A+ A A-

TUI sells remaining shares in Hapag-Lloyd

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

TUI AG, the world’s largest tour operator, has sold its remaining 8.5 million shares in Hapag-Lloyd AG, the Hamburg based listed container shipping company in a move that raised about €244 million.

“The disposal took place in an open market block trade (Accelerated Book Building) to a guaranteed minimum price close to today’s market closing. Prior to this trade TUI AG had already disposed 6.0 million shares in individual open market transactions since March 2017,” the Hannover, Germany, based company said in a statement.

Horst Baier,CFO, said in the statement: “By disposing of all of its remaining Hapag-Lloyd AG shares TUI AG successfully concludes its non-core business disposal program as defined after the merger between TUI AG and TUI Travel PLC in December 2014, achieving its strategic objective to transform TUI AG into a pure play vertically integrated tourism group.”

“As announced the revenues will be used for the transformation to an integrated tourism business with the focus in own hotel brands and cruises and in strengthen the balance sheet,” he added.

TUI acquired Hapag-Lloyd in the 1990s because the last named company had a substantial tourism business that included an airline and cruise ships.

Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten, the luxury and expedition market cruise shipping unit, remains part of the TUI AG group and the company said it would invest the proceeds from the sale of the shares in the container line to grow its business, including cruise activities.


Norwegian Cruise Line enhances summer 2018 deployment in Alaska and Caribbean, cuts sailings in Asia

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Norwegian Cruise Line today announced updates to the their summer 2018 deployment, featuring exciting new opportunities for guests to set sail to their dream destinations, while unpacking just once and enjoying the most free and flexible cruising experience at sea. New for 2018, Norwegian Sun will reposition to Port Canaveral and offer all-inclusive four day cruises to Havana, Cuba and Key West, and three-day cruises to the Bahamas. Norwegian Jewel will rejoin the youngest fleet sailing to Alaska in summer 2018, with a multitude of exciting itineraries including seven- and nine-day sailings from Seattle, Seward and Vancouver.

“Alaska continues to be one of the most popular destinations we sail to around the world. We are thrilled to be significantly increasing capacity in the region in summer 2018 with the redeployment of Norwegian Jewel and the inaugural season for Norwegian Bliss, providing more opportunities for our guests to experience a vacation of a lifetime in this incredible pristine destination,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer for Norwegian Cruise Line. “Our all-inclusive model aboard Norwegian Sky has been very well-received and as we evaluated the opportunity to expand upon that concept, we felt that Port Canaveral was the ideal location to offer our guests a value-rich on board experience and exciting action-packed ports-of-call, including an overnight call in Havana, Cuba.”

Following her fall/winter season in South America and a dry dock enhancement, Norwegian Sun will spend her summer 2018 season sailing all-inclusive cruises from Port Canaveral, offering four-day itineraries that call on Key West and Havana, Cuba, along with three-day cruises to the Bahamas. Norwegian Sun accommodates 1,936 guests, providing freedom, flexibility and superior guest service with 16 dining options, 12 bars and lounges, entertainment options for all ages and more. All guests sailing aboard one of Norwegian Sun’s Cuba or Bahamas cruises from Port Canaveral will also enjoy unlimited complimentary beverages included in their cruise fare as a part of the ship’s all-inclusive program. Norwegian Sun’s new itineraries include the following:

– Norwegian Sun will undergo a two-and-a-half week dry dock in Victoria, British Columbia as a part of the Norwegian Edge, the brand’s revitalization program encompassing the entire guest experience, and re-enter service on April 19, 2018 where she will begin her journey to the east coast with a 17-day Panama Canal cruise departing from Seattle.

– Norwegian Sun’s four-day cruises to Cuba will depart Port Canaveral each Monday, beginning May 7, 2018, and feature a call on Key West, Florida and an overnight stay in Havana, returning to Port Canaveral each Friday. Norwegian Sun will transport guests to the heart of the action in both Key West and Havana, calling in Key West’s Old Town district and Havana Harbor, located in the heart of Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Norwegian Sun will offer guests the opportunity to experience the wonderful culture and incredible history of Cuba, along with the warmth and friendliness of the Cuban people during OFAC-compliant* shore excursions.

– Norwegian Sun’s three-day cruises to the Bahamas will feature calls in Nassau** and Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian’s popular private island beach paradise that was recently enhanced with new food and beverage outlets, expanded Cabanas for daily rental and a new underwater snorkeling garden.

Following her winter 2017/2018 season sailing in Australia and Asia, Norwegian Jewel will journey from Tokyo (Yokohama) to Seattle and will replace Norwegian Sun as Norwegian’s third ship sailing in Alaska in summer 2018. As the namesake of Norwegian’s "Jewel Class" ships, the 2376-passenger Norwegian Jewel is a guest favorite and thrills with a myriad of dining and entertainment offerings. Featuring 16 dining options including Norwegian’s signature specialty restaurants Cagney’s, La Cucina and Le Bistro; along with 15 bars and nightclubs, Norwegian Jewel is a perfect ship to explore the stunning beauty of Alaska. Her wide variety of accommodations includes some of the largest suites at sea in The Haven® by Norwegian, the ship’s exclusive suite complex. The famous three-bedroom Garden Villa boasts nearly 5000 square feet of luxury and is located at the top of the ship, with an expansive 2314 square foot balcony that comes complete with a hot tub and private sundeck. The ship’s onboard activities and entertainment include shows Le Cirque Bijou and Band on the Run, a sports deck for basketball, volleyball, tennis and much more. Norwegian Jewel’s new summer 2018 itineraries include the following itineraries:

– Beginning May 26, 2018, Norwegian Jewel will reposition from Seattle to Vancouver with a nine-day Alaska cruise. This scenic itinerary will visit the region’s best destinations, with calls in Juneau, Skagway, Icy Strait Point, Sitka and Ketchikan.

– Norwegian Jewel will sail a seven-day roundtrip cruise from Vancouver to Alaska departing on June 4, 2018 with calls on Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan.

– Beginning June 11, 2018 from Vancouver, Norwegian will offer guests the freedom and flexibility to enjoy alternating embarkation ports in Vancouver and Seward. From Vancouver, Norwegian Jewel will sail seven-day Glacier Bay cruises calling on Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and disembarking in Seward. From Seward, Norwegian Jewel will feature seven-day Inside Passage Alaska cruises calling on Icy Strait Point, Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and disembarking in Vancouver. Both itineraries will include a sail past the breathtaking Hubbard Glacier.

Royal Caribbean Asia turns 10

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Royal Caribbean Cruises (Asia) Pte Ltd. marked its 10th anniversary last Friday with a big celebration in Singapore at Clifford Pier, together with more than 150 trade, media, corporate and government partners from the region.

The guests were treated to multiple display visuals and videos featuring the company’s pioneers and key milestones in Asia for the past 10 years, from the first ship Rhapsody of the Seas’ arrival in 2007 to the most recent homeporting of Asia’s largest Ovation of the Seas in Singapore this year. In addition, the new TVC ‘Where Everyone Gets What They Need’ was unveiled, while guests got a virtual experience of Royal Caribbean’s most popular features from the new head-mounted display (HMD) VR headset – the ‘Holideck’ – on display.

Royal Caribbean’s Managing Director for Asia Pacific, Sean Treacy in thanking the team and all the partners, said, “The last 10 years have seen Royal Caribbean flourish tremendously, having expanded our regional footprint from just one office in Singapore to six across Asia Pacific, and from one to three ships for our fleet in Singapore today. We are committed to continue bringing innovative and quality ships and growing Royal Caribbean as the top vacation choice for travellers in the region.”


Seabourn brings famous jazz musicians, speakers to longer fall 2017 sailings

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Seabourn is offering you a series of extended voyages with unique features sailing to destinations around the globe through fall 2017. The itineraries range from 18 to 32 days and include multi-week explorations of natural and human-made wonders, perfect for your client looking for a longer getaway.

Two sailings will separately feature world-renowned jazz musicians, Arturo Sandoval and John Pizzarelli. Clients seeking cultural or wondrous destinations will find visits to the Holy Land, the Panama Canal, the South Pacific and Hawaiian Islands. For the active and adventurous traveler, the Great Barrier Reef and icy landscapes of Antarctica are sure to please. One itinerary begins and ends in Los Angeles, a popular U.S. travel hub.

"Seabourn promises the finest cruises with exquisite onboard luxuries, carefully crafted itineraries, and experiences guests will always remember," said Chris Austin, senior vice president of global marketing and sales for Seabourn. "This selection of itineraries offers travelers a means to take a journey to many extraordinary global destinations with some inspiring features attached. If I were a traveler in Southern California, the 32-day experience where I didn't have to fly would be very attractive."

The highlighted fall 2017 sailings include:

– 21-Day Holy Land and Arabian Gems (October 4, Seabourn Encore) - From the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal, the Red Sea to the Arabian Sea, this three-week cruise departs from Civitavecchia (Rome) with stops at Naples (Pompeii), and Syracuse in Italy. The Holy Land welcomes at Haifa (Tel Aviv) and Ashdod (Jerusalem), Israel, and then cruises the Suez Canal before reaching the remarkable beauty of Aqaba (Petra), Jordan and finally Dubai in United Arab Emirates.

– 32-Day Hawaii Pacific Sojourn (October 14, Seabourn Sojourn) - This voyage takes guests from Los Angeles to the Hawaiian Islands and back, for a month-long round trip itinerary. Depart for a week on the Pacific before touring French Polynesia with stops at Papeete; Moorea; and Bora Bora. Cross the International Dateline twice, with a landing at Tabuaeran (Fanning Island), Kiribati, before heading to Hawaii with stops at Manele Bay, rarely visited Lanai; Nawiliwili Kauai; and Lahaina. Destinations experts Richard Hayman and Ian Cox will also join this sailing as part of the Seabourn Conversations program.

– 24-Day Caribbean & Brazilian Exploration (November 5, Seabourn Quest) - Cruise from Miami to Buenos Aires, Argentina, with stops in the Caribbean at Great Harbour, Jost van Dyke, BVI; Gustavia, Saint Barthelemy; Terre-de-Haut, Iles des Saintes, Guadeloupe; and Bridgetown, Barbados. Additional destinations include Vitoria, Armacao dos Buzios, and two days at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Montevideo, Uruguay, before reaching the Argentine capital. This itinerary will host Arturo Sandoval, the award-winning and legendary jazz trumpeter, pianist and composer.

– 24-Day Orchid Isles & Great Barrier Reef (November 10, Seabourn Encore) - Discover the beauty of Southeast Asia and Australia on this remarkable three-week cruise departing Singapore en route to Java, Surabaya, and three landings over as many days on Bali, Indonesia. The cruise sails on to Australia with a landing at Darwin, two days exploring the underwater wonders of the Great Barrier Reef at Cairns, and Townsville, Hamilton Island and Mooloolaba in Queensland before arriving at Sydney. Seabourn Conversations will feature the Royal Portrait Painter, Richard Stone, who has captured most of Britain's Royal Family on canvas, as well as leading members of society and the community.

– 18-Day Panama Canal Sojourn (November 15, Seabourn Sojourn) - This cruise heads south from Los Angeles with stops at Huatulco, and Puerto Chiapas, Mexico, as well as Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala and Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera), Costa Rica. Arrival at Panama Canal Balboa leads to three days heading west to east through the engineering wonder that is the Panama Canal. The last destination is Cartagena, Colombia before three days at sea en route to Miami. During this voyage, Seabourn Conversations will host John Pizzarelli, a world-renowned jazz guitarist and singer, among the prime revivalists of the great American songbook.

– 21-Day Ultimate Antarctica & Patagonia (November 29, Seabourn Quest) - This three-week cruise departs Buenos Aires before heading south for a six-day Antarctic Experience with exploration and wildlife spotting under guidance of the ship's Ventures by Seabourn Expedition Team. The Antarctic Experience includes a complimentary Zodiac landing each day to selected Antarctic locations, digital photography workshops, Seabourn parka and backpack, frequent wildlife sightings from the ship and shore and special guest speakers on board.

Saga Pearl II’s final cruise will be 54 night voyage to Africa

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

The last cruise of Saga Pearl II, the smaller of the two ships of the UK based Saga Cruises, will be a 54 night voyage to western, southern and eastern Africa and it will sail from Portsmouth on 16 February 2019, information on the company's website shows.

The cruise will include calls at ports seldom visited by cruise liners, such as Banjul, Luanda, Walvis Bay, Luderitz and Maputo.

The ship will be replaced by a 55,900 gross ton newbuilding called Spirit of Discovery. Saga Pearl II was built in Germany in 1981 as Astor – it should not be confused with the present bearer of the same name – and it is of 18,859 gross tons.

It is not known at this point in time if the ship will continue to trade for another operator after it has left the Saga fleet.