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Ports & destinations

Celebrity Constellation calls at Marmaris

Celebrity Constellation made her inaugural maiden call at Marmaris Cruise Port on September 24. The luxury ship came to Marmaris in the early hours of the morning with her 1,969 passengers and 906 crew members on board. This is the sixth of nine cruise ships which is making their maiden call in the port of Marmaris throughout 2011.

Once again Marmaris Cruise Port welcomed guests in traditional Turkish style. Celebrity Constellation's guests were greeted with the music and shows of the Ottoman military band, also known as the "janissary band of musicians". Marmaris Cruise Port kept the traditional style welcome with a complimentary mini Turkish bazaar at the port entrance. The guests had the chance to walk through the mini bazaar before they left to visit town and surroundings.

The mini Turkish bazaar incorporated many Turkish tastes for the guests to see and try. These included; a baklava stall, traditional Turkish ice-cream and honey doughnuts and Turkish delight. Guests were also presented with free souvenirs and gifts on behalf of Marmaris Cruise Port such as, red roses, evil eye beads, bookmarks, magnets and postcards.

The warm Marmaris weather kept guests happy as they enjoyed the various Turkish tastes and the music from the janissary band of musicians. The passengers then had the opportunity to discover Marmaris or go onto excursions of their choices.

The master of Celebrity Constellation was presented with a commemorative plaque, made of a traditional Turkish tile; a handcrafted ceramic with Ottomon Gallion motives by Marmaris Cruise Port's Marketing Director, Ipek Tugay.

Cruise Down Under welcomes Tasports' announcement

Cruise Down Under welcomes the announcement by Tasports that it will develop Macquarie Shed No 2 in Hobart as a dedicated cruise and Antarctic facility.

"The port of Hobart has long been a popular cruise destination and the government, business and the local community have a reputation for supporting and welcoming visiting cruise ships, however existing infrastructure facilities are limited," General Manager Jill Abel said.

"Hobart remains an integral link between Australia and New Zealand for itinerary planning and with the increase in number and size of cruise ships operating in Australia over the coming seasons, Hobart will continue to host the greater majority of cruise ship visits to Tasmania."

"The deep water harbour, proximity to the city centre, accessibility to a variety of quality touring experiences, along with its maritime history, make Hobart a highly attractive destination for cruise shipping. The development of the dedicated facility will certainly enhance the experience and increase operational efficiencies."

Abel stated that consultation with industry has been a focus of Tasports as a part of this process in order to ensure that the project delivers for cruise lines, cruise passengers, tourism operators and service providers.

"The CDU Economic Impact Study (2009-10) reports an economic benefit to the Hobart region of $12.4 million in cruise shipping related expenditure," Abel said. The announcement is timely, with the Cruise Down Under annual conference being held in Newcastle next week (24th -26th August) where port infrastructure and "the model port" will be a focus of the program.

Diverse and increasing number of cruise companies choose Atlantic Europe

Cruise companies from across the globe are choosing Atlantic Europe ports in order to maximise the opportunities the region offers and to meet consumer demand for more interesting and less congested ports.

Cruise Atlantic Europe, comprises eight ports in five countries of the Atlantic front (Lisbon, Porto (Leixões), A Coruña, Bilbao, Brest, St Malo, Dover and Cork), yet these ports are now seeing almost 800 cruise ship calls yearly, from more than 50 cruise companies, with 90 cruise itineraries in 2011 visiting two or more Cruise Atlantic Europe ports. And while Dover continues to be a popular embarkation port Lisbon, Porto (Leixões), A Coruña and Bilbao are also operating turnarounds, thanks to improved cruise terminal facilities.

Helena Fernandes from CAE said: "We have seen a steady rise in the number and diversity of cruise companies stopping at our ports from frequent visitors like Holland America Line, P&O, Fred. Olsen and AIDA to niche lines like Lindblad and Hapag Lloyd. There are many reasons for this increase but a key factor is that our ports are able to accommodate a range of ship sizes - anything from the sail assisted Sea Cloud and the intimate Sea Dream I to Royal Caribbeans Independence of the Seas at 154,407 gross tons."

I'ts not just the ability to cater for all ship sizes that is attracting interest in the region though. For cruisers these ports offer many more advantages. Fernandes continues: "The shorter cruising distances between our ports provide an opportunity to have more time on shore for cruisers to access the 14 UNESCO World Heritage sites and three European Capitals of Culture. Now with the range of excursions on offer, these destinations could see you climbing the mighty Mont St Michel, tasting port wine, sampling oysters or even hiking along Brittanys Crozon Peninsula. Experiences like these have caused the numbers of ships stopping at these ports to soar."

In addition at a time when air strikes, cancellations, ash clouds, earthquakes and terrorist alerts are rife throughout the travel landscape, Atlantic Europe could be seen to offer a more reliable choice for consumers. The regions ports are less congested than the Mediterranean and well placed for travel connections throughout Europe by air, rail or road - offering consumers the chance to discover a fascinating part of Europe in one trip.

Fernandes adds: "Our success proves that Atlantic Europe is becoming more than just an option for cruisers, the many advantages our ports offer make them must-see destinations. There really is no better time to see the other side of Atlantic Europe and wed encourage everyone to take another look our cruise destinations."

Celeste Gladstone takes international role as Kevin O'Connor joins Intercruises

Intercruises Shoreside & Port Services, an experienced global business offering first class ground handling and port agency services to the ocean and river cruise industry, has announced management changes for Intercruises North America & Caribbean. After 25 years of direct involvement in the cruise industry, Celeste Gladstone is moving into a new role as Non Executive Vice President, focusing on business development and client relationship management to drive the global expansion of Intercruises as a member of its senior management team.

"I've been working in a 24/7 role for many years and I would like to devote more time to my personal life. However, I want to stay in the business that I love and this new role allows the time I need as a person, while enabling me to focus on helping Intercruises grow internationally. Developing Cruiselink and DFL into what Intercruises North America & Caribbean is today was a huge and rewarding task. We have developed one of the most talented teams in the industry, which will go forward and deliver the service our clients have come to know and expect," said Celeste Gladstone.

Kevin O'Connor has joined Intercruises North America & Caribbean as Chief Operating Officer (COO) and will work closely with Celeste during a three month transition period as he takes responsibility for the combined operations of all Intercruises businesses across North America, east and west coast, in December. Previously Kevin was COO at Transport Management Services (TMS), America's leading transportation management company for complex events. During his tenure at TMS, Kevin helped develop the TMS Gateway and TMS Anchor businesses, which were acquired by Intercruises in June 2011.

The existing Intercruises North America & Caribbean team will report directly to Kevin, with Tom Anderson, Executive Vice President Intercruises North America & Caribbean and Paul Matte, President Intercruises Canada, continuing to lead operations on the North American east coast and in the Caribbean, while Kelly Webber, TMS Gateway General Manager, will continue to lead operations on the North American west coast.

"I am delighted that Celeste has taken a role in which Intercruises will continue to benefit from her wealth of experience and passion for the cruise industry. She has forged an incredibly robust and successful business at Intercruises North America & Caribbean, which will continue to deliver an excellent service under Kevin's leadership," said Mark Robinson, Intercruises Managing Director.

Southampton gets ready for six cruise ships in one day

Saturday, 16th July 2011 will be an exceptionally busy day for Southampton, when six cruise ships will be berthed at various locations in ABP Southampton’s docks, accommodating thousands of crew and passengers getting off and onboard the cruise ships., the authoritative information website for cruise passengers and crew travelling from Southampton, will be handing out their free Map & Guide as well as helping passengers find their way to shops, museums, restaurants and essential services such as currency exchange.

From 3.30 am onwards, Crown Princess, Grand Princess, P&O Cruises Ventura, Fred. Olsen’s Balmoral, Celebrity Eclipse and Phoenix Reisen’s Artania, will begin their journey into the Solent at 15-minute intervals.

Embarking just east of the Isle of Wight, each cruise ship will be piloted by a highly experienced ABP Pilot through the Eastern Solent and Southampton Water to the ‘designated berth’.

The Southampton VTS team (based in an air traffic control like structure looking over Southampton Waters), will advise each of the six ABP pilots when to head off from the pilot station in Gosport, on one of the two brightly coloured orange launches crewed by a Marine Officer and a Coxswain, and wait within the ‘Nab Tower boarding areas’.

The pilots will embark on each of the cruise ships and join the ship’s Master to steer the cruise ship to its berth, which will take around 2.5 hours.

Tugs will also be available if required based on weather conditions etc on the day.

And for cruise passengers making their way to the city centre, the train station or Southampton’s Airport, a range of transport arrangements have been put in place by the cruise ships, taxi companies and ABP to ensure that passengers are not waiting for long periods of time to depart from the port.

Southampton’s Princess Coaches will be on standby at the Eastern and Western end of the docks just in case there is a shortfall of taxis available due to demand.