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Saga Pearl II seen to call as Quest for Adventure at Finnish port 2012

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Saga Cruises, 19,000 gross ton Saga Pearl II will make a final sailing for that brand in the spring of 2012, but a vessel called Quest for Adventure is scheduled to call at the Finnish port of Turku at the end of May next year under the Saga Shipping umbrella, the port’s website shows.

Saga Cruises introduced Saga Pearl II last year as replacement of the 1965 built Saga Rose that was sold for scrap.However, the company’s original plan had been to introduce it as Quest forAdventure under the Spirit of Adventure brand name, which currently operates aship of the same name as the brand.

Saga officials recently said that no decision had been made about the future of Saga Pearl II after it will make way for Saga Sapphire, which is currently trading as Bleu de France and which will join the Saga Cruises’ fleet in March 2012 after a refit.


Fred.Olsen to offer five night mini cruise to commemorate Titanic

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

The year 2012 marks the centenary of one of the most momentous events in cruising history; the tragic sinking of the RMS Titanic. To mark the occasion, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines will be operating a mini cruise aboard its cruise ship, Balmoralcalling at each of the historic ports on the liner’s short-lived maiden voyage.


The ill-fated RMS Titanic, then the world’s largest passenger steamship, was the pride of the White Star Line fleet, and departed with great fanfare and excitement from Southampton on 10th April 1912. The Olympic-class liner was carrying 2,223 passengers en route to New York City when she struck an iceberg, and sank on 15thApril 1912. The tragedy resulted in the deaths of 1,517 people, making it one of the most serious peacetime disasters in maritime history.


Fred. Olsen’s five-night mini cruise, L1202, departs from Southampton on 3rd April 2012, and visits Liverpool – port of departure for so many thousands of migrants and luxury travellers to the New World – and Belfast – the city in which RMS Titanic was built – before returning to Southampton. In Belfast, there will be an opportunity to see the site of the Harland and Wolff shipyard, where RMS Titanic was built between 1909 and 1911. Guests can also see the new state-of-the-art, six-storey visitors’ centre, ‘Titanic Belfast’, at the shipyard, which is opening its doors for the first time in April 2012 to mark the centenary of the launch of RMS Titanic.


Prices for this historic five-night cruise start from £559 per person, based on two adults sharing an inside twin cabin, Grade ‘I’. The price includes accommodation, all meals and entertainment onboard and port taxes.

Royal Caribbean announces Serenade of the Seas Winter 2012-2013 Dubai season

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Royal Caribbean International has announced the deployment of Serenade of the Seas to Dubai for its winter 2012-2013 season. Serenade of the Seas will offer vacationers 17 sailings, departing every Monday on seven-night United Arab Emirates and Oman itineraries from December 2012 through April 2013. Serenade of the Seas will replace Brilliance of the Seas and offer vacationers a different Royal Caribbean International ship, aboard which guests can explore the cultures and heritage of the two Middle Eastern nations. Additionally, vacationers can choose a Royal Caribbean cruisetour to explore and experience more inland attractions. Serenade of the Seas winter 2012-2013 Dubai cruises and cruisetours are currently open for booking.

Vacationers can choose the Arabian Explorer cruisetour itinerary, which combines a four-night escorted land tour with Serenade of the Seas seven-night cruise. Destinations featured on the land tour will be Dubai, Al Ain and Ras Al Khaimah, where guests can enjoy dune bashing; savor dinner and entertainment at a Bedouin desert camp; and visit the Hili Archaeological Gardens and the Ali Ain National Museum. Royal Caribbean cruisetours take the stress out of planning a vacation; are escorted by an expert tour director; and includes transfers, transportation, hotel accommodations, breakfasts, and select meals.

Serenade of the Seas seven-night itinerary also calls at Fujairah and Abu Dhabi in the U.A.E., as well as feature overnight stays in Muscat, Oman, and Dubai at the conclusion of the cruise. Vacationers also can choose a 15-night Mediterranean and Suez Canal transit cruise, departing December 2, 2012, from Malaga, Spain, to Dubai; and a return 15-night return to Barcelona, departing April 15, 2013.

British explorer to lecture on Braemar's Amazonia cruise in February

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

As part of Vistas, its wide-ranging cruise enhancement programme, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines will  welcome on board the famed explorer Colonel John Blashford-Snell. Lecturing aboard Braemar’s cruise of the Brazilian Amazon, M1203, appropriately he will be talking about ‘Amazonia’ and expeditions to this fascinating region.


"There could hardly be a better guest speaker for such an exciting cruise; John Blashford-Snell has led some of the most ambitious expeditions ever undertaken. In 1968, when Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia invited the British Army to send a team to explore the Blue Nile, the then Royal Engineers’ Captain Blashford-Snell  was invited to select and lead a team.  The success of that venture led to many more, including the first vehicle crossing of the Darien Gap in 1971/2, and in 1974/5 the navigating of 2,700 miles of the Great Zaire River (also known as the Congo)," the company said.


Colonel John Blashford-Snell has led over 100 expeditions, resulting in many important discoveries and supports numerous charities. His knowledge and experience will no doubt make him a fascinating and well-informed speaker. The cruise departs on 2 February 2012, with flights from London-Gatwick and Manchester, to join the ship in Bridgetown, Barbados.  Braemar then sails for the mouth of the Amazon, and cruises deep into the heart of this mighty river, visiting Santarem, Parintins and Manaus.  The vibrant rainforest, with its colourful flora and fauna, will be brought even more vividly to life by the expert talks courtesy of Col. Blashford-Snell. On the return journey, Braemar visits Tobago, then returns to Barbados for the flights home.


Carnival Corp & plc forecasts full year eps in line with last year despite difficulties

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Carnival Corp & plc, the world’s largest cruise shipping group, forecasts its earnings per share (eps) this year to come close to the $2.47 figure reached in the previous financial year despite challenges resulting from unrest in North Africa and the Middle East.

“At this point in time, cumulative advance bookings for the remainder of the year are at higher prices with lower occupancies versus last year. For the last six weeks, booking volumes for the second half of 2011 are well ahead of the prior year for the North America brands, as well as, the Europe, Australia and Asia brands. Pricing for the North America brands remains strong. Pricing for the Europe, Australia and Asia brands has been significantly affected by the prolonged conflict in the Middle East and North Africa regions and earthquake in Japan, which necessitated veryclose-in deployment changes for more than 300 cruises. The Southern Europe brands were particularly affected with over 40 percent of their deployments in these areas,” the company said.

“As previously announced, the impact of these events are expected to cost the company an additional $0.15 per share in the second half of the year and reduces full year revenue yields by approximately 1.0 percent. The company now expects full year net revenue yields, on a constant dollar basis, to increase 1.5 to 2.5 percent, compared toits March guidance increase of 2.5 to 3.5 percent. Net revenue yields on acurrent dollar basis are expected to increase 4.0 to 5.0 percent for the full year 2011 compared to 2010.”

Chairman and ceo Micky Arison noted,"Our North America brands continue to perform well, benefiting from the gradual economic recovery, with strong yield growth expected in the second halfof the year. We expect lower yields for our Europe, Australia and Asia segmentin the second half of 2011 as a result of the significant deployment changes inEurope. Despite the considerable challenges we have faced this year, the long-term fundamentals of our business remain sound."

The company continues to expect net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD for the full year 2011 to be flat to up 1.0 percent on a constant dollar basis, which is in line with its March guidance. "Taking all the above factors into consideration, the company now forecasts full year 2011 fully diluted earnings per share to be in the range of $2.40 to $2.50, compared to 2010 earnings of$2.47 per share. Based on the current spot prices for fuel, fuel costs for the full year 2011 are now expected to increase $515 million compared to 2010, costing an additional $0.65 per share," Carnival said.

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