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Work starts on eighth Pandaw Charity funded clinic in Myanmar

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Work has started to construct the eight clininic in mYanmar funded by Pandaw Charity, whivh has beenset up by Pandaw Expeditions, the Singapore-Scottish river cruise company.

One monk has loaned the charity the land within the protection of his monastery and work will begin immediately to construct a two storey building of 1,200 square feet. This will, in addition to consulting rooms, contain an x ray facility, ultra sound room and a diagnostic lab, Pandaw chairman Paul Strachan said in a statement.

Seven already established clinics are all in villages within a 20 mile radius of the central clinic and when necessary the medical team will be able to refer patients to the central clinic for further diagnosis. This year saw us hit our 300,000th patient treatment since inception in 2010.

All medications are provided free. "Some of our clinics are now over run. The Balin clinic near the Pakokku bridge can now get several hundred patients in a day, many arriving the night before to get in the queue. The new central clinic will cost $50,000 to build and all these clinics need money to keep going. Any help you can give us would be appreciated,” Strachan said.

Pandaw has its headquarters in Singapore and the company has its domicile in Scotland in the UK.


Bus crash in Mexico leaves 12 RCCL passengers dead, another 18 injured

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

At least 12 people have been killed and another 18 injured after a bus carrying passengers from two Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCCL) ships crashed in Mexico, media reports said.

The vehicle overturned between Mahahual and Cafetal in Quintana Roo state in the south-east of the country, Travel Weekly in the UK reported on its website.

It was taking a total of 27 people from Serenade of the Seas of Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Equinox of Celebrity Cruises on an excursion from Costa Maya to the ancient Mayan ruin at Chaccoben, the report said, adding that those on board were from the US, Italy, Sweden and Brazil.

Carnival says next year bookings ahead of prior year at higher prices

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s ;atgest cruise shipping group, said its cumulative advance bookings for full year 2018 are ahead of the prior year at higher prices at this time. Since November, booking volumes for 2018 have been running well ahead of the prior year at higher prices.

The company expects full year 2018 adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $4.00 to $4.30, compared to 2017 adjusted earnings per share of $3.82.

President and CEO Arnold Donald commented: "Despite booking disruptions from this year's multiple hurricanes, we are still heading into 2018 with a stronger base of business and higher prices than last year.”

“We have numerous efforts underway to keep the momentum going in 2018 and beyond, from our innovative approaches to increase consideration for cruising, including our recently announced partnership with Univision, to the further roll-out of our state-of-the-art revenue management system. In 2018 we also look forward to the delivery of four new cutting-edge ships, Carnival Horizon, Seabourn Ovation, AIDAnova, and Nieuw Statendam to further our strategic fleet enhancement program."

Based on current booking trends, the company expects full year 2018 net revenue yields in constant currency to be up approximately 2.5% compared to the prior year. The company expects full year net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD in constant currency to be up approximately 1.0% compared to the prior year.

As a result of higher fuel prices, forecasted fuel costs for the full year 2018 are expected to increase approximately $117 million compared to the prior year, net of realized fuel derivatives, reducing earnings by $0.16 per share. This is partially offset by favorable movements in currency exchange rates, which are forecasted to increase earnings by $0.08 per share.

Donald added, "We remain on track to achieve double digit return on invested capital in 2018. We are committed to the continued distribution of cash to shareholders through increasing dividends, currently totaling $1.3 billion annually, and ongoing share repurchases, which have exceeded $3 billion since late 2015."

Carnival final quarter and full year profits fall

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest cruise shipping group, has reported a fall for its final quarter and full financial year net and operating results.

Group net profit for the three months to 30 November fell to $546 million from $609 million a year earlier and operating profit (EBIT) decreased to $548 million from $597 million. Revenues increased to $4.26 billion from $3.94 billion.

In the 12 months to 30 November, net profit fell to $2.61 billion from $2.78 billion and EBIT decreased to $2.81 billion from $3.07 billion. Revenues increased to $17.51 billion from $16.39 billion.

For the full year 2016, adjusted net income excludes unrealized gains on fuel derivatives of $236 million and other net charges of $37 million. Revenues for the full year 2017 were $17.5 billion, $1.1 billion higher than the $16.4 billion in the prior year.

"We exceeded the high end of our original full year 2017 guidance by $0.22 per share, achieving record cash from operations of $5.3 billion and another adjusted earnings per share record despite a significant drag from fuel and currency,” said Arnold Donald, President and CEO, in a statement.

“Our full year performance was led by over 4.5% growth in ticket prices while overcoming a variety of headwinds, affirming that our core strategy, which is anchored in delivering exceptional guest experiences, driving demand through marketing programs to increase cruise consideration, and introducing new more efficient ships through measured capacity growth all while leveraging our scale, can deliver consistent earnings improvements," Donald said.

Key information for the fourth quarter 2017 compared to the prior year:

Gross revenue yields (revenue per available lower berth day or "ALBD") increased 6.8%. In constant currency, net revenue yields increased 4.2% for 4Q 2017, better than September guidance of up 1.5% to 2.5%.

Gross cruise costs including fuel per ALBD increased 9.7 t. In constant currency, net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD increased 6.1%, in line with September guidance of up 6.0% to 7.0%.

Changes in fuel prices (including realized fuel derivatives) and currency exchange rates decreased earnings by $0.03 per share.

Voyage disruptions due to hurricanes reduced fourth quarter earnings by approximately $0.11 per share.

CMV sets up Mexican brand, Magellan to operate from Acapulco winter 2019

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

CMV Travel and Leisure Group Limited (CMV), the UK based cruise shipping company said it would deploy the 46,052 gross ton Magellan on the Pacific Coast of Mexico for winter 2019 to support the launch of Cruceros Marítimos Vacacionales, a new Mexican cruise brand.

The ship’s Mexican Riviera cruise programme would be aimed exclusively at the Mexican domestic market. Magellan will commence operations on 3 February 2019 with an introductory winter debut season of eight seven-night sailings homeporting from both Acapulco every Sunday and Manzanillo every Friday with the season finishing on 31March 2019. The voyages to/from the UK will be marketed internationally.

The company operates in the UK, Australia and the Us as Cruise & Maritime Voyages and in Germany as Transocean Cruises. Christian Verhounig, CEO explained, “CMV specialise in the development of dedicated source markets having successfully established markets and programs in the UK & Ireland, Germany, Australia and France. CMV will currently be the only exclusive Mexican cruise product available on the domestic leisure market. The Mexican market offers great potential and we plan to extend the season in 2020. This exciting new initiative is part of the Group’s continued strategic international development plan in achieving our longer-term growth objectives”.

The itinerary will include calls to Manzanillo and Cabo San Lucas in the Baja California peninsula plus two days at sea. Acapulco will be the primary gateway port serving the region of Guerrero and Mexico City. Both Mazatlan & Puerto Vallarta, apart from being transit calls will also provide secondary gateway ports to the cities of Guadalajara, Leon and the northern Mexico States.

John Dennis, Vice President Sales & Marketing of the CMV North American Fort Lauderdale based sales office will assume responsibility for the commercial management and business development of the Mexican operation with a maiden season capacity of 12,000 passengers.

John Dennis explained, “Following extensive development work over the past year which has involved numerous visits and meetings with many of the key stakeholders and Government officials, I am delighted that the Board have sanctioned this exciting and ground breaking new venture. We will be opening a dedicated sales office in Mexico City and officially launching Cruceros Marítimos Vacacionales and the debut 2019 Magellan program during the first quarter of 2018 with big trade launch events planned in Mexico City, Acapulco, Guadalajara and Mazatlan, at the 2018 “Tianguis Turistico” the most important event of the tourism sector in Mexico.”