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Oceania unveils 2012-13 itineraries with 15 new ports

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Oceania Cruises, which is part of Prestige Cruise Holdings in Florida, says it has launched its 2012-13 winter collection of worldwide cruises from September 2012 to May 2013 on board its four mid-sized luxury cruise ships, the 1250 guest new cruise ship `Marina’, her sister ship `Riviera’ (launching April 2012), and the two 650 guest ships `Regatta’ and `Nautica’. The new collection features 22 new itineraries, 15 new ports of call and new Grand Voyages from 23 – 71 days as the four ships cruise in Asia, South America , Canada & New England, the Caribbean, Australia , New Zealand and the South Pacific.

For the first time the magnificent new ship Riviera will make inaugural journeys to the idyllic Caribbean islands for a winter season of Caribbean and Panama Canal cruises, starting with `Idyllic Isles’ (departing 29th November 2012, from £931pp). The ships 14 night `Island Holiday’ (departing 20th December  2012, from £2258pp) includes stops at Kingstown, St. Vincent, and Philipsburg, both new ports for Oceania Cruises. Riviera’s sister ship Marina will take guests to the South Pacific, to Australia and New Zealand, sailing to new ports that include the mysterious Easter Island for the first time and replacing the smaller ship, Regatta, on cruises `down under’. Her The 20-day `Ancient Legends’ voyage (departing 27the December 2012, from £2030pp) to Polynesia via South America will visit such outposts as Robinson Crusoe, Easter and Pitcairn islands and Fakarava in French Polynesia.

The 684-guest luxury ship Regatta returns to New England and Canada in September and October 2012, including a 14 night `Autumn Vistas’ cruise (19th October 2012, from £2234pp) before cruising to the Caribbean and South America where new port calls include Boston and Portland, Maine . Her sister ship Nautica returns to Africa and Asia, with a 17 day `Asian Treasures’ itinerary (4th February 2013, from £2969pp) sailing from Singapore to Hong Kong, followed by a 17 day `Empires and Dynasties’ cruise (21st February 2013, from £3007pp) from Hong Kong to Beijing .

Oceania Cruises’ Managing Director, UK and Europe , Bernard Carter said “We anticipate strong demand for these cruises. Oceania Cruises’ core values of comfort, service and cuisine have repeatedly won accolades for exceptional quality at exceptionally keen prices. This new collection is no exception and with 7 night cruises from £738 per guest (Regatta 27 Nov 12), we are rivaling the top cruise lines for quality while maintaining exceptional value for our clients”.

Oceania Cruises’ Winter 2012- 13 Collection – at a glance

·         15 new ports of call

·         22 new itineraries

.         21 new Grand Voyages from 23 to 71 days.

·         A return for `Regatta’ to Canada and New England 

·         A return for `Nautica’ to Africa and Asia .

 ·         Riviera’s North American debut with a winter season of Panama Canal and Caribbean cruises.

·         Marina will replace Regatta on cruises Down Under; the repositioning cruise from South America to the South Pacific and will visit exotic destinations such as Easter Island, the Pitcairn Islands and Robinson Crusoe Island .

 ·         In South America, Marina will operate a Rio to Valparaiso cruise as well as a Panama Canal cruise from Miami to Lima

·         Regatta operates a 25-day Amazon cruise from New York , a new 7-day Caribbean cruise, a Panama Canal transit, and a 30-day cruise highlighting the best of South America before operating 12-day cruises.

·         Marina which will operate a 16-day voyage from New York to Southampton via New England , Canada and Ireland .

Centrum becomes entertainment venue on Splendour of the Seas

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Royal Caribbean International’s Splendour of the Seas will reemerge from its extensive revitalisation with the transformation of the elegant and popular Centrum into an exciting entertainment venue, the company said in a statement.

"With its sweeping views and central location on the ship the Centrum will become a new chic and sophisticated venue featuring a range of daytime activities, nightly entertainment and aerial performers. The Centrum’s Champagne Bar also will be unveiled as a new venue – the R Bar – featuring a sophisticated 1960s vibe, complete with signature cocktails."

Lisa Bauer, senior vice president, Hotel Operations, Royal Caribbean International said: "Throughout each sailing, guests can gather in the Centrum to enjoy performances from musicians and singers or take a spin on the dance floor at themed parties such as the popular ‘Disco Inferno’ dance party. It’ll also play host to a variety of interactive daytime activities including chef demonstrations, dance classes, game shows, Nintendo Wii competitions, towel folding demonstrations and the popular ‘Captain’s Corner’ where guests can spend time with the Captain."

“The revamp of the spectacular 60-foot high Centrum found onboard the Vision-class ships brings new life to a popular gathering space by incorporating innovative technology and vertical entertainment elements to what was already the place to be and be seen. Guests sailing onboard Splendour of the Seas will be in for a multi-sensory experience that puts them at close proximity to amazing aerial performers from multiple viewpoints in a sophisticated and glamorous atmosphere.”

Bringing the Centrum’s new entertainment offerings to life is the latest in sound and light technology. The glass lifts facing into the Centrum will feature large LED panels across their entire length providing a spectacular backdrop of moving visuals five decks high. During the entertainment experiences the space comes alive with a series of aerial acrobatic performances blurring the lines between artful choreography and state-of-the-art technology.


The R Bar offerings will feature a return to the classic drinks all served in unique glassware with surprising garnishes. The venue’s resident mixologist will create drink specials to complement each evening’s theme and aerial spectacular.


Alaskan Dream Cruises 'optimistic'

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Alaskan Dream Cruises, the Sitka-based, native-owned small ship operator, is "optimistic" about its second year after an encouraging finish to its inaugural season. "Our inaugural season for 2011 definitely had a slow start, but thank goodness for last-minute bookers," reports Vice President of Sales and Marketing Michael Wien. “The end of the season was encouraging, and that gave us the confidence and boost to move into 2012,” he says.

Wien told Cruise Business Review that ADC aims to carve out a unique niche for itself that will distinguish the small ship line from its competitors. "At Alaskan Dream Cruises, we want to make sure our guests have an overall experience of what life is like in Alaska. We’re going to have a strong native cultural influence to make sure guests have a good understanding of the rich history of native culture in the Southeast."

Commenting on the sudden expansion by small ship lines in Alaska since the failure of Cruise West, he notes, "With the demise of Cruise West more boats were available. With that, the three cruise lines [Alaskan Dream Cruises, American Safari Cruises, and InnerSea Discoveries] picked up the boats and are designing their own business model and highlights. And whatever cruise line you choose, it’s a great way because they all have a different angle."

For now, Alaskan Dream Cruises is not looking to increase capacity as it builds brand awareness with its existing fleet of two ships, carrying 42 and 66 passengers respectively. "We are currently focusing on the 2012 itineraries aboard the Alaskan Dream and Admiralty Dream," Wien emphasizes. However, the line does own another former Cruise West vessel, renamed the Baranof Dream, which is being held in reserve and is available for charter.

By M.T. Schwartzman 

TUI Cruises appoints Mike Schwanke director of marketing

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

TUI Cruises, the German premium segment operator, has appointed Mike Schwanke director of marketing. He will take up his new position on 1 January next year and follow Nils Behrens, who has resigned to pursue other activities.

Schwanke joins the Hamburg based cruise line from the position of brand management department leader of the German unit of Telefonica, the Spanish Telecom giant. He was responsible for brand management projects at Telefonica's office in Munich.

In his new position, Schwanke will report to Richard J. Vogel, ceo of TUI Cruises, the company said in a statement.

Grand opening of Cruise Shipping Asia in Singapore

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Cruise Shipping Asia opened today at the Sands Resort in Singapore with a panel of top cruise line executives discussing the current state and potential for the pan-Asia region as the next great cruising market.

In his opening remarks, Michael Kazakoff, vice president of UBM Live, organizers of the Cruise Shipping Asia and Cruise Shipping Miami event and panel moderator, said the conference plans to examine many aspects of the development of the Asia cruise industry and offer an outlook for the future.

"Our tagline, 'Gateway to Tomorrow's Marketplace,' illustrates the Asia Pacific's tremendous opportunity for the cruise industry through ship visits and as a source market," he said.

Topics addressed by the panel included the current size and scope of the Asia-Pacific market, the importance of product differentiation, distribution and the future outlook for the market.

Sarina Bratton of Orion Expeditions said, "Product differentiation in Asia is key to success! The product should not be cookie-cutter, but should instead be tailor-made for the Asian cruise market."

Educating travel agents through branded programs has been most successful in selling cruise programs to the Asian market, noted Rick Meadows of Holland America Line and Seabourn. "Also," he said, "attracting first-time cruisers in the region is key to success."

Michael Bayley of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. noted that the cruise industry in Asia has doubled since 2005, the current Asia Pacific market is comparable to the European Union market in 1991, and that the Asia-Pacific market is "unbelievably underpenetrated and has a phenomenal opportunity for brand segmentation in the region."

Roberto Giorgi of V. Ships pointed out that the Asia-Pacific market currently has 21 permanent ships and 38 seasonal vessels in the region.

Moderator Kazakoff posed the question to the panel about whether there is a possibility of development of a "China cruise line," to which Giorgi replied, "It certainly is possible in the near future, as well as new shipbuilding to handle the demand of the region." He asserted that the region can no longer "repurpose" older vessels.

Royal Caribbean's Bayley said he was confident that a Chinese cruise line would emerge by the end of the decade.

Costa Cruises' Gianni Onorato closed the session with the thought that "Events like Cruise Shipping Asia give a great opportunity to educate travel agents and the market about the potential of the Asia cruise industry."