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Royal Caribbean to transfer Monarch of the Seas to Pullmantur

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. today announced the transfer of Monarch of the Seas from its Royal Caribbean International cruise brand to its Pullmantur brand, a cruise and tour operator based in Madrid. Monarch of the Seas will transfer to Pullmantur on April 1, 2013, following its last sailing for Royal Caribbean International, which departs on March 29, 2013.

"We are very proud of Monarch of the Seas for delivering great service and outstanding destinations to vacationers since her maiden voyage," said Adam Goldstein, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. "She will go on creating wonderful travel memories through her final sailings for our brand through next March and then continue doing the same for Pullmanturs guests."

With the incorporation of Monarch of the Seas, Pullmantur will increase its total guest capacity by nearly 25 percent and meet a rising demand for the brands distinctive All Inclusive-style cruise holidays.

"The transfer of Monarch of the Seas will reinforce Pullmantur in our Latin American growth strategy, and help us become one of the most widely recognized brands," said Pullmanturs President and CEO, Gonzalo Chico Barbier.

Monarch of the Seas was built at Chantiers de LAtlantique (now STX France) in St. Nazaire, France and sailed its maiden voyage on November 17, 1991. The ship is part of the Sovereign class of cruise ships, which were the world's largest and most innovative of their time.

Pullmantur is the leading Spanish Tour Operator and Cruise Company, founded in 1971, and famous for introducing the All Inclusive concept to cruising. Pullmantur is leader of the cruise market in Spain and Portugal, currently operating a modern fleet of four vessels, with a daily passenger capacity of 9,000, cruising worldwide, and calling on approximately 100 destinations. The company offers a unique door-to-door flight service, operated by its in-house air travel division with a fleet of four Boeing 747-400. Pullmantur Air provides charter flights to the European Cruise Port Embarkations and long-haul flights between Spain and the Caribbean Sea for the companys tour-operation division. Spain based Pullmantur, operates through satellite offices in Brasil, Mexico, Portugal and France.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand currently 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.

Royal Caribbean International and Pullmantur are part of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE/OSX: RCL), a global cruise vacation company that also operates Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, CDF Croisieres de France, as well as TUI Cruises through a 50 percent joint venture with TUI AG. The company owns a combined total of 40 ships and has one under construction and two under agreement.

Norwegian Breakaway to feature "oceanfront boardwalk"

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

Norwegian Cruise Line today unveiled a major innovation in ship design: The Waterfront and 678 Ocean Place on its newest ship, Norwegian Breakaway, launching in April 2013. This new concept includes an oceanfront boardwalk lined with shops, restaurants and bars, combined with three expansive, flowing decks of dining, bars, entertainment, gaming and more. The Waterfront and 678 Ocean Place will take cruising to new heights and offer an unparalleled experience with a unique connection to the ocean.

"With our newest ship, Norwegian Breakaway, we are continuing our tradition of innovation with a brand new ship design that will provide our guests with a unique experience unlike anything else at sea," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer. "The heart of Norwegian Breakaway and the elements that truly set it apart are The Waterfront and 678 Ocean Place. Guests will enjoy al fresco dining while admiring the beauty of the ocean, along with the excitement and exhilaration of three expansive action-packed decks, as everything is designed to flow seamlessly." Located on Deck 8, The Waterfront is a revolutionary outdoor experience that adds a whole new dimension to the line's signature Freestyle Cruising, by offering a number of seaside venues that feature breathtaking views and a sense of connection with the ocean. The hub of the ship is 678 Ocean Place, a space that uniquely flows, intertwines and connects three decks of daytime and nighttime amusements. There will be a total of 17* dining venues combined on both 678 Ocean Place and The Waterfront, along with 12* bars and lounges. Norwegian will also introduce a new dining concept on Norwegian Breakaway, Ocean Blu, the line's first ever all-seafood restaurant, which will include a premium raw bar, along with a separate sushi bar.

The Waterfront
The Waterfront will feature eight outdoor dining and lounging options, including signature Norwegian favorites like Moderno Churrascaria; Cagney's Steakhouse; La Cucina; Shaker's Cocktail Bar; Malting's Beer & Whiskey Bar; and the newest addition, Ocean Blu on The Waterfront, with outdoor seating and a special takeaway menu. The Waterfront will also feature another first for Norwegian - a gelato bar serving a selection of flavors of the delectable frozen treat. Guests will enjoy this creamy confection as they take a leisurely stroll along The Waterfront. A yet-to-be-announced entertainment venue will also have an outdoor space.

678 Ocean Place
On Deck 8, 678 Ocean Place connects the excitement of The Waterfront outdoor spaces with interior dining venues for Moderno; Cagney's; Shaker's; La Cucina; Malting's and Ocean Blu, including the raw and sushi bars. An elegant modern take on an ocean-inspired theme with a glamorous feel, Ocean Blu is the newest addition to Norwegian's Freestyle Dining lineup. Featuring a premium raw bar and a sushi bar, Ocean Blu will offer seafood lovers a culinary treasure. "In a recent guest survey, our guests chose a seafood restaurant as the number one type of restaurant they would like on board our ships," said Sheehan. "We listened to that feedback when planning the dining on Norwegian Breakaway and will launch Ocean Blu as our newest signature restaurant concept."

La Cucina celebrates the Tuscan countryside and will continue to serve Norwegian's delicious Italian dishes to guests who choose dine either al fresco on the outdoor patio on The Waterfront, in the main restaurant or the interior terrace option, giving guests the opportunity to dine along the interior walkway beneath twinkling lanterns, exposed wooden beams and greenery.

Moderno Churrascaria is Norwegian's signature Brazilian-style steakhouse. Whether guests dine indoors or out, they will feast from a huge salad bar, followed by a variety of grilled and slow-roasted meats that are carved tableside by passadors. Overlooking the Manhattan Room is another Norwegian signature establishment, Cagney's Steakhouse, which will feature succulent grilled steaks, perfectly cooked double cut lamb chops and other steakhouse favorites. Guests will dine in style amidst warm wood tones as they enjoy watching the chefs prepare their meals in the open kitchen. Located between Cagney's and Moderno, Prime Meridian will offer guests the opportunity to order a signature cocktail and soak in the action taking place around them on 678 Ocean Place. Guests will also find retail outlets, the photo gallery, and the Humidor Cigar Lounge on Deck 8. A three-story open atrium with an exquisite LED chandelier with light changing effects will serve as the centerpiece of 678 Ocean Place with openings to all three decks and glass staircases connecting the levels.

Spanning more than 18,000 square feet on Deck 7, the contemporary Breakaway Casino will have a stylish sophistication created by the use of rich materials, luxurious ornamental lighting and highly decorative artwork including gold tiles and upscale finishes. Breakaway Casino will offer guests the opportunity to try their luck on more than 300 of the latest slot machines; along with 26 gaming tables featuring poker, black jack, roulette and craps. With the most rewarding Casinos At Sea Players Club program, there will be something for everyone, from the novice to the high roller. Bar 21, located adjacent to the Casino, is a stunning, intimate bar featuring video poker and multiple plasma television screens.

Reminiscent of a private New York City supper club, The Manhattan Room is a complimentary restaurant on Deck 7 that will feature a dance floor as its focal point. As guests dine on cuisine that reflects the elegant and romantic nature of the room, they will enjoy live music and dancing. The two-story high restaurant showcases floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows looking aft.

Due to the popularity of the noodle bar on Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Breakaway will feature Shanghai's Noodle Bar, the largest noodle bar at sea. This exciting dining concept will offer all counter seating around an open kitchen and will serve traditional Chinese noodles, wok-fried dishes and dim sum.

Another guest favorite, O'Sheehan's Neighborhood Bar & Grill, returns on Norwegian Breakaway. This complimentary 24-hour a day neighborhood sports bar and restaurant will serve classic American favorites and comfort food. It will feature a giant two-story screen, perfect for watching sports and movies, along with miniature bowling, pool and air hockey tables and interactive games.

A popular hotspot on several Norwegian ships, Bliss Ultra Lounge has been re-designed on Norwegian Breakaway to resemble a true hotspot, similar to trendy New York clubs. Guests will feel the excitement as they walk through the LED-lit tunnel entrance to the illuminated bar, LED walls and pulsating dance floor where they will dance the night away. Savor, one of the three complimentary main dining options on Norwegian Breakaway, will feature cuisine that is traditional with a contemporary flair. Across from Savor, is where guests will find Taste, another complimentary main dining venue. Taste will serve a variety of culinary delights to please every palate. Both restaurants feature clean lines and upscale, contemporary décor. Located between Savor and Taste is Mixx Bar, the perfect, pre- or post-dinner gathering place, with a modern twist to a classical design.

Norwegian's signature Teppanyaki restaurant will continue to dazzle guests on Norwegian Breakaway with the addition of a traditional Japanese rock garden, featuring bamboo plants and bonsai trees to promote a pleasing aesthetic ambiance. With 96 seats surrounding 12 flat top grills, Teppanyaki chefs will showcase their knife-wielding skills while cooking exhibition-style Japanese cuisine. Guests will be amazed by the masterful chefs while they enjoy an appetizing meal.

Le Bistro, Norwegian's signature French restaurant, will feature an elegant indoor setting, along with a European sidewalk-style dining opportunity which will overlook the social hub of the ship, 678 Ocean Place. Guests will marvel at the three-story cascading LED chandelier above them, along with the constant flow of people as they dine on classic French favorites.

Within the Atrium, located on Deck 6, guests will find a two-story video wall along with the Café and Bar at The Atrium. The Café will offer specialty coffees and fresh baked treats. The Bar at The Atrium will feature mixed drinks, along with a self-service wine bar. The Shore Excursion Desk, Internet Café and Art Gallery will be located in close proximity to the Atrium, along with two meeting rooms, card room and library.

Additional dining options and bars not located within 678 Ocean Place will be announced in late April. There will also be a number of exciting entertainment venues located within 678 Ocean Place that will be revealed at a later date this spring.

New AIDA ships to cruise from German ports year round

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

The two new vessels of AIDA Cruises, the Rostock based unit of Carnival Corp & plc, will be designed to cruise year round from German ports, says Michael Thamm, CEO of the cruise line. “With these ships, we will run from Germany around the year for the first time,” Thamm said in an interview on the website of the company.

The 125,000 gross ton vessels will be delivered by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Japan in 2015 and 2016. They will run on diesel fuel rather than the customary heavy fuel oil. They will also be fitted with an air bubble system that will reduce friction and fuel consumption to about three litres per passengers per 100 kilometres.

 

 

ABB wins $60 million order from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won an order worth $60 million to provide complete power and propulsion systems for two new cruise ships to be built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. at their shipyard in Nagasaki, Japan, for German cruise line operator AIDA.

ABB’s delivery will help the ships to maximize their fuel efficiency, speed and maneuverability, as well as to provide a reliable power supply to improve the availability of onboard equipment. Each of the 125,000 ton cruise ships will have a passenger capacity of 3,250. The new ships are scheduled for delivery in March 2015 and March 2016.

"ABB’s comprehensive solutions for our ship operating customers include the most technologically advanced and energy efficient propulsion systems to help ships improve their maneuverability while using less fuel," said Veli-Matti Reinikkala, head of ABB’s Process Automation division. "We also provide reliable and efficient power systems needed to keep all onboard systems running at all times for optimum safety and passenger comfort."

ABB will supply complete electrical systems for both ships; including generators, and transformers for propulsion, engine room and distribution, frequency converters, bow thruster motors, and other related power system equipment, as well as its latest generation Azipod XO propulsion systems. ABB’s energy efficient Azipod propulsion saves fuel and provides greater maneuverability in all operating conditions.

ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 135,000 people.

STX France to complete cancelled GNMTC ship as MSC Preziosa

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines
STX Europe says that MSC Cruises and STX France has entered into a contract for construction of MSC Preziosa. The post-panamax cruise ship was originally ordered by General National Maritime Transport Company (GNMTC) of Libya with whom the contract had been cancelled in June 2011.

 


 

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