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SeaDream Yacht Club celebrates 10 years of yachting

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Since 2001, SeaDream has been providing unique, intimate yachting holidays with an emphasis on highly personalized service. When the company was founded they brought a refreshing change to the world of ultra-luxury holidays at sea - with the intention of being completely different from any and every other cruise product. "We started out 10 years ago right after the September 11th attack. Travel came to a halt but our team's energy and dedication wouldn't be deterred," said Bob Lepisto, President. "We are all very proud of our accomplishment and grateful to our guests, devoted employees and travel agent partners who collectively drive our success."

SeaDream Yacht Club was founded in 2001 by Norwegian entrepreneur, Atle Brynestad who is the company's Owner and Chairman. Atle Brynestad founded Seabourn Cruise Line in 1987 and was its Chairman for ten years as well as CEO during the initial years. In 1999 two Cunard ships named Sea Goddess I and Sea Goddess II were transferred into the Seabourn Cruise Line fleet and renamed Seabourn Goddess I and Seabourn Goddess II. It was in 2001 that Atle Brynestad purchased these twin vessels from Carnival (Seabourn Cruise Line's parent company). Brynestad then named the two twins, SeaDream I & SeaDream II and put them through an extensive dry dock and refit. Since then, SeaDream has received numerous awards, honors and accolades. The Berlitz Ocean Cruising and Cruise Ships Guide has recognized SeaDream annually and the 2011 Berlitz Guide rated the 112-guest mega yachts, SeaDream I & II as the top two Boutique Ships (50-200 passengers) in the world.

"During September we'll be celebrating onboard with 10th anniversary themed parties and decadent dessert extravaganzas" said Erling Frydenberg, SeaDream's Vice President of Hotel Operations. "We also have a few other surprises in store for our guests, all in the spirit of our 10th anniversary."

Added Bob Lepisto, President, "During our 10-years, our focus on exceptional service and cuisine has never wavered. Our past is the strongest criterion people have to judge our future." Continued Lepisto, "By understanding and responding to our guest's needs, we have been able to exceed their expectations. Our success, to a great extent, has been driven by word of mouth marketing by highly satisfied guests sharing their yachting experience with friends, relatives and their travel agents. I very much look forward to the next 10 years."

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines appoints new Sales and Marketing Director

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has appointed Nathan Philpot to the role of Sales and Marketing Director. Nathan will succeed Fred. Olsen’s long-standing and popular Sales and Marketing Director, Nigel Lingard, who retires at the end of November 2011.

Nathan brings a wealth of relevant travel experience to the role. His previous positions include Managing Director of Elegant Resorts, Head of Marketing for long haul specialists, Kuoni, and, most recently, Group Sales & Marketing Director of Page & Moy. Nathan will join Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines with effect from 3rd October 2011, allowing a two-month handover period.

Mike Rodwell, Managing Director of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “We are delighted to have found such a worthy candidate to fill this crucial role, which has been held for so long, and with such expertise and panache, by Nigel Lingard. Nathan’s extensive experience in senior sales and marketing roles, within prestigious areas of the travel industry, means he is ideally qualified to take on this key position. This is a time of growth, but also of great challenges for the cruise industry, and I am confident that Nathan will make a significant contribution to the development of our company.”

Nathan Philpot said, “I am delighted to be joining the fastest growing sector of the travel industry, working with a family-managed company that has such a strong nautical heritage and an incredibly trade-friendly reputation. I hope to have as much success with this position as I have had in my previous roles and that, working closely with our agent partners, we will continue to attract thousands of new customers to Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.

Aged 40, Nathan recently married and lives close to Fred. Olsen’s Ipswich offices at East Bergholt in Suffolk, where he also went to school. A keen cricketer and footballer who still plays every weekend, he is also a supporter of Ipswich Town FC. His career has taken him to all parts of the UK and beyond, initially with P&O and later Eurotunnel. He spent four years with Kuoni heading up its Sales & Marketing department, during which time he created many trade-friendly initiatives and oversaw the company’s two most profitable years in 2002 and 2003.

He also worked on the agency side for four years as a director of WEXAS in Knightsbridge (where he was selling FOCL) and set up a new online cruise business – White Star Cruises, recently renamed the Luxury Cruise Company. He was Managing Director of Elegant Resorts, the UK's leading luxury tour operator, where he oversaw the transition from an independently owned company to one owned by Thomas Cook.

Nathan's most recent role was as company board director at the Page & Moy Travel Group, where he successfully repositioned and relaunched the Page & Moy brand, as well as making Travelsphere available to the trade and saw trade sales increase by well over 100%.

Swan Hellenic says all Minerva cruises from Portsmouth's new terminal sailed full

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

As their flagship vessel Minerva left Portsmouth for her last sailing of her 2011 ‘no fly’ season, heading south to the Mediterranean on her A Spanish Summer cruise,  discovery cruise line, Swan Hellenic has announced a very successful first season sailing out of their new home port of Portsmouth, the company said in a statement.

"Their ‘no fly’ programme of cruises from Portsmouth, Coast of a Kingdom, Empires of the Baltic, Call of the Arctic Tern and The Norwegian Fjords sailed with every cabin sold which demonstrated that the decision to sail from Portsmouth in 2011 had been well received by their loyal passenger following, as well as those passengers cruising with the company for the first time. Passengers appreciated the ease of access to Portsmouth by road, rail and air and the facilities offered by the new International Cruise Terminal.  Swan Hellenic’s ‘no fly’ cruises for summer 2012 from Portsmouth are already selling very well, as are the summer 2012 ‘fly cruise’ itineraries, including Black Sea Odyssey and Hellenic Highlights," Swan Hellenic said.

Colin Stone, Managing Director Swan Hellenic & Hebridean Island Cruises added: “We have been delighted with the high level of enquiries and bookings for ex Portsmouth cruises this summer.  We introduced a number of new itineraries in recognition of the Portsmouth launch and have been pleased with the positive reaction of the travel trade, with whom we have an excellent and close working relationship. Portsmouth has proved the ideal demographic location for our discovery cruise passengers, not only for its quick and ideal transport links but also for the new, highly efficient, passenger cruise terminal facility which the local authorities provided as a multi-million pound investment in the city.”



Wine expert Jill Goolden to sail on Fred. Olsen's 3 October Iberia cruise

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is delighted to announce that wine expert Jilly Goolden will be joining a Balmoral cruise to Iberia in 2012, hosting a theme of ‘Wines of Iberia’  as part of its cruise enhancement programme, Vistas. The 10-night cruise, L1217, departs from Southampton on 3rd October 2012, and visits Lisbon and Portimao (both Portugal), then Casablanca (Morocco), Cadiz, and La Coruna (both Spain), before returning to Southampton. 

Jilly Goolden will host wine tastings and give talks during the cruise, specialising in wines from the region, so the theme dovetails perfectly with the very attractive cruise itinerary. Jilly Goolden is best known for presenting television’s top-rated food and drink series, ‘Food and Drink’, for two decades, appearing alongside the late Michael Barry, OBE, Chris Kelly and fellow ‘oenophile’, Oz Clarke. She became nationally famous as the most widely-known wine expert in Britain, and is now a regular on ‘Britain’s Best Dish’.

She has also presented ‘The Great Antiques Hunt’ and ‘Going, Going, Gone’, for the BBC, as well as BBC1’s ‘Holiday’ and ‘Holiday: You Call the Shots’ programmes. Her versatility was apparent when she spent time in the jungle for ITV’s ratings-blockbuster ‘I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!’. Last year, she and her husband in Channel 4’s ‘Celebrity Wife Swap’, and she has also starred in a mini-drama written especially for her and directed by Pauline Quirke.

Prices for this cruise, featuring Jilly Goolden, start from £1,049 per person, based on two adults, sharing an inside, twin cabin, Grade ‘I’. The price includes all meals and entertainment on board, and port taxes. There is no charge for attending Jilly’s talks, as part of the Vistas programme, but there may be a small charge for wines used in tastings.







RCCL's two major shareholders terminate mutual agreement

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCCL), the world’s second largest cruise shipping group, says two of its major shareholders, A Wilhelmsen AS and Cruise Associates, have agreed to terminate their Shareholders’ Agreement.

“Under the agreement, the two shareholders agreed to vote their shares for the election as directors of four nominees of each shareholder. With the termination of the Shareholders' Agreement, the shareholders are no longer obliged to vote their shares in this manner. In addition, our Articles of Incorporation require that, while the Shareholders' Agreement was in effect, the approval of at least one director affiliated with each of the two shareholders was required for certain corporate actions. With the termination of the Shareholders' Agreement, this is no longer a requirement. In addition, the Company noted that these changes are consistent with current trends in best practice for good corporate governance,” RCCL said in a statement.

“All existing directors (including those nominated by Cruise Associates and A Wilhelmsen AS) are expected to continue to serve as directors in accordance with the Company's Articles and By-Laws, and no change in our Board membership or management is contemplated. Our Directors, as with all public companies, will continue to be elected by a vote of our shareholders except that vacancies are filled by the Board for their unexpired terms. Our Directors are elected for staggered three year terms. The only change is that under the Shareholders' Agreement the two shareholders previously agreed to vote for each other's nominees. Now, they are free to vote as they wish,” the company said.

Cruise Associates is a partnership beneficially owned indirectly by various trusts. “It is our understanding that with the termination of the Shareholders' Agreement, Cruise Associates plans to distribute its RCCL shares to its partners which, in turn, may further transfer shares to their respective owners.” RCCL said it understands that this is simply a private matter between the parties and not indication that the shareholdres take a negative view on the outlook for cruise industry

“While a majority of the Board was previously nominated by the two shareholders, once elected, their duty as directors has always required them to represent the interests of all shareholders. That duty remains unchanged and the termination announced today is not expected to affect the Company's strategic direction,” RCCL pointed out.