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Fincantieri awarded contract to build the 'Caissons' for Costa Concordia removal

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

As part of the salvage plan to remove the wreck of Costa Concordia, which will be carried out by the Italo-American Titan-Micoperi consortium appointed by Costa Crociere S.p.A., Fincantieri has been awarded a contract worth tens of millions of euros for the building of the watertight boxes, known as caissons, to be used in the operation to refloat the ship.

A total of 30 steel caissons, with combined weight of approximately 11,500 tons, will be built in different Fincantieri shipyards. The Costa Concordia salvage plan entails the use of these caissons to right and refloat the wreck so that it can be removed in one piece.

Once the ship has been stabilized, caissons will be fixed to the upper side of the hull and gradually filled with water as part of the operation to right the ship; righting will be performed using a system of strand jacks - a hydraulic mechanism for pulling cables - fixed to an undersea platform. When the ship is upright, caissons full of water also will be fixed to the other side of the hull. Then the caissons on both sides will be emptied to refloat the wreck; once floated, the wreck will be towed to an Italian port.

Meanwhile, on Giglio Island preliminary work to prepare the wreck for salvage is proceeding on schedule; this includes steel structural jobs needed to cut and remove some external parts of the ship (OVI SAT antenna, forward masthead light, water slide) and facilitate the next stage of the plan. The seabed also is being inspected regularly ahead of the site clean-up operation devised to conserve the marine environment, which will be the main focus once the wreck has been removed. The preliminary stage is expected to finish by the end of July; it will be followed by the ship stabilization phase.

Costa names Soren Krogsgaard new Vice President Technical Operations

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Costa Crociere S.p.A. has announced the appointment of its new Vice President Technical Operations Soren Krogsgaard. Krogsgaard, 48, from Denmark, will be supervising Costa Crociere’s Technical Operations Department and providing coordination of all technical operations for the entire Costa Cruises fleet, with 15 ships currently in service, as well as for the 3 ships operated by the Costa Group’s Spanish brand Iberocruceros. Krogsgaard will be reporting directly to Costa Crociere Sp.A. Executive Vice President Fleet Operations Manfred Urspunger and will be charged with the task of providing further development for the innovation and technical efficiency of the Costa Cruises and Iberocruceros fleets.

The new Vice President Technical Operations comes to Costa with 20 years of professional experience. He started out as a Technical Officer on cruise ships and was subsequently appointed to a series of increasingly important positions in the Technical Departments of several leading international enterprises, including Carnival Corporation & p.l.c. Krogsgaard supervised various projects, notably the construction of Cunard Line’s ship Queen Mary 2, delivered on December 22, 2003. Most recently, he was Project Manager of Carnival Corporate Shipbuilding - the department that coordinates and supervises all new shipbuilding projects of the Carnival Corporation & plc Group - in charge of new buildings for AIDA Cruises at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany.

Broadway's "Rock of Ages" to headline Norwegian Breakaway's entertainment

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News
Norwegian Cruise Line continued its legacy of innovating cruise ship entertainment as it announced that the five-time Tony Award nominated musical ROCK OF AGES will be featured on Norwegian Breakaway, along with two additional Broadway shows: the dance sensation BURN THE FLOOR and CIRQUE DREAMS & DINNER JUNGLE FANTASY. The line also introduced all of the varied and exciting entertainment acts and venues that will debut on the ship, including the famed comedy troupe The Second City and Howl at the Moon at Headliners Comedy Club and New York's own Slam Allen in Fat Cats Jazz & Blues Club.

"As a lifelong New Yorker, it's critically important to me that Norwegian Breakaway becomes New York's ship - the only way to cruise from New York when she arrives next May. Our goal is to bring elements of New York on board so that guests will feel a real connection to the ship as New York's true flagship," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer. "With ROCK OF AGES performing in the Breakaway Theater, along with BURN THE FLOOR, CIRQUE DREAMS & DINNER JUNGLE FANTASY in the Spiegel Tent, and all the other entertainment offerings, we are truly bringing Broadway to the high seas and delivering the high caliber entertainment that New Yorkers have come to expect."

ROCK OF AGES is one of the longest running shows in Broadway history and offers Broadway's best party. The New York Times has called the show, "Absurdly enjoyable! About as guilty as pleasures get!" The classic rock love story of the decade features such feel-good, sing-out-loud songs such as "Every Rose Has Its Thorn," "I Wanna Know What Love Is," "Here I Go Again," "Don't Stop Believin," and more. The Broadway show is now also Hollywood's biggest party as the film of the musical by New Line Cinema was released on June 15, 2012.

In addition to being a bona fide Broadway hit musical, ROCK OF AGES was a runaway success in Toronto and Australia; has a production running in London's West End; and has several successful licensed productions in Asia.

ROCK OF AGES is lead produced on Broadway by Michael Cohl and Jonathan Linden of S2BN Entertainment and Matthew Weaver. Norwegian Breakaway will feature multiple, specially-designed entertainment venues throughout the ship so that guests can choose from a wide variety of entertainment each evening of their cruise with choices to appeal to a broad audience.

BURN THE FLOOR

Offering shows in both the 800-seat Breakaway Theater and more intimate performances in The Manhattan Room, dance sensation BURN THE FLOOR will dazzle guests with their re-invented ballroom dancing.

Beginning with, and maintaining all the wonderful traditions and the social history of the Ballroom dance art form, BURN THE FLOOR is a groundbreaking show, serving as a melting pot of styles, energy and excitement for today's generation of dancers. It is Ballroom "supercharged."

During the course of the show, the dancers perform all the Ballroom and Latin styles, including The Waltz, Cha Cha, Samba, Salsa, Rumba, Foxtrot, Quickstep, Mambo, Tango, Swing, Jive, Lindy Hop, Viennese Waltz, and Paso Doble. The music is eclectic, from Swing and Waltz classics to J-Lo and Credence Clearwater. Two vocalists perform in many languages during the show, including English, Spanish and Portuguese.

The show premiered in London in 1999 and toured the US for the first time in 2000, including performances at Radio City Music Hall. After touring around the world, in a variety of countries, including Japan, Singapore and Australia, BURN THE FLOOR premiered on Broadway in 2009. Originally intended to be a limited run, the show opened to rave reviews in New York and extended its original run into January 2010, performing 193 shows. Already staged in more than 300 cities globally, BURN THE FLOOR is currently in the midst of its World Tour of the Broadway Production with dates in Holland, Australia, South Africa, Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea and Japan, and will return to the US later this year before joining Norwegian Breakaway in 2013.

CIRQUE DREAMS & DINNER – JUNGLE FANTASY IN THE SPIEGEL TENT

Following the huge success of the revolutionary CIRQUE DREAMS & DINNER on Norwegian Epic, famed producer/director Neil Goldberg will present an adaptation of the Broadway show CIRQUE DREAMS JUNGLE FANTASY featuring the best of both critically acclaimed productions. The new show will be entitled CIRQUE DREAMS & DINNER - JUNGLE FANTASY and will perform in the ship's intimate Spiegel Tent.

Proclaimed "the grandest circus spectacle east of Vegas" by New York Magazine, CIRQUE DREAMS JUNGLE FANTASY debuted at the Broadway Theatre in 2008 and is, to date, the first and only show of its kind to ever perform on Broadway. The show received an American Theatre Wing, Best Costume Design nomination and has played to over 3.5 million people in more than 200 cities throughout the United States, as well as thousands of U.S. military troops and their families throughout 10 countries.

CIRQUE DREAMS & DINNER - JUNGLE FANTASY will feature an international cast of Cirque Dreamers performing amazing feats while bringing to life a soaring Ballet of Butterflies, Flipping Monkeys, Hopping Frogs, Spine-bending Lizards and Fanciful Birds in an exotic, awe-inspiring adventure.

FAT CATS JAZZ & BLUES CLUB FEATURING SLAM ALLEN

Following his extremely popular performance as the house band in the Jazz & Blues Club on Norwegian Epic, New York's own Slam Allen will take the stage in Fat Cats Jazz & Blues Club on Norwegian Breakaway. Fat Cats will feature nightly live blues and jazz performances by Allen and other world-class talent. The urban setting creates a hipster vibe complete with full bar and comfortable leather sofas and chairs. Fat Cats will also feature outdoor seating on The Waterfront, a Norwegian Breakaway exclusive, where guests can enjoy a drink and the live music while feeling the warm ocean breeze.

For more than 20 years, Slam Allen has been entertaining audiences around the world with his unique blend of soul and blues. For the past eight years, he has played an important role, as the lead singer and guitarist, in the legendary James Cotton Band. Music is in Allen's blood -- he got his start from his father and uncles who were known as the Allen Brothers Band. On Norwegian Breakaway, Allen will play a wide range of songs from B.B. King and Otis Redding to his own original music in the intimate Fat Cats Jazz & Blues Club.

THE SECOND CITY AND HOWL AT THE MOON IN HEADLINERS

Headliners Comedy Club debuts on Norwegian Breakaway with the hilarious improvisational comedy of The Second City, as Norwegian continues its exclusive partnership with the famed troupe. For more than 50 years, The Second City has honed the skills of comedic legends such as Bill Murray, Chris Farley, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Gilda Radner, John Belushi, Tina Fey, Steve Carell and Jason Sudeikis. The ensemble aboard Norwegian Breakaway will perform a special customized comedy revue of satirical skits, hilarious songs and inventive improvisation. The venue's design centers on a show lounge format with a small raised stage, concrete floors and brick walls with a full bar.

The world's greatest rock n' roll dueling piano show, Howl at the Moon, which received rave reviews on Norwegian Epic, will also be featured in Headliners on board Norwegian Breakaway. This total entertainment experience features talented piano players who not only entertain the guests; they make the guests part of the show. The fun is centered around two baby grand pianos and a full out rock show with Howl's entertainers playing the best music from 70's rock to hip-hop for four hours per show. Howl at the Moon, with multiple locations across the United States, encourages people to channel their inner rock star, so guests should get ready to clap, sing, dance and howl.

The 4,000 passenger 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.

Norwegian Breakaway will be the largest ship ever to home port in New York City and will embark on weekly cruises from the Manhattan Cruise Terminal. The ship calls will bring an estimated 140,000 additional embarking passengers into New York City over two years, resulting in an estimated $35 million in additional direct spending in the City.

To date, the company has revealed the ship's groundbreaking design, including The Waterfront and 678 Ocean Place, a wide range of indoor and outdoor venues on three dynamic decks that will create a whole new complex at sea that enhances guests' connection with the ocean. The top decks of Norwegian Breakaway 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 ship will also feature a rich mix of stateroom options including The Haven by Norwegian, comprised of 42 Suites at the top of the ship and 18 additional Suites located throughout the ship; the innovative Studios, designed and priced for solo travelers; the re-introduction of Oceanview staterooms, Balcony and Mini-Suites; along with Spa Balcony, Mini-Suites and Suites in close proximity to the spa.

Celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian to debut first at-sea dining concept on Norwegian Breakaway

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Norwegian Cruise Line has engaged celebrity chef and Food Network star Geoffrey Zakarian to create and oversee a seafood concept to open May 2013 on the line's newest ship, Norwegian Breakaway.

The restaurant, Ocean Blue by Geoffrey Zakarian, is envisioned as a luxury seafood dining experience, utilizing all of the ingredients and techniques that Zakarian would employ in a land-based establishment. In addition to the dining room that will focus on elegant modern presentations, Zakarian will have The Raw Bar, an adjacent bar highlighting crustaceans and wines by the glass; and Ocean Blue on The Waterfront, a more casual dining option serving fun and easy fare. With an eye for detail, Zakarian will orchestrate not only the menus, but every aspect of his dining areas, from the uniforms to the glassware. On select sailings, Zakarian will also host meet-and-greets with Norwegian Breakaway guests, along with in-person cooking demonstrations and intimate cooking experiences for smaller groups.

"It is an unbelievably exciting prospect to create a concept for such a groundbreaking ship. I am nostalgic at heart, so the thought of making a modern experience that harkens to the age of steamship travel is just terrific," said Geoffrey Zakarian. "I am planning, preparing and recruiting for this restaurant the same as if I were opening on land, and truly, I have been humbled and inspired by Norwegian's vision to elevate hospitality on the seas."

Zakarian's taste, style and passion for fine cuisine have defined his career, which has spanned more than 25 years. An accomplished chef who has presided over some of the country's top kitchens, he currently has two popular restaurants in New York City - The Lambs Club and The National; one in Atlantic City - The Water Club at Borgata; and a highly acclaimed cookbook "Geoffrey Zakarian's Town/Country: 150 Recipes for Life Around the Table." Zakarian emerged victorious in the recent fourth season of Food Network's The Next Iron Chef, Super Chefs. He appears regularly on Iron Chef America, demonstrating a razor-sharp knowledge of culinary techniques in this fast-paced cooking competition. When he's not battling in the kitchen stadium, Zakarian stays busy filming CHOPPED, where he is featured as a recurring judge, and highlights his favorite dishes on The Best Thing I Ever Ate.

"Geoffrey Zakarian is a renowned and critically acclaimed chef who has deep roots in New York City having begun his career at Le Cirque and the legendary 21 Club," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer. "Working with Geoffrey is like hitting the culinary lottery. In this case, not only do we win big, but so do our guests on Norwegian Breakaway who will get to experience his world-class cuisine in three dining outlets on the ship. We couldn't be more excited to have Geoffrey on board with us and add yet another New York element to Norwegian Breakaway."

Currently under construction at Meyer Werft in Germany, 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.

Norwegian Breakaway will be the largest ship ever to home port in New York City and will embark on weekly cruises from the Manhattan Cruise Terminal. The ship calls will bring an estimated 140,000 additional embarking passengers into New York City over two years, resulting in an estimated $35 million in additional direct spending in the City.

Holland America Line adds three new segments to 2012 Grand Asia and Australia voyage

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Holland America Line has added three new segments to ms Amsterdam's 75-day Grand Asia & Australia Voyage in fall 2012. Ranging from 20 to 30 days, the new segments set sail in October and November and span from China to California.

The full voyage departs Seattle, Wash., Sept. 21 and explores the wonders of Asia, Western Australia and the South Pacific on a 75-day cruise. The new segments still offer comprehensive and intriguing voyages, just shorter. Guests on any of these new segments will enjoy overnight calls, late departures and plenty of time to discover this magical part of the world.

"These segments are a great option for travelers who want an exotic cruise but don't have the time to take the full voyage," said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. "We already have several segments to choose from on this Grand Voyage, but the three new additions allow us to cater to our travelers with endless possibilities in terms of which countries they want to see in a shorter period of time."

The first new segment is a 30-day voyage from Xingang (Beijing), China, to Sydney, Australia, departing Oct. 12, 2012. Guests begin their voyage with an overnight call in Beijing where they can visit historic sites such as Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, Great Wall and National Stadium/"Bird's Nest" from the 2008 Olympics. Three additional overnights in Shanghai, Hong Kong, China, and Singapore, provide guests with an in-depth experience and allow for time to take a tour, visit the sites, go shopping and indulge in local cuisine.

Additional highlights on this segment include calls in Vietnam, three ports in Indonesia -including Semarang with the impressive Borobudur Temple and Komodo Island, home to the infamous Komodo dragon - a call in Papua New Guinea and three calls in Australia.

Fares for the 30-day segment from Xingang (Beijing) to Sydney begin at $4,499 per person, double occupancy.
The new 20-day segment from Hong Kong to Brisbane, Australia, embarks Oct. 20 and departs Oct. 21 following an overnight alongside in the bustling Chinese city. This segment also calls in Vietnam, Semarang and Komodo, Indonesia, with an overnight in Singapore. Following calls in Darwin, Australia, and Papua New Guinea, the voyage concludes in Brisbane.

Fares for the 20-day segment from Hong Kong to Brisbane begin at $2,999 per person, double occupancy.

Guests looking to combine exciting port calls throughout Eastern Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific with leisurely days at sea can embark on the new 27-day segment sailing from Brisbane to San Diego on Nov. 9, 2012. In addition to Eden, Australia, guests will have an overnight call in Sydney where they can visit the famed Opera House, climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge or go in search of a cuddly koala.

New Zealand is the ship's next destination, with calls in Waitangi (Bay of Islands) and Auckland, the City of Sails. Amsterdam continues to sail across the Pacific Ocean with calls in Lautoka, Fiji; Apia, Samoa Island, and three ports in the Hawaiian Islands before arriving in San Diego. Guests will achieve two cruising milestones while on this segment: crossing the international dateline and crossing the equator.

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