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SunStone and China Merchants group in four plus six optional expedition ship deal

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

SunStone Ships, Inc, the Florida based passenger vessel tonnage provider, and China Merchants Industry Holdings Co. Ltd. (CMIH) have signed a framework agreement for the construction of four expedition cruise vessels, with an option for further six, SunStone said in a statement.

Ulstein Design & Solutions, which is part of the Norwegian shipbuilding group Ulstein, will provide design and equipment package to the ships as a client of CMIH. Makinen, the Finnish contractor in the cabin and public space sphere, will establish a cabin assembly plant and interior workshop at the shipyard. It will also be responsible for all interior spaces on the vessels.

The ships will have between 85 and 90 passenger cabins and they will be 104 metres in length and have a beam of 18.2 metres, while their draft will be 5.1 metres. The vessels will feature X-bow, a design that Ulstein has patented and which offers superior seakeeping qualities compared to traditional bow designs.

They will have a speed of 15 knots and Finnish/Swedish ice class 1 A, corresponding Polar Code ice class PC6. They will be built to Bureau Veritas class and fly the Bahamian flag, SunStone said.

European cruise market grew by 3.4% in 2016 - CLIA Europe

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

The number of Europeans who booked a cruise in 2016 amounted to 6.67 million, an increase of 3.4% on the previous year, figures released by CLIA Europe show.

The German market expanded by 11.3% and reached 2.0 million passengers, while in the UK, the growth rate was 5.6% and the passenger count 1.89 million.

In Spain, the growth was 4.2%, but CLIA Europe did not provide the number of passengers from the country.

UK ocean cruise market seen hitting two million mark 2017, UK ports likely to exceed one million boardings

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

The UK and Ireland ocean cruise market is likely to hit the two million mark this year, one year after Germany reached the milestone, while the number of passengers embarking on their cruise at a UK port is likely to exceed the one million mark for the first time, CLIA UK & Ireland said in a statement.

In 2016, UK ports accounted for 912,000 of the 1.89 million total cruise passenger count. Their share of the total increased by 1.3 percentage points to 48.3%, while the share of fly cruises decreased to 51.7% a decrease of 1.3 percentage points, with 976,000 passengers.

Cruises accounted for 4.2% of all UK foreign holidays, the figure remained stable for the third year in a row, but it is nevertheless double the level of 2001, CLIA UK & Ireland said.


Celebrity Edge staterooms to feature “infinite balconies”

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

The Celebrity Edge class cruise ships will feature 918 standard balcony cabins with “infinite balconies” that can be used either as part of the cabin or the balcony.

Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises ltd that owns Celebrity Cruises, said in a presentation that the cabins will be about 25sqm in size, about 23% larger than those on the Celebrity Solstice class and well above the 15 to 17 sqm average on large cruise ships built in the last decade.

The cabins feature French balcony doors that span the width of the cabin plus a sliding glass window that allow turning the balcony into an indoor or outdoor space.

Two large suites will be located immediately above the bridge and a Retreat range of suites, a new for the company, will feature a sun deck plus pool reserved for suite guests, company officials said. All cabins on the ships have been designed by Kelly Hoppen MBE, the British interior designer.

European river cruise market grew 2.7% to 1.36 million passengers 2016

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

The number of passengers on river cruises in Europe increased by 2.7% to 1.36 million last year, figures released by IG River Cruise, an industry association based in Basel in Switzerland said in statement.

The average daily rate rose by 4.7% to €149, while ticket sales rose by 3.1% to €448.7million. The Rhine attracted 35.5% of the passengers, followed by the Danube with a 34.4% share, IG River Cruise said.