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Carnival UK to split Cunard Line and P&O Cruises’ sales teams - report

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Cunard Line and P&O Cruises will return to running separate sales organisations following a short period operating under a multi-brand Partnership Team umbrella, Travel Weekly reports in a newsletter.

The combined Cunard and P&O Cruises sales structure is to be split into two dedicated teams by next summer. Both companies are parts of Carnival Corporation & plc, which also owns Carnival UK that operates the group’s brands oinbritain.

 A new Cunard UK sales director is to be recruited and the overall headcount will be “significantly” increased, according to parent company Carnival UK without detailing the extra numbers, Travel Weekly said, citing a letter Carnival UK had sent to the travel trade.

All roles within the existing organisation will assume responsibility for P&O Cruises with the exclusion of those dedicated to Cunard, the company said.

The current sales organisation will remain under the leadership of Carnival UK vice president of sales Alex White until the structural changes are finalised by the middle of 2018. White will then assume the role of vice president of sales and distribution for P&O Cruises and will continue to report the brand’s senior vice president Paul Ludlow.

A new sales organisation is being established for Cunard under the leadership of David Rousham, currently the line’s international development vice president.

Rousham will assume the expanded role of vice president of UK sales and international development for Cunard, and will continue to report senior vice president Simon Palethorpe.

Recruitment will begin immediately for a new Cunard UK sales director who will establish the team and manage the transition.

White told agents in a letter: “Since establishing our new multi-brand sales team in 2016, together we have enjoyed two record sales years for our brands.

“P&O Cruises will welcome the largest cruise ship ever built for the UK market to its fleet in 2020.

“As we enter this period of unprecedented growth it is critical that we recognise the distinct requirements and nature of each brand and offer an appropriate level of individual support to each of our agent partners who will continue to play a vital role for our brands.

“It is for this reason that we are announcing the introduction of individual sales teams for Cunard and P&O Cruises, which collectively represents a significant increase in dedicated resource.”

Rousham added: “This is an evolution of the sales organisation and underpins the need for distinct sales requirements for each of the two brands.

“Getting the right guest on the right brand is vital to meet future sales needs and we are committed to making further investment to meet and grow the new to cruise audience through improved support for our valued trade partners.”

The Partnership Team name will continue to exist but will be known as the Cunard Partnership Team and the P&O Cruises Partnership Team, the report said.

Pandaw to introduce third ship in Laos in 2019

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

 Pandaw Expeditions, the Singapore-Scottish river cruise company, said it would introduce its third ship in Laos, on the Mekong River in September 2019.

“The double decked vessel to be named RV Sabei Pandaw is designed to meet the navigational challenges of shooting the rapids in the Laos gorges with its shallow draft and powerful engines to ensure year-round passage,” the company said in a newsletter.

The ship will have just 12 staterooms; eight on the main deck and four on the upper deck as well as an open plan saloon with flexible indoor or outdoor dining. “The Sabei will be handcrafted to our usual level of excellence in teak and brass and provide all the comforts of the personalised service our guests expect,” the company said.

Pandaw's headquarters are in Singapore and the company is legally domiciled in Scotland.

Fincantieri cuts steel for the next Princess newbuild

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

The steel cutting of the new ship for Princess Cruises, brand of Carnival Corporation, took place on September 8 at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Monfalcone. It will be the fourth of the class for Princess Cruises, following Royal, Regal and Majestic, respectively delivered in 2013, 2014 and 2017 by the same yard.

Works for the construction of a bow section for this unit began last November at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Castellammare di Stabia (Naples). The section will be then transported by sea and assembled to the rest of the hull in Monfalcone, where delivery will take place by the end of 2019.

"The newbuild will be 145,000 gross tons and will be able to accommodate 4,250 passengers on board. The vessel will represent a new technological benchmark in Europe and worldwide for its innovative layout, the outstanding performances and the top quality of its state-of-the-art technology. It will be the best proof that innovation and customer care are fundamental levers to stand out its market leadership and further consolidate Fincantieri’s historic partnership with the Carnival Corp., the world's largest leisure travel company," Fincantieri said in a statement.

Hurricane Irma – Disney Cruise Line adjusts its itineraries

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Disney Cruise Line has announced a tropical weather update on September 9 at 5:30 pm:

"Based on the projected path of Hurricane Irma, Disney Cruise Line is making the following adjustments to itineraries:

Disney Dream – The September 11 sailing of the Disney Dream is cancelled. Refunds will automatically be processed back to the original form of payment used for the cruise booking. Guests are invited to book a future cruise at a 25 percent discount by calling us at 1-855-347-2784 or 407-566-7054 from September 18, 2017, through October 18, 2017.

Future Bahamian and Eastern Caribbean sailings – At this time, there are no changes to other sailings on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. However, we continue to closely monitor Hurricane Irma and assess its impact on the ports of call we visit in the Caribbean and Bahamas. Updates regarding any necessary itinerary changes will be posted beginning September 12.

While we always strive to deliver magical cruise vacations, nothing is more important to us than providing a safe experience for our guests and crew. We will continue to closely monitor the weather and provide updates as necessary."

SkySea Cruise Line introduce more flexilility and convenience with onboard mobile pay with Alipay

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

SkySea Cruise Line, the first contemporary cruise line specifically created for the China market, announced that it will cooperate with Alipay, one of China's leading third-party payment platforms, to begin accepting mobile payments on the SkySea Golden Era since September 17th, bringing contemporary cruising and mobile payment together for the first time.

SkySea will also launch its new website on September 12nd, it will not only offer direct booking, but also new features such as Quick Booking and Online Room Selection, bringing an improved booking experience. Guests will have more choices to book with directly or through one of valued travel agent partners, which will greatly improving the cruise booking experience.

Pay with Alipay at Sea for a smarter cruise experience

In the past when cruise guests spent money on board, they needed to link a credit card to their room card or pay a fixed deposit. This rather cumbersome process meant than many transactions were not processed instantly.

To cater to the growing demand for mobile payment from cruise guests in the mobile Internet era, SkySea Cruise Line introduce more flexibility and convenience with onboard mobile pay with Alipay, one of China's leading third-party payment platforms, to begin accepting Alipay as a payment method on board the SkySea Golden Era since September 17th.

Guests will be able to use their mobile phone-bound Alipay accounts to pay across most of the ship, including at the service center, restaurants, bars, and duty-free shops. According to SkySea, guests that use Alipay on board can instantly see their daily expenses, which is significantly more convenient than linking a credit card to a room card like in the past. It also suits the payment habits of cruise guests in the mobile Internet era. Guests using the Alipay mobile app to pay on board will not be restricted by access to the Internet. The only difference is that guests who have access to the ship's Wi-Fi can enjoy a higher payment limit.

This is the first time SkySea will accept third-party mobile payments on board. Ken Muskat, CEO of SkySea Cruise Line, pointed out that cooperation with Alipay is an important strategic alliance for SkySea to improve the guest experience, and a contemporary cruise is also the perfect landscape to drive the mobile payment trend. "In the past, we’ve relied on our high quality product and outstanding value, with guests experiencing the four specialties of SkySea—Gourmet Foods, Themed Activities, Five-Star Service and MICE. In the future, we will continue to place enhancing the guest experience at the forefront, constantly improve the quality of products and services, and further build SkySea as the preferred international cruise brand for Chinese tourists”, Ken Muskat said.

SkySea website becomes more powerful with Quick Booking and Online Room Selection

At the same time as providing more convenience for guests on board, SkySea is also working to enhance the booking experience. On September 12nd, SkySea’s upgraded website will be launched, which will introduce two new functions - Quick Booking and Online Room Selection.

Guests will be able to participate in online sales events, and using the new Quick Booking function, they will be able to book without filling in all the passenger information. It can then be added at a later, more convenient time. In addition, online room selection will be added, so that much like selecting a seat for a flight, guests can choose their preferred room in advance. This will make it much easier for guests travelling in groups to select rooms near friends and family.