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Celebrity Cruises launches $500-million Celebrity Revolution refurbishment program

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

Once again, Celebrity Cruises is set to transform the industry with the unveiling of the Celebrity Revolution, a more than $500-million reimagining of the fleet in partnership with more than 500 leading architects, designers, and engineers designed to bring the rest of the brand’s award-winning fleet to the Edge.

“We launched the Celebrity Revolution to do one thing – transform the way our guests experience the world. It began with the introduction of the industry-changing Celebrity Edge, and continued with the stunning Celebrity Flora,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “Our dedication to improving the way guests experience the world knows no bounds. We are taking our entire award-winning fleet to the edge and giving people the vacation they truly deserve.”

Transforming the suites

Transforming the brand’s ships gave Celebrity the opportunity to bring its already world-class suite experience on board Celebrity Millennium, Celebrity Constellation, Celebrity Infinity, and Celebrity Summit to lavish new heights with the help of visionary designer Kelly Hoppen, MBE. She will also infuse the newly added Reflection Suite and Signature Suites (found today on Celebrity Reflection) to Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Eclipse, Celebrity Equinox, and Celebrity Silhouette, with her signature style – a subtle, coordinated fusion of East meets West, with clean lines, neutral tones, and a warm, inviting opulence.

“This was a new and exciting challenge to recreate something stylish and luxurious yet totally different from the accommodations that I have designed for Celebrity Edge,” said Hoppen. “I wanted to invoke a feeling of timeless luxury that welcomed guests into their own haven. Your bedroom is where you sleep and where you wake, two of the most important times of day, especially when you are on vacation. It was important to create space, harmony and luxury within a home away from home setting and I think we achieved this balance perfectly.”

With Celebrity Edge, the brand introduced an exclusive new sanctuary for all Suite Class guests called The Retreat. And now, Celebrity is bringing its most luxurious experiences fleet-wide. Every ship will offer The Retreat Sundeck and The Retreat Lounge, both strikingly designed by Hoppen. In imagining The Retreat Sundeck, she has created a chic, open-air hideaway with the feel of a high-end resort, where guests can unwind on plush loungers, sip tantalizing cocktails, and savor refreshing treats. At The Retreat Lounge (formerly Michael’s Club), Hoppen has designed a warm and sophisticated atmosphere.

Refined accommodations

When redesigning the accommodations, every detail was carefully thought through with guest comfort at the front of mind. Celebrity collaborated with renowned international hospitality design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) to transform the staterooms on board Celebrity Millennium, Celebrity Constellation, Celebrity Infinity, and Celebrity Summit, plus the staterooms and many of the suites on board Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Eclipse, Celebrity Equinox, Celebrity Silhouette and Celebrity Reflection into a statement about modern luxury.

“Every detail of our staterooms has been elevated, every comfort refined,” said Brian Abel, Senior Vice President, Hotel Operations, Celebrity Cruises. “By the end of the Celebrity Revolution the entire fleet will have the same quality, design essence, and consistency of modern luxury, bringing our fleet to the edge.”

All staterooms will feature a fresh, chic design, rivaling the world’s best boutique hotels. They will also be fitted with Celebrity’s eXhale bedding featuring exclusive luxurious cashmere mattresses, RFID locks, pervasive Xcelerate and Bluetooth capabilities.

Culinary innovations

Celebrity is always looking for new ways to open the world, not only through the places the brand visits, but through globally inspired culinary experience, as well.

Guest-favorite restaurant Qsine will be added across the fleet and completely renovated, now offering the brand’s virtual Le Petit Chef experience, created by the world-famous artists of Skullmapping and presented by TableMation exclusively for Celebrity. Oceanview Café will be redesigned with an open, airy, marketplace-inspired design offering guests island after island of international delicacies, while the already-stunning Main Restaurants will undergo a beautiful redesign, with new textures and new finishes added throughout.

Every detail is being taken to Edge

Even more groundbreaking innovations are on the horizon with the Celebrity Revolution, including:
– Expansion of the new SEA Thermal Suite – first introduced on Celebrity Edge – to offer an ahh-inspiring array of therapeutic spa experiences at sea
– Exclusive new shopping experiences featuring sought-after brands and designers, such as Shinola, John Hardy, and Hublot, plus state-of-the-art digital photo galleries that make browsing vacation memories a snap 

– Elevated bars and lounges, including the newly reimagined Passport Bar and an expansion of Celebrity’s popular Gastrobar concept, serving more than 40 craft beers, creative cocktails, and gourmet comfort food 

– More exciting upgrades to public venues all throughout each ship, including The Hideaway, Team Earth, The Library, and more.

The first “revolutionary” revitalization will take place in 2019, beginning with the Celebrity Millennium, and will continue across the fleet through 2023.

TUI Cruises orders two 161,000 gross ton LNG powered ships from Fincantieri 

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Fincantieri, the Italian shipbuilder,said it has been awarded an order for the construction of two new-concept LNG powered ships from TUI Cruises, a joint venture between TUI AG and Royal Caribbean Cruises. The new units will be built at the Monfalcone shipyard and delivered in 2024 and in 2026, respectively.

These are the first orders of the company at Fincantieri, which has built all its newbuildings at Meyer Turku in Finland so far.

These ships, of about 161,000 gross tons, will set up the backbone of the future TUI Cruises’ fleet. The order is based on a prototype project developed by Fincantieri which enhances the well-established features of modernity and sustainability of TUI Cruises, a company with one of the most modern and environmentally friendly cruise fleets in the world.

With an innovative product configuration, energy efficiency lies at the heart of the project, with the twofold objective of reducing fuel consumption and minimizing environmental impact, according to the latest industry regulations.

“With the new class of ships we are responding to the wishes of our guests and creating offerings that will also inspire new cruise passengers. As with the other ships in the fleet, the passenger/space ratio remains generous”, stated Wybcke Meier, CEO of TUI Cruises. “The decision to run the two additional low-emission new builds is a logical continuation of our environmental strategy”.

Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, said in a statement: “These will be the largest ships ever built in Italy: we proved once more we can provide the market with the best mix of reliability and innovation, pillars of Made in Italy and distinguishing features of Fincantieri in the global shipbuilding landscape.  The project we developed and offered to the client allowed us to achieve this outstanding commercial record, which is not just about adding a new brand to our client portfolio, but also a confirmation of the absolutely cutting-edge technological content of our products."

" All of these factors consolidate our leadership in the field and further extend the workload horizon of our shipyards, which has no comparables in any other industrial sector”.

TUI Cruises is a joint venture between TUI group, the world’s number one tourism business, and the global operating cruise shipping line, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. The company was founded in April 2008 and is headquartered in Hamburg. It has been offering cruises for the German-speaking market since May 2009. Within the expanding of its fleet, TUI Cruises will be introducing two new ships, in 2019 and 2023 with a total bed capacity of about 18,800.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings confirms orders for two more ships for Norwegian Cruise Line

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. today announced it confirmed its previously announced options for the fifth and sixth Project Leonardo Class ships with Fincantieri S.p.A. for Norwegian Cruise Line for delivery in 2026 and 2027.

“These orders extend our disciplined and measured newbuild program and strong growth trajectory well into the future and will further drive long-term returns for our shareholders,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “Our six-ship Leonardo Class fleet will allow us to broaden our deployment into strong performing and mature unserved and underserved markets and offer new experiences to our guests.”

At 140,000 gross tons and accommodating approximately 3,300 guests, this next generation class of ships will build upon the highly successful offering of freedom and flexibility found across Norwegian Cruise Line’s fleet, including the most recent Breakaway Plus Class ships, and feature a host of inventive designs that will further elevate its already award-winning guest experience. A priority of the prototype design is energy efficiency, with the aim of optimizing fuel consumption and reducing the impact on the environment. The smaller footprint will also broaden deployment opportunities around the world. Details on the many innovative guest-facing and first-at-sea features will be announced at a later date.

“Following the Breakaway Plus Class, the most successful class in our company’s history, the highly anticipated Leonardo Class will fuel future growth with exciting and innovative offerings that will meaningfully drive demand from new and loyal returning guests alike,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line.

With today's announcement, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has seven ships on order for Norwegian Cruise Line and one for Regent Seven Seas Cruises for a total of eight vessels for delivery through 2027. The company will take delivery of its newest ship, Norwegian Encore, in fall 2019.

MSC Cruises announces second new cruise terminal at the PortMiami

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

MSC Cruises and Miami-Dade county announced the signing of an agreement for extended preferential berthing rights as well as of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the construction of a new Cruise Terminal AAA at PortMiami.
Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises, commented: “The new agreement and expanded partnership with PortMiami and Miami-Dade County is another key step forward in the business growth of MSC Cruises, as we continue to strengthen our global footprint, with a strategic focus on North America."

PortMiami is the company’s exclusive home-port in the U.S. The new agreement extends MSC Cruises’ existing Saturday preferential berthing rights also to Sundays. Additionally, the new terminal — which is projected to be completed by October 2022 — will be able to accommodate MSC Cruises’ next-generation, still under construction MSC World Class cruise ships carrying up to 7,000 guests.

Currently the revolutionary MSC Seaside, which debuted only a few months ago in late 2017, sails year around from Miami to the Caribbean from the recently completed Terminal F. MSC Divina also sails seasonally to the Caribbean from October through March, and MSC Armonia will join MSC Cruises’ North American-based fleet beginning year-round cruises to Havana, Cuba in December 2018. In addition, as of November 2019, MSC Meraviglia, the company’s largest ship at 171,598 gross tons with the capacity to carry 5,714 cruise guests (4,488 at double occupancy), will join the other three ships at PortMiami.

“PortMiami is committed to providing a world-class experience to its guests and thanks to a long-standing collaborative relationship with Miami-Dade County we are thrilled that in less than 18 months MSC Cruises will have four ships sailing from the Port,” said Rick Sasso, Chairman of MSC Cruises USA. “This will also allow us to make a significant additional contribution to the economy of Miami and the county in its role as the Capital of the Cruise World, especially thanks to the large percentage of international guests traveling to Miami and South Florida to embark and disembark from MSC Cruises ships calling PortMiami. We now look forward to further extending our partnership with the Port and working closely on the development of the new cruise terminal AAA.”

"In 2017, MSC Cruises worked with PortMiami on the completion of Terminal F, home to MSC Seaside, the first MSC Cruises ship to be built specifically for North American market and the Caribbean,” said Roberto Fusaro, President of MSC Cruises USA. “The construction of another cruise terminal is further testament of our commitment to U.S. travel partners and their guests, as it will allow us to continue to enhance our service, starting right from embarkation.”

“Investing in PortMiami's infrastructure positions Miami-Dade County as a global destination for visitors," said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. "The construction of a new cruise terminal AAA with the capacity to berth an additional 7,000-passenger cruise ship represents thousands of jobs and increased opportunities for our community. We are grateful for MSC Cruises continued partnership.”

"We are proud and extremely honored by MSC's commitment to PortMiami and Miami-Dade County,” said Chairwoman of the Miami-Dade County Economic Development and Tourism Committee Rebeca Sosa. “MSC’s continued partnership is a big win for the growth and expansion of tourism in Miami-Dade County.”

Rolls-Royce signs agreement to sell Commercial Marine business to Kongsberg

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

Rolls-Royce announced today that it has signed an agreement to sell its Commercial Marine business, to Kongsberg, for an enterprise value of £500m and net proceeds of around £350m to £400m.

Kongsberg, headquartered in Kongsberg, Norway, is an international, knowledge-based group delivering high technology systems and solutions to clients within the oil and gas industry, merchant marine, defence and aerospace sectors. Kongsberg is represented in more than 25 countries with approximately 7,000 employees and has a turnover of NOK 14.5bn (2017). In the maritime industry, the companies are complementary in their products, solutions and competence.

The move follows a strategic review by Rolls-Royce of its Commercial Marine operations announced in January 2018. The sale includes propulsion, deck machinery, automation and control, a service network spanning more than 30 countries and ship design capability, which to date has seen around 1,000 ships of Rolls-Royce design delivered to offshore, cargo, passenger and fishing vessel customers worldwide. Rolls-Royce’s Ship Intelligence activities, which have seen the rapid development of technologies to enable remote and autonomous operation of commercial vessels, are also included.

Kongsberg will, through a trading arrangement, continue to have access to products from Bergen Engines, which remains part of Rolls-Royce Power Systems. The Bergen engine range of both diesel and gas medium-speed engines is a key component that will enable Kongsberg to be a leader in the continued development of integrated ship systems. Kongsberg will also be an important partner and supplier to Rolls-Royce’s Defence business for the supply of Commercial Marine products used on Naval vessels.

Rolls-Royce Power Systems will continue to supply MTU engines to a range of customers in the marine market including operators of commercial vessels and yachts. The Naval gas turbine propulsion activities will continue to be a core part of Rolls-Royce Defence.

Commercial Marine has approximately 3,600 employees, with the majority based in the Nordic region. In 2017 the Commercial Marine business generated revenue of £817m with an operating loss of £70m reflected in the Group’s financial results. After taking into account various central cost recharges included in this reported figure, the disposal is expected to have had around a £50m positive profit impact based on 2017 pro forma figures. These figures were consolidated within the results of Rolls-Royce Marine.

Warren East, Chief Executive of Rolls-Royce, said: “This transaction builds on the actions we have taken over the last two years to simplify our business. The sale of our Commercial Marine business will enable us to focus on our three core businesses and on meeting the vital power needs of our customers.”

Geir Håøy, Chief Executive and President of Kongsberg, said: “The acquisition of Rolls-Royce Commercial Marine makes us a more complete supplier to the maritime industry. The maritime industry is becoming increasingly globalised and is undergoing considerable technological and market driven changes. With this acquisition we will strengthen our strategic position with shipowners, shipyards and other customers and partners.”

Mikael Makinen, Rolls-Royce President, Commercial Marine added: “Today marks the start of a new horizon for our Commercial Marine business. This deal comes at a time when the maritime industry is at the dawn of a new and exciting era where digital and electrical technologies will transform shipping.

Rolls-Royce has been responsible for leading many of those technological advancements, and with combination of great people, market-leading technology and a desire by Kongsberg to take this business to the next level, I am sure that this business will prosper in the years to come.

“We will now work closely with Kongsberg as we go through the transition in the months ahead. I would like to pay tribute to the 3,600 Commercial Marine employees who have maintained absolute focus on their day jobs, winning business and maintaining the levels of support our customers expect.”

The transaction has been approved by the boards of both Rolls-Royce and Kongsberg and is expected to close in Q1 2019, subject to clearance from the regulatory authorities.

The disposal enterprise value is £500m. After taking into consideration pension liabilities and provisions, separation costs, advisor fees and working capital, net proceeds of £350m to £400m are expected. Net proceeds will be dependent upon final outturn working capital at completion.

The proceeds will be used to improve the resilience of the Rolls-Royce balance sheet and provide additional capital to judiciously pursue opportunities that will drive greater returns for the Group. Full year 2018 guidance for revenue, profit and free cash flow provided by Rolls-Royce on 7 March 2018 included Commercial Marine.

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