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Ports & destinations

New digital travel company GoBe.com launches

GoBe.com launched yesterday, setting a new standard in the tours and activities sector. GoBe offers an interactive digital platform that travelers can use to book thousands of day tours and activities in hundreds of destinations worldwide. The highly anticipated venture is the only site of its kind that allows users to completely customize and build private itineraries.

GoBe has hand-selected every tour and experience on the site with authenticity, value, and fun in mind. With an activity searchable by nearly any traveler’s interest, the website offers easy-to-use search features that allow travelers to search by Destination, Interest or Group requirements. The site has three primary categories of activities: high-value group tours, private excursions, and exclusive, completely tailor-made “Travel Creations” that are found nowhere else online. Additionally, the easy-to-navigate portal searches cruise schedule itineraries, pricing, and availability for a wide variety of experiential activities, from architecture walking tours and culinary adventures to wildlife exploration and over-the-top bucket-list experiences. With hundreds of tours added each week, GoBe emerges as the world’s easiest-to-use online tour provider.

“We’re thrilled to officially open GoBe to every type of traveler, from hotel guests and staycationers to business travelers with a long layover. Today marks the start of our continued growth and evolution as the leading experiential online tour provider,” said Billy Campbell, Managing Director for GoBe.

Responding to travelers’ growing desire to uncover authentic local experiences, iconic attractions, and off-the-beaten path adventures, GoBe draws from decades of connections and expertise, guaranteeing an unprecedented level of reliability and security in every online booking. With energetic, responsive web design, GoBe allows users to search and book seamlessly on any device.

Penang Port and Royal Caribbean Cruises enter joint venture to upgrade Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal

Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB) will collaborate with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) in a joint venture to upgrade and improve Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal (SPCT) in Georgetown, Penang, to accommodate berthing of larger cruise ships at its facilities. The 60/40 joint venture will be jointly managed by both parties, with the majority stake held by PPSB.


Plans for the facilities include extension of the existing berths to 688 metres from its current length of 400 metres. This will enable the terminal to berth two mega cruise liners carrying over 4,900 passengers each at any one time, in line with the industry requirement as Penang comes of age as a “choice port of call” for international cruise operators.

In addition, the redevelopment will include spaces for tour buses to ease the flow of traffic in the areas around SPCT. The USD35 million project will further focus on improving accessibility for the aged and physically challenged throughout the terminal from ship to shore.

This planned development has received unyielding support from both State and Federal government and associated government agencies including Tourism bodies, and will be a focal part of Malaysian Tourism EPP6 plan to create a “Straits and Borneo Cruise Riviera”.

This joint venture between RCL and PPSB, will showcase Georgetown, a UNESCO World Heritage site to a fast-growing tourism market, the “water tourists” that travel the world on luxury cruise liners. The ability to handle more and larger cruise vessels in Swettenham Pier will entrench Penang as a major cruise destination in the region.

RCL is scheduled to make 38 calls in Penang in 2017.

RCCL and Port Everglades in terminal upgrade agreement

Broward County's Port Everglades has negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that provides the framework for a new long-term business agreement with Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. (RCL) that will include complete, customized renovations of the Port's Cruise Terminal 25 targeted for completion by 31 October, 2018, the port said in a statement.

"Our cruise line customers are becoming more sophisticated in the way they think about the guest experience, as we saw when Royal Caribbean partnered in the construction of Cruise Terminal 18 for their Oasis class of ships," said Port Everglades Chief Executive Steven Cernak. "We value the company's partnership and confidence to bring the newest ships from Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises to Port Everglades."

On Monday, RCL announced that its newest Celebrity Cruises ship Celebrity Edge will homeport in Port Everglades beginning in the fall of 2018. Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas, the newest Oasis class ship, began sailing from Port Everglades in November 2016.

The MOU will allow negotiations to move forward toward a final agreement that must be approved by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners. RCL's current agreement expires on December 31, 2017. The new agreement will be effective on January 1, 2018, and expire on Sept. 30, 2026 with options to extend the agreement for four years, followed by another five years. To view the MOU, CLICK on the attachment listed below under "Release Properties."

Saga Pearl II to launch Port of Cork’s cruise season 20 March

Saga Pearl II of Saga Cruises will start the Port of Cork’s cruise liner season on 20 March, the first of 65 calls expected to visit Cork this season. Seven new liners will call this season on their maiden call, while Princess Cruises’ Caribbean Princess carrying 3,500 passengers will make fourteen visits this season, the port said in a statement.

With 65 calls in 2017, the Port of Cork anticipates a very busy season ahead for all involved, and an increased economic benefit for the region. Approximately 160,000 passengers and crew are expected to visit the city and county between March and November.

Commercial Manager at the Port of Cork, Captain Michael McCarthy said: ‘The 2017 Cork cruise season is booming which is great for the port and the region. The numbers of calls are up compared to 2016 and we feel very positive about this increase in business. It’s also very encouraging to see cruise lines bringing their newest vessels to Cork on maiden calls and choosing Cobh as part of their cruising route.’

He continued: ‘It is our ambition as a port company to attract larger cruise ships and increase our cruise calls to 75 per year. Already in 2018 the bookings are indicating we will achieve this goal, if not exceed it.’

In 2016 Cruise Critic, the world's leading cruise review site and online cruise community, announced the winners of the inaugural Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards with Cork’s Cobh ranked second favourite cruise destination in the British Isles and Western Europe. These awards recognised the high level of effort that goes into ensuring every cruise passenger visiting Cobh has a memorable visit to the region.

As well as Cork the Port of Cork also operates Bantry Bay Port Company which will see eight cruise liners calling to the West Cork area this summer. Bantry Harbour and Glengarriff can accommodate the smaller boutique cruise liners whose passengers tend to look for active expedition cruises.

UK ports recorded 19% rise in passenger figures 2016

Last year, 114 individual cruise ships called into UK ports, many ships calling on multiple occasions, bringing a record 1,214,000 passenger day calls, an increase of 19% over 2015, Cruise Britain, which promotes the country as a cruise destination, said in a statement

A total 52 lines visited UK ports as diverse as Tyne and Torquay, Liverpool and London, Harwich and Holyhead - 55 in all.

Round Britain cruises remain increasingly popular as an ideal way of exploring Britain's diversity of coasts, castles, cities and countryside. The short sailing distances between Britain's shores and adjoining countries add to the itinerary possibilities. CruiseBritain's new online video showcases a collection of the many different faces of modern Britain.

“Over 1.21million is a marvellous figure to reach and it's great to leave 2015's 'magic million' far behind. Day call figures have tripled in 10 years and 2016 has seen one of the biggest year-on-year increases. The growth in day call passengers shows no sign of slowing down and is testament to the tireless work of our members and of all involved in the British cruise industry,” commented Angie Redhead, Chair of CruiseBritain.

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