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Genting to team with Chinese partner for domestic cruises from Hainan

Pictured here is Genting Dream, one of Dream Cruises' three ships

This would support the development of a free trade, pilot cruise tourism zone on the Island.

Genting Hong Kong had signaled the opening from Hainan in reporting first-half earnings last week.

Supporting China's efforts to rebuild its tourism sector

'We are keen to support the Chinese government’s efforts in rebuilding its travel and tourism sector by providing a safe and carefree vacation option for consumers,' said Kent Zhu, president, Genting Cruise Lines, 'Genting Cruise Lines has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with China, and especially in Hainan Island. The establishment of a joint venture company in Sanya demonstrates our commitment and determination to further drive the development of cruise tourism in Hainan.'

Wu Haifeng, vice mayor of the Sanya Municipal People’s Government and president of Sanya CBD Administration, noted Genting Hong Kong was the first cruise company to homeport in the city and with the longest deployment period and the highest number of sailings to date.

Last year, Hainan was approved by China’s Ministry of Transport to launch pilot cruises to nowhere for Chinese-funded cruise ships flying flags of convenience.

To further boost tourism and reinforce the positioning of the Hainan Free Trade Port, the Hainan government earlier this year announced a pilot plan for this type of service.

Benefits from Explorer Dream experience in Taiwan

Noting that Dream Cruises' Explorer Dream resumed operations from Taiwan in July, offering domestic cruises for Taiwanese, Zhu called this a 'testament to the efficacy of the company’s enhanced health and safety measures,' adding that the ship had been operating for over a month 'without any incident and garnered high scores in terms of passenger satisfaction.'

This helped Genting gain 'invaluable experience for our upcoming deployments,' Zhu said. 'It is our goal to provide our guests in mainland China with the same opportunity to enjoy a much-deserved vacation experience marked by Dream Cruises’ reputation for unbeatable quality, hospitality and safety.'


PortMiami cruise terminals get $335m boost from Miami-Dade bonds

The county-issued bonds are a boost for the cruise industry at a time when PortMiami itself is unable to issue more debt

Virgin, NCL, Carnival, MSC, Disney facilities

Included are $130m toward the Virgin Voyages terminal, $78m toward Norwegian Cruise Line's new terminal and its passenger boarding bridges, $70.5m for Carnival Cruise Line's new Terminal F, $5m for MSC Cruises' Terminals AA/AAA and $20m for their adjacent Berths 8 and 9 and the Disney Cruise Line Berth 10.

Not full project costs

These are not full costs for the infrastructure but portions of the port's commitments. For example, in the case of the MSC facility, that is a $300m project tp be funded by MSC Cruises. The port's obligation is for approximately $35m for environmental mitigation, capital contributions and other costs.

Cruise boost

The fact that Miami-Dade County will issue bonds to support PortMiami projects is a boost for the cruise industry at a time when the port itself is unable to issue more debt.

As a source told Seatrade Cruise News when the bonds were put on the commission agenda in July, 'This is a positive message the county is sending, that it sees the cruise business as viable long-term.'

A salute to Capt Luigi Pastena as he retires from MSC Cruises

Capt Luigi Pastena MSC Cruises' front line port ops guru - a regular at cruise events worldwide

Pastena has been a regular attendee and popular participant at Seatrade cruise events worldwide, CLIA seminars and at MedCruise and Cruise Europe port association gatherings.

Pastena has never shied away from speaking his mind on panels across a range of subjects with some of his pet favourites being port congestion, environmental issues, port fees and the complexities of handling large cruise ships.

Imparting knowledge

Pastena has also always been happy to impart his knowledge and is well respected by the port cruise community where he has overseen technical matters related to MSC’s itineraries worldwide, as well as the selection of port agencies where its ships call.

Luigi was the first cruise line executive I met when I started in the industry and since then has been an example of integrity, passion and dedication to his job,’ Simone Tommaso Marachi, managing director at Cruise Gate Hamburg, told Seatrade Cruise News.

Born in Piano di Sorrento

Pastena was born in Piano di Sorrento in 1956 and graduated from Italy’s Nino Bixio Nauticalo Institute in the early '70s.

He started sailing in 1974 with Gulf Oil as a cadet on tankers and stayed with the company until 1980 when he switched to Grimaldi Line as second officer and then master.

In 1986, he was captain on board ecological boat Ecolmare based in San Benedetto del Tronto.

Pastena joined MSC in 1994 and gained promotion to the master of cargo vessel MSC Lucy in 1997. From 1994 to 2002 he alternated between serving on MSC cargo and cruise ships.

Pastena stepped ashore in 2003 to work for Emilio La Scala, head of the MSC Cruises Technical division based in Naples. He was assigned port captain a year later.

In 2016 he moved to London as part of the newly set up MSC Cruise Management office where he has worked for the past four years.

MedCruise cooperation

Capt. Pastena had a particular understanding and deep knowledge of ports in the Med, his home ground. Airam Diaz Pastor, president of MedCruise, called him a 'high-level expert who has shown his loyalty to MSC and the global cruise industry over the years.’

MedCruise Association and its members have had ‘a great cooperation with the captain for many years,' noted Diaz Pastor, who was awarded by MedCruise as the Cruise Line Executive Showing the Greatest Commitment during the 52nd General Assembly held in Valletta in May 2018.

‘I would like to recognise his valuable contribution to our industry and wish him a very happy retirement. We will all miss you, Captain!’ he concluded.

Cruise Europe tribute

Capt Michael McCarthy, chairman of Cruise Europe, thanked Capt Pastena for his support to Cruise Europe over many years and called his contribution to MSC Cruises and the wider industry ‘phenomenal’ and his friendship to all port operations personnel globally as ‘immense.'

Dedicated professional

Seatrade Cruise Group Director Mary Bond commented, ‘Luigi regularly attended and participated at Seatrade events around the world. He has participated in panels at our events in Asia (Busan, Korea) in the Middle East (Doha, Qatar) and numerous times at Seatrade Europe and Seatrade Cruise Med and is much admired by the port community.

‘He is always one of the first delegates conducting meetings on the exhibition floor in the morning and one of the last to leave when it closes,' Bond added.

Capt Pastena is now looking forward to spending time with his family in his hometown of Piano di Sorrento.