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The refit of Costa neoRomantica starts in Genoa

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Work commenced in Genoa at the T. Mariotti shipyard on the radical refurbishment of the Costa Cruises fleet member Costa Romantica, which is currently 53,000 gross tonnage and can carry up to 1,697 Total Guests. In August this year, Costa Cruises , with a total investment by the Italian company of around 90 million euro, for major restyling operations on the ship with the San Giorgio shipyard in the Port of Genoa; the yard, specialists in ship repair and conversion, will be carrying out the work with the assistance of their affiliate T. Mariotti. The work on the Costa Romantica – involving the works in dry dock, quay and fitting out in by the ship-owner – is due for completion in mid-February 2012. Thanks to the restyling, the Costa Romantica will be completely renovated, just like her name, which will become the Costa neoRomantica. This extensive make-over will include the construction of new areas and the introduction of services that represent a major evolution in the Costa product. The objective is to offer a renewed cruise experience: the perfect way to satisfy the needs of a special clientele target.

The restyling works include 2 new half-decks extensions, 111 new cabins, plus 120 cabins and suites with private balcony. The ship’s total Guest capacity will increase from 1,697 to 1,800, the number of cabins from 678 to 789, and her new gross tonnage will be around 56,000. According to analysis by S. Giorgio del Porto, some 40 million euros will be generated by induced activities linked to the work in the shipyard only in the Province of Genoa. Around forty Genoese companies will be contributing to the undertaking, thus confirming both the importance of shipbuilding and repair for the local economy, and the degree of technical know-how and expertise available locally.

In employment terms, the refurbishment of the Costa Romantica will involve approximately a thousand people – naval architects, marine engineers, project managers, shipboard managers and skilled workers.

Costa neoRomantica - interior design

The architectural project of the Costa neoRomantica’s interiors is the work of the Swedish company Tillberg Design, which has a 40-year history in marine interior design including assignments for around 130 luxury yachts and prestigious cruise ships, and London master planners Syntax, who specialize in the interior design and architecture of hotels and prestigious spa resorts. The Costa neoRomantica will stand out on account of her sophisticated ambience and particularly elegant and refined interior design.

Among the new areas on the ship, Costa neoRomantica Guests will find a “wine and cheese bar”, with 100 different labels and a wide selection of cheeses from around the world; a “coffee & chocolate” bar to enjoy selected sweets and coffee; a new Italian “pizzeria”; a cabaret lounge and a night-club. Another addition is the Samsara Spa, a 4200 m2 wellness area with a gym, thalassotherapy pool, treatment rooms, sauna, Turkish bath, 50 cabins and 6 suites as well as a dedicated spa restaurant.

Costa neoRomantica -Itineraries

The Costa neoRomantica will add a new dimension to cruising and offer Guests brand new destinations and itineraries – some close to home, some more exotic – starting February 20, 2012.

The renewed ship will make her debut on February 20, 2012 when she sets sail from Savona on an 11-day cruise to Spain, Morocco, the Canary Islands and Madeira. This itinerary is scheduled to continue until March 24. In spring, from April 4 through May 2, and then again in late summer on September 5, the Costa neoRomantica will offer 15-day cruises to the magical Atlantic capitals. In summer the Costa neoRomantica will be operating in Northern Europe offering 15-day cruises that for the first time will bring together the best destinations of the Fjords and Baltic Capitals and 2 cruises to Spietzbergen Islands.

The stylish ambience of the Costa neoRomantica will also be the setting for the Grand Cruise from Italy to Australia and New Zealand, via the finest and most fascinating places in the eastern hemisphere. This 107-night extraordinary cruise, departing on 19th September 2012, another of the highly popular new round-the-world voyages offered by Costa on the routes of the great navigators of the past, is intended for “hard-core” cruise fans.

Holland America Line’s 2012-13 Dutch programme taps Britain on three occasions

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

British passengers will have an opportunity to join Holland America Line’s cruises in British ports that depart from Rotterdam and terminate there, the company’s website shows.

The first opportunity will be on 17 April next year, when Ryndam will call at Dover to embark UK passengers on a 17 night cruise to the Atlantic islands, Spain and Portugal. Passengers from the Continent will have joined the vessel on the previous day at Rotterdam, where the cruise will also end. However, British passengers can disembark at Dover the day before.

On 3 November, Rotterdam will sail from Southampton on a 32 night cruise to the Caribbean. The ship, which again will depart from Rotterdam on the previous day, will also call at the UK port on the way back to disembark British passengers prior to sailing back to the Dutch port.

Finally, on 10 January 2013, Rotterdam will again call at Southampton to pick up British passengers for an 88 night cruise to the Far East. Passengers from the Continent can again board and disembark at Rotterdam, which will add two nights to the cruise. Otherwise, Rotterdam will cater for the Dutch and other Northern European markets on a year-round basis from the spring of 2012, with Rotterdam as its base port. Meanwhile, Ryndam and Prinsendam will offer cruises from Dover and Tilbury in the UK in the summer of 2012.

MSC Lirica arrives at Abu Dhabi to launch MSC Cruises’ Arabian Gulf programme

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

MSC Cruises’59,000 ton MSC Lirica arrived on 29 October at Abu Dhabi from Genoa, Italy tolaunch the company’s programme of cruises in the Arabian Gulf.

“MSC Lirica willset sail tomorrow on the first of 19, 7-night eight nightitineraries for the 2011/2012 season cruising around Abu Dhabi and the Emiratesand calling at Muscat, Al Fujairah, Khasab in Oman and Dubai with 95 calls androtations,” the company said in a statement.

The home portingof MSC Lirica follows the signing, a year ago, of a landmark agreement betweenADTA and MSC Cruises, one of the world’s fastest-growing cruise operators and amarket leader in the Mediterranean, South Africa and Brazil, to deploy one ofits top vessels on a home port basis in Abu Dhabi. Since then the two partnershave jointly participated in trade exhibitions, marketing and advertisingcampaigns globally and brought their combined influence, channels and brands tobear in promoting the emirat, the company said.

P&O Cruises to offer 39 winter cruises from Southampton in 2012-13 season

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

P&O Cruises will operate 39 cruises from the UK port of Southampton in the winter of 2012-13, the company said in a statement, referring to previously announced decision to add the 69,153 gross ton Oriana to the winter cruises programme next year after launching it with the 77,441 gross ton Oceana this coming winter.

“P&O Cruises already offers the greatest choice of ex-UK cruises and next winter will have 39 roundtrip cruises from Southampton from October to April. A growing number of people are keen to holiday in the winter, but don’t necessarily want to fly, so this additional range of cruises from Southampton will increase their options sill further. Convenience is a key booking factor for our passengers, with travelling to Southampton so easy – and then their holiday starts right away,” Managing Director Carol Marlow said in the statement-

Oceana’s second year of winter cruising from Southampton includes, for the first time, two short cruises for Christmas and New Year. These cruises offer the chance to spend Boxing Day in Copenhagen or New Year’s Eve in Amsterdam, for some authentic festive celebrations whilst only being away for four or seven days.

Oriana will offer seven ex-UK cruises including a 10 night Baltic cruise in December calling in popular Christmas market destinations such as Copenhagen and Hamburg; and a 12 night Canary Islands cruise in late January to ports including Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Casablanca.

Last week, Royal Caribbean International said it would discontinue its winter cruises frrom Southampton in 2012-13 and send the 154,807 gross ton Independence of the Seas to Florida instea from November 2012 to March 2013.

In May, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines said it would position the 24,907 gross ton Braemar in Southampton from the winter of 2012-13 and discontine fly cruises based in Barbados. The company will then have two ships based year-round in the UK.

Other companies that offer winter cruises from British ports in the 2012-13 season include Cunard Line, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Spirit of Adventure and Voyages of Discovery.

Qantas flights to resume

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Qantas flights will resume by mid-afternoon on Monday 31 October 2011 subject to approval from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

Fair Work Australia this morning granted the Australian Government's application to terminate all industrial action by the Australian Licenced Engineers Union, the Transport Workers Union, the Australian and International Pilots Union and Qantas.

Under the orders issued by Fair Work Australia, there will now be up to 21 days of negotiations between the parties. No industrial action can take place during this period. If no agreement is reached during this period, binding arbitration will take place under the control of Fair Work Australia.

Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said the decision would provide certainty for Qantas passengers and all of our employees.

"This is a good outcome that will enable us to begin operating flights this afternoon on a limited schedule with the approval of the regulator, CASA," Mr Joyce said.

"Operations will resume progressively from this afternoon. Our focus is bringing our schedule back to normal as soon as possible. Safety will remain our first priority at all times."

"The industrial process has now passed into the hands of the independent umpire. All parties will be treated equally and we will respect the decisions that are made."

"We have new and existing agreements with 12 unions. We now anticipate the conclusion of agreements with the remaining three."

"This has been a challenging period for Qantas, its employees, its customers and its shareholders."

"We sincerely regret the impact on customers of industrial action over recent months, and the effect on employees."

"We look forward to a rapid recovery and to a period of stability enabling us to focus on our customers and our strategy for the airline."

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