebrity president Dan Hanrahan. 'Millennium is scheduled to enter drydock this November, just before returning from Europe to the Caribbean, leaving the ship perfectly positioned to offer our guests a full, uninterrupted season of cruising in South America.'

Meanwhile, Infinity is scheduled for drydocking in the Caribbean from March 20 through April 6.

Itineraries in both regions remain as scheduled and passengers booked on either ship are being informed they will retain the same accommodations they reserved.

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Concordia launch will reveal unique features

Concordia launch will reveal unique features

Innovations will include a Formula One driving simulator and two glass-topped pools, one with a giant video screen.

Costa Concordia's key feature will be Samsara Spa, a 1,900-square-meter/20,500-square-foot wellness center extending over two decks, the largest of its kind ever built on a ship. Facilities will include a gym, health spa, indoor thalassotherapy pool, treatment rooms, sauna, Turkish bath and solarium. Fifty-five cabins and 12 suites will have direct spa access.

The launch ceremony will include speeches by Fincantieri ceo Giuseppe Bono, Fincantieri chairman Corrado Antonini, Costa chairman and ceo Pier Luigi Foschi and Carnival Corp. & plc chairman and ceo Micky Arison.

After Costa Concordia floats out, the ship will enter the final outfitting process. The maiden cruise departs from Civitavecchia on July 14.

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