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Articles from 2002 In September


Ajaccioapos;s home port ambitions move closer

Ajaccioapos;s home port ambitions move closer

Raymond Ceccaldi, president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Ajaccio and South Corsica says the Chamber has ambitions for Ajaccio to become a turnaround port and is investing in the construction of a new quay, projecting into the harbour for use by cruiseships on one side (9mtr draught) and as a marina on the other, and a new conference centre situated alongside the existing passenger terminal in the heart of the city. Two airports closeby, plus fast ferry routes with the French mainland, offer passenger transfer connections for future turnaround business says Ceccaldi.

The conference centre, which will be ready in April 2003, will double as a passenger terminal if required. Construction of a 260mtr long quay is due to begin early next year. An additional mooring buoy will also be built, enabling ships up to 300mtr in length to berth. Port director, Don Paul Grimaldi told Seatrade Insider the 15m Euro berth investment has already been approved but progress has been held up by the transfer of autonomy from national to local regions. 'Finalisation of the plans are now underway and the pier will go to tender by early next year with a view to completion within 14 months,' says Grimaldi.

At Porto Vecchio, where larger vessels prefer to anchor offshore and use tenders, an additional mooring buoy will be built next year and the Chamber is also studying extending the quay at Propriano to welcome larger ships, although plans have not yet been finalised.

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Windstar plots new Caribbean routes

Windstar plots new Caribbean routes

Thomas and Barbados aboard the 308-passenger Wind Surf. Also new: eight calls at Puerto Rico's Isla Culebra, making Windstar the first line to regularly visit the spot known as 'Isla Chiquita.' The Barbados departures visit Bequia, Mayreau, Dominica, St. Barthelemy and Virgin Gorda, while the St. Thomas departures call at Isla Culebra, St. Martin, Iles des Saintes, St. Lucia and Grenada.Also in 2003, the 148-passenger Wind Spirit and Wind Star resume their seven-day itineraries in the Virgin Islands and along the coasts of Belize, Honduras and Mexico. Wind Star also offers two 14-day Caribbean sampler cruises between Cancun and Barbados.

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HAL schedules agent sales seminars

HAL schedules agent sales seminars

The one-hour seminars introduce cruise and cruisetour programmes for 2003 and are conducted by HAL's district sales managers.

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Fire at Mitsubishi damages Diamond Princess

Fire at Mitsubishi damages Diamond Princess

P&O Princess said there were no known casualties but the early word is that the extent of damage to the vessel itself 'appears to be significant.'

Diamond Princess is scheduled for May 31 delivery and is due to enter service June 19 for the summer Alaska season. P&O Princess said contractual arrangements with the yard and insurance policies are sufficient to mitigate the costs of damage or delay, and no adverse impact on earnings is expected.

The newbuild is the first of two 'MHI Grands' under contract in Japan. The 113,000gt ships are modified versions of the earlier Grand class series built at Fincantieri. One fundamental design change is the relocation of the signature stern discotheque, which on the MHI Grands wraps around the funnel.

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Mercury adds California, Mexican Riviera series

Mercury adds California, Mexican Riviera series

'Our Captain's Club[alumni] members and travel agent partners alike expressed interest in Californiaand Mexican Riviera cruises, and we're thrilled to respond to that interest,' says Steven Hancock, Celebrity's senior vp of marketing.

Cruises on the 1,870-passenger Mercury include roundtrip voyages of varying lengths from San Francisco visiting such ports as Monterey, Catalina Island, Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo and Ensenada. Roundtrip sailings of 10 and 11 nights from San Diego call at ports including Cabo, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco, Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa and Manzanillo.

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ResidenSea targets Silver Windapos;s Asia customers

ResidenSea targets Silver Windapos;s Asia customers

Based on double occupancy and a three-night minimum stay, this offer is available for Silversea guests who book and make a deposit by the end of October on voyages aboard The World through to July. The World will sail in Asia and the Far East for the first time next year, including an extended 11-day call in New Zealand for the America's Cup. 

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Orient creates agent group manuals

Orient creates agent group manuals

Versions are available for European and Exotics packages. Orient is also now offering bonus commissions of $50 to $100 for group bookings on '03 itineraries made through October 31, 2002.

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Stormy weather

Stormy weather

Late Monday, Lili was again at hurricane force as she headed west northwest toward Western Cuba. A hurricane warning remains in effect for areas recently visited by storm Isidore, including the Isle of Youth, and for the Cayman Islands. The government of Mexico has issued a tropical storm watch from Cozumel to Progreso. Progeso operator TMM's Miguel Casanueva says preliminary depth soundings at the port last week found no problem after Isidore but the results of an official sounding will be ready in a day or two.

Royal Caribbean dropped scheduled calls by Monarch of the Seas (out of Port Everglades) to Key West, Cozumel and CostaMaya this week, substituting Labaee and Ocho Rios, while Explorer of the Seas will sail an Eastern Caribbean itinerary instead of its usual Western route from Miami. Celebrity's Century (out of Port Everglades) will also substitute the Eastern Caribbean for the scheduled Western itinerary. Carnival revised itineraries for Imagination and Fascination out of Miami, as well as for Sensation from Tampa and Jubilee from Galveston.

New Orleans cruise operations manager Robert Jumonville had to skip last week's FCCA conference in Cancun when Isidore spun into Louisiana, causing heavy flooding. 'Other than water seepage into the terminal, we had no major problems from the storm and opened for business as usual on Saturday for the Holiday and on Sunday for the Inspiration,' Jumonville tells Seatrade Insider.

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Arion Brisbane plans come adrift

Arion Brisbane plans come adrift

Hunter told Seatrade Insider today there wasn't enough lead time to introduce the 6,000gt former Astra 1 into the Australian marketplace. 'If we had had another two months we could have done it,' he said. 'It also needed substantially more funding than we have been able to give it.'


Hunter said P&O has been a formidable competitor with its aggressive campaign to launch the inaugural six-month South Pacific season of Pacific Princess ex-Sydney November 18. 'P&O is offering introductory fares for just A$20 a day more than we could offer with only 300 passengers,' he said.
Hunter said there had been high volume telephone enquiries but travel agents unfamiliar with the Arion product hadn't converted them into sales. 'There was enormous interest in our ports and we believe they are the key to future operations,' he said.


He said talpacific, an amalgamation of Brisbane's Pacific Unlimited, Auckland's Travel Arrangements and the Pacific & International Travel Company in Sydney with an office in San Francisco and one opening in the UK at the end of October, is re-negotiating a new Down Under itinerary for Arion with Arcalia Shipping.

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Alstom will not extend P&O options

Alstom will not extend P&O options

The orders, which expired today, were for 1,950-berth ships to deliver in 2005 and '06. When P&O Princess extended the options a second time in July, ceo Peter Ratcliffe said his company is 'favourably disposed to add more vessels to the Princess brand' but sees 'no compelling reasons to order at this time.' An Alstom spokesman told Dow Jones in Paris today: 'We can't extend customer options indefinitely.'

'We remain favourably disposed to acquiring additional ships for Princessand have a number of alternatives available for ordering new shipsincluding ordering from Chantiers,' a P&O Princess spokeswoman told Seatrade Insider.

Eleven days ago, Meyer Werft agreed to a third extension of options for two Radiance class ships for Royal Caribbean.

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