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Lindblad unveils designs, voyages for its ground-breaking polar ship

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

Sven Lindblad, CEO & President of Lindblad Expeditions, unveiled the world’s most advanced polar expedition ship – the 126-guest National Geographic Endurance – at a live video conference on September 27. He was joined by key members of the line’s ship building and expedition team including Trey Byus, Chief Expedition Officer (CXO); Nikolaos Doulis, Senior VP of Marine Builds, and Captain Leif Skog, VP of Nautical. The panel of experts discussed the ship’s innovative design and development, unveiled interior renderings, and the inaugural Arctic itineraries following her early 2020 delivery.

The first new polar build in the line’s history, the ship was named to honor legendary explorer Ernest Shackleton, and embodies every innovation and concept Lindblad has developed in over 50+ years of pioneering expedition travel.

Fully stabilized with the highest ice class (PC5 Category A) of any purpose-built passenger vessel, National Geographic Endurance will provide unprecedented access to polar environments, opening up previously unexplored opportunities areas as well as allowing Lindblad to explore familiar geographies for longer. in polar environments.

The most striking feature of National Geographic Endurance is her distinctive profile, resulting from the patented X-Bow. Introduced by Lindblad’s Norwegian shipbuilder, Ulstein, this unique design affords the smoothest, most comfortable ride imaginable, in all sea behavior, which results in greater fuel efficiency and fewer emissions for reduced environmental impact.

The X-Bow also significantly increases the joy of observing wildlife, enabling optimal forward and straight down-the-sides viewing – no leaning out over the deck rail required. The unobstructed downward sight lines, plus multiple walk-out areas from the Bridge, and Observation Lounge, and glass rails on the top deck create superb conditions for viewing and photography.

Sleek and powerful on the outside, National Geographic Endurance is quiet luxe in the best Scandinavian design tradition on the inside. Conceived by Partnership Design in Hamburg, the streamlined modernism of her welcoming Reception, distinctive style of her elevators and staircase, and pampering comfort of her public and private spaces, have been designed for guest ease. With a total of six guest decks, the ship has over 10,000 square feet of glass keeping guests constantly connected to the view.

National Geographic Endurance’s luxuriously appointed interiors are superlative from a design and hospitality perspective – and uphold Lindblad traditions: making community (the Lounge) and insight (the ‘Circle of Truth’ podium) the center of expedition life.

Fire and ice are twin themes throughout the ship, in the color schemes and the feelings engendered by her spaces—from the ‘chill’ cool of the Ice Lounge, the expedition community hub for Recap, talks, presentations and sociability with a B&H Photo Gear Locker for trying new tech; to the conversation-kindling warmth around the fireplace of The Den on the Observation Deck. Discover spa treatments and therapies at The Sanctuary. Stunning twin infinity Jacuzzis, saunas with million-dollar views, and a glass-walled yoga studio will transform the polar experience.

Elegantly imagined, with a sense of limitless space effortlessly incorporated into the design, the 13 extra large balcony suites - each named for a famous polar explorer - impart a feeling of serenity. Warm creams, oatmeal and coral, soft textures, round corners, art that invites the eye to linger and Lindblad’s signature feather duvets, plus a walk-in closet and roomy stone-clad baths make each suite a haven. Full-height windows and furnished balconies bring the scenery in. And in the 56 standard cabins, azure accents meet polar vistas at the windows for a feeling of expansive yet cozy space. Of the 56 standard cabins, 40 feature a balcony (including the 12 solo cabins). All of the 69 total cabins feature a sofa or reading chair, as well as the new “Command Center” with a National Geographic Atlas, barometer, analog clock, digital tablet with daily programming & a generous array of USB and universal electrical ports for cameras and devices, plus a retractable lighted vanity mirror.

Dining aboard National Geographic Endurance will be a far cry from what Shackleton experienced. Restaurant Two Seven Zeroº surrounds superb dining with stellar views. C. Green’s, named for Shackelton’s cook, offers an early riser breakfast, fresh salads and lighter fare, plus custom grilled selections at lunch and dinner. The Chef’s Table is an innovative approach to private dining. Over the course of each voyage, all guests aboard will be hosted by our Chef. Intimate and interactive, each dinner features ‘polar theater’ in the form of regionally inspired, sustainable, and inventive food. In addition, daily high tea, hors d’oeuvres at Recap, and BBQs in the heated outdoor Winter Garden round out the new level of dining.

The ship will feature a suite of Lindblad’s signature tools for exploration: fleet of Zodiacs, kayaks, snowshoes, cross-country skis, an ROV, hydrophones, video microscope, underwater video technology, a hyper-efficient Zodiac loading for ‘getting out there’ more swiftly and safely - plus more expedition enhancements to be announced soon.

In 2020 National Geographic Endurance embarks on a series of eight inaugural Arctic itineraries, to explore areas both familiar and brand new, presenting unprecedented opportunities to explore further. She will travel where few have gone, see what few have seen and experience what few can, venturing earlier and penetrate farther into the most adventurous regions. That’s what National Geographic Endurance is designed to do. A few highlights:

– Svalbard in Spring: Polar Bears, Arctic Light and Epic Ice - Voyage deep into Svalbard, the way few have. A true Arctic refuge – covered in snow, surrounded by sea ice, where polar bears freed from their winter sleep stalk seals on the ice. Be stunned by the astonishing lights as the spring sun mounts higher in the Arctic sky each day.

– Northeast Passage: An Unforgettable Voyage from Norway to Alaska - National Geographic Endurance roams free at the top of the world on this pioneering expedition, on one of the most untrammeled, adventurous routes in the High Arctic – including Franz Josef Land, Severnaya Zemlya, the barely explored Siberian coast, and Wrangel Island.

– East Greenland: Wild Shores of the High Arctic – As fiercely guarded as any kingdom, Greenland’s eastern coast is flanked by thousands of bergs calved from the massive ice sheet. It’s where we will enter the largest national park in the world – Northeast Greenland National Park – to find polar bears, seals, walrus; crevasse-laced glaciers; mountains made from some of the oldest rock art, and coastal villages where descendants of the greatest hunters and survivors our species has even know dwell.

Carnival slightly raises floor of full year earnings guidance

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest cruise shipping grpup, has increased the floor of its earnings guidance for the financial year to 30 November from that it gave three months ago.

Based on the third quarter results and booking strength for the fourth quarter of 2018, the company now expects full year 2018 net revenue yields in constant currency to be up approximately 3.5% compared to the prior year, better than June guidance of up approximately 3.0%, the company said in a statement.

The company expects full year net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD in constant currency compared to the prior year to be up approximately 1.5%, versus June guidance of approximately 1.0%, primarily due to the accounting treatment for ships sold during the quarter.

Changes in fuel prices (including realised fuel derivatives) and currency exchange rates are expected to decrease earnings by $0.06 per share compared to June guidance and $0.18 per share compared to the prior year.

Taking the above factors into consideration, the company expects full year 2018 adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $4.21 to $4.25 compared to 2017 adjusted earnings per share of $3.82.

This marks a slight increase of the floor of the guidance from June, when the company said it expects full year 2018 adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $4.15 to $4.25

President and Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald commented: "We are on track to achieve double digit return on invested capital in 2018 as we deliver upon our strategy to create demand in excess of measured capacity growth, all while containing costs and leveraging our industry leading scale. Going forward, we remain on a path toward continued growth in earnings and returns, driven to a greater degree by capacity increases as we add more efficient ships, replacing less efficient capacity. “

“We believe the plans we have put in place will maximize returns to shareholders over time as we continue to execute in an industry that is both under-penetrated and capacity constrained."

Donald added: "At the same time, we remain committed to returning cash to shareholders as evidenced by the growth in our recurring dividend, currently distributing $1.4 billion annually, accompanied by our recently replenished share repurchase program."

 

 

Yields rose more and cruise costs less than what Carnival had forecast

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Carnival Corporation & plc, the Anglo-American cruise shipping group, said gross yield increase in constant currency terms had exceeded outperformed the company’s own guidance, issued in June.

Cruise costs had risen less than forecast, but this was due to technical factors.

“In constant currency, net revenue yields increased 2.9%, better than June guidance of up 1.5% to 2.5%,” the company said in a statement.

Gross revenue yields (revenue per available lower berth day or "ALBD") increased 4.0% in the third quarter, year on, as reported.

Meanwhile, gross cruise costs including fuel per ALBD decreased 2.6%. In constant currency, net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD increased 2.7% better than June guidance of up 3.0% to 4.0%, principally due to the timing of expenses between quarters.

Changes in fuel prices (including realised fuel derivatives) and currency exchange rates decreased earnings by $0.08 per share.

Highlights from the third quarter include the signing of an agreement between Princess Cruises and Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri S.p.A to build two new liquefied natural gas ("LNG") cruise ships that will be delivered in 2023 and 2025, bringing the total to 11 LNG cruise ships on order.

P&O Cruises (Australia) announced the sale of Pacific Jewel, which will leave the fleet in March 2019; Holland America Line announced the sale of Prinsendam,  which will leave the fleet in July 2019; and P&O Cruises (UK) announced the sale of Oriana, which will leave the fleet in August 2019, bringing the total to four ships leaving the fleet in 2019.

 

Seabourn received approval to begin sailing to Cuba from Miami and San Juan, becoming our third cruise brand currently approved to sail to Cuba. The company released its 2017 Sustainability Report and achieved its goal to reduce its carbon footprint by 25 percent three years ahead of schedule.

 

Carnival group reports highest ever quarterly profit of $1.70 billion

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest cruise shipping group, has reported its strongest quarter ever in the three months to 30 August, the company said in a statement.

Group net profit rose to $1.70 billion from $1.33 billion a year earlier, while revenues increased to $5.84 billion from $5.51 billion. Operating result (EBIT) jumped to $1.79 billion from $1.39 billion.

For the first nine months of its financial year, Carnival reported a rise in net profit to $2.66 billion from $2.07 billion, while revenues reached $10.69 billion from $9.81 billion. Operating profit increased to42.77 billion from $2.26 billion.

President and Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald stated: "Strong execution delivered the highest quarterly performance in our company's history, overcoming fuel and currency headwinds. At the same time, our strong cash flow and balance sheet enabled us to accelerate our opportunistic share repurchase program, investing almost $750 million in Carnival stock since the beginning of the third quarter, bringing the total investment to $4.4 billion in just three years, and leading to the second replenishment of our $1.0 billion repurchase program this year alone.”

Adjusted net income excludes unrealised gains and losses on fuel derivatives and other net charges, totaling $34 million in net gains for the third quarter of 2018 and unrealized gains on fuel derivatives of $65 million and impairments and other net charges of $395 million for the third quarter of 2017.

United Shipbuilding Corporation will sell the Arctech Helsinki shipyard by the end of the year

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

 

Kalle Id reports

Several Russian news sources have reported this week that Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation (Obedinënnaya Sudostroitelnaya Korporatsija, OSK) will sell 100% of its shareholding in the Finland-based Arctech Helsinki Shipyard, instead of the 55% previously reported, by the end of 2018.

Speaking at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok on Wednesday, OSK President Alexei Rakhmanov told media representatives that the previous negotiations to sell 55% of Arctech Helsinki Shipyard to the Croatia-based Kermas Group have failed. Instead, OSK are looking now to sell Arctech in its entirety before the end of the current year. According to Rakhmanov, “great difficulties” will follow if a buyer is not found.

Rakhmanov stated that negotiations are ongoing with three parties: the aforementioned Kermas, with whom talk have restarted from a clean slate, an unnamed Russian businessman, and an equally unnamed group of Norwegian companies. The schedule of the planned sale is tight, and Rakhmanov did not elaborate on what the “great difficulties” he mentioned would be.

Arctech currently has only one ship in its orderbook, an Arctic LNG tanker due for delivery later this year. While the Helsinki shipyard is one of most notable builders of modern cruise and ferry tonnage, it last delivered a passenger vessel in 2009, having since specialised in icebreakers, especially for the Arctic areas. The yard’s recent attempts of re-entering passenger shipbuilding have so far been unsuccessful, in large part due to Arctech suffering from the sanctions placed on its owner United Shipbuilding Corporation by the United States following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

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