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Articles from 2006 In August


Michaelides retires from Louis Cruise Lines

Michaelides retires from Louis Cruise Lines

In a note to Seatrade, 58-year old Michaelides said 'the way forward lies in taking on new challenges'.

Louis reports the chairman's office manager, Michael Maratheftis, will be adding the Louis Group's advertising and PR matters to his responsibilities.

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2008: historic year for Cunardapos;s trio of Queens

2008: historic year for Cunardapos;s trio of Queens

On their arrival in New York they will be greeted in the harbour by flagship Queen Mary 2 - the first meeting of three Cunard Queens.

QE2 and the newly delivered Queen Victoria will leave their homeport of Southampton on January 6, 2008, and head for New York at the start of their 2008 world cruises. QE2, making her 804th Atlantic crossing, will escort Queen Victoria, making her first, to the US where they will arrive a week later. Fares for the tandem crossing on Queen Victoria range from £999 to £15,849 per person while for QE2 they range from £899 to £13,799.

QE2 will then escort Queen Victoria to Fort Lauderdale where they will arrive two days later. There the ships will set off on different journeys but will meet again in Sydney on February 24.

Carol Marlow, Cunard's president and md, says, 'Cunard's famous, historic, world cruises have always set the benchmark for round-the-world voyaging and 2008 will take that tradition to a new height,' This is the earliest Cunard has issued its full world cruise brochure, Marlow adds, 'but as 2008 promises to be such a landmark year we have published it now to give our past guests and Cunard newcomers ample opportunity to secure their place in history.'

Queen Victoria's 106-night maiden world cruise will call at 37 cities in 23 countries circumnavigating the globe in a westbound direction.

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Record growth for Australasia

Record growth for Australasia


This follows the announcement at last week's Cruise Down Under conference in Cairns that the Australian cruise shipping industry again recorded double-digit growth in 2005-06.


The research commissioned by CNZ revealed that the country's economy was boosted by NZ$136.9m (approx. US$86.6m) in direct spend by the industry over the 2005/06 wave season. In that period there were 66,870 passenger and 32,000 crew arrivals.


Harris said the 2006-07 season will see 66,000 cruise tourists arriving in New Zealand and said that number is expected to grow. 'Early indications show that we will see 83,000 passengers and 40,000 crew arriving on cruise ships in the 2007-08 season,' he said. 'It is pleasing to see that the cruise industry is continuing to grow in New Zealand and that the direct expenditure in the 2006-07 season will continue at the same level as the past year.'


The Cruise Down Under study, which is being carried out by the AEC Group on behalf of the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources over a three-year period, gives the estimated total direct expenditure for 2005-06 as A$437.8m (approx. US$333m). It reports this is a 91.9% increase over 2004-05.


It estimates that the cruise industry accounts for around 0.6% of tourism's economic contribution to the Australian economy and 1.5% of the total number of international inbound arrivals (the Australian Tourism Export Council reports five million overseas tourists came to Australia in 2005).

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MSC, Aker France look to landmark day

MSC, Aker France look to landmark day

The 93,000gt MSC Orchestra, sister to the recently introduced MSC Musica, is entering the final stages of construction in St. Nazaire prior to its Spring 2007 delivery. The 133,500gt MSC Fantasia, scheduled to begin service in 2008, is the first post-Panamax newbuild for MSC.

Key executives of MSC Cruises and Aker Yards will participate in ceremonies to mark the construction milestones, and journalists from around the world are expected to cover the Sept. 9 events.

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Variety spices Fincantieriapos;s orderbook

Variety spices Fincantieriapos;s orderbook

The Italian builder has 30 diverse vessels on order or under construction at a total value of EUR10bn.

Nearly half are cruise ships, continuing Fincantieri's global leadership in the cruise arena. The rest range from ro-pax vessels and fast ferries to an oceanographic research vessel and Italian naval ships including a submarine and an aircraft carrier.

While nearly all of Fincantieri's cruise business is with Carnival Corp. & plc, the 116,000gt Ventura, the largest ship ever built for the British market, illustrates the builder's flexibility in design and construction for a variety of brands, noted ceo Giuseppe Bono. Six Carnival group brands are in line for Fincantieri newbuilds.

Also, Bono said Ventura underscores the Italian builder's strengthening relationship with the British cruise sector, cemented last year with Arcadia's handover and continuing with next year's Marghera delivery of Queen Victoria to Cunard Line.

Variations in the Carnival group orders include the first in a new 86,000gt Signature series of vessels for Holland America, a new 130,000gt design for Carnival Cruise Lines which will become the largest ship ever built for that brand, and a new Panamax design for Costa Crociere to enable more flexibility in itineraries.

Fincantieri's passenger-ship workload also includes Fram, a 12,000gt ro-pax vessel for Hurtigruten ASA that is being tailored for operations in Greenland starting next spring and will sail in Antarctica during austral Summer 07/08. The keel for that ship was laid in Monfalcone last week.

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AAPA: Ports significantly safer now

AAPA: Ports significantly safer now

10-14, to remember those lost in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks five years ago.

They include 84 industry colleagues from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey who perished at the World Trade Center.

'Public port authorities have made seaport security their top priority since September 11, 2001,' said AAPA president and ceo Kurt Nagle. He added that ports are significantly safer now thanks to the combined efforts of the ports and federal agencies within the Department of Homeland Security such as the U.S. Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection. He specifically cited the comprehensive Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002.

To continue enhancing security, AAPA urged prompt enactment of legislation in Congress focused on funding port and maritime security initiatives. The association noted that while billions of dollars have been provided to aviation and first responders, only modest federal funding has been made available for ports, forcing many to delay further security improvements or divert funds from critical infrastructure development.

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Shares shoot up on Pullmantur news

Shares shoot up on Pullmantur news

A.

RCL shares gained $2.66 in heavy trading to close at $36.48, a penny off the day's high.

Even Carnival Corp. got a bounce, rising as high as $42.12 in trading before settling at $41.90, up $1.31 (3.23%).

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Royal Caribbean to acquire Pullmantur

Royal Caribbean to acquire Pullmantur

A. The acquisition is aimed at expanding Royal Caribbean's European and Latin American operations, and is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter.

The U.S. cruise giant has agreed with the shareholders of Pullmantur to buy all of the capital stock of the company for EUR430m, plus Pullmantur's net debt of approximately EUR270m. Royal Caribbean said it has obtained a committed bridge facility to support the purchase, which it expects to be neutral to marginally accretive to 2007 earnings per share and accretive after that.

Pullmantur's cruise division consists of five ships operating in Europe and Latin America, including two former R-class vessels. Its tour operations sell travel packages to Spanish customers - including hotel and flights - primarily to Caribbean resorts, and travel packages to Europe aimed at Latin American customers. As part of the transaction, Pullmantur will be withdrawing from Cuba-related activities prior to closing.

Pullmantur also operates three aircraft in support of its cruise and tour businesses.

Madrid-based Pullmantur has offices in Spain and Portugal, with approximately 2,600 employees. The company will be Royal Caribbean's first wholly-owned European brand.

'Pullmantur offers a terrific strategic opportunity for Royal Caribbean to further grow our presence in the European and Latin American markets in a major and tangible way,' said RCCL chairman and ceo Richard Fain. 'We have made significant inroads into these regions through our Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises brands, and this combination will allow us to accelerate our growth in these markets.'

Fain said Pullmantur will remain an independent brand under the Royal Caribbean umbrella.

Pullmantur gm Alfonso Lopez Perez called the acquisition by RCCL 'a bold strategic move that will enable us to further grow our highly successful brand.'

RCCL said it continues to expect full-year net yields to increase in the range of 3% to 4% as compared to 2005, and earnings to be in the range of $2.90 to $3 per share, excluding any impact from Pullmantur. Additionally, the company now expects earnings for the third quarter of 2006 to be in the range of $1.55 to $1.60 per share, based on slightly stronger yield expectations of an increase of approximately 3% over the third quarter of 2005. Previous guidance was for Q3 EPS of $1.52 to $1.57 and a year-over-year Q3 yield increase of 1% to 2%.

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Cruisingapos;s US impact $32.4bn in apos;05

Cruisingapos;s US impact $32.4bn in apos;05

economy was $32.4bn in 2005, an 8% increase over 2004, according to a just-released study.

The industry supported more than 330,000 jobs nationwide and paid a total of $13.5bn in wages and salaries to Americans last year, determined the annual study commissioned from Business Research and Economic Advisors by the International Council of Cruise Lines.

Cruise lines, passengers and crew were responsible for a total of $16.2bn in direct spending on U.S. goods and services - $1.5 billion, or 10%, more than in 2004. Direct expenditures supported nearly 143,000 jobs and paid $5.2bn in wages and salaries, increases of 5.6% and 8.1%, respectively. BREA noted that while growth in embarkations was not as strong in 2005, spending per passenger rose from $1,553 in 2004 to $1,667 in 2005, a 6.8% increase.

'Last year was challenging due to weather disruptions and fewer new ships delivered,' said ICCL president Michael Crye. 'Through those challenges, however, the cruise industry remained a robust economic resource in 2005, benefiting the U.S. economy with $32.4 billion - $4 billion more in goods, services and wages than it spent in 2004.'

Direct economic benefits came from five main sources: spending by passengers and crew for goods and services; shoreside staffing by lines for U.S. headquarters, marketing and tour operations; goods and services for operations; port services; and maintenance and repair of ships and capital expenditures for terminals, office facilities and other capital equipment.

The $16.2bn in direct purchases for goods and services benefited the economies of all 50 states, the study found. Impacts were concentrated in 10 states that accounted for 77% of the total U.S. impact: Florida, California, New York, Alaska, Texas, Georgia, Washington, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Illinois.

Indirect impacts included expenditures by cruise line vendors and businesses that supply goods and services.

The full study will be available at www.iccl.org. [See also following story.]

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Study: US embarks 75% of cruisers globally

Study: US embarks 75% of cruisers globally

economic impact study being released today recaps that cruise capacity growth in 2005 was more moderate than in previous years, with four new ships entering the market for a 2.2% capacity increase and a combined total of 245,755 lower berths.

U.S. ports continued to handle 75% of all global cruise embarkations in 2005, according to the study commissioned from Business Research and Economic Advisors by the International Council of Cruise Lines. More than 8.6m passengers began their cruises from U.S. ports, an increase of 6.3%.

Globally, demand for cruising remained strong in 2005, and the industry increased passenger carryings by 6% over 2004 to 11.5m passengers worldwide. U.S. residents totaled 9.1m, or 79%, of global passengers.

The top 10 embarkation ports - Miami, Port Everglades, Port Canaveral, Los Angeles, Galveston, Tampa, New York, Long Beach, Seattle and New Orleans - accounted for 84% of all U.S. passenger embarkations, according to the study. Higher 2005 embarkation numbers were posted by Miami (5.3%), Los Angeles (30.9%), Galveston (22.1%), Tampa (6 %) and Seattle (18.2%).

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