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Atlas Ocean Voyages bundles in emergency evacuation insurance

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Altas is 'proud to be the first cruise brand to include emergency medical evacuation and return-to-home insurance as part of every booking,' Alberto Aliberti said

World Navigator debuts in July

New expedition ship World Navigator is scheduled to enter service in July 2021.

The insurance covers emergency medical transportation from the ship to a local treatment center, as well as return transportation to home or a medical facility close to home, as required.

Peace of mind for travelers

'Because safety and the health of our guests is our top priority, we are proud to be the first cruise brand to include emergency medical evacuation and return-to-home insurance as part of every booking,' said Alberto Aliberti, president of Atlas Ocean Voyages. This will give guests peace of mind, he added, when exploring destinations. 

World Navigator's 2021 inaugural year includes seven- to 24-night itineraries in the Holy Land, Black and Mediterranean seas in the summer, followed by nine- to 13-night itineraries in the Caribbean, South America and Antarctica in late 2021/22.

Disney suspends cruises into early December

Sailings on Disney Magic, pictured here, are canceled through Dec. 12

The line said it continues to refine health and safety protocols for a future return to service and awaits direction from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Sailings are canceled on board Disney Fantasy through Dec. 6, Disney Dream and Disney Wonder through Dec. 11 and Disney Magic through Dec. 12.

Passengers booked on affected sailings who have paid in full will be offered the choice of a cruise credit for a future sailing or a full refund. Those who haven't paid in full will automatically receive a refund of money paid.

Disney said it will be emailing impacted customers and their travel advisors.

Jo Rzymowska welcomes Celebrity Apex into Southampton

Jo Rzymowska, vp & md, EMEA for Celebrity Cruises, welcomed Celebrity Apex into Southampton

The ship was welcomed into the UK south coast port by Jo Rzymowska, vp & md, EMEA for Celebrity Cruises from onboard a launch which tracked her arrival.


Celebrity Apex is en route to PortMiami as its first US stop.

Built in Saint-Nazaire and handed over to Celebrity Cruises in March, the ship finally left Chantiers de l'Atlantique in August.

Celebrity Apex had remained at the yard's Penhoet wharf due to the coronavirus pandemic, which affected more than 200 crew members

Port Everglades winter home

Since then the ship has been at anchor off the French coast but is now on the next stage of her journey to the US to winter homeport of Fort Lauderdale before returning to Europe and summer homeport of Barcelona.



Studio DADO bags Regent's 2023 newbuild — all of it

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Seven Seas Splendor's Observation Lounge by Studio DADO

The 750-passenger, all-suite vessel's luxurious design and amenities will be revealed prior to the anticipated 2021 voyage ticket release date.

Follows work on earlier sister ships

The ship follows sisters Seven Seas Splendor (2019) and Seven Seas Explorer (2016).

'We had the distinct privilege of creating exquisite experiences for Regent Seven Seas guests in the design of the Observation Lounge and Asian Restaurant in Splendor as well as the Pacific Rim Restaurant and Canyon Ranch Spa in Explorer,' Studio DADO Founding Partner Javier Calle said. 'Our vision for the third vessel is an elevated continuation of the quality and bespoke voyaging lifestyle synonymous with the Regent brand.'

The announcement follows a standout year for Studio DADO. Named by Interior Design Magazine as 'The Fastest Growing Firm,' Studio DADO was also recognized on the magazine’s '100 Rising Giants 2020' list for the third year. This annual survey ranks the largest hospitality design firms by design fees for a 12-month period.

In Focus: Covid-19 Solutions

DeCurtis, SMS International team on port health initiative


Turnkey solution

'SMS International Shore Operations is excited to partner with DeCurtis as they both work for safe and successful resumption of cruise operations,' SMS Managing Director Samuel Mifsud said. 'Our collective strengths and combined industry knowledge will bring real value to our mutual clients when they are preparing for the restart of operations. We are pleased to collectively introduce an ultimate turnkey solution by combining the cutting-edge technology with dedicated, experienced and service-oriented staff to run it.'

Mifsud added: 'We are confident it will allow existing and future clients to be a step ahead of resuming safe cruise operations.'

The partnership aims to seamlessly enhance the health, safety and security at ports worldwide.

DeCurtis Shield focuses on improving indoor environments using patent-pending technology to quickly implement health screenings at any secure entry or exit point. This technology, DeCurtis Corp. said, can be a critical part of a mitigating strategy to lessen on-board outbreaks.

' A great fit'

'SMS and DeCurtis have both built strong relationships with the cruise industry, so the partnership is a great fit,' according to Camille Olivere, SVP sales and marketing, DeCurtis Corp. 'DeCurtis understands that the biggest challenge to implementing new technology is to put it into operations. SMS provides a seamless way to implement DeCurtis Shield health screening technology in the embarkation and disembarkation process. The great service that SMS provides will become more efficient and improve peace of mind as well as the health and safety of SMS employees and cruise guests.'



Oceania Cruises CEO Bob Binder re-ups through 2021

Bob Binder is also vice chairman of Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Binder is president and CEO of Oceania Cruises and vice chairman, Oceania and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

The agreement also has Binder remaining employed by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings at least through March 2022 to provide transition support to the board or CEO of NCLH or should there be a new president and CEO at Oceania.

Allura-class newbuild coming in 2022

Oceania Cruises is due to deliver the first in a new Allura class of 67,000gt, 1,200-passenger ships in 2022.

Binder, who co-founded Oceania Cruises in 2002, has been its president/CEO since 2016 and vice chairman of Oceania/Regent since 2015. Before then, he was president of international operations at NCLH. Prior to NCLH's acquisition of Oceania/Regent, he was vice chairman of the two brands' parent company, Prestige Cruises International, since 2011. Earlier, he was Oceania president.


Cruise visionary, NCL founder Knut Kloster is mourned

Knut Kloster was also a humanitarian, known for his social and environmental responsibility

Kloster was also a humanitarian, known for his social and environmental responsibility.

In his honor, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings will dedicate a section of its new PortMiami terminal and introduce an annual team member recognition award in memory of his humanitarian, environmentalist and innovative spirit.


'We are incredibly saddened by the loss of the visionary who not only brought our company, but our industry, to life,' NCLH President and CEO Frank Del Rio said. 'Knut was a pioneer in our industry and certainly ahead of his time, exploring every opportunity to be at the forefront and break boundaries. His passion went beyond cruising with contributions to social, cultural, humanitarian and environmental causes worldwide.'

Kloster’s influence is profound. Starting in 1966, he tapped into America’s growing demand for international travel by introducing cruises from Miami on the 550-passenger ferry Sunward. He founded cruising's first private island, Great Stirrup Cay, and launched its first megaship, Norway, the former ocean liner France.

Sunward to Miami

Born in Oslo, Kloster became the head of his family’s shipping company at an early age. In an effort to diversify, he expanded operations to include a passenger ship to sail between the UK and Gibraltar, service that was halted by geopolitical events. He had a ship, but no passengers.

Meanwhile, in Miami, Ted Arison, who was selling cruises on the Nili, was suddenly without a ship, but he had passengers. Arison contacted Kloster, who brought Sunward to Miami and they formed Norwegian Caribbean Lines. Its first voyage was in December 1966. This modern ship stood out in a market that then was using repurposed ocean liners.

Eventually Kloster and Arison had a falling out, and Arison left to start Carnival Cruise Line.

The 'white ships' and the Norway

The NCL fleet expanded to four 'white ships' — Starward, Skyward, Southward and Sunward II, which replaced Sunward. The Norway came in 1980.

Bruce Nierenberg, who led sales and marketing at NCL, recalled that when the France was acquired and before it went to Germany be converted into the Norway, Kloster wanted to take the ship to Vietnam to use as temporary housing for thousands of homeless 'boat people.'

'We almost did it but politics got in the way and we proceeded to create the biggest cruise experience in the world at that time,' Nierenberg said.

'Knut and his family gave us all a lot of space to try new things. He used to smile when we discussed projects never tried before,' Nierenberg added. 'He saw opportunity. He wasn’t a hard-driving businessman but he was direct when he needed to be.'

In the 1980s, Kloster envisioned Phoenix World City, a massive floating community of 250,000 gross tons that would carry more than 5,000  passengers. This astonishing project was never realized, though that's the way the industry headed — decades later. 

Del Rio said: 'Knut Kloster’s legacy lives on throughout the cruise industry with every new vessel that is launched and every innovation that is introduced. It is with great pride and a tremendous sense of responsibility that we carry on with the vision he created many years ago.'

Kloster Hall and Innovation Award

The main hall in NCL's new 'Pearl of Miami' terminal at PortMiami will be called Kloster Hall in his memory.

'Mr. Kloster’s biggest contribution to our company and the industry was his penchant for innovation and I am proud to establish the Knut Kloster Team Member Award for Innovation, a $10,000 award to be presented annually to a shipside or shoreside team member who has consistently demonstrated our company’s ideals of innovation.'

Genoa and Costa are as one, Thamm says

Thamm spoke about Costa's plans for Genoa

During a meeting at the port with local media, Thamm referenced Genoa as Costa’s home for over 70 years and reminded of the company's plans to build a new cruise terminal. ‘Genoa and Costa are “one together” with around 1,000 employees and families to be protected,’ he said.

‘Costa Diadema’s restart from Genoa is great news for the present but also for the future, as we haven’t changed our plans, even in this difficult moment, to build a new cruise terminal in Liguria’s capital.'

Thamm added, ‘We have a responsibility to turn this difficult situation into an opportunity to come back stronger than ever, and to continue to develop the tourism and economic ecosystem of the destinations. We want to do it in close cooperation with all our stakeholders and we believe that Liguria has a leading role to play with us in becoming a model for others.’

Costa Firenze to remain in the Mediterranean for a year

Heralding the impending arrival of Costa Firenze, undergoing final fitting out at Fincantieri’s Marghera yard, Thamm said the ship will be delivered on December 16.

‘We haven’t decided yet where to christen our newest ship,’ he said, ‘but Costa Firenze will begin Med cruising from Genoa on December 27 and will remain in the Mediterranean for a year,' he stated. Future deployment plans ‘will depend on the pandemic’s development,'

Shore power and LNG

Thamm talked about the introduction of bigger ships such as Costa Smeralda, ‘which require state-of-art infrastructure, like the new passenger terminals planned for Genoa and La Spezia, but at the same time sustainable innovation to improve environmental performance in ports, such as shore power and LNG.’

Thamm said discussions are ongoing with local authorities regarding the new terminal in Genoa, which he hopes would be ready to use in 2023, ‘depending on building plan approval.'

He also spoke of the possibility of refuelling LNG ships in Genoa in future. ‘We are keen to add our knowledge and the experience we are developing in this sector and in case we are asked, we could also evaluate a potential investment,' Thamm added.


Knud E. Hansen icebreaking expedition vessel design revealed

A lithium-ion battery bank can power the vessel while dockside, preventing port emissions.

It can operate in solid multi-year ice 1,8mtr thick, and has a 17 knots service speed and 8100 nautical mile range in open water.

Interior and layout

The vessel contains a bar/lounge, multi-purpose lounge, library, gift shop, observation lounge, fitness room/spa including a panorama ice bar, as well as a pool and jogging area. Most of the 150 cabins have private balconies with ocean views and have the company's Flex Cabin System installed, which allows for cabin walls to be reconfigured between sailings to convert a single, luxury suite into two separate cabins.

Also included is a dedicated cargo hold with overhead hatch and davit system for stowing and deploying special, expeditionary cargo in remote locations along the cruise, and a large tender garage for stowing zodiacs and other expedition equipment, which can be launched through a shell door on the port side.

There are two service lifts and three passenger lifts providing access to all accommodation decks, and a large helicopter deck can lower a landed helicopter onto a hangar on the deck below.


The vessel is powered by a diesel electric propulsion system and two azipod-units, each 7.5mw. Six installed generators will have a combined power of approximately 23mw, fuelled by a combination of MDO and LNG.

Knud E. Hansen reports to have designed the vessel with ‘special attention’ to MarPol regulations and the Polar code; a lithium-ion battery bank can therefore power the vessel while dockside, preventing port emissions.

It is SOLAS compliant and adheres to Safe Return to Port (SRtP) requirements through the inclusion of redundant, segregated power and propulsion systems, as well as passenger safe havens and an auxiliary wheelhouse.

Fred. Olsen’s Balmoral to deliver eight new itineraries

A number of Balmoral's sailings will depart from Portsmouth

On February 2, 2021 the ship will sail for 14-nights from Southampton to Lisbon, Funchal, Madeira, Santa Cruz, La Palma, Santa Cruz, Tenerife, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Arrecife, Lanzarote and Spain’s La Coruña with prices from £1,599 per person.

For a ticket of the same price, Balmoral will also sail a 13-night Northern Lights itinerary that involves husky-sled rides, wildlife spotting and visits to Mount Storsteinen and the Arctic Cathedral. Leaving Portsmouth on November 4, 2021, the vessel will call at Norway’s Molde, Narvik, Tromsø and Ålesund with an overnight stay in Alta.

On November 30, 2021 Balmoral will travel from Portsmouth to Bremen, Germany with an overnight stay in Hamburg as part of a 6-night festive cruise. Visits to Bremen’s UNESCO-listed centre and Hamburg’s Alster Lake and Miniatur Wunderland are among the attractions. Prices start from £699 per person.

Sailings aboard sister ships Bolette and Borealis were announced earlier this month.

Modern port facilities

Ian Diaper, head of operations, Portsmouth International Port says the sailings ‘mark a new cruise era for Portsmouth.’

Clare Ward, director of product and services, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, responded, ‘Portsmouth’s well-connected cruise terminal has superb, modern facilities and we know that the team there will be able to provide a smooth and safe checking in process for our guests.’

Free drinks package

For selected Balmoral sailings of five-nights or more, passengers will be entitled to a free drinks package and the cost of their tips covered when booked by October 31, 2020.