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First plans and drawings revealed for the Titanic II

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Professor Clive Palmer today released preliminary plans and drawings for the Titanic II project devised by international ship design and engineering company, Finnish-based Deltamarin.

The Titanic II Preliminary General Arrangement Plan and Preliminary Midship Section Drawing depicts nine decks complete with first, second and third class, officer and crew accommodation as well as the insertion of a new ‘Safety Deck’.

Professor Palmer said the plans from Deltamarin for his shipping company Blue Star Line represent a significant milestone for the Titanic II project.

"These plans underline the commitment and progression Blue Star Line has for the Titanic II project," Professor Palmer said.

He said from deck D upwards Deltamarin have managed to keep the public rooms, passenger stairs, cabins and other features in similar locations as in the original ship.

"The Preliminary General Arrangement plans depict the original separation between first, second and third class, which will be kept in the ship’s final design," Professor Palmer said.

"To ensure Titanic II is compliant with all current safety and construction regulations, a new ‘Safety Deck’ has been inserted between D and C decks and will feature proper lifeboats, safety chutes or slides as well as new common public rooms."

"New escape stairs, service elevators, air conditioning room and similar functions have also been added and the inclusions of main fire zones have been designed so that they have minimum disturbance on public rooms."

"G deck has also been re-designed to now feature crew accommodation, laundry, stores and machinery."

The final design is subject to approval of the board of Blue Star Lines.

He reaffirmed the first voyage remains set for late 2016, with the intention for Titanic II to sail from China to England before her maiden passenger voyage retracing its original journey.

"Blue Star Line’s website continues to receive an overwhelming response from people expressing an interest in receiving regular updates from us or requesting information on how to secure bookings for Titanic II’s maiden voyage," Professor Palmer said.

On April 30, 2012, Professor Palmer announced to the world his intention to build and launch Titanic II in conjunction with leading Chinese shipbuilders, CSC Jinling Shipyard.

The announcement came 100 years after the original vessel last sailed.

The work carried out by Deltamarin, one of the world’s leading ship design and marine engineering companies, will enable China’s CSC Jinling Shipyard to begin construction of the passenger liner.

Pullmantur revives Tallinn's turnaround sector

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Estonia’s capital got a boost from Saturday 14 July when the Spanish cruise operator started to fly passengers on five of its own Air Pullmantur planes in and out of Lennart Meri Airport with Pullmantur expecting approximately 18,000 to pass through Port of Tallinn between now and September when the company’s Baltic season ends on the 15th.

Previously, Pullmantur had used Helsinki but it can be assumed the Finnish capital lost out to its neighbor and rival due to costs – Port of Helsinki has been by some way been the most expensive cruise ship call for years with fees for pilots to navigate its difficult approach plus environmental and waste management expenses adding up significantly while the city-owned port is seen as a juicy source of much needed revenue too.

Last year another Spanish operator, the now defunct Happy Cruises, used Tallinn’s compactness and comparative cheapness to turn around over 7,000 cruise tourists. The airport is a mere 5 kilometers from the city center cruise quay and thus passengers can transfer and be aboard their ship or plane in under an hour easily.

"The procedure will take place every two weeks," stated Lauri Linnmãe, Tallinn airport spokesman adding that "The service in terms of added value was in an entirely different category to just bringing a ship or an airplane to the country because it represented a big challenge for Estonian tourism and transport companies due to the demands required in terms of logistics coordination, client service and cross-cultural management."

"It means that the passengers who arrive from and depart back to Madrid before starting or completing of their cruise will need a long value chain providing work for tens of firms and a livelihood for many employees simultaneously," he concluded.

Pullmantur uses Empress during its short summer north European season that starts and finishes in Copenhagen as well as Tallinn calling at Warnemünde, Stockholm, Helsinki and St Petersburg in between when travelling from the Danish capital and in reverse from Tallinn. Two nights will be spent in St Petersburg taking advantage of the 72-hour visa-free rule for cruise ship visitors while the voyage between Stockholm and the German city of Warnemünde is so long it requires a night at sea.

Built in St Nazaire, France in 1990 as RCI’s Nordic Empress, the 48,500 gross ton, 208-meter long ship now takes up to a maximum 1,853 passengers (with a crew of 675) and has been in Pullmantur’s colors since sold in 2008 and now flies the Maltese flag with Valetta as home port. According to the company’s website, fares start from €699 or €999 if the flights are included. Pullmantur became a subsidiary of RCCL in 2006 and before becoming Empress, the ship operated under the name of Empress of the Seas for two years. 

Regent unveils new itineraries and special savings with "Voyages to Explore" brochure

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Regent Seven Seas Cruises introduces new itineraries and value-added savings with the launch of the new Voyages to Explore catalogue, providing a detailed look at the ultra-luxury line's all-inclusive itineraries for September 2012 through December 2013.

"Based on guest feedback, we added extended overnight stays in some of the most fascinating cities in the world, from Rio de Janeiro to Dubai. These exciting new itineraries combined with value-added savings help make the Regent Seven Seas experience unmatched," said Mark Conroy, the line's president. "The new Voyages to Explore brochure gives travel agents an ideal selling tool to showcase Regent Seven Seas' distinctive all-inclusive offerings."

Introducing new voyages and itineraries

Voyages to Explore debuts two new sailings for 2013 including the 21-night Red Sea Odyssey departing November 12 from Istanbul to Dubai aboard the all-suite, all-balcony Seven Seas Voyager. Extended overnight stays in Jerusalem (Haifa), Luxor (Safaga) and Dubai and up to 62 free shore excursions are included in the cruise fare.

Also new, South American Symphony departs Buenos Aires on December 20 for 15-nights aboard the all-suite, all-balcony Seven Seas Mariner. Visiting Montevideo and Punta Del Este in Uruguay; and Rio Grande, Porto Belo, and Santos in Brazil, before ending in Rio de Janeiro, the voyage offers as many as 43 complimentary shore excursions.

For more South American exploration, the 700-guest Seven Seas Mariner adds extra overnight stays in Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires on the 12-night Cosmopolitan Classics voyage departing December 8, 2013 and the 30-night Transoceanic Reverie departing November 20, 2013.

New land programs in Athens, Barcelona, Monte Carlo and Lima allow guests to enhance their pre-and post-cruise vacation with a variety of excursions, from exploring the Temple of Apollo in Greece to climbing Machu Picchu in Peru.

2012-13 Voyages to Explore catalogue

The newest Voyages to Explore edition has been enhanced with stunning photography including new images of the recently refurbished Seven Seas Navigator and featured menu items from Sette Mari at La Veranda.

"The images definitely help tell the Regent Seven Seas Cruises luxury story," said Kari Tarnowski, the line's senior vice president of marketing. "In addition, our travel partners will find valuable information such as concise voyage details, value-added cruise amenities and new pre- and post-cruise experiences."

Also included in the brochure is "The Best Value in Luxury Cruising" double-sided insert that Tarnowski cited as a particularly valuable tool for travel agents. It compares Regent Seven Seas' all-inclusive pricing for a September Mediterranean sailing, as an example, with two premium cruise lines, clearly demonstrating Regent Seven Sea's all-inclusive value proposition.

Incomparable value: New combination savings

Two-for-one fares with additional bonus savings and two-for-one reduced deposits are offered on all 2012 sailings when booked by September 30, 2012. Additional savings on fares are now available on select sailings in 2012 and 2013 on all three award-winning ships starting at $2,999 in the Caribbean.

Additional values include a special 20 percent savings by combining Seven Sea Voyager's 14-night Iberian Interlude sailing from Southampton on September 16, 2012, with the Gems of Provence seven-night voyage departing Barcelona to Monte Carlo on September 30 for a 21-night exploration of Europe. Or, the same Gems of Provence sailing can be combined with the subsequent 10-night The Classic Mediterranean from Monte Carlo to Venice on October 7 for an in-depth 17-night voyage of the region.

An additional five percent savings is offered on select 2012/2013 back-to-back voyages in the Asia/South Pacific region.

Crystal Cruises previews 2015 World Cruise

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News
Crystal Cruises is looking far into the future, sans crystal ball, revealing early details of its 2015 World Cruise. In honor of its 20th World Cruise, and 25th anniversary of the company, the ultra-luxe line will be offering a brand new route: a full circumnavigation of the globe conveniently round-trip from Miami starting January 15, 2015. The 108-day, warm weather voyage aboard Crystal Serenity will consist of six all-inclusive segments that will traverse Central and South America, the South Pacific, New Zealand, Australia, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, South Africa, and the Caribbean, as follows:

* Miami to Callao/Lima (16 days)
* Callao/Lima to Auckland (19 days)
* Auckland to Perth (21 days)
* Perth to Cape Town (21 days)
* Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro (15 days)
* Rio de Janeiro to Miami (16 days)

“For our 20th World Cruise, travelers can expect an especially spectacular addition to their personal bank of once-in-a-lifetime memories, with popular cultural capitals and off-the-beaten-path jewels that appeal to both our loyal regulars and those new to us,” says Crystal President Gregg Michel. “Add the hands-on world education, the bonding among guests, easy country-hopping, and luxurious home base of Crystal Serenity to the round-trip Miami circumnavigation and 25th anniversary celebrations, and this is sure to be one of the finest global explorations any adventurer could ever experience.”

Additional itinerary highlights include maiden calls in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Albany, Australia; Ambodifotra and Taolagnaro, Madagascar; and Richards Bay, S. Africa (in addition to three other South African calls), and stops in Easter Island, Bora Bora, the Cook Islands, Wellington, Sydney, Melbourne, Reunion Island, Buenos Aires, Cartagena, Turks & Caicos, and more. Full World Cruisers receive a host of complimentary perks such as private enrichment classes, fitness programs, entertainment, social invitations, and mementos. The full itinerary will be posted on by July 16.

Crystal’s focus on stylish, comfortable design, most recently reinforced via $40 million extreme ship makeovers of Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, combined with warm and friendly attentiveness, proffered by top-trained service staff from around the world, has earned the line a reputation for elevating hospitality to an art form. With a host of complimentary amenities, from custom-crafted cocktails and included gratuities, to specialty restaurant dining, featuring the cuisine of Nobu Matsuhisa and Piero Selvaggio, and Creative Learning Institute partnerships with names such as USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, a Crystal cruise always offers tremendous value in luxury resort vacationing. The line’s passion for taking care of guests in an inviting environment of extraordinary space, quality and choices has earned the company more “World’s Best” awards than any other cruise line, resort, or hotel in history. 

STX France floats-out Europa 2

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Four months after the laying down of the keel, the EUROPA 2 left the drydock of the shipyard STX France in Saint-Nazaire on 6 July. In the context of a festive ceremony, the dock was flooded and the new addition to the fleet of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises took to the water for the first time. Now that the Europa 2 has left the drydock, the next construction stage is due to begin – the completion of the interior at the outfitting pier.

251 all-balcony suites, eight restaurants, a modern theatre as well as bars, lounges and public areas will be featured on board the Europa 2. A total of 835 shipyard workers are involved in the construction of the new ship – until the delivery of the latter in the spring of 2013. They will dedicate around 2.5 million hours of labour to the project, and 10,000 tonnes of steel have already been used in the process of building the Europa 2. The ship is expected to be delivered to Hapag-Lloyd Cruises at the end of April 2013 – her 14-day maiden voyage from Hamburg to Lisbon will take place from 11 until 25 May 2013.

The sister ship of the Europa will be positioned in the luxury segment as a lifestyle-oriented, casual alternative. The Europa 2 will offer a maximum of 516 guests more space per passenger than any other cruise liner, for example with 251 all-balcony suites. All the ship suites have a veranda and a minimum size of 28 square metres. Eight restaurants as well as six bars offer culinary diversity, and a large spa and fitness area takes into account the trend towards health and well-being on voyages.