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Mardi Gras selected name for the Carnival XL-class newbuild

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

In a nod to Carnival Cruise Line’s rich history as America’s cruise line, the line has announced that it will name its new XL-class ship to be delivered in 2020 Mardi Gras, bringing back to the fleet the name of the first Carnival Cruise Line ship that entered service in 1972 and started the wave of cruise vacation popularity in the United States.

In keeping with its tradition of fun, Carnival revealed the name to a nationwide television audience on the popular game show Wheel of Fortune on its signature Puzzleboard at the conclusion of the broadcast.

Mardi Gras will be the largest Carnival Cruise Line ship ever constructed and the first in North America to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), part of Carnival Corporation’s green cruising platform. At 180,000 tons, the new Mardi Gras will be more than six times the size of its namesake.

Currently under construction at Meyer Turku in Finland, the 5,200-plus lower berth vessel will offer a variety of never-before-seen innovations and attractions.

Itineraries for Mardi Gras will be announced in January and go on sale later that same month. Carnival Cruise Line fans who want to be the first to book on Mardi Gras can get a head start by clicking here where they can register to get a “first to know” alert and special promotional offer when itineraries are opened for sale.

The original 27,000-ton TSS Mardi Gras, a converted trans-Atlantic ocean liner purchased by entrepreneur and Carnival founder Ted Arison, ushered in the modern-day cruise industry when it set sail on its inaugural voyage in 1972, helping to transform cruising from an experience once reserved for the elite into a mainstream vacation accessible and affordable to everyone.

“Our first ship Mardi Gras was a historic vessel, introducing a brand new style of cruising to the vacationing public. What better way to pay tribute to our company’s nearly 50-year history of creating wonderful vacation memories than by naming this groundbreaking vessel after our original and beloved ‘Fun Ship,’” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “The new Mardi Gras will follow the trailblazing lead of her predecessor, introducing features and technological innovations that have never been seen before on a cruise ship while setting a new standard for seagoing vacations.”

Carnival previously announced that the ship will be based in Port Canaveral, Fla., which will feature a new state-of-the-art terminal. A second XL ship will start construction in 2020 and be delivered in 2022 to mark the 50th anniversary of Carnival Cruise Line’s founding.

Carnival Panorama launched in Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Carnival Panorama, the new ship of Carnival Cruise Line, a brand under Carnival Corporation & plc, the world's largest cruise ship operator, was launched on December 7 at the Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera (Venice). Interior fittings will now begin, leading the ship to its delivery, scheduled in autumn 2019.

The launching was introduced by the traditional and well-wishing “coin ceremony”, consisting, according to an ancient shipbuilding custom, in welding a silver dollar on the last deck of the ship. Godmother of the ceremony was Antonella Cazzin, employee of Fincantieri’s shipyard in Marghera for more than 35 years.

The ceremony was attended, among others, for the ship owner by Ben Clement, Senior Vice President of Carnival Cruise Line, Marco Scaramuccia, Project Manager of Carnival Panorama, and for Fincantieri, Antonio Quintano, Director of the Marghera shipyard.

The new unit will be a sister ship of Carnival Vista, delivered in Monfalcone in April, 2016, as well as of Carnival Horizon, built in Marghera and delivered this year in March.

At 133,500 gross tons and 323 meters long: these are the figures of the Vista class, which includes the largest ships that Fincantieri has ever built for the Carnival Cruise Line’s fleet. She will have 2,004 passenger cabins added up to the 770 of the crew, being able to accommodate more than 6,500 people onboard, including staff.

The units of the Vista class are a new technological benchmark, in Europe and worldwide, in terms of cutting-edge layout, extremely high performance and high quality technical solutions. The interior fittings are of an extremely high level quality comfort, offering a wide range of onboard entertainments, restaurants, theatres, shops and wellness centers. On this ship as on the previous ones of the Vista class, there will be the Havana Area, a themed private and exclusive area, with cabins, open bars and an Infinity Pool. The access to this area is limited, during the day, only to those passengers whose cabins are in the Havana Area.

In addition to Carnival Panorama, launched today, Marghera shipyard has in its order book the second ship for the Costa Asia brand and the third "Pinnacle" class unit for Holland America Line, respectively scheduled to be delivered in 2020 and 2021.

Fincantieri has built 87 cruise ships since 1990 (of which 64 from 2002) and other 53 ships are currently being designed or built in the Group's yards.

AmaWaterways names Janet Bava Chief Marketing Officer

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

AmaWaterways river cruise company has announced the expansion of its senior leadership team, naming Janet Bava Chief Marketing Officer. Effective immediately, Bava will be responsible for the company’s strategic and tactical marketing areas with a special focus on working with travel partners to develop a more personalized approach to guest communication and lead generation.

“River cruising continues to be one of the fastest growing segments in cruising,” said Rudi Schreiner, President and Co-Owner of AmaWaterways. “Over the last several years, AmaWaterways has experienced tremendous growth, and we’re primed to welcome Janet to our team. Her focus on aligning all areas of our business will be key as we solidify our presence in evolving markets.”

A skilled professional with more than 15 years of customer-centric marketing experience, Bava has a proven track record of driving business results through innovative campaigns and developing a highly personalized approach to CRM. Prior to joining AmaWaterways, Bava held senior marketing positions with Silversea Cruises, NBCUniversal and Royal Caribbean. “I am very excited to join the growing AmaWaterways family,” said Bava. “Rudi Schreiner, Kristin Karst and Gary Murphy have built an award-winning company with a reputation for innovation and impeccable customer service – two things that I am very passionate about.”

This appointment comes at an exciting time for the company, which is experiencing outstanding growth and expansion across all markets leading up to a record-breaking three new ships being introduced in 2019. AmaWaterways’ revolutionary ship, AmaMagna, will be twice the width of traditional European river cruise ships, giving guests on board more luxurious space than ever before to enjoy their river cruise experience. Additionally, the line will introduce AmaMora, sister ship to AmaLea and AmaKristina, which will sail the Rhine river. AmaDouro, sister to AmaVida, will be a welcome addition to the Douro River as the region’s popularity continues to grow.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Janet to our growing team, known for extraordinary passion and service,” said Kristin Karst, Executive Vice President and Co-Owner of AmaWaterways. “There are so many new opportunities for her and the marketing team to explore that will enable us to introduce even more multi-generational families and active cruisers to our special brand of river cruising.”

Lindblad launches National Geographic Venture

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic officially launched the newest addition to their fleet, National Geographic Venture, at a dockside christening ceremony in San Francisco Bay on Friday, November 30, 2018. The occasion marked a major milestone for the line, as only the second new build in the company’s history. Following the ceremony, the ship embarked on a two-night VIP mini expedition that included travel agency partners, affinity/charter partners, media and other special guests.

Sven Lindblad, CEO of Lindblad Expeditions, presided over the christening ceremony, joined by Gary Knell, Chairman of National Geographic Partners, and the ship’s captain, Andrew Cook. During the ceremony, Lindblad gave a special thank you to the ship’s crew lined up aboard the National Geographic Venture’s bow, “all of you, and the countless others involved, should feel a deep sense of pride and accomplishment. You have all worked tirelessly to make this possible, and I thank you.”

“I am very, very, proud. It is a great expedition ship. It’s comfortable, nimble, and with massive amounts of glass, our guests will constantly be connected to the outside world. We are delighted with the way she came out.”

“For fifteen years Lindblad and National Geographic have worked together taking travelers around the world to some of the most amazing places. We could not be happier than we are seeing this beautiful new Venture head out to sea,” remarked Gary Knell.

Captain Cook expressed his excitement about the meticulous planning of the ship’s features. “What we have learned over time has provided us the best way to experience the environment. For me personally, this is as fine a ship as I could have asked for.”

Then Pamela Fingleton, 40-year Lindblad veteran and senior vice president, joined Sven on the bow for the traditional toast and breaking of the champagne bottle.

The 50-cabin coastal vessel is the second new build in the line’s history, and is sister ship to National Geographic Quest, launched in 2017. Built entirely in the US, her design is based on 50 years of expedition experience and is the perfect base for exploring. The lounge is a moving window on the world outside, the bow the perfect place for photography with a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor. The ship also features the B&H photo gear loaner program, where guests can try the latest lenses, camera bodies and binoculars aboard ship.

National Geographic Venture is now exploring the Pacific coast on two new and unique inaugural itineraries, giving guests a privileged perspective on the region – before she begins her seasons in Baja, the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection reveals the name of first yacht

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. has announced the name of the first of three yachts from The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. The first yacht will be named Azora, meaning “sky blue”, a word of Spanish origin derived from “azure” and the color “azul”.

“We are thrilled to officially reveal the name of the inaugural yacht from The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection,” said Doug Prothero, CEO of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. “We wanted to select a name that embodies the wanderlust of a luxury journey at sea and inspires travelers to dream of their next destination. Azora, which evokes the beauty of the sky and ocean, does both. To the mind, the color blue also a suggests a distinct sense of peace and clarity, emotions we hope to stir in our guests during their journey with us.”

With blue as a signature color of The Ritz-Carlton brand and an inspiration-inducing color of travel, Azora was a fitting choice for The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s inaugural yacht. The calmness of the sky and serenity of the ocean are also highly representative of the color, opening the mind to creativity, relaxation and new experiences.

The specially designed yacht, which is expected to set sail in February 2020, will measure 190- meters (624-feet), accommodate up to 298 guests and feature 149 suites, each with its own private terrace. The yacht will also feature two 102 square-meter (1098 square-feet) lavish Owner’s suites, each with its own private 55 square-meter (592 square-feet) terrace, modern craftsmanship and interior finishes jointly designed by The Ritz-Carlton and leading design firm Tillberg Design of Sweden. The onboard experience will reflect the sublime comfort and unparalleled level of individualized guest service for which the iconic Ritz-Carlton brand is recognized.

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection guests will enjoy an all-inclusive luxury experience including spacious accommodations, onboard activities and entertainment, beverages, multiple dining venues, onboard gratuities, WiFi and watersports from the yacht’s marina platform. Signature experiences available for an additional fee include a culinary experience at the yacht’s signature restaurant designed by Michelin-starred Chef Sven Elverfeld of The Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg, spa treatments, and immersive excursions offered through The Shore Collection. Voyage prices vary based upon the itinerary and season.

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