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MSC Seaview named in the historic port of Genoa

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

On june 9, the newest addition to the ever-growing MSC Cruises fleet and new flagship, MSC Seaview, was christened in true MSC Cruises style with a star-studded line-up, VIPs, key travel partners and international media as well as top management from MSC Cruises and its parent company MSC Group. Gianluigi Aponte, MSC Group’s founder and executive chairman as well as the ship owner, attended together with the Aponte and Aponte-Vago families.

MSC Cruises, Swiss-based world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and brand market leader in Europe and South America, is renowned for hosting spectacular christening events that celebrate the coming into service of the new ships and this event was no exception with a star-studded ceremony with live entertainment and speeches, fireworks and gala dinner combined with the significant maritime traditions that are so important to MSC Cruises as a family company with a long-standing seafaring heritage.
The christening ceremony was hosted by star of Italian TV, Swiss-born Michelle Hunziker who welcomed to the stage ‘father of Italian blues’ Zucchero Fornaciari. TV star Lorella Cuccarini hosted a special moment on stage, and Italian children’s choir, Piccolo Coro Dell'Antoniano, performed as the UNICEF ambassadors, to acknowledge MSC Cruises’ important partnership that helps improve the lives of children and their families in developing countries and those affected by crises. Also taking to the stage was young talent of belcanto, Matteo Bocelli, son of the world-famous Andrea Bocelli who sang at the christening of MSC Seaside, MSC Seaview’s sister ship in Miami last December. Matteo Bocelli sang during the Officers’ Parade, an important tradition to honor and thank the ship’s crew for their service.

Finishing off the traditional proceedings Godmother Sophia Loren cut the ribbon to launch the bottle of champagne to name MSC Seaview, the 13th MSC Cruises ship. As the godmother of all MSC Cruises’ ships, Madame Loren is practically part of the MSC Cruises family and brings a touch of Hollywood glamour and style to each Christening.

Also present at the ceremony was Ramon Freixa, the Spanish two Michelin-starred chef who has now extended his partnership with MSC Cruises to develop his first restaurant at sea on board MSC Seaview. Pan-Asian chef Roy Yamaguchi, attended his second MSC Cruises’ ship christening to celebrate his second restaurant at sea, with his first launching on MSC Seaside. Other stars in attendance included Spanish model and actor Jon Kortajarena, Brazlian presenter and actor Giovanna Ewbank and French television personality Ariane Brodier.

Described as a game-changing cruise ship, the vision was to create something truly unique that would enable guests to enjoy the beauty of the Mediterranean sea. The ship is designed to enhance the enjoyment of the open water and sunshine, specifically intended to cruise in warmer climates and to create a very special connection between guests and the sea.

Most cruise ships are planned and engineered to offer entertainment, dining and other experiences inside the ship while MSC Seaview is designed to bring guests outside to the open decks and walkways. Featuring the highest ratio of outdoor space of any MSC Cruises ship, MSC Seaview brings guests closer to the sea and helps them enjoy the outdoors in every aspect of the experience, including staterooms and suites with elongated balconies offering both sun and covered areas, dining and drinking in true Mediterranean “al fresco” style, and outdoor fitness and luxury spa cabanas in the open air.

MSC Seaview is the 15th addition to the MSC Cruises fleet and the third ship to come into service in just 12 months under the Company’s industry-unprecedented €10.5 billion ($12.4 billion USD) investment plan.

MSC Seaview will commence her maiden voyage from Genoa on June 10, offering six embarkation ports in the Western Mediterranean including the popular ports of Genoa, Marseille and Barcelona as well as other much sought after Mediterranean destinations including Naples, Messina in Sicily and Valetta in Malta. After her inaugural season, she will journey to South America to call on a variety of picturesque destinations including in Brazil.

Aboa Mare director Karlsson wins Finnish maritime award

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Per-Olof Karlsson, director at  Aboa Mare, the Turku based institution that offers degree and continuing education for the maritime industry, has been awarded maritime theme award in Finland.

The award committee comprised of representatives of the country's shipping industry, maritime trade unions and the University of Turku.

Karlsson has worked in maritime education for 30 years with the same positive attitude in developing the field and its operations environment. “The operations in Finland’s oldest vocational institution have grown more and more diverse and reached a broader student body,’ Aboa Mare said in a statement.

Under Karlsson’s leadership, Aboa Mare has directed an ever increasingly amount of its operations to international waters and exported Finnish expertise in the form of maritime education to the Philippines, among others. The latest partnership agreement was concluded with a South Korean maritime institution.

"Collaboration with actors in the field has been easy and fruitful; solutions to problems have always been found,' Aboa mare noted.

 Karlsson graduated as a sea captain in Turku in 1985 and worked on merchant vessels for several years. In 1988, he began teaching in Turku but combined teaching and his career on the seas for many years. Since 2002, he has worked as head of Aboa Mare, which is a consolidation of the Novia University of Applied Sciences and the vocational institution, Axxell.

The purpose of the maritime theme award is to give credit to a person or actor in the field that has improved the operational prerequisites in seafaring, increased the esteem of seafaring, developed collaboration or increased visibility in the field. The decision to choose Karlsson for this year’s award was unanimous.

Fincantieri delivers Viking Orion

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Fincantieri, the Italian shipbuilder, has delivered the 47,800 gross ton Viking Orion to Viking Ocean Cruises, the rapidly expanding upper premium cruise shipping company, from its Ancona shipyard. The 930 passenger ship is the fifth in a series of similar ships, the first of which was delivered in 2015 and a further 10 units should be built up to 2027, the shipbuilder said in a statement.

Carnival acquires Alaskan railway, tour and retail business

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest cruise shipping group,has through its subsidiary, Holland America Princess Alaska Tours, entered into a purchase and sale agreement to acquire TWC Enterprises Limited’s White Pass & Yukon Route (WP&YR) division, which includes White Pass’ port, railroad and retail operations in Skagway, Alaska. The transaction is scheduled to close on July 31, 2018 subject to customary closing conditions, Carnival said ion a statement.

The price was not disclosed.

In addition to the acquisition, Holland America Princess Alaska Tours also executed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), subject to review and approval, with Survey Point Holdings, Inc., an Alaskan company based in Ketchikan, and one of its affiliated companies. This MOU will create a joint venture making Survey Point the managing partner of the port, White Pass Scenic Railway and the associated retail operations that Carnival Corporation & plc is acquiring from TWC Enterprises.

As part of the new MOU and joint venture, the partners plan to make investments in the business, which will enable continued economic development and job growth in Skagway and the surrounding region, making a positive impact on the local economy and further benefitting the Alaska tourism industry. These investments will include support for expansion of docking facilities to accommodate the newest generation of cruise ships, a key to the port’s long-term success.

MSC Cruises’ Onorato warns of industry growth impact on yields - report

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Yields in the cruise industry could fall in the future due to the huge orderbook of newbuildings, MSC Cruises’ CEO Gianni Onorato was reported as saying.

Asked whether occupancy levels were at risk of falling from so much growth, chief executive Gianni Onorato was cited by Travel Weekly in the UK telling delegates at the ITT Conference in Sicily: “No, we are not crazy. But in difficult times it can have an impact on yields more than occupancy. So I think this will be more of an issue than occupancy levels.”

He said that the UK market, which recorded a growth of less than 1% to 1.96 million passengers last year, had staged the weak performance due to lack of capacity, but the outlook for the future was better.

Onorato noted that the biggest challenge facing cruise lines was future proofing ships. “Knowing what guests want in 2040 when you’re building them now is very difficult to predict so we need to have a flexible mindset and be able to follow guests’ needs (in terms of technology) but at the same time maintain human contact,” Onorato was quoted as saying.