Eamonn Rothwell, Chief Executive of Irish Continental Group plc accompanied by Andrew Sheen, Managing Director of Irish Ferries visited on April 7 the shipyard of Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesselschaft & Co.KG in Flensburg, Germany to oversee the cutting of the first steel plate for use in the construction of their new €144million cruise ferry, which is scheduled for delivery in mid 2018.
When in service, the vessel will accommodate 1,885 passengers and crew, with 435 cabins and with capacity for 2,800 lane metres of freight (165 freight vehicles) plus an additional dedicated car deck with capacity for 300 passenger cars.
"This first steel cutting is more than symbolic and starts the practical construction of our new build. This investment underpins the confidence the Group has in both the freight and passenger tourism markets between Ireland, Britain and France," Rothwell said.
American Cruise Lines announced on April 7 that its new cruise ship American Constellation has left the shipyard with construction complete ahead of schedule for the inaugural season.
Earlier this year, when it became clear the ship would be completed ahead of schedule American added two Chesapeake Bay cruises to the beginning of the inaugural season, one on May 6 and the other May 13. Both cruises have already sold out.
American Constellation will also be running American’s new Grand New England itinerary, with the official inaugural cruise celebration set for May 21.
“Our new ships raise the standard for cruising in the United States” says Timothy Beebe, Vice President of American Cruise Lines. “The American Constellation is beautiful and we are thrilled to have it early.”
American is actively pursuing its new build program. The newly-named American Constitution is also ahead of schedule and is now available for booking. Along with its two new coastal ships, American Cruise Lines recently announced it has begun construction on a fleet of 5 modern riverboats.
“More details about the first in the series will be made available very soon,” Beebe said.
NCLH Ltd. President and CEO Frank Del Rio kept watch on Seven Seas Mariner’s bridge as the ship pulled into the Havana harbor with nearly 700 travelers onboard. Guests enjoyed a festive, Cuban-style celebration on board, before heading out to explore the iconic city for the night.
All tours offer guests an authentic Cuban experience that explores the people, music, art, history and culture, in compliance with the Office of Foreign Assets Control’s (OFAC) regulations. Seven Seas Mariner set sail April 11, 2017, on a seven-night, round-trip Caribbean voyage from Miami, and will overnight at Havana before continuing to Harvest Caye, Belize, and Costa Maya, Mexico. Seven Seas Mariner will sail April 18 on an identical itinerary that visits Cuba.
Lena Gercke will christen AIDAperla, the 12th member of the AIDA Cruises’ fleet, in Palma de Mallorca on 30 June. Gercke is among the most famous and successful models and presenters in Germany.
The naming ceremony will be transmitted live on the Internet.
The first cruise of the Japanese built ship will run from Palma de Mallorca, from 24 June to 1 July, will take passengers to Rome (Civitavecchia), Florence (Livorno) and Barcelona. The ship will operate in the Western Mediterranean until march 2018, when it will be repositioned to Hamburg, AIDA Cruises said.
Carnival Cruise Line marked the beginning of a multimillion-dollar renovation of its Long Beach Cruise Terminal facility to accommodate larger ships and enhance terminal operations. A “FUNstruction” groundbreaking ceremony today included remarks by City of Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, President and CEO of Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau Steve Goodling and Carnival Cruise Line Vice President Strategic and Commercial Port Development Carlos Torres de Navarra among others.
Carnival unveiled its design plans for the terminal during the celebration. The renovation will increase the space Carnival currently occupies in the terminal facility from approximately 66,000 square feet to 142,000 square feet. The expansion and new design will allow for a dramatically enhanced passenger experience and operational flow within the terminal. In addition, the project includes the expansion of portside “cold-ironing” to enable larger ships to plug into the local electric grid to reduce exhaust emissions while docked. Further enhancements to the area surrounding the geodesic dome which houses the cruise terminal and the adjacent Queen Mary attraction are also planned.
“The start of construction on this project further cements our commitment to the City of Long Beach and the outstanding relationships we have built with the leaders and people of this community,” said Carnival’s Torres de Navarra. “Our operations bring tremendous economic benefit to this area and expose hundreds of thousands of people a year to this great city. These new terminal enhancements will further grow that positive impact,” he added.
Carnival has run the Long Beach Cruise Terminal — the United States’ only privately operated cruise terminal — since 2003. It is one of the busiest terminals in North America, with ships docking at the facility five days per week resulting in a more than 70% utilization rate. Carnival has used just a portion of the geodesic dome that housed Howard Hughes’ “Spruce Goose” museum attraction for customs and guest check-in activities. The renovation will make 100 percent of the dome available for Carnival’s cruise operations.
“The expansion of the Carnival Cruise terminal is great news for Long Beach and great news for visitors to our city,” said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. “The added capacity will bring more tourism and economic activity to Long Beach, and we’re pleased to continue working with Carnival for many years to come.”
Currently, Carnival operates three ships from the Long Beach Cruise Terminal -- Carnival Inspiration and Carnival Imagination, which offer three- and four-day Baja cruises, and Carnival Miracle which operates week-long Mexican Riviera voyages along with 14- and 15-day cruises to Hawaii and Alaska. In 2018 when the larger Carnival Splendor replaces Carnival Miracle, the line will carry more than 700,000 guests annually from Southern California, operating nearly 250 three- to 14-day cruises a year.
In addition to marking the start of the renovation of the cruise terminal, Torres de Navarra announced a donation of $25,000 to the Mayor’s Fund for Education. The donation, made jointly by Carnival Cruise Line and Carnival Foundation, is part of Carnival Corporation’s ongoing support for nonprofit educational and charitable organizations in the homeport communities where its brands operate.