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Asia Cruise Cooperation welcomes Korea as member

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Hainan Provincial Tourism Development Commission, Hong Kong Tourism Board, Philippine Department of Tourism, The Taiwan Tourism Bureau, and Xiamen Municipal Tourism Development Commission on October 20 held a ceremony in Busan, Korea to welcome the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries of Korea as a new member of the Asia Cruise Cooperation (ACC). Korea is the sixth member of the ACC (and the first in Northeast Asia), which was launched by Hong Kong and Taiwan in 2014 to bring major Asian cruise destinations together in a common effort to expand the regional cruise market. The entry of Korea will expand the continued development of the Asian cruise market, and it means that more ports belonging to ACC members will be available to provide stronger support for international cruise companies operating in Asia. The entry of Korea is an important step for the ACC, and it marks an important milestone for Korea’s cooperation in the Asian cruise market.

Mrs. Luo Yan, Director of Hainan Provincial Tourism Development Commission, said, “Korea, joins ACC as a developed country, which will enhance the influence of ACC greatly, also can reduce the cost in promotion, and enhance the international competitiveness of ACC members. That’s conducive to further promoting the rapid development of cruise industry in Hainan.”

“I am delighted to welcome Korea as the sixth member of the ACC,” said Mr Anthony Lau, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB). “Our partnership now spans tens of thousands of square kilometres of Asia and the inclusion of Korea gives us an important new strategic dimension. This powerful alliance gives us more opportunities to promote Hong Kong’s appeal as a cruise destination, and the HKTB will continue to reach out energetically to key source markets to attract more cruise visitors to Hong Kong. Together, we have the opportunity to explore exciting new horizons in travel and tap the vast potential of Asia’s fast-growing cruise market.”

Mr. Yoon Hyun-soo, Director of the Shipping Policy Division of the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF), said, “In Korea, the cruise industry has set sail in a full swing as the “Cruise Industry Development and Support Act” was enacted in February, 2015. And, last year, the government launched a cruise promotion event for the public to experience cruise tour and pushed ahead with broadcasting promotion activities in order to increase outbound passengers to over 200,000. And, it speeds up to reinforce infrastructures so that more ports in Korea are welcomed as a homeport of cruise ships. By joining the ACC, the MOF of Korea will double its efforts to bring the Asian cruise industry up to the next level, not to mention the cruise industry in Korea. Port-of-calls in Korea are looking forward to seeing more cruise routes and ships come from the member states in a near future. I would like to ask for your continued support and cooperation.”

Mr. Benito C. Bengzon, Jr., Undersecretary for Tourism Development of the Philippine Department of Tourism said, “The Philippines welcomes the Ministry of Ocean and Fisheries of Korea as the sixth member of the ACC. The continued expansion of this regional alliance comes as a collective effort to enjoin more players that will widen our market and offer more compelling cruise products to the cruise lines. It further strengthens our efforts to maximise the full potential of Asia as the world’s next important cruising region.”

“We enthusiastically welcome Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries to our ACC family,” said Dr. Yung-Hui Chou, Director-general of the Taiwan Tourism Bureau. “Taiwan and Hong Kong opened a new chapter in Asian cruise cooperation in 2014, and after three years of effort together with the Philippines, Hainan, and Xiamen we have seen the opportunities that our alliance brings for the expansion of market scale together with international cruise companies, and how our grouping brings fresh momentum for the development of new cruise routes between ACC members. We are confident that the membership of Korea not only realises the original purpose of the ACC’s establishment – that competition will be replaced by cooperation – but that it will also help the members of the ACC to work together in using their unique attractions and advantages to create a better cruise market environment in Asia and heighten the interest of international cruise companies in our regional market. In this way, working together, we can build a brighter future for the cruise market in Asia.”

Norwegian Jade and Norwegian Sun retrofitted with scrubbers

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Norwegian Cruise Line announced today the successful completion of the retrofitting of a new Exhaust Gas Cleaning system on two of its ships, Norwegian Sun and Norwegian Jade. In conjunction with the line's Sail & Sustain environmental program, the new systems are aimed at significantly reducing air emissions and, subsequently, the ships' environmental footprints. Early in 2014, Norwegian Cruise Line was the first cruise line to commit to retrofitting six vessels and has exceeded that commitment with now eight total ships.

With the installation of the new technology into two more ships, Norwegian Cruise Line is continuing to exemplify its commitment of applying safe and conservative environmental practices across the fleet. The ships’ new lightweight in-line scrubbers are a hybrid technology developed by Yara Marine Technologies that are able to operate in open loop, closed loop and closed loop with bleed off mode. In each ship, five scrubbers were installed, one per engine, covering the whole propulsion system. Collectively, they are capable of reducing the emission of sulfur to air up to 99 percent and also reduce 85 percent particulate emission to the air. Norwegian Jade and Norwegian Sun’s new technology will reduce the equivalent of approximately 3,000 tons of Sulfur Oxide, SOx, gas in the years to come.

The new system works by “scrubbing away” the sulfur oxide and particulate matter before the emissions leave the stack to decrease the amount that is released into the air, resulting in a clean white plume of steam.

Norwegian led the industry by being the first cruise line to install scrubbers with a state-of-the-art water membranes filtration unit in 2016. This sophisticated water cleaning system uses Ultrafiltration technology to clean the recirculated water during the closed loop operation down to clear water. The by-product is collected and removed in drums.

As part of Sail & Sustain, Norwegian’s Safety and Environmental Protection Policy establishes several objectives relating to the environment, which include reducing the impact of its operations on the environment, disposing garbage and waste materials in accordance with national and international rules and regulations, recycling and re-using materials and establishing specific objectives and targets for continual improvement of environmental management programs.

Norwegian now has eight ships outfitted with Gas Scrubbers technology, with Norwegian Jade and Norwegian Sun joining Norwegian Pearl, Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Joy and Pride of America and the line’s newest ship sailing in June 2018, Norwegian Bliss. Norwegian Cruise Line is on track to meet its MARPOL Annex VI compliance goal of reducing its global sulfur cap from 3.5 percent to 0.5 percent by 2020.

Fincantieri lays the keel of Viking's sixth ocean vessel

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

The keel laying ceremony for the sixth of eight ocean cruise ships Viking has ordered from Fincantieri, took place today at the shipyard in Ancona.

The first building block of the ship is about 11 meters long, 28.8 wide and weighs about 380 tons.

The unit, whose delivery is scheduled in 2019, will be placed in the small cruise ship segment. As its sister ships, it will have a gross tonnage of about 47,800 tons, 473 cabins with accommodation for 946 passengers, with a total capacity of over 1,400 people, including the crew.

The first of the series, Viking Star, has been built at the shipyard in Marghera and delivered in March 2015. The second, the third and the fourth, Viking Sea, Viking Sky and Viking Sun took the sea from the shipyard in Ancona in 2016 and in 2017, where a few weeks ago Viking Orion, the fifth unit, has been launched with delivery scheduled in 2018. The last three units, including the one whose first building block was laid today, will be ready respectively in 2019, 2021 and 2022.

RCCL and lenders agree financing for two Icon ships

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd (RCCL), the world’s second largest cruise shipping group, said it has entered into credit agreements for the financing of the first and second “Project Icon” ships for Royal Caribbean International, which are scheduled for delivery in the second quarters of 2022 and 2024, respectively.

“Each agreement makes available to Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. an unsecured US dollar-denominated term loan, the substantial majority of which is to be guaranteed 100% by Finnvera plc (“Finnvera”), the official export credit agency of Finland. Euler Hermes (“Hermes”), the official German export credit agency, has also agreed to provide a 95% guarantee of a smaller portion of the financing,” the company said in a statement.

 The ceiling for the cost of Icon 1 vessel was put at €1.65 billion.

The maximum amount of each facility is equal to the US dollar equivalent of 80% of the vessel purchase price plus 100% of the guarantee premiums payable to Finnvera and Hermes.

Each loan, once funded, will amortise semi-annually and will mature 12 years following the delivery of the applicable ship. Approximately 75% of each loan will accrue interest at a fixed rate of 3.56%, in the case of the first Project Icon vessel, and 3.76%, in the case of the second Project Icon vessel.

The balance of each loan will accrue interest at a floating rate ranging from LIBOR plus 1.10% to LIBOR plus 1.15%, in the case of the first Project Icon vessel, and from LIBOR plus 1.15% to LIBOR plus 1.20%, in the case of the second Project Icon vessel.

RCCL also has entered into an agreement to amend and restate its current $1.15 billion unsecured revolving credit facility. The amendment extends the termination date until October 2022.

“Under the amended facility, advances currently bear interest at LIBOR plus a margin of 1.175%. In addition, we are subject to a facility fee currently equal to 0.20% per annum of the total commitments. Under the amended facility, we have the ability to increase the capacity of the facility by an additional $500 million from time to time subject to the receipt of additional or increased lender commitments,” RCCL said.

 

 

Celebrity Edge to Europe 2019, UK base for later unit on the cards – report

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Celebrity Cruises, the premium market unit in the Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd (RCCL) group, will base Celebrity Edge, the lead ships of the new Edge class, in Europe for the summer of 2019 and one of the later ships of the projected five strong series to Southampton in the UK, Travel Weekly reports,

Celebrity Edge, which will be introduced in October 2018 and spend its first season in the Caribbean, will be showcased to the UK travel trade from 13-15 May in Southampton before setting off on a 10-night Iberian Peninsular cruise to Rome.

From there, it will offer seven, nine, 10 or 11-night sailings from Rome and Barcelona. Customers wanting to sail for 14 nights can book the two full cruises back-to-back and will call at only one repeat port during the fortnight, the report said.

Regarding the prospect of an Edge class ships being based in the UK, Lutoff-Perlo was quoted as saying: “It’s in your hands. Sell the hell out of Celebrity Edge and you will leave me no choice but to bring a future one to Southampton.” She referred to travel agents in her audience

Jo Rzymowska, vice-president and managing director, UK & Ireland and Asia, was quoted assaying: “The fact that our president and chief executive is coming to London to make the announcement about Edge’s European deployment speaks volumes for how she views the UK cruise market. It’s hugely important to Celebrity Cruises.”

Celebrity Silhouette is due to replace Celebrity Eclipse in the UK next year. Both ships are units of the Solstice class.

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