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Celebrity Cruises to launch Modern Luxury marketing platform, sale on flight prices in UK

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

The New Year is driving a new look for Celebrity Cruises as the cruise line celebrates a new marketing platform and its first ever sale on flight prices to make cruises more affordable than ever, the company said in a statement. New initiatives targeting agents are also on the pipeline.

‘Modern Luxury’, the new marketing platform for the brand, will be featured in all new point of sale materials for agents highlighting the strong turn-of-year offer from Celebrity Cruises. Agents can take advantage of selling the first ever flight promotion from the cruise line as part of the new ‘Modern Luxury’ activity including subsidised European flights from £49 per person and complimentary balcony upgrades when customers book an ocean view stateroom on selected sailings in 2012. 

Cruises departing the UK onboard the hugely popular Celebrity Eclipse, and the new wine themed cruises onboard Celebrity Constellation also based from Southampton for the first time in September and October 2012, will feature accommodation upgrades and complimentary car parking or coach transfers.

Modern Luxury is a new marketing platform to showcase Celebrity Cruises’ contemporary attributes and differentiate it from traditional cruising. The concept sums up the experiences that Celebrity Cruises’ target market already aligns themselves to, and looks for in their holiday. Its key principles are built around matching and exceeding the aspirations of guests including via an innovative and young fleet, distinctive and exquisitely presented cuisine, personalised service and the range of activities and experiences available on board.  Many of the fleet’s quirky features are in response to modern life, such as providing iPad menus in Qsine. Celebrity Cruises has launched a new training module dedicated to the ‘Modern Luxury’ platform, providing agents with the tools to understand and sell the concept to clients. 

Michael English, head of sales, Celebrity Cruises, explains: “The Celebrity Cruises fleet is undergoing a huge revamp to add popular features found onboard Solstice Class ships to many of our other ships. This investment delivers new restaurants, bars and accommodation that all complete what we term as a ‘Modern Luxury’ holiday experience. We hope that the strong offers for the peak turn-of-year period help to get agents behind selling what is exciting and different about Celebrity Cruises. The number of cruises from the UK increases in 2012 and we remain commitment to training and incentivising agents to ensure they are best placed to sell.”

To support the turn of year offer and ‘Modern Luxury’ marketing platform, Celebrity Cruises is also running an agent incentive including a goody bag prize draw with the chance to win an iPod nano, itunes voucher, champagne and chocolates. Agents simply need to sell any Celebrity Cruises 2012 itinerary and complete the new Modern Luxury training module between 12 December 2011 and 31 January 2012 to be entered into the daily goody bag prize draw. Plus, once a week there will also be the chance to win an iPad 2. The two agents who make the most entries to the prize draw during the incentive period, and therefore make the most sales, will also win a 14 night European cruise for two people from Celebrity Cruises.

Offers available for agents to sell from 12 December 2011 to 31 January 2012 include:


·         12-night Mediterranean Venice cruise departing Barcelona onboard Celebrity Silhouette in May 2012 with a fly cruise starting from starting from £1,499 per person

·         Upgrade to balcony accommodation for the same price as an oceanview stateroom on an eight-night Norwegian Fjords cruise onboard Celebrity Eclipse from Southampton in May 2012. Prices, including a free balcony upgrade, start from £1,199 per person

·         Immersive wine cruise during the Autumn harvest directly from the UK .  A 12 night cruise from Southampton on board Celebrity Constellation departing 7 September starts from £1,099, including a free balcony upgrade and complimentary car parking or coach transfers to Southampton .


As part of the new ‘Modern Luxury’ marketing platform, agents are also receiving a fully updated sales and marketing support pack detailing new logos, images, brand guidelines and template marketing material to use with their own databases. Plus, simple selling guides include details on the offers and applicable sailings.


Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines adds Harwich to turnaround port portfolio

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, which operate four medium sized cruise liners on the British market, says it  will start using Harwich International Port in 2013, with 804-guest Black Watch making four turnaround visits to the Essex port in May and June 2013. The company already operates cruises from Southampton, Portsmouth, Dover, Newcastle, Rosyth and Greenock. It recently decided to pull out from Liverpool.


Matt Grimes, Director of Planning for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said“Harwich International Port has long been on Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ radar as a turnaround port following a series of successful transit calls in recent years. Its direct rail connections from London – whereby guests alight right next to the Cruise Terminal – make this an extremely easy port to access. The addition of this new regional departure port means that Fred. Olsen is able to operate a vessel within only 100 miles of over 90% of the UK population, which will enhance further our reputation as the UK’s local cruise line with a global choice of itineraries.” 

Black Watch will be offering three cruises from Harwich in May 2013 – to the Baltic, Norway and Lapland, through the Gulf of Bothnia – and a mini-cruise in June 2013. The cruises will range in length from 3 to 14 nights.

Paul Davey, Head of Corporate Affairs at Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited, owners of Harwich International Port, said: “We are delighted that Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has decided to commence turnaround calls at Harwich International Port after such successful visits by Black Watch in 2010, and Balmoral in 2011.

“Harwich International Port has developed over a number of years into one of the UK’s leading cruise ports, and we look forward to working with Fred. Olsen to offer its guests the highest quality facilities and customer service, which we are sure will see the Port rapidly gain popularity with them.”

Black Watch is no stranger to Harwich, and welcomed a delegation of local VIPs on board when she made her inaugural call at the Port in August 2010, as part of an ‘Around UK’ cruise. Amongst the local dignitaries visiting Black Watch were the Mayor of Harwich and regional trade and tourism bodies, including the Haven Gateway Partnership. 






Adonia to become third year-round UK based P&O Cruises’ ship

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

P&O Cruises say that that from winter 2012 /13 Adonia will Oriana and Oceana to sail year round from Southampton. The three ships will sail on cruises of two to 35 nights duration; Adonia, which was introduced this year, currently operates fly cruises in the Mediterranean and is scheduled to sail around South America in the coming winter.

The news comes after Royal Caribbean International said earlier this autumn that it would reposition Independence of the Seas from Southampton to Florida for the 2012/13 winter season. The ship currently operates year-round from Southampton. Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines have also said that they will discontinue their fly cruise winter programme in the Caribbean in 2012/13 and base Braemar that has operated the programme in the UK instead. Royal Caribbean's sister company Celebrity Cruises has also announced a series of cruises, from September to December 2012, on Celebrity Constellation from Southampton, in addition to the April to October programme of Celebrity Eclipse. 

“To cement its reputation as leader of ex-UK cruising, P&O Cruises can confirm that from winter 2012, Oriana, Adonia and Oceana will sail year round from Southampton. The three ships will sail on cruises of two to 35 nights duration,” P&O Cruises said in a statement.

“Reflecting an increased demand in cruise holidays that start in and return to the UK, P&O Cruises can confirm it has added seven new cruise itineraries in 2012, all departing from and returning to Southampton. The cruises range from a three night cruise break on Ventura to a 28 night Caribbean cruise on Adonia. Also included are itineraries to the Canary Islands, Western Mediterranean and Atlantic Coast,” the company said.

The seven new cruises which are included in the new Winter 2012/2013 brochure are part of the P&O Cruises 175th Anniversary Sale, which offers up to 10% discount on all 249 cruises in the Summer 2012 and Winter 2012/13 brochures on bookings made between December 1, 2011, and February 29, 2012. 

Research conducted by the Passenger Shipping Association (PSA) found that in 2010, ex-UK cruises out-performed the UK cruise market growth overall, growing by 10% and accounted for 40% of the cruises taken by British passengers. A recent survey conducted by P&O Cruises on its Facebook page supports these findings with 40% of respondents stating they preferred cruising from Southampton due to the fact the ‘holiday starts as soon as you arrive’. A further 20% favoured cruising from Southampton because there are no baggage restrictions, 12% selected ‘ease of embarkation’ as their favourite thing about cruising from Southampton, while 6% state ‘no flying’ as a preference.

The new, ex-UK cruises are:



N217N, three night cruise break, July 20 - 23, 2012

Southampton, Zeebrugge, St Peter Port, Southampton

Prices from £349 per person


N217P, four night cruise break, July 23 – 27, 2012

Southampton, Zeebrugge, Le Havre, St Peter Port, Southampton

Prices from £449 per person




D215N, 15 night Western Mediterranean cruise, October 7 - 22, 2012

Southampton, Alicante, Barcelona, Sete, Livorno, Alghero, Port Mahan, Gibraltar, La Coruna, Southampton

Prices from £1,649 per person


D216N, 13 night Canary Island cruise, October 22 – November 4, 2012

Southampton, Madeira, La Palma, Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Tangiers, Lisbon, Southampton

Prices from £1,349 per person


D217N, 28 night Caribbean cruise, November 4 - December 9, 2012

Southampton, Madeira, Virgin Gorda, St Maarten, Antigua, Martinique, Barbados, Grenada, Bonaire, Aruba, St Vincent, St Lucia, St Kitts, Tortola, Ponta Delgada, Southampton

Prices from £2,599 per person


D218N, 14 night Atlantic coast cruise, December 9 - 23, 2012

Southampton, Madeira, La Gomera, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Casablanca, Cadiz, Lisbon, Southampton

Prices from £1,329 per person




X301N, 24 night Caribbean cruise, January 6 - 30, 2012

Southampton, Ponta, Delgada, St Maarten, Antigua, St Lucia, Barbados, St Kitts, Horta, Southampton

Prices from £1,999 per person


All prices are per person and based on two adults sharing on a full board basis including all main meals and entertainment.


Carnival UK chief says cuts of agents’ commissions have hardened prices, reformed “suicidal” business models

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News
Cuts of commissions  paid to travel agents have helped to hardenprices and helped some agents to reform "suicidal" business models, saysDavid Dingle, Chief Executive Officer of Carnival UK, according to a mediareport.

Speaking at the annual Cruise Awardsonboard Cunard Lines Queen Mary 2 y, David Dingle, chief executive of CarnivalUK, admitted that 2011 “had not been for the faint hearted,” Travel Weekly.comreports on its website. The changes Carnival UK have initiated thisyear have included reducing commission from a tiered structure to a 5% flatrate and switching off Amadeus Cruise GDS distribution. However, Dingle was stated as saying the changesbrought in by Carnival UK this year had resulted in a hardening of prices andhe expected this to continue in 2012 when UK capacity was “stable”.

The company that operates Carnival Corporation& plc brands in the UK from its headquarters in Southampton has also movedto demand agents’ customers pay it direct as in the US, to reduce its risk inallowing agents to retain pipeline monies and stop agents bidding on its brandnames on paid search. Dingle told the audience of travel agentsthat Carnival had worked closely with some agents to avoid business models thatwere “tantamount to commercial suicide” favouring volume driven by discountsover profitability.

In a clear reference to Gill’s CruiseCentre which collapsed in June, he said Carnival was too late to help in onecase, but that they had been able to reassure agents that their price was “asgood as any other on the high street”. Indicating Carnival UK was prepared toadapt its approach, he added: “We still do not underestimate the scale of thechange and we are listening and giving advice and support to those agents whoare having to retune their business models.”

Justifying the commission cuts he said:“When an economy gets tough, consumers need price transparency more than ever.But it was hard for us to do this when effectively the last 10% of our pricingwas out of our hands. Now we have that control and higher pricing is comingthrough to the benefit of all of us.” For many agents the decision to getconsumers paying direct was more damaging than the commission cut, but Dinglesaid Carnival UK understood many agents relied on cash flow to run theirbusinesses.

But he said the cruise operator had to protectitself against an unknown level of risk in extending credit to agents. “Most travel agents are private companiesand so do not publicise their accounts. Because it’s hard for us to assess it’sbest for us to minimise the risk. “We need to work together to make sure allour objectives are met in a way that suits everyone. I recognise that 2011 hasbeen a tough year but I am sure that the benefits will start to come through in2012.

“The good news is that capacity across theUK cruise industry is stable, so now is the time to see growing demand acrossfixed capacity to maintain price rather than have more ships and risk downwardprice pressure. This to me is where we are going to getgrowth in 2012 – better pricing. Our booking curve has moved later but we feelconfident that the pricing will hole up even among those later bookers.”

Dingle said the operator’s early year'wave' campaign was designed to offer a better return on investment for theline and its agent partners. “I’m sensing we are reaching the bottom ofthe consumer confidence trough therefore we see perhaps the earliest signs of alift. If that’s true that’s perfect time for the wave,” the Travel Weeklyreport said.

Costa Cruises cuts emissions, increases recycling of rubbish

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Costa Cruises, Europe’s number one cruise company, says it has announced impressive environmental and community-focused results in the sixth edition of its Sustainability Report.

Costa Cruises has also launched the Sustainable Cruise project, the world’s first shipboard experimental project for the recovery of organic waste, which is funded by the European Union and aims to prove the viability of recycling food waste, paper and packaging on board ships.

Key achievements from the latest report include a year on year increase of 26% on rubbish recycled in ports, a 34% reduction over three years in emissions of ozone-depleting substances, an 11% reduction over three years in CO2 emissions and the extension of community-focused projects in Brazil.

The latest results come as further proof that Costa Cruises operates not merely in accordance with the established environmental compliance laws, but continuously strives to achieve wider objectives. Through a dedicated management and control system that goes beyond the scope of mandatory requirements laid down by local, national and international regulations, Costa Cruises aims to deliver pre-emptive solutions for improving environmental standards. 

The main results obtained in 2010 were as follows:

·         An increase of 26% year on year in the proportion of rubbish recycled in port: One hundred per cent of rubbish (solid waste including paper, plastic, glass and metal) on board Costa ships is sorted for recycling and landed in different containers, so that the rubbish can be processed accordingly by those ports where suitable onshore facilities are available. In 2010, Costa Cruises entered into new agreements to this effect, bringing about a significant increase in onshore recycling.

·         Costa Cruises’ commitment to the recovery and recycling of waste reinforced with a global first experimental project: Costa Cruises is the Project Manager of the Sustainable Cruise EU project, which was launched in September 2011. For the first time, a ship, Costa Pacifica, will aim to demonstrate the viability of treating organic food waste so that it can be used as compost or fuel. The activities on board will also include the recycling of packaging and paper. The Sustainable Cruise project, which will end in June 2014, is funded by the “LIFE” Programme, the EU’s funding instrument for innovative or trial environmental projects.

·         A reduction of approximately 11% in fuel consumption and consequently in CO2 emissions (2007-2010): This reduction was achieved thanks to the implementation of various energy-saving measures on board, such as the use of ecological silicone-based coatings for the ship’s hull which enhances hydrodynamic performance and reduces the growth of microorganisms on the hull surface without any toxic effects. Other measures include the use of low power consumption LED light bulbs, installation of an automatic lighting control system designed to adjust the external lighting in accordance with the current sunlight intensity, energy-efficient HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) technology, optimising output with automated temperature control in the staterooms and public spaces based on effective need and the use of inverters to optimise the performance of fans and blowers in the engine room.

Costa Cruises’ efforts in this area achieved recognition on 25 November this year, when the Company received the ABB Energy Efficiency Award 2011. ABB is a global leader in power and automation technologies that improve performance while lowering environmental impact.

·         A reduction of 34.2% in the production of ozone-depleting substances from refrigerating and air conditioning systems (2007-2010): Steps taken on board included the continuous maintenance and monitoring of systems and the introduction of HFCs (hydro fluorocarbons) as substitutes for HCFC (hydro chlorofluorocarbon) refrigerants.

·         Costa Cruises became the first cruise line to take part in REPCET: In July 2010, Costa Cruises, through its partnership with WWF Italia, became the first and only cruise line in the world to take part in the pilot REPCET project, a reporting system aimed at reducing collisions between ships and whales while tracking their movements. Costa Cruises has been an official partner of WWF Italia for the protection of the sea since July 2005. In 2009, the partnership was extended with the objective of setting up a network of new marine protected areas in the Mediterranean. Testimony to Costa Cruises’ engagement in this area is its policy banning overboard discharge of bilge water (even when suitably treated) within the Whale Sanctuary, an area of the Ligurian Sea covering approximately 100,000km² with a particularly high concentration of Mediterranean marine mammals. Meanwhile, since 2005, Costa Cruises has been collaborating with the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission to find a new way of monitoring climate change in the Mediterranean, the company said.








·         Environmentally friendly cleaning products introduced: The ships in the Costa fleet use products supplied by Ecolab, the global leader in cleaning, sanitising and food safety products and services, in order to guarantee the best results with the lowest possible environmental impact.


The report also describes initiatives undertaken in the field of social responsibility. In 2009, Costa Cruises began a series of on-going waste recycling programmes on board its liners calling in Brazil, with the aim of financing local social development and environmental sustainability projects. In particular, the activities launched in Salvador de Bahia and Santos involve the recycling of certain types of waste produced on the ships (used cooking oil, glass, aluminium and, since 2010, PET plastic in Salvador De Bahia). The earnings from the waste recycled are used to fund community support programmes such as the renovation of the kitchen and canteen in the Cantinho Alegre School in Santos, which caters for about 160 pupils.