A+ A A-

Top Headlines

Cruise ticket prices edge higher after Costa Concordia - UBS

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Fears that the grounding of Costa Concordia in Italy on 13 January might derail appear not to have materialised as ticket prices seem to be firming. “As we are now moving into the heart of Wave Season, and as we are now one full week past the Concordia incident, we thought it timely to check on cruise pricing for the past week,” UBS cruise industry analyst Robin Farley said.

“Although we expected that a strong start to Wave Season would likely be derailed by the accident in Italy last week, ticket prices increased ~40bp in price sequentially week-over-week, and could be up as much as ~1% since the start of the year, according to our UBS Cruise Data Tracker. What is even more surprising is that average ticket prices increased since the start of the year for almost every brand that we survey, including Costa.”

“While still early, impact so far on bookings may not be as negative as one might have expected. Our EPS adjustments last week assume 50bp impact on total demand, with ~10% impact to Costa specifically, which nets to 200bp impact to CCL Carnival Corp & plc) and 50 bp impact to RCL (Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd)."

“Our pricing checks indicate that for the 2012 cruising season, cruise prices across the Caribbean have been up moderately in the last few weeks, including another slight uptick so far in Wave. Caribbean has shown strength since the second to last week of December. Alaska is moderately up since start of year, including an uptick in the last week. Finally, our checks indicate that Med cruise pricing has been stable since the downward pricing adjustment in early November,” she said in a report.

Miami, Venice among new ports introduced by Disney Cruise Line

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

In 2013, Disney Cruise Line will offer new itineraries, including an expanded portfolio of European cruises with new destinations such as Venice, Italy, and the Greek Isles. In addition, Disney Cruise Line will utilize a second homeport in Florida, with Caribbean sailings departing from the Port of Miami for the first time.

With the addition of the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy to the fleet of cruise ships, Disney Cruise Line is able to take more families to more destinations around the world. Disney Cruise Line has always catered to the unique vacation needs of families, and next year will be enhancing the cruise options for guests — whether it’s sun and sand in the Caribbean, outdoor adventures in Alaska or experiencing the wonders of Europe.

Highlights of the Disney Cruise Line 2013 schedule (which can be booked beginning Jan. 26, 2012) include:

Mediterranean from Barcelona

Beginning June 1, 2013, the Disney Magic returns to Europe with plenty of new twists to the Mediterranean itineraries, including a four-night option and special 12-night sailings in addition to seven-night itineraries that treat guests to the best of Europe during the three-month season.

The new 12-night sailings visit destinations such as Venice, Italy, and Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast on one itinerary and Ephesus, Turkey and the Greek Isles including Athens, on another. Each itinerary will offer a sailing departing in June and another departing in July.

All itineraries depart from Barcelona, Spain, as the Disney Magic takes guests on an exciting journey of richly diverse cities, cultures and people. With romantic boulevards, bustling bazaars, iconic locations, mild climates, sun-drenched islands and the brilliant blue Mediterranean Sea, guests will enjoy a world-class family vacation with legendary Disney guest service.

Bahamas and Western Caribbean from Miami

Disney Cruise Line will sail from Miami for the first time on Dec. 23, 2012 One six- and one seven-night Caribbean sailing aboard the Disney Wonder will set the stage for a schedule of four- and five-night cruises from Miami to the Bahamas and Western Caribbean between Jan. 5, 2013, and May 2, 2013 The four- and five-night cruises have a variety of itineraries. Ports of call may include Cozumel, Mexico; Grand Cayman; Key West; Nassau, Bahamas, and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

The itineraries offer families magical days at sea to explore all of the fun aboard the Disney Wonder and days in port to lounge on warm, golden beaches, to swim and snorkel in azure waters or to shop to their heart’s content in exotic marketplaces.

The Disney Magic, which will begin sailing from Texas in 2012, will continue to sail from the Port of Galveston through May 2013, to the Western Caribbean.

Alaska from Vancouver

Beginning May 27, 2013, the Disney Wonder will sail seven-night cruises from Vancouver to Tracy Arm, Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska. These cruises will combine the natural wonder and adventurous spirit of Alaska with the unparalleled, family-friendly experience found on a Disney Cruise Line ship. Disney Cruise Line worked closely with Alaskan tour operators to create exclusive-to-Disney family-friendly Port Adventures that allow guests to best experience Alaska’s natural beauty and rich history.
Rates for seven-night Alaska cruises departing from Vancouver start at $1,015 per person for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

Caribbean and Bahamas from Port Canaveral

The Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream will continue to sail a variety of Caribbean and Bahamian itineraries departing from Port Canaveral.

The Disney Fantasy will sail out of Port Canaveral on seven-night Caribbean itineraries – alternating eastern (St. Maarten and St. Thomas) and western (Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel). Special Eastern Caribbean sailings, January through April 2013, stop at San Juan, Puerto Rico. All Disney Fantasy itineraries include a stop at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

Cruise industry safety record: 16 fatalities, 98.2 million passengers 2005-10 - G.P. Wild (International)

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

As part of its ongoing research for its annual publication the Cruise Industry Statistical Review,  G.P.Wild(International)Ltd monitors cruise industry casualties.

"Our data shows that when compared to other forms of transport such as airlines the cruise industry has an excellent safety record. Detailed below are top line figures from the last five years however further information regarding ships and type of casualty can be found in the Cruise Industry Statistical Review," the UK based consultancy said on its website.

Cruise Industry Safety Record









Passengers (Millions)
























Source: G. P. Wild (International) Limited 

"From the above it can be seen that the cruise industry has an excellent safety record.  Average fatalities between 2005 and 2010 are 0.16 per one million passengers.  This compares with 0.3 per one million passengers for the airline industry," the consultancy said.


“Safety is journey rather than destination” – Goldstein

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

In latest blog posting on the Internet,Adam Goldstein, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, says thatsafety is a journey rather than a destination and he called the Costa Concordiaaccident a defining moment for the cruise industry.

“The Costa Concordia accident is a definingmoment in the history of the modern cruise industry. We will need the resultsof the authorities’ investigations to truly understand and respond to all ofthe implications. But we do not need to wait for anyone or anything to underscorethe preeminent role of safety in the daily life of every cruise ship and of theindustry as a whole.

By coincidence, half of our Captains andmost of our Hotel Directors arrived in South Florida for our annual FleetOperations leadership conference over the weekend. This gave our ChairmanRichard Fain and me a timely opportunity to underscore both our excellent 42year safety record and more importantly to emphasize the imperative of keepingour record intact into the future.

There are many aspects of safety. Althoughwe are proud of our people, processes and technology in all areas of safety, wemust review them all again, especially recruiting, training, guest musteringand evacuation. We have considered and prepared for very many scenarios. Now weneed to broaden the range of scenarios even further.

In the upcoming weeks we will communicateby text and video about many of the key elements of safety. Many readers whoknow us well will not be surprised by our focus on and commitment tosafety.  Those who have less experiencewith us should learn some interesting and compelling facts about how we prepareour ships and crew for safe operation every day.   For example, the rigorous preparation andongoing training that every Captain in the Royal Caribbean International fleetmust undergo.

Safety is a journey rather than adestination. We need to operate safely now yet constantly improve our safety.We need to hunt for lessons learned in every minor incident or accident. Weneed to apply those lessons learned across the fleet ASAP. This is a neverending cycle. As our Chairman Richard Fain says, there is no such thing asperfect safety but there is such a thing as perfect dedication to safety. Westrive to be true to that concept.

The process of continuous improvement insafety is evident in our fleet. The newer ships are beneficiaries of decades ofnaval architectural progress.  They arealso beneficiaries of the development of the requirements that ships must meetunder the auspices of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Where wehave clearly succeeded with new approaches, such as the e-mustering procedureson Oasis-class ships, we are in the process of retrofitting the fleet wherepossible.

Global, regional, national and localauthorities are going to review with increased intensity all regulationsrelated to cruise ship safety. We enjoy strong and positive relationships withthe IMO, U.S. Coast Guard, Flag states, Port states and innumerable otherauthorities around the globe. We look forward to working with them to make thesafety record of modern cruising even stronger than it already is.

I often thank the men and women of RoyalCaribbean International for the great job they do delivering Gold AnchorService and the “Wow” to over three million guests per year. Implicit in thatappreciation is recognition of their dedication to the safety of our guests andtheir fellow crew. It seems appropriate now to make my appreciation explicit aswell as to remind all of my colleagues shipboard and shoreside that ourvigilance must encompass every drill, every training, every voyage plan, everyanalysis of incidents/accidents and every day of ship operations.

My thoughts and prayers are with those whohave been directly affected by the tragic accident on Costa Concordia.”

Compensation battle around Costa Concordia starts

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Some 70 passengers of the stricken cruise ship Costa Concordia have joined in class action against Costa Crociere, the Carnival Corp & plc unit that owns the vessel. However, legal experts say that chances of bringing compensation cases up in courts in the US are meager, according to media reports.

"Over 70 passengers who were on board the ship have joined the class action suit initiated by our association," said Carlo Rienzi, head of the Italian consumer rights group Codacon said in a statement. "Our objective is to get each passenger at least €10,000 compensation for material damage and also for ... the fear suffered, the holidays ruined and the serious risks endured," he said.

The New York Times reports that Costa’s contract states that the line will pay no more in cases of death, personal injury and property loss than about $71,000 per passenger. “It allows no recovery for mental anguish or psychological damages. It bars class-action suits,” the report said.

For cruises that do not involve a United States port, such as the seven-night western Mediterranean itinerary of Costa Concordia, the contract states, any litigation must be brought in Genoa, Italy, where the headquarters of Costa Crociere are located, and be governed by Italian law.

But when it comes to liability, the contract says the company can take advantage of any limits set by international treaties or the laws of the United States, which are very generous to owners of vessels. If there is a conflict among the patchwork of laws and treaties regarding liability, it says, “the Carrier shall be entitled to invoke whichever provisions provide the greatest limitations and immunities to the Carrier,” New York Times reports.