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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."

Maurice M. Zarmati retires from Costa

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News
After nearly 43 years in the cruise business, Maurice M. Zarmati is retiring as president and CEO of Costa Cruises North America, effective November 30, 2011. He will remain with the line as a senior consultant on Costa’s worldwide sales, marketing and passenger-traffic initiatives, the company said in a statement.

Zarmati, 65, became president and CEO of Costa Cruises North America in March 2008. He is responsible for sales, marketing, guest services, finance, human resources and revenue management for the North American sales and marketing headquarters of Europe’s leading cruise company, Costa Crociere S.p.A., based in Genoa, Italy. He reports directly to Costa’s headquarters, the company noted.

HELCOM intensifies calls for adequate sewage reception at ports

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

The representatives will consider a proposal for guidance, which showcases best practices, suggests practical solutions and makes recommendations on technical and operational aspects of sewage delivery to PRFs The guidance, which has been developed within the HELCOM’s Cooperation Platform on PRFs, will cover the whole chain of sewage delivery from generation onboard a ferry or a cruise ship through port reception to final disposal at a wastewater treatment plant. 

The Maritime Group of the Helsinki Commission (HELCOM MARITIME) holds its annual Meeting on 15-17 November 2011 in Helsinki, Finland, to agree on further measures for cleaner and safer shipping in the Baltic Sea region. The main focus of the meeting is on follow-up actions in relation to the major decision of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in July this year, to ban sewage discharges from passenger ships in the Baltic Sea. Another key point on the agenda is to conclude a four-year development of a joint HELCOM submission to IMO on designating the Baltic Sea as a Nitrogen oxide (NOx) Emission Control Area (NECA).

Representatives of the Baltic Sea countries, the European Union and interested stakeholders, including ports and ship owners, will devise further activities to facilitate the work on upgrading port reception facilities (PRF) for sewage in passenger ports of the Baltic Sea. The Baltic Sea countries agreed to ensure availability of adequate PRFs by 2015 at the latest.

The meeting also aims to finalize the contents of the joint submission to IMO to designate the Baltic Sea as a NECA under the international MARPOL convention. Under NECA status, the Baltic Sea will see substantial reductions in the emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from ships which, in turn, will have positive effects on marine environment and human health along coastal areas. The experts will look at means on how to achieve the NECA emission standards, such as the use of liquefied natural gas as fuel.

New outcomes from studies related to the risk assessment of alien species transfer via ships’ ballast water and sediments on intra-Baltic routes are on the meeting agenda as well. These studies deal with unified interpretation of the provisions of the Ballast Water Management Convention related to e.g. exemptions from applying ballast water management. HELCOM has been working on speeded ratification and harmonized implementation of the Convention by the coastal states by the agreed deadline of 2013.

The Contracting Parties will also deliberate safety of navigation. The aim is to strengthen regional cooperation on maritime safety, including progress in hydrographic re-surveys and outcomes of the overall risk assessment of shipping accidents within BRISK/BRISK-RU projects. Other important issues in the efforts towards safer navigation are the MONALISA project on innovative e-navigational services, and Plan Bothnia project on the development of a transboundary maritime spatial plan for the Bothnian Sea. 








Voyages of Discovery says around UK Diamond Jubilee cruise sold out in two months

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News
Voyages of Discovery says that its new itinerary, the Heritage of the British Isles cruise is now completely sold out. Sailing from Portsmouth on 26 May 2012 the cruise will take passengers on a glorious journey of palaces, castles, cathedrals, garden and historic landscapes in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

“The British heritage themed cruise, timed to coincide with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, will also see mv Discovery anchor off Greenwich for the celebrations marking the 60-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II,” the company said in a statement.

While the fear of another recession may have slowed the majority of people’s spending habits, it’s clear that it’s not all doom and gloom as this early sell-out proves. A number of Voyages of Discovery cruises are fast becoming sold out as the success of the 2012 cruise programme reaches new heights.

Many of the upcoming cruise itineraries are well on their way to reaching capacity due to the quality of the expeditions and the breadth of locations mv Discovery is able to travel to, not to mention the inclusive value; which has been Voyages of Discovery’s company ethos since 1983.

"Guests need not worry though, as Voyages of Discovery still has some incredible itineraries left for 2011 including Voyage to Rangoon and The Orient (27th November), from £1,499, Mumbai to Hong Kong (27th November), from £2,399 and Treasures of the Orient & Vietnam (18th December), from £1,799," the company said.

G Adventures to commemorate Captain Scott

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Marking 100 years since Captain Scott voyaged to the Antarctic, 2012 is the perfect year to take a G Adventures cruise aboard the M/S Expedition to celebrate one of the world’s greatest historic expeditions, the company said in a statement.

G Adventures is offering 10% discounts on a range of Antarctic expeditions for bold travellers looking to explore this region during the cruise season (November to March). Tours must be booked by 30 November 2011 for the 2012/13 Antarctic tours departing between 7 November 2012 and 9 March 2013.

For travellers who don’t want to wait, there are still places available on selected 2011/12 departures, including the Spirit of Shackleton tour. Suitable for history fans, the voyage focuses on the adventurers and legends formed out of the ‘Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration’. The tour’s namesake, Sir Edmund Shackleton, was actually a third officer on Captain Scott’s first quest to Antarctica in 1901, making this journey a pilgrimage for travellers enticed to Antarctica by the dramatic history of its discovery.

The BBC’s current Frozen Planet series shines the spotlight brighter on the region, with Sir David Attenborough visiting the shack of Captain Robert Scott for the second time in 17 years, a place that still touches him today – "If ever there was a place that held the personality of the people that had lived in it, a century ago, this surely must be it"

“The anniversary of Scott’s ill-fated Terra Nova expedition and Frozen Planet will arouse interest among travellers wanting to travel to both the Antarctic and Arctic”, says G Adventures’ General Manager EMEA Michael Edwards. “We have also introduced new quad berth cabins on the M/S Expedition for the 2012 season to make cruising more affordable for travellers – particularly for large groups, families and sole travellers.”

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