On Monday, September 26, ISP was unexpectedly informed that Happy Cruises, charterers of the cruise vessels Gemini and the Ocean Pearl, would cease operation and cancel all remaining cruises for the 2011 season.
Based on this, the Gemini and the Ocean Pearl have been untimely redelivered by the charterers and are therefore immediately available for sale or charter. The two vessels were in full operation in the Mediterranean; are fully classed; SOLAS-approved and ready for trading. ISP invites interested parties to visit their website: www.isp-usa.com , under Fleet Information where detailed specifications, general arrangement plans and photographs can be found.
STX Finland Oy and TUI Cruises have today signed a contract for the design and construction of a 97,000 gross ton cruise vessel. The sophisticated and highly innovative cruise vessel is scheduled to be delivered in spring 2014. The vessel has many environmentally friendly features, with a particular emphasis on the vessel's energy efficiency. The project will bring some 5,500 man-years of labour to STX Finland's Turku shipyard. TUI Cruises has an option to order another ship subject to the decision of TUI Cruises shareholders.
The vessel will be approx. 295 meters long and approx. 36 meters wide. The ship will have 1,250 staterooms and will serve maximum of 2,500 passengers and a crew of 1,000 persons. High balcony ratio will ensure that most of the passengers will have a possibility to enjoy their own balconies during the cruise. The ship has a wide variety of restaurants, a theatre, a spa, a nightclub and a large deck area which all are carefully designed to ensure a unique cruising experience for passengers of all ages.
"We are extremely pleased to sign this contract with TUI Cruises. This order is highly important for STX and STX Finland. By building this innovative ship we continue our successful and long history of building top class cruise vessels," says Sujou Kim, CEO of STX Europe and STX Finland.
"This is a very important contract for STX Finland's Turku Shipyard and for the entire Finnish maritime cluster. We are delighted to deliver to TUI Cruises their first newbuilding which will represent the next generation of energy efficient and environmentally friendly cruise ship," says Jari Anttila, Director of STX Finland's Turku Shipyard.
"Due to its outstanding positioning as a shipyard and long-term cooperation with Royal Caribbean Cruises, we trust that STX Finland is a great partner for us and will successfully realize our ideas in the new ship," says Richard J. Vogel, CEO of TUI Cruises. Turku shipyard was the only yard that was capable to delivery the ship by May 2014.
It is often noted that cruise lines add
services for which they charge passengers separately in addition to the cruise
ticket: the largest two cruise shipping groups depend on more than one-fifth
of their total revenue on onboard sales.
However, figures from the annual reports of
Carnival Corporation & plc and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCCL), the two
largest cruise shipping groups in the world, show that the percentage of on
board sales from total revenue has developed differently between the two groups
over the past three years.
At Carnival, on board sales accounted for
21.5% of its total revenue of $14.47 billion in the 12 months to 30 November
2010, the company’s latest full financial year. In the previous financial year,
the figures stood at 21.4% and $13.46 billion respectively, while in the 2008
financial year, on board sales only had accounted for 20.4% of the total
revenue of $14.95 billion.
Meanwhile, at RCCL the share of on board
revenue fell to 27.3% of total revenue of $6.75 billion last year from 28.6%
and $5.89 billion in 2009, respectively.In 2008, on board sales had accounted for 27.6% of RCCL group’s total
revenue of $6.53 billion.
The figures show that from 2008 to 2009,
the share of on board sales of total revenue increased at both Carnival and
RCCL, by 1.0 percentage points in both cases. Again, both companies recorded a
fall in 2010, but in the case of Carnival, this was only 0.1 percentage points
(and actually even less if you exclude rounding up of figures to single
decimal) , while the fall for RCCL was 1.3 percentage points. This also means
that the reading for 2010, of 27.3%, was actually slightly lower than that for
2008 had been (27.6%).
In light of these figures, it seems that
RCCL depends more on onboard sales than the Carnival group. On the other hand,
Carnival appears to have managed in stabilising the share of on board sales
from total revenue better than RCCL last year.
The world’s only French cruise line and “Five-star Expedition” specialist Compagnie du Ponant is to build another “latest generation” yacht (132 staterooms and suites) at the Italian Fincantieri shipyard in Ancona.
Sistership to Le Boreal and L'Austral, launched in May 2010 and April 2011 respectively and complying with the “Cleanship” label, the new vessel will join the fleet in June 2013. The fleet currently comprises five yachts of character all flying the French flag: Le Ponant (32 staterooms), Le Levant (45 staterooms), Le Diamant (113 staterooms and suites), Le Boreal and L'Austral (132 staterooms and suites).
The order is another positive sign confirming the relevance of Compagnie du Ponant’s investment strategy, its exclusive positioning, development on the international scene and the strength of its presence on the French market. In 2011, Compagnie du Ponant confidently expects to exceed the 20,000 passenger a year mark, with turnover estimated at €80 million. The excellent results are mainly down to a full year of operation for Le Boreal and L'Austral.
Both cruise yachts bear all the hallmarks of Compagnie du Ponant and have won over loyal clients as well as attracting many new ones. In fact, one in two passengers in 2011 is a new customer for Compagnie du Ponant, while one in four is trying out a cruise holiday for the first time. Customer satisfaction levels (4.5/5) and the high rate of recommendation to friends and family (97% of passengers) are also recognition of the hard work put in by the company’s personnel.
"For Compagnie du Ponant this order is another step towards the future that validates an effective business model, a good and successful bet," says Chief Executive Officer, Jean-Emmanuel Sauvée.
It’s a business model that has also been welcomed by Compagnie du Ponant’s shareholders who have shown their confidence in the crews and land-based teams by investing in this new ship.
Having led the project to build the two previous yachts with such flair, the Fincantieri shipyard has again been entrusted with building the third sistership. French designer Jean-Philippe Nuel will be responsible for the sophisticated modern interior which has contributed so much to the success of Le Boreal and L’Austral.
“In keeping with our concept of cruising, we are again favouring the intimate, friendly environment of a human-size ship, ensuring our passengers receive individual attention and a personalised “tailor-made” service in an outstanding environment,” concludes Véronique Saadé, Deputy Executive Vice-President.
Fincantieri, the Italian state owned shipbuilder
that is the biggest builder of cruise liners, has reported an increase in first
half profit before non-recurring and extraordinary expenses to €16 million from
€12 million at the same time last year, the company said in a statement.
Operating profit (EBITDA) came to €59
million, with a margin of 5%, up from 4.3% in the first half of 2010, also
thanks to measures making procurement more cost effective. “At 30 June 2011, the Fincantieri Groups order
portfoliowas worth €7,920 million. The
associated order backlog, althougha
still significant €5,570 million, will continue to beinsufficient to saturate production capacity
at all the Group'sshipyards,”
“The shipbuilding industry continued to
experience severeproblems in the first
half of the year due to the world economiccrisis. The demand for new cruise ships has settled at around 6/8ships a year (versus an average of 12 in the
pre-crisis period), ofwhich 2/3 ships
acquirable by Fincantieri.”
The company noted shipbuilding crisis has
significantly intensifiedprice pressure
on new orders. This pressure has been further heightened by the highly
aggressive market entry strategies recentlydisplayed by the cruise market in the Far East. “This market situation
will create a mismatch, even prospectively, between Fincantieri’s production
capacity and itsorder backlog
acquired/acquirable. In fact, during the first half of2011 surplus production capacity resulted in
the total closure ofcertain shipyards
serving the merchant market, while others areexpected to experience problems on a similar or smaller scale in
“Fincantieri is addressing this situation
through a blockon staff turnover, with
a reduction of 115 in headcount in Italysince the end of 2010, and through agreement with the unions for
thetemporary lay-off of up to 3,000
workers, of whom 1,772 affected asof
the end of June. Furthermore, in order to deal with increasingly fiercemarket competition, Fincantieri must
continue, ever more resolutely,down the
road of cost reduction by reorganizing and making processesmore efficient and by improving productivity.”