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Royal Caribbean International to have 15 ships in Caribbean 2013-14

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Royal Caribbean International will offer its largest ever deployment in the Caribbean in 2013-14 featuring 630 sailings on board 15 ships, departing from nine different ports and calling at 45 ports across the region. In total Royal Caribbean International that has a fleet of 22 vessels will offer 110 different cruise holiday itineraries in the Caribbean in 2013-14, the company said  in a statement.

From San Juan, Puerto Rico, Royal Caribbean International will once again offer year-round options aboard Jewel of the Seas with three Southern Caribbean itineraries in the summer and autumn 2013 seasons, and two itineraries in the winter and spring 2013-14 seasons. Departing every Saturday, the seven-night, round-trip itineraries include calls at a range of exciting ports throughout the Windward and Leeward Islands, including St. Lucia, St. Kitts, Antigua, and the U.S.V.I., as well as St. Maarten, Barbados, Aruba and Curacao. Additionally, Adventure of the Seas returns for the winter 2013-14 season to bolster Royal Caribbean International’s offerings from San Juan, alternating two seven-night Southern Caribbean itineraries. On one itinerary, guests call at St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Aruba and Curacao, while the second calls at Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Maarten and St. Croix.  These sailings are open for sale.

Grandeur of the Seas returns to Baltimore, Maryland on 3 May 2013 to take over from Enchantment of the Seas, currently deployed in Baltimore until early April 2013. Grandeur of the Seas was Royal Caribbean International’s first ship deployed in Baltimore from 2004-09, and is currently undergoing an extensive enhanced refurbishment to deliver a host of new dining venues – including six new specialty dining choices, new entertainment features, as well as a refresh of all furniture, carpet, upholstery and staterooms. Families with toddlers can take advantage of the newly installed Royal Babies and Tots Nursery, which cater to the cruise line’s youngest guests, age 6 to 36 months. Guests will also be able to lounge by the pool whilst enjoying an oversized LED cinema screen or take in a new high-flying experience, where aerialists glide through the ship’s five-story atrium.

Throughout the year, holidaymakers can choose from among a variety of itineraries to Bermuda, Bahamas, and the Eastern and Western Caribbean.  In the summer, the itineraries will alternate between seven-night Bermuda sailings, featuring a two-night call at Kings Wharf, and seven-night sailings to the Bahamas, calling at Port Canaveral, Florida; Nassau, Bahamas; and CocoCay, Royal Caribbean International’s private island paradise in the Bahamas. In autumn, Grandeur of the Seas will alternate between six-night Bermuda and eight-night Canada and New England sailings. The winter season will consist of rotating 10-night sailings to the Eastern and Western Caribbean as well as eight-night sailings to the Bahamas.  These sailings will open for sale on Thursday 17 May 2012.

Legend of the Seas returns to the Caribbean in Winter 2013-14, alternating an 11-night Southern Caribbean – with calls at Aruba, Bonaire, Grenada, Barbados, St. Lucia, and Antigua – and a 10-night Eastern Caribbean itinerary – Tortola, St. Maarten, Dominica, Antigua and St. Kitts – roundtrip from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A 15-night Eastbound and Westbound Panama Canal sailing between Port Everglades and San Diego bookends the season. Scheduled for its revitalization and refurbishment in early 2013, Legend of the Seas will offer guests a virtually new ship that features more dining options, new and exciting entertainment, upgraded technological conveniences and much more. These sailing are open for sale.

Also in winter 2013-14, holidaymakers can choose four- and five-night Western Caribbean itineraries onboard Brilliance of the Seas, sailing round-trip from Tampa, Florida and calling at Cozumel, Mexico on the four-night, and George Town, Cayman Islands and Cozumel on the five-night cruises. Holidaymakers can also select a 13-night Southern Caribbean itinerary, departing on 27 October from Boston, Massachusetts to Tampa. These sailing are open for sale.

Enchantment of the Seas arrives at Port Canaveral on the heels of the transfer of Monarch of the Seas to Royal Caribbean International’s sister cruise line Pullmantur.  Starting 13 April 2013, Enchantment of the Seas will offer a 12-night Southern Caribbean sailing from Baltimore to Port Canaveral before inaugurating her year-round service, sailing three- and four-night Bahamas itineraries from the port starting 25 April.  Enchantment of the Seas is also scheduled to be extensively refurbished in December 2012, to offer guests more onboard facilities and refreshed spaces.

Majesty of the Seas will complement this programme continuing her three- and four-night year-round itineraries from Miami. Departing every Monday and Friday, both ships call at Nassau and CocoCay.  The four-night itinerary for Majesty of the Seas also features a call in Key West.

Liberty of the Seas completes the short Caribbean itineraries with four- and five-night cruises sailing from Port Everglades. The four-night itinerary calls at Cozumel, while two five-night itineraries alternate between Cozumel and Belize City, Belize, and Falmouth and Labadee, Royal Caribbean International's private destination in Haiti.  Liberty of the Seas features world-class entertainment including Broadway’s Saturday Night Fever, and the DreamWorks Experience bringing the popular characters from Shrek, Madagascar and more into Royal Caribbean International’s renowned entertainment including themed parades, ice shows and character breakfasts. These sailings open for sale on Wednesday 23 May 2012.

Throughout autumn 2013, Brilliance of the Seas and Grandeur of the Seas will deliver the incredible colours of autumn foliage and unmatched charm of New England and Canada. Brilliance of the Seas offers six sailings every Sunday from Boston on seven-night round-trip itineraries from 15 September until 20 October, while Grandeur of the Seas will offer four sailings from Baltimore on eight-night round-trip itineraries departing on alternate Thursdays from 5 September through 17 October. Guests onboard both ships will call at Portland and Bar Harbor in Maine; and Saint John, New Brunswick, and Halifax, Nova Scotia, in Canada. 

Costa Concordia wreck removal plan presented today in Rome

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines
With Costa Concordia Emergency Commissioner Franco Gabrielli in attendance of Costa Crociere, and Italo-American consortium Titan-Micoperi, the winner of the tender tasked with performing the work, today presented their plan to remove the wreck of Costa Concordia from the coast of Giglio Island.

Following a conference convened by the commissioner May 15, during which the relevant authorities provided the necessary permits, the work will begin in a few days and is expected to last about 12 months., part of the Crowley Group, is an American-owned specialist marine salvage and wreck removal company and is a world leader in its field. is a well-known Italian marine contractor with a long history as a specialist in underwater construction and engineering.

The plan to refloat the hull in one piece gives top priority to minimizing environmental impact, protecting Giglio's economy and tourism industry, and maximizing safety.

Environmental protection will have top priority throughout the monumental salvage operation, the likes of which has not been attempted before anywhere in the world. Once removal is complete, the sea bottom will be cleaned and marine flora replanted.

The plan also includes measures to safeguard Isola del Giglio's tourism industry and wider economy. Salvage workers' presence will not have a significant impact on the availability of hotel accommodations for the island's summer season. The operating base will be located on the mainland near Piombino, where equipment and materials will be stored, avoiding impact on the island's port activities.

Operations will be divided into four basic stages:
– After stabilizing the ship, a subsea platform will be built and caissons that can be filled with water will be fixed to the side of the ship that is out of the water
– Two cranes fixed to the platform will pull the ship upright, helped by the caissons, which will be filled with water
– When the ship is upright, caissons will also be fixed to the other side of the hull
– The caissons on both sides will then be emptied, after treating and purifying the water to protect the marine environment, and filled with air.

Once floated, the wreck will be towed to an Italian port and dealt with in accordance with the requirements of Italian authorities.

The plan was selected by an evaluation team with specialist representatives from Costa Crociere, Carnival Corporation & plc, London Offshore Consultants and Standard P&I Club, with the collaboration of RINA and Fincantieri, because it best fulfills the main objectives of the operation -- removal of the wreck in one piece, minimal risk, minimal environmental impact, protection of Giglio's economy and tourism industry, and maximum safety.

"From the early stages of the accident, Costa Crociere has fully committed its resources, professional expertise and organization to minimizing the impact of the shipwreck on the environment and on Isola del Giglio in particular," said Gianni Onorato, Costa Crociere S.p.A. president. "As was the case with the fuel-removal operation, we have always worked to find the best possible and safest solution to protect the island, its marine environment and its tourism industry. We are now launching a salvage operation with characteristics and technical complexities that have never been faced before. There will inevitably be some unknowns in a project of this scope, but we are sure we have made the right decision and will continue to work to our best ability and on schedule."

"We are very pleased to have been chosen to perform this incredible operation to remove the wreck of Costa Concordia," said Richard Habib, managing director of Titan Salvage. "Our quality engineering and the experience we have gained in this area allowed us to present a project that met expectations. From now on we will work with the aim of preserving the environment and the natural habitat."

"We were confident from the outset that the professionalism of our company and our proven experience in underwater rescue and recovery operations could be of service to this salvage operation," said Silvio Bertolotti, general manager of Micoperi. "Being chosen is also a powerful demonstration of the quality and capability of Italian companies to manage such delicate and unprecedented projects."

Royal Caribbean to have a total of nine ships to ply European waters in 2013

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines
Royal Caribbean International today announced that Legend of the Seas and Vision of the Seas will complete the cruise line's Europe 2013 deployments, totaling nine Royal Caribbean ships in the region Legend of the Seas and Vision of the Seas augment already announced U.K.-based Independence of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas and Brilliance of the Seas, Barcelona-based Liberty of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas, and Italy-based Navigator of the Seas and Splendour of the Seas to offer vacationers a sum of 276 sailings to 88 culture-rich ports on 58 exciting Europe itineraries. Legend of the Seas and Vision of the Seas' Europe 2013 season is open for sale.

Royal Caribbean offers families and couples the best cruise ships to create or renew a Europe adventure of a lifetime, said Betsy O'Rourke, senior vice president of Marketing, Royal Caribbean International. Nearly every ship will have undergone revitalizations and enhancements to offer vacationers the most innovative and modern fleet in Europe. Couple that with exciting itineraries to the must-see destinations and our friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service, you have a foolproof formula for an unforgettable Europe vacation.

In May and August, Vision of the Seas will alternate seven-night Norwegian Fjords and Scandinavia & Russia itineraries from Copenhagen, Denmark. The ship also will offer seven-night Scandinavia & Russia sailings from Stockholm in July. Two Ultimate Scandinavia & Russia itineraries each feature two overnights in St. Petersburg, one sailing on June 19 from Copenhagen on an 11-night itinerary that concludes with an overnight at Stockholm, and the second on July 28 from Stockholm on a 10-night itinerary that concludes with an overnight at Copenhagen. Additionally from Copenhagen, vacationers can select a 10-night British Isles cruise departing on Aug. 7, or an 11-night sailing on June 8 that ventures up the Norwegian Coast and beyond Latitude 66 North into the Arctic Circle.

Vision of the Seas complements Independence of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas and Brilliance of the Seas' Europe 2013 sailings in the North Sea. Brilliance of the Seas also will sail the North and Baltic seas, but on longer 10- to 11-night itineraries from Harwich, England. Independence of the Seas and Adventure of the Seas will homeport at Southampton, to offer a wide range of itineraries to the Baltics, British Isles, Mediterranean and Canary Islands.

Legend of the Seas divides its Europe summer between the homeports of Rome (Civitavecchia) and Venice. From May through August, the ship sails a seven-night Western Mediterranean itinerary, calling at Genoa, Italy; Provence (Marseilles), France; and Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, and Valencia, Spain. A nine-night circumnavigation of the Italian peninsula, departing Aug. 31, brings Legend of the Seas to Venice, where the ship will offer vacationers a pair of 10-night Greek Isles and 11-night Greece & Turkey itineraries in Sept. and Oct.

Legend of the Seas bolsters Navigator of the Seas and Splendour of the Seas sailings from Rome (Civitavecchia) and Venice, respectively. Navigator of the Seas offers seven-night Eastern Mediterranean and Greek Isles cruises, while Splendour of the Seas offers seven-night Adriatic and Greek Isles sailings.

And from Barcelona, Liberty of the Seas offers vacationers five- and seven-night Western Mediterranean cruises and Serenade of the Seas offer a selection of 12-night Mediterranean Greek Isles and Mediterranean Venice itineraries. Liberty of the Seas exclusively offers the DreamWorks Experience, featuring lovable characters such as Shrek and Fiona, Kung Fu Panda, and the stars of upcoming Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo, King Julien XIII, and Pengiuns Skipper, Kowalski, Private and Rico. Additionally, Liberty of the Seas will be the only cruise ship in the Mediterranean to feature Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted in 3D in the ship's main theater when the movie opens on June 8, 2012, as well as the only fully-licensed production of West End-hit Saturday Night Fever.

Most every Royal Caribbean ship in Europe will have undergone revitalization and enhancements to offer guests of all ages the elevated standards of the cruise line, such as renewed staterooms with new flat-panel televisions, the Royal Babies and Tots Nursery for the youngest guests age six to 36 months old, bow-to-stern Wi-Fi service, an oversized LCD entertainment screen overlooking the main pool deck, a Diamond Lounge for Crown & Anchor Society loyalty members, and a Concierge Lounge for top-tier Crown & Anchor Society members and suite guests. Dining options also will be expanding and include popular experiences introduced aboard Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, such as Park Café deli, Izumi Asian Cuisine, Giovanni's Table Italian trattoria, Chops Grille steakhouse, and an exclusive Chefs Table dinner and wine pairing.

Vacationers also have greater flexibility as to when they would like their Royal Caribbean Europe vacation to begin. For Liberty of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Legend of the Seas and Splendour of the Seas, vacationers have the opportunity to embark at a subsequent port on the itinerary. Guests enjoy the full itinerary, but in a different order of ports, round-trip from their port of embarkation. Vacationers can choose to embark Liberty of the Seas at Toulon, France, or Naples, Italy; Navigator of the Seas at Messina, Italy; Legend of the Seas at Marseilles, France, or Genoa, Italy; and Splendour of the Seas at Bari, Italy.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 22 innovative ships, calling on more than 270 destinations in 72 countries across six continents. The line also offers unique cruise tour land packages in Alaska, Canada, Dubai, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand.

Cruise experts confirmed for IHAS

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines
The Family Assistance Foundation (FAF) has confirmed details of the breakout session participants for the International Humanitarian Assistance Symposium (IHAS), a cross industry meeting to enhance industry response to emergencies and disasters, ensuring those involved in an unforeseen tragedy are given the support they need.

The breakout sessions will provide an in depth look at how emergencies and disasters are handled in the Cruise, Aviation and Manufacturing, Retail & Energy industries. Experts will discuss their experiences and highlight best practice from incidents in which they have been directly involved, before answering delegate questions. Speakers include highly experienced executives from global brands, such as American Airlines, Carnival Cruise Lines, Carnival UK, Flexjet, Maersk Drilling, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

"We have been involved in Family Assistance for the past five years and in that time have seen as individuals and as an organization the power of being there for people and the immense difference that we can make to people's lives. IHAS is a way of bringing people together, be they individuals, groups, organizations, volunteers and more importantly survivors." Andrew Baldwin, Customer Care & Communications Manager, Carnival UK

"The work of the Family Assistance Foundation has been critical to the evolution of our CARE team program, offering a quantum leap in the level of compassionate and effective psycho-social support to our guests and crew members when faced by a personal crisis." Steve Williams RN, CEN, CFRN - Director, Medical Operations, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

Registration is now open for the International Humanitarian Assistance Symposium at

All Leisure group buys UK tour company Page & Moy

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

All Leisure group PLC, the UK based destinatiional cruise shipping group, says it has reached an agreement with the shareholders of Page & Moy Travel Group Limited to acquire, on a debt free basis, 100% of the share capital of Page & Moy Travel Group The consideration will be a total of £4.2 million, before deduction of Page & Moy Travel Group’s transaction costs, payable in cash, All Leisure group said in a statement.

Page & Moy Travel Group, a leading tour operator offering holidays to a wide range of overseas destinations, has been offering a broad range of holidays, including touring holidays, city breaks, river and ocean cruises, safaris and classic rail journeys to the over-55s for more than 50 years. It currently trades under 3 brands, Travelsphere, Page & Moy and Just You, selling predominantly directly to its passengers from its dedicated call centre in Market Harborough. In the year to 30 November 2011 the group carried c. 88,000 passengers across its three brands.

 All Leisure has a consistent strategy which is to achieve growth by exploiting the increasing demand for destination-led cruise holidays and by providing an increasing choice of other niche holiday products into the over-55 English speaking market. The Directors believe that the Group's chosen niche markets have a number of fundamental attractions:

             Significant barriers to entry. The Directors believe that a growing focus by regulators on safety and consumer protection is raising the barriers to entry for those wishing to enter the Group's markets. This is benefiting established brands with strong balance sheets.

             High levels of repeat business. The Group enjoys significant repeat passenger business, underlining the benefits of customer loyalty.

In realising this strategy, organic growth opportunities will be complemented by strategic acquisitions, reinforcing existing positions as well as increasing All Leisure’s exposure to new and attractive markets.

 The Board believes that the acquisition of Page & Moy Travel Group is wholly aligned with this strategy and has excellent commercial rationale, as it both reinforces the Group’s existing positions, offering holidays to customers in the same age profile, and increases All Leisure’s exposure to new markets. The advantages of this transaction include, but are not limited to:

-             Page & Moy Travel Group has a large UK customer database which is compatible with All Leisure’s. The enlarged group will have access to a list of nearly 4 million households (mainly 55 and over) and this is expected to lower the cost of customer acquisition

-             Opportunities for greater cross selling across brands, particularly to fill All Leisure’s expanded cruise programme

- Reducing dependency on the cruise market, and introducing more balanced global destinations such as China and North America

-             Providing numerous synergies across the two businesses -   Strong use of scheduled flights will reduce transport costs for fly cruises.   Majority of enlarged business will be direct and with both All Leisure and Page & Moy Travel

Group having high level of repeat business.     

In the year to 30 November 2011, Page & Moy Travel Group’s revenue was £107.6 million an operating loss of £5.6m and, following the one-off impairment in full of the company’s goodwill of £35.6 million, a loss before tax of £45.1 million. The financial statements for the year ended 30 November 2011 were signed on completion of the deal and will be filed at Companies House within the statutory time limits.