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Fincantieri launched Seven Seas Splendor in Ancona

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Seven Seas Splendor was launched today at the Ancona shipyard., She is the second luxury cruise ship that Fincantieri is building for Regent Seven Seas Cruises, brand of the Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd (NCLH). The delivery is scheduled for 2020.

Like her sister ship Seven Seas Explorer, delivered by Fincantieri at the Sestri Ponente (Genova) shipyard in 2016, Seven Seas Splendor will be 55,000 gross tonnes with accommodation for 750 passengers. Last January Fincantieri has received an order from NCLH for a third unit of the series, which will be delivered in 2023.

The construction process will implement the latest environmental-friendly technologies. The interiors will be particularly sophisticated, with every attention paid to passenger comfort.

Princess Cruises introduces The Reef Family Splash Zone on the Caribbean Princess

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

When Caribbean Princess emerges from drydock in June 2019, for a season of summer cruises to the sun-drenched Caribbean, The Reef Family Splash Zone will debut offering a refined, playful and relaxing area for adults and kids alike to gather and enjoy the sun and water together.

"In our latest effort to enhance our family offerings, this newly reimagined space invites families and kids to experience a multi-functional area to engage, play, reconnect," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "The Reef is the ultimate spot for families of all ages to enjoy spending time together with new water features, recreational activities and lounge areas."

Located aft on deck 17, The Reef will offer many enticing features, including:

– Splashpad with Whale Feature – this interactive and inviting water playground features a splash pool, assorted water sprays and showers where families can enjoy a day of splashing, laughing and playing. The focal point is an interactive whale feature, with ‘rain" from its fluke.

– Game Zone – bringing family competition to a whole new level with oversized backyard games, comfy lounge sectionals, and a kid-friendly bar setting, families can grab some cocktails and mocktails while challenging the kids to a game of Connect Four, Jenga or Cornhole.

– New Outdoor Furniture – with a variety of seating and lounging options, from single sun loungers to sectional chairs and couches with tables, he Reef transforms into an inviting space for groups of all sizes aimed to be comfortable and conversational, also featuring new fixtures and finishes.

– Shade Canopy and Wind Panels – for guests looking for less sun, a canopy will offer a section of the Reef shade and sun protection while wind panels will be installed throughout the area for all-day comfort.

– Upgraded Lighting and Music System – updated lighting to the pool and steps as well as wall lighting installations allow the space to be utilized for evening events and activities.

– Refurbished Pool, Jacuzzi and Bar – the existing pool, spa and bar will be updated to match the newly designed space featuring updated signage and contemporary artwork. In addition, just below the Reef on deck 16 in the Camp Discovery outdoor area, kids can interact and explore with a destination themed water table. This educational offering features the many destinations and iconic landmarks Princess visits, including the Sydney Opera House and Golden Gate Bridge and also highlights how a cruise ship moves through water, waves and weather and even how to navigate the Panama Canal locks.

Over the last few years Caribbean Princess has undergone a major revitalization, with many family-oriented features and amenities including breakthrough technology, family accommodations, new dining experiences and entertainment offerings.

Caribbean Princess was the first Princess cruise ship to debut Princess MedallionClass vacations, offering guests a portfolio of experiences specifically designed to enhance their cruise vacation. Considered a breakthrough in the vacation industry the OceanMedallion wearable device features leading-edge technology that delivers personalized service through enhanced guest-crew interactions, eliminates friction points and enables interactive entertainment.

Royal Caribbean could pit Icon class against second P&O Cruises’ newbuilding in UK

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Competition between Royal Caribbean International and P&O Cruises might heat up further from 2022, when the first named company could bring the first unit of a new class ship to Britain to compete against the second newbuilding of P&O Cruises.

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley has said that the company could bring an Icon class ship to the UK, according to Travel Weekly.  Royal Caribbean International is the contemporary market unit in the Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCCL) group.

The company currently has the 2008 built Independence of the Seas and a Voyager class ship on the British market from spring to late autumn. However, Royal Caribbean International will raise its stakes in the UK already next year, when Anthem of the Seas, a Quantum class ship, will replace Independence of the Seas.

That same year P&O Cruises, the UK focused contemporary market unit of Carnival Corporation & plc, will introduce Iona, the first of its two 184,700 gross ton newbuildings.

“We have always been in the UK market and we will continue to be in the UK market. We see it as the cornerstone of our business. Our strategy has been continuation, protect, optimise and carry on the journey. That is why we announced that Anthem of the Seas is coming to the UK in 2020,” Bayley was quoted as saying.

The first Icon class ship of about 200,000 gross tons is due to enter serviced in 2022, the same year when P&O Cruises will introduce the yet unnamed sister ship of Iona.

 

 

Fincantieri delivers Viking Jupiter, Viking's sixth ocean vessel

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Viking Jupiter, the sixth cruise ship which Fincantieri built for Viking, has been delivered on February 7 at the shipyard in Ancona.

Viking Jupiter, as its sister ships, belongs to the small cruise ship segment; with a gross tonnage of about 47,800 tons, it has 465 cabins with accommodation for 930 passengers.

The ship has been designed by experienced naval architects and engineers, including an interior design team of London-based SMC Design, and Los Angeles-based Rottet Studios, who gave the Viking Jupiter a modern design of Scandinavian inspiration, characterized by sophisticated yet functional elegance. In addition to the all-veranda staterooms, the ship also features spacious suites with sweeping views, two pools, of which one Infinity Pool off the stern, and a Spa designed according to the wellness philosophy of the Scandinavian tradition, with a sauna and a snow grotto.

The Viking units are all built according to the latest navigation regulations and equipped with the most modern safety systems, including the “Safe return to port”. Furthermore, they feature high-efficiency engines, hydro-dynamics and hull optimized for maximum fuel efficiency and equipment that minimizes exhaust pollution and meets the strictest environmental regulations.

Fincantieri started its partnership with Viking in 2012, trusting the shipowner which was entering the ocean cruise market as a startup. Today, the cooperation, which first began with an order of two ships, has reached a total of 16 units. This is an all-time record, the largest number of ships built by a shipyard for one sole shipowner.

The first of the series, Viking Star, has been built at the shipyard in Marghera and delivered in 2015. The other units, Viking Sea, Viking Sky, Viking Sun, and Viking Orion, handed over in 2016, 2017 and 2018, were all built at the Ancona yard, as well as Viking Jupiter, which joined the shipowner’s fleet just today. Other 10 units, options included, for Viking Cruises will take to the sea from the Group’s Italian yards between 2021 and 2027. Furthermore, Vard, together with Fincantieri, is also specializing in the construction of expedition vessels. In this context, the company has acquired the order from Viking for two special cruise ships which will be built in the Group’s yards.

Fincantieri has built 88 cruise ships from 1990 to today (65 from 2002), while other 55 are currently being designed or built in the Group’s yards.

Winter Garden onboard the sister ship Viking Sky – designed by SMC Design

Windstar Cruises introduces new travel agency recognition program

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Windstar Cruises has announced a new travel agency recognition program dubbed Club 180, a riff on Windstar's tagline that sailing with the small ship company is truly "180 Degrees from Ordinary." The multi-tier travel agency recognition program is designed to reward top-producing agencies with a top 10 Platinum distinction, a top 11-20 Gold award, and a 21+ Silver category.

Recognition is in the form of a number of amenities travel advisors can offer their clients (such as complimentary Wi-Fi and shipboard credit); additional marketing and sales support from Windstar (including advance notice on promotions and new product launches); priority service (such as a dedicated phone line); and benefits for travel advisors themselves when sailing on Windstar (including complimentary Wi-Fi and laundry service), with varying levels of benefits for the three tiers.

Inaugural members for the new Club 180 program have already been selected based upon 2018 sales production; however, membership will be renewed annually, with an opportunity to add new members in December 2019.

"Club 180 recognizes domestic North America travel sellers – not consortium," explains Windstar's Vice President of Sales Steve Simao, CTC. "It is based primarily on top sales, though select travel agencies may be included in the program based on the history of our partnership and their overall support of the Windstar brand."

Windstar has been putting a renewed focus on its relationship with travel professionals and travel agencies in recent years, recognizing the power of the travel advisor and launching the Star Promise program in 2016 to help advisors increase sales and book more efficiently. Windstar's Travel Advisor Hub, which grew out of that Star Promise program, has been an important resource for those advisors interested in expanding their Windstar business. Simao recommends that those interested in becoming a top agency with Windstar start with the line's travel agent website for tips and training to become a top producer in Windstar's new Club 180.

For Wave Season, Windstar's "Beyond Ordinary" Savings Event plus Star Perks bonus is on now and offers the best fares and availability of the year on 2019 and 2020 cruises. Fares start at $2,999 for all 11- and 12-day Alaskan Splendors cruises with nine departure dates May through August, featuring the second season of the award-winning Windstar's Signature Expeditions program. Headlined by biologists, glaciologists, and scientists, the Expedition Leaders mix with guests onboard, give lectures and launch expedition field trips direct from the ship onto Zodiacs and kayaks. Windstar's iconic 7-day Dreams of Tahiti vacation begins at $2,599 and visit six islands featuring a Bora Bora overnight with complimentary Destination Discovery cultural evening on a private motu, with traditional Polynesian performances headlined by the tantalizing fire dancers. Northern Europe is a top cruise pick for 2019 with more than 40 sailings April through September including an 8-day Gaelic Explorers voyage June 20 from Dublin to Edinburgh visiting Northern Ireland and the remote Isle of Man, Isle of Skye, and Isle of Lewis; wrapping up with a chance for cruise clients to spy the elusive "Nessie" in beautiful Loch Ness during a call to Invergordon, Scotland; also starts at $2,999 per person, double occupancy.

In addition guests may "pick their perk" — an attractive incentive to enjoy while the cruise is underway. Star Perks selections include: up to $1,000 shipboard credit, free Wi-Fi, or free gratuities. Available on hundreds of Windstar sailings worldwide, "Beyond Ordinary" savings and Star Perks both vary by cruise and destination. In addition, longer Star Collector sailings of 14 days and more offer up to 20 percent savings and free laundry service. The promotion runs through March 18, 2019.

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