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Ports & destinations

Cruise season kicks off at Cruiseport Boston

Cruiseport Boston’s 2012 season got underway April 21 when Norwegian Dawn sets sail on a special 6-day cruise to Bermuda, the first of 22 weekly cruises to the island. This is the second year for the 2,224 passenger ship to sail the ever-popular 7-day itinerary. The season also brings with it a boatload of new itineraries giving vacationers many more cruising options from Boston. The main newcomer at Cruiseport Boston is Carnival Cruise Lines’ 2,974-passenger Carnival Glory, which will sail a series of 4, 5 and 7-day itineraries to New England and Atlantic Canada during the months of June and July. The first Carnival cruise leaves Boston June 3 heading out for 7 days to Portland, Maine; Saint John, New Brunswick; and Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia. Thereafter Carnival Glory will sail a series of 4-day “long weekend” cruises to Saint John, New Brunswick, and 5-day cruises to Halifax, Nova Scotia and Saint John, New Brunswick.

"We’re going to have a very busy season at Cruiseport Boston this year," said David S. Mackey, Massport’s Interim CEO & Executive Director. "In 2010 we completed an $11 million renovation of the facility to bolster our appeal to the cruise lines, and that investment is paying off with all the new itineraries being offered from Boston."
Another indication of the popularity of the renovated Cruiseport Boston facility is the number of passengers starting and ending their cruise vacation in Boston is now 60 percent, compared to the Port-of-Call passengers who visit the city for the day. That increase is helped by the entry of Carnival Glory.

Carnival is known as “The World’s Most Popular Cruise Line®,” with 23 “Fun Ships” giving their guests the sense that they're crossing over into a whole new world of fun every time they walk up the gangway. The 13-deck Carnival Glory was launched in 2003 and offers spacious accommodations, a 270 square foot poolside Seaside Theatre LED screen showing movies, concerts and other programming; a 13,300 square foot spa, four swimming pools – one with a 214-foot-long Twister Waterslide; expansive, modern play areas for children, ’tweens and teens; and Serenity, an exclusive adults-only retreat. Several dining options are also available such as a 24-hour pizzeria, a patisserie, and a classic American steakhouse.

"We’re looking forward to launching our first extended cruise schedule from Boston aboard the Carnival Glory in June," said Gerry Cahill, Carnival Cruise Lines president and CEO.  "These four- and five-day cruises not only provide our guests with a convenient and affordable ‘Fun Ship’ cruise choice departing from one of America’s great cities but also offer an opportunity to visit two of Atlantic Canada’s most charming and picturesque destinations, Halifax and Saint John," he added.   In addition, Holland America’s Veendam, and three luxury cruise lines: Compagnie du Ponant’s LeBoreal, Seabourn’s Seabourn Soujourn and Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Symphony will all offer new itineraries to Canada & New England ports. As will Norwegian Dawn upon completion of regular weekly Bermuda cruises. Veendam will also offer an18 and 31-day repositioning cruise to South America via the Panama Canal, and Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas will now sail weekly on Sundays to Canada & New England rather than Saturdays.

This new season has the widest array of cruise options in the 26 year history of the Terminal, with something to appeal to all ages and every budget. In 2012, 112 ship calls are scheduled, and Massport anticipates a third consecutive year of more than 300,000 passengers traveling through its Black Falcon Cruise Terminal and an expectation to break the 2010 passenger record high of 322,161. The 2012 cruise season runs from April to November.

French Riviera Cruise Club revamps website

The French Riviera Cruise Club that brings together various parties to promote Cote d’Azur as a cruise destination, has relaunched its website after an extensive revamp, the organisation said in a statement.

Among the new features are maps and description of each member port town, list of excursions that are available, directory of partners and their special offers plus calendar of cruise ship calls. It also features videos about the region.

The aim of the revamp has been to help cruise passengers to plan their trip and to provide information to the cruise industry itself about the region as a destination.

French Riviera Cruise Club has about 120 members and it was founded in 2006.

Antigua Government retains Global Destinations Development for cruise port fitness test study

It was announced on April 4 at a press conference in Antigua that Saint John's Development Corporation has retained Miami-based http://www.globaldd.com/ to conduct its trademarked Cruise Destination Fitness Test for the Antigua and Barbuda government. Work began April 2 on the test, which will assess the Port of Antigua and Heritage Quay.

Established in February 1986, the St. John's Development Corporation, which falls under the Ministry of Tourism headed by the Hon. John Maginley, is the government department responsible for the enhancement and development of the City of St. John's, the principle commercial center of Antigua and Barbuda.

In addressing the need Minister Maginley stated, "I am very pleased to be able to allocate funding for the major part of this study in support of St. John's Development Corporation's joint plan with the Ministry of Tourism to chart a plan for our Cruise Business Development over the next 15 to 20 years."

Chairman of Saint John's Development Corp. Sylvester Brown said, "We plan to use the findings of the test to determine physical improvements to make Antigua an even more attractive destination for cruise lines."

Created by Michael Greve, president of Global Destinations Development, the Cruise Destination Fitness Test provides a realistic assessment of a port's prospects in the industry, including recommendations for improvement. The test analyzes major attributes that contribute to a cruise destination's success, including geographic location, docks, condition of the town, marketing attractiveness to cruisers and travel agents, direct costs of calling, on-board revenue potential, operations and guest satisfaction.

Greve said he anticipates the test will be completed by June, with St. John's Development Corp. to start implementing improvements later in the year.

Visit Greenland launches a new website for cruise professionals

Visit Greenland, the national tourism board of Greenland, is proud to announce the launch of www.cruisegreenland.gl, a dedicated website for cruise professionals devoted to providing detailed information on cruise operations in Greenland.

Due to ever-increasing interest in serving Greenland as a port of call, Visit Greenland realized the need for a one-stop dedicated website for cruise professionals that offers everything necessary to add Greenland to a cruise itinerary.

The website features a calendar detailing the ships calling on each port daily during the tourism season, which in Greenland is typically from June to October. Furthermore, it contains rich content on each of the ports which can be called in all regions of Greenland, maritime operation information including berthing and arctic navigation information, a distance calculator to aid in the calculation of fuel consumption between ports and contact information to make adding calls in Greenland simple.

"We hope that cruise professionals will welcome and use the site for planning cruises to Greenland; and while we wouldn't say the site is perfect from the start, it contains all crucial information needed and contact information necessary for professionals to contact us or our partners in Greenland whenever necessary. That's what we're here for," says Senior Cruise Consultant of Visit Greenland Malik Milfeldt.

Visit Greenland is the national tourism board of Greenland and a government owned agency for the development of tourism in Greenland. We are dedicated to developing and promoting Greenland as an adventure and exclusive cruise destination through destination development, regional and national branding and innovation & product development.

Iconic Titanic Belfast opens its doors

The new Titanic Belfast visitor experience has opened to the public. The 14,000 sq m building, modelled on four ships’ hulls rising to the same height of Titanic and clad in almost 3,000 striking aluminium shards, was opened by Northern Ireland’s First and Deputy First Ministers, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness. They were joined by 105-year-old Belfast man, Cyril Quigley, believed to be the last witness of RMS Titanic’s launch. 

It’s expected that over 400,000 visitors, including 150,000 from outside Northern Ireland, will visit Titanic Belfast in its first year, with 100,000 tickets having already been pre-sold. The building includes nine interactive galleries looking at every aspect of the Titanic story and the Titanic Suite, a Titanic-themed banqueting venue with a 10,000 piece near replica of Titanic’s Grand Staircase.

Tickets are available via telephone on 028 9076 6399 or online at www.titanicbelfast.com ranging from £5pp for school groups through to £13.50 for adults. Discounts are available for online bookings.

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