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Norwegian Cruise Line to introduce new agent partnership programme in UK

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Norwegian Cruise Line has unveiled details of a new agent partnership programme launched in the UK a year after it was first started in in the US, Travel weekly reports in a newsletter.

The initiative will officially launch via webinars on May 9 and 10 and agents will be invited to attend roadshows in London, Manchester and Glasgow to learn more in September and October. Partners First will consolidate all the support the line offers agents from training and fam trips, commissions and other incentives and drive all future strategies. 

“Probably the most important part of driving demand for us has been travel agency advocacy, building relationships with travel partners that really makes them become ambassadors," Francis Riley, Norwegian’s president and general manager, was quoted as saying. He added the hope is that agents come to consider the operator as a partner of choice and work more closely with it for mutual benefit, the report said.

Earlier this week, NCL Corporation that is the parent company of Norwegian Cruise Line and NCL America, reported a net profit of $3.3 million for the first quarter of the year, compard to a loss of $7.9 million in the same period last year. Operating income rose 23.8% to $46.4 million and ticket prices rose 24%, the company said.



Seven Seas Navigator enters dry-dock

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Regent Seven Seas Cruises' 490-guest, all-suite Seven Seas Navigator will enter dry-dock in mid-May, signaling Phase Four of the line's fleet-wide Seven Seas Signature enhancement initiative.

The two-week renovation will encompass a complete redecoration of the ship's eight Grand Suites and Master Suites and the debut of Sette Mari at La Veranda, an intimate Italian dining experience offering both buffet and a la carte service. Phase Four underscores Regent Seven Seas' ongoing commitment to delivering the most sought-after, all-inclusive luxury travel experience.

"We are constantly looking for ways to enhance and evolve the Regent Seven Seas experience, from small touches to major renovations," stated Mark Conroy, the line's president. "Whether our guests are strolling the refreshed teak Pool Deck or enjoying a Porterhouse steak in the expanded Prime 7, they will feel the subtle luxury and unparalleled comfort of these enhancements throughout."

The ship's Grand Suites and Master Suites will be completely renovated featuring new built-in cabinetry, custom-crafted furnishings, as well as new headboards and bedding, balcony furniture, plush carpeting and designer accessories. All Navigator Suites will be refreshed with new plush carpeting and wall coverings.

Concierge-level Suites and above will have modern amenities such as illy coffeemakers, along with a range of new perks and privileges, including priority shore excursion and restaurant reservations, and enhanced amenities, as the program is rolled out starting May 30, 2012. All suites will benefit from new teak on all of the ship's balconies for an added dose of luxury and comfort.

Masterfully repurposing La Veranda, the ship's popular breakfast and lunch buffet venue, Sette Mari at La Veranda will welcome dinner guests with an extensive menu of authentic antipasti and Italian specialty dishes. Guests can choose a selection of items from the buffet and also order al momento (cooked to order). Al fresco dining is also available so guests can dine under the stars.

Additional public room enhancements include enlarging Prime 7, the ship's modern American-style steakhouse, to accommodate 60 guests. A new contemporary sculpture at its entrance will set a warm, relaxed tone. The popular Galileo Lounge will also be renewed and redecorated.

As part of the ship's fresh new look, ultra-plush carpeting will be installed throughout the public spaces. Guests who enjoy leisure pursuits will find enhanced and refreshed spaces on Deck 12 including updated saunas at the Canyon Ranch SpaClub(r), while the luxurious teak-covered pool area on Deck 10 will have renewed surfaces.

Seven Seas Navigator emerges from dry-dock on May 30, 2012, with a seven-night voyage from Vancouver to Seward, Alaska.

Costa contemplates future of Costa Allegra, docked in Savona

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Costa Crociere, the Italian unit in Carnival Corp & plc group, is contemplating the future of Costa Allegra that remains docked in Savona in Italy after the vessel arrived there following a fire in the engine room in the Indian Ocean last month. 

“Costa Allegra sailed back from Seychelles, on his own engines, and reached Savona on 25 March. At the moment she is berthed at Savona.   It is too early to make any prevision/comments about the future of the ships or works to be done,” Davide Barbano, spokesman for the Genoa based company told Cruise Business Online.


Cruise Europe elects new Chairman

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

At the Cruise Europe Conference 2012 held at Royal Greenwich, London between the 24-26th April, Captain Michael McCarthy of the Port of Cork, Ireland was unanimously elected Chairman succeeding Dirk Moldenhauer who has served as Chairman for the last four years. Michael brings over 40 years of maritime experience to the position having served as Master at sea, Marine Surveyor, Deputy Harbour Master and is currently Commercial Manager with the Port of Cork Company.

On being elected Chairman, Michael thanked Dirk Moldenhauer for steering Cruise Europe through a modernization process and making it more professional and responsive to the requirements of its members. He also thanked the very committed Council Members for their vote of confidence in nominating him for the position as Chairman and the general membership for electing him.

Michael endorsed the vision of Cruise Europe which he said is "to deliver to the cruise companies a world class cruise destination on behalf of our members." He said he will continue working with the members to promote and develop a thriving and “must see” North and Atlantic European destination.

He added: “We are facing major challenges and it is vital that Cruise Europe members support the cruise lines through greater communications and develop outstanding service while keeping costs tightly under control, particularly as the lines adapt to the ECA [Emissions Control Area] regulations from 2015.” These regulations, which will reduce sulphur limits in fuel to 0.10%, will come into force on January 1st 2015. This will result in vessels operating from the English Channel through the North Sea into the Baltic from 2015 to have increased operating fuel costs of over 50%. McCarthy also outlined the benefits of being a member of Cruise Europe and the commitment to working closely with the ECC and other representative organizations.

The “State of the Industry” address at the conference was presented by David Dingle, Chief Executive Officer Carnival UK, who stressed that the cruise industry was very resilient and adaptable with an exciting future and that safety must always be the first duty. However he stated that it also faced many challenges from the consumer markets under pressure, high inflation, rising fuel costs, increased regulations and the challenging fiscal environment. Grant Laversuch, Operations Director Saga Cruises, stated during his presentation that “Cruise Europe offered great opportunities for cruise line executives to meet so many port representatives together”.

Norwegian Breakaway to feature three-deck sports complex

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News



Norwegian Breakaway will take recreation and outdoor fun to new heights when it launches in April 2013. The ship's top decks will feature the first Aqua Park at sea with five full-size water slides, including twin Free Fall slides, the first ever at sea, and a three-story sports complex that includes the largest ropes course at sea, a nine-hole miniature golf course, basketball court, rock climbing wall and more. The line also announced that the ship will feature Nickelodeon experiences for the whole family and will include a Nickelodeon themed Kids' Aqua Park.

"Norwegian Breakaway's outdoor decks will offer spectacular fun and thrills for the entire family," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian's chief executive officer. "As a sports enthusiast, I am so excited about the extraordinary recreation and the over-the-top ways to play on this incredible new ship. From the amazing Aqua Park to the thrilling ropes course with its 'plank' feature, Norwegian Breakaway has been designed to ensure that our guests will have the time of their lives."

The Aqua Park is Norwegian's biggest yet and features five multi-story water slides. Norwegian Breakaway is the first cruise ship to feature the Free Fall - two side-by-side slides where guests will stand up and have the floor drop from underneath, propelling them into a thrilling loop. Offering another first with a twist are two additional side-by-side twister slides - called The Whip -- that deliver an unforgettable adrenaline rush as they plunge guests on a spiral race to the finish line. For those who prefer a more relaxing ride, there is a family-friendly open-flume body slide. The Aqua Park also features a Kids' Aqua Park, two swimming pools, four hot tubs and the Breezeway Bar & Grill, a semi-open air eatery.

In the Kids' Aqua Park, children can cool off with colorful, whimsical and larger than life Nickelodeon characters from Bikini Bottom, including SpongeBob SquarePants, Patrick, Squidward and more. The tropical area will include a kid-sized pool and slide, along with multiple water features that squirt and shower guests with delight.

The three-story sports complex will be Norwegian's largest and feature the line's first ever ropes course, the largest one at sea. The ropes course with its multi-level structure will challenge guests to more than 40 different elements, including a zip track. For a thrill like no other, guests will confront The Plank, a platform that extends eight feet over the side of the ship. Those who choose to test their courage on The Plank will be rewarded by having their photo taken after conquering this heart-pounding, yet breathtaking, feat. Kids will be challenged as well with a special ropes course just for them. In another first for the line, the nine-hole ocean-themed miniature golf course is located beneath the ropes course, offering family fun with friendly competition. A rock climbing wall, bungee trampoline and spider web, a 24-foot enclosed climbing cage complete with a spiral slide, round out the activities.


Nickelodeon experiences

Norwegian Breakaway will be the fourth Norwegian ship to offer Nickelodeon experiences, including the all-new Pajama Jam Character Breakfast, Dora's Dance Party, where kids will have the chance to sing and dance to their favorite songs with Dora the Explorer and Team Nick; Nickelodeon Character Meet and Greets; Story Time with Dora; and Nickelodeon Arts and Crafts. Nickelodeon also hits the main stage with entertainment everyone can enjoy. In addition, Nickelodeon's Splash Mobs add an element of surprise with spontaneous, impromptu games that are exciting for the whole family with pies, slime and other surprises. Nickelodeon characters and themed activities will also be featured in Splash Academy, the ship's two-story youth area offering merriment for kids ages three to 12.


Adult only areas

Norwegian Breakaway will also feature adult-only outdoor enclaves. Spice H2O, located at the back of the ship on deck 16, is an adult-only escape with contemporary Asian influences offering day-time relaxation and night-time exhilaration. A bevy of sun loungers surround a huge video screen, complete with two hot tubs and a soothing dual waterfall feature, perfect for cooling off from the sun. At night, guests can dance under the stars or chill at the bar with accompanying lounge area, featuring comfortable seating while admiring the ocean views.

On deck 17, guests ages 18 and over will have the opportunity to enjoy another private retreat - Vibe Beach Club - by purchasing an access pass. Complete with ocean views, an oversized hot tub, luxurious chaise loungers and a relaxing water feature, Vibe Beach Club will be the ideal spot for adults to relax and unwind in a serene, comfortable setting while soaking up the sun. A full-service bar, water spritzers and chilled towels complete the exclusive experience.

Casual dining

When hunger strikes, while enjoying all the outdoor activities, guests can venture to the Garden Café, on deck 15, which will offer an abundant assortment of delicious menu items for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This is Norwegian's signature action station casual restaurant where chefs cook fresh, prepared-to-order food as guests watch, featuring seafood, pizza, fruit, soups, pasta, ethnic specialties, burgers and desserts; offering extensive and varied selections.

Currently under construction at Meyer Werft, Norwegian Breakaway will arrive in her year-round homeport of New York City in early May 2013. The ship will begin weekly summer seven-day cruises to Bermuda on Sunday, May 12, 2013. From October 2013 through April 2014, the ship will offer voyages from the heart of Manhattan to the Bahamas & Florida and the Southern Caribbean.