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Queen Mary 2 to host UK maritime business drive in Shanghai

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Maritime UK and the Department of International Trade (DIT) of the British government will lead a unique three-day trade mission to Shanghai at the end of March to promote the UK as The World’s Maritime Centre, providing a complete package for global maritime business, Maritime UK that promotes the country towards the global maritime industry said in a statement.

Attended by senior industry and government leaders from both countries, including Shipping and Ports Minister, John Hayes MP, and Trade Minister, Mark Garnier MP, the mission has been timed to coincide with the RMS Queen Mary 2’s visit to Shanghai during its East Asian tour.

The vessel will be used to promote UK excellence across shipping, ports, marine, and business services and will play host to pioneering companies from across the maritime sector, a number of which are visiting China for the first time.

“The UK and China are two of the world’s leading maritime powers, and this trade mission is designed to further strengthen relations between our two countries, delivering benefits for both markets,“ says David Dingle CBE, Chairman of Maritime UK.

“As the UK triggers Article 50 and looks to a future outside the European Union, the maritime sector has a unique and critical role in ensuring the country makes a success of Brexit. With a resolve to increase exports and sign ambitious trade deals with countries across the world the maritime industry has a unique opportunity to make ‘Global Britain’ a reality, and it is ready to do so.

“The trade and investment relationship between the UK and China has deepened over recent years, and during the visit Maritime UK and the DIT will be collaborating with the Pudong New Area to identify new maritime trade and investment opportunities for both the UK and China.”

David Dingle, who is also Chairman of Carnival UK adds: ”A significant number of British companies are already working with China and we are looking forward to opening new chapters in these relationships, and beginning others.”

Following the Shanghai visit, the Maritime UK Chairman and Shipping and Ports Minister will visit Hong Kong to meet with the Hong Kong Shipowners Association.

The valuable relationships that have been established during the mission will be further strengthened by plans to extend personal London International Shipping Week (LISW) invitations to Chinese industry leaders, and the creation of a ‘Business Lounge’ during LISW, to continue to develop relationships created on the mission and with other countries.

UK river cruise market grew by 11% in 2016

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

The number of river cruise passengers from the UK and Ireland increased by 11% to 169,000 in 2016, with the demand for cruises in the Far East increasing faster than those in Europe, CLIA UK & Ireland said in a statement.

The Far East attracted 8,900 British river cruise passengers, an increase of 20% year on. By contrast, the passenger count on the Nile fell by 49% to a mere 3,600 – it had stood at 28,200 only in 2012. The non-European river cruise destinations attracted 21,800 British passengers, an increase of 15%.

In European destinations, the passenger count increased by 105 to 145,100, with Rhine and Danube leasing the growth with an increase of 20% to 9,100 passengers, CLIA said.

UK ocean cruise market growth slowed and newcomers’ share fell to second lowest in decade in 2016

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

The growth rate of the UK and Ireland ocean cruise market slowed to 5.6% last year, when 1.89 million passengers took an ocean cruise from an increase of 8.8% in 2015, when the number of passengers carried stood at 1.79 million, figures released by CLIA UK & Ireland show.

The share of first timers fell by two percentage points to 31% after remaining stable for two years. The fresh figure is the lowest since 2009, when it hit a low of 29% and the second lowest in a decade.

The number of bed nights fell by 2.2% to 18.5 million and the average duration of cruises booked decreased to 9.8 nights from 10.6

The average age of the passengers decreased to 55.4 years from 56.2 in the previous year and a high of 58.2 set in 2-14, the figures show.

Cafe Carinthia and Champagne Bar to vanish in Queen Victoria refit

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Cunard Line, the premium to luxury market brand of Carnival Corporation & plc group, will send its 2007 built Queen Victoria for a refit in May, when Café Carinthia and the Champagne Bar vanish, deck plans of the ship on the company's website show..

Britannia Club restaurant will be built in the place of the presnt Chart Room bar, which will be located forward, where the café and the Champagne Bar are currently located.

A new Chart Room concept will debut on Queen Victoria as part of the refit. “The new Chart Room will be located on Deck 2 off the Grand Lobby, where Café Carinthia is currently located. The Chart Room will feature illy coffee, Godiva chocolate treats and light bites by day and stellar cocktails by night.”

“Cunard will also introduce a gin and fizz themed menu to the Midships Lounge, including a variety of wines, Proseccos, Cavas and Champagne alongside premium gins and spirits, all blended to create fresh and inspiring cocktails with a modern twist,” Cunard Line said in a statement.

In addition, 43 Britannia Club staterooms in a prime mid-ship location on Decks 7 and 8 will be added. “The new and refreshed staterooms will feature newly-designed carpets, soft furnishings, new flat screen TVs, as well as tea and coffee facilities. The new Britannia Club restaurant will offer guests the flexibility to dine whenever they choose. Located in the space of the former chart room, the new restaurant will be built alongside the main Britannia restaurant on Deck 2,” Cunard Line said.

“Cunard guests are very passionate about their ships, so we have given great consideration to Cunard’s aesthetic integrity and rich 176-year history,” commented Alan McVitty, Director at M Design, who consulted on the redesign. “We drew upon inspiration from archival imagery of not only Cunard’s ships, but of the architectural elements of its buildings in Liverpool and New York.”

The Cunard Grand Suites will be redesigned and reconfigured to maximize space, offering enhanced comfort and entertainment options. The Aquitania, Berengaria, Mauretania and Laconia Suites will have similar square footage to those on Queen Elizabeth at approximately 1,436 sq. ft. Refreshed designs will include a new color scheme that harkens back to the line’s history with its signature Cunard purple.

Created to mirror a luxurious residential apartment, the suites offer fabrics with a variety of rich textures and layers. The Cunard Grand Suites also include: floor-to-ceiling windows and doors, a separate service entrance and hospitality preparation area, a separate snug room with TV, a beautifully-appointed lounge, a master bathroom with sea view, a second bathroom with guest access, a bedroom TV that folds down from the ceiling, a walk-in wardrobe with additional storage units, and a generous dual aspect balcony.

Cunard guests will enjoy five new Penthouse Suites (Q4) on Deck 8 aft which will feature floor-to-ceiling windows, defined living and sleeping space and bathrooms with natural light. New color schemes reflect Cunard’s signature jewel tones of deep red and captivating geometric patterns, the company stated.

Multifunctional Magic Carpet acts as tender station, bar and restaurant

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Magic Carpet, the cantilevered, floating platform that will be a feature of the Celebrity Edge class of Celebrity Cruises, will multi function as a tender station, restaurant and bar, Celebrity Cruises said in a video presentation on the Internet of the new class.

“The size of a tennis court, and reaching heights of 13 storeys above sea level, it is. Majestically situated on the starboard side of Celebrity Edge, it is designed with comfortable seating, a full bar, and space for live music performances – so it truly is a destination itself,” the company said, adding that it would open to several decks and transforms into a new venue depending on where it’s positioned.

“We invite you to soar over the open ocean while you dine, drink, or simply relax,” Celebrity Cruises said.