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Costa Crociere reports 28% rise in bookings April-May

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Costa Crociere, the Italian unit in Carnival Corp & plc group, says it has recorded a 28% year-on increase in bookings in the April-May period.

“On 25 May, Costa Cruises reached one million guest bookings for cruises in 2012 and was the first European company to top the million mark back in 2007, a feat it has continued to achieve every year since. What’s more, in April and May this year, Costa Cruises achieved booking volumes that were 28% higher than those recorded for the same months in 2011,” the company said in a statement.

The company said the recovery following the sinking of Costa Concordia on 13 January was due to its marketing activities, as well as the support of its customer base and partners. “The latest sales figures reflect the company’s strong business fundamentals, the quality of its product and unfailing customer loyalty,” Costa said.

New AIDA ships to feature Mitsubishi’s air lubrication system

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) will install its innovative "Mitsubishi Air Lubrication System" (MALS) on two large cruise ships to be built for the AIDA Cruises, a German brand of Carnival Corporation & plc.

MALS is MHI's proprietary technology that reduces fuel consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) by a layer of airbubbles blown out from the vessel's bottom. The application of the MALS for the two cruise ships ordered by AIDA Cruises was decided in light of the customer's keen interest in lowering fuel consumption and easing the burden on the environment. The system is expected to reduce the vessel's fuel consumption by approximately 7%. The event marks the world's first installation of MALS on a cruise ship. It is also a significant milestone for the MALS as the cruise shipping industry requires definite quality and performance on any devices so this first application in this sector further demonstrates its reliability to the whole shipping industry.

MHI received the order for the two cruise ships in November 2011. The 125,000 gross ton, 3,250 passenger ships will be the largest ever constructed for AIDA Cruises. Construction will take place at MHI's Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works, with deliveries scheduled for the spring of 2015 and 2016, respectively. The air blown out by the MALS from the vessel's bottom produces small air bubbles which cover the vessel's bottom like an "air-carpet", which reduces friction between the hull and seawater during navigation. For the MALS, MHI uses special in-house developed high-efficiency blowers and state-of-the-art fluid simulation analysis tools to configure the arrangement of air outlet points to achieve maximum friction reduction at optimized air-blow volume. With these advanced innovations, MHI expects a 7% energy-saving effect. In 2010, MHI has already verified theperformance of the MALS with an approximately 13% fuel consumption reduction during extensive sea trials on two module carriers which was the first commercial application of the MALS for the vessel in operation.

Following the successful launching of the MALS on module carriers, MHI has completed a newly developed concept design for bulk carriers, a major marine transportation vessel, that enables anapproximately 25% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to conventional vessels, thanks to application of the MALS complemented with high-efficiency hull form and improved propulsion system. MHI will provide its conceptual design of this energy-saving bulk carrier for three grain carriers to be built for Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), a major U.S. grain handler.

Given the current trend toward adoption of international marine transportation rules for reducing environmental burdens, coupled with continuing fuel price escalation, demand for more energy-efficient vessels is steadily increasing. In response, MHI aims not only to further strengthen its marketing activities for new MALS-installed ships such as module carriers, bulk carriers and cruise ships; it also intends to promote business in retrofitting MALS to existing vessels. Simultaneously, the company will conduct focused marketing activities for its environment and energy-saving related technologies, including licensing of MALS technologies, and also build up its engineering business through provision of eco-ship related technologies and increased sales of energy-saving systems.

Norwegian Cruise Line signs memorandum of agreement to purchase of Norwegian Sky

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

Norwegian Cruise Line today announced the signing of a memorandum of agreement to exercise its option to purchase Norwegian Sky. The transaction is expected to close shortly.

The Company currently operates Norwegian Sky under a Bareboat Charter with a purchase option from Ample Avenue, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Genting Hong Kong Limited, a 50% owner of the Company. The purchase price is approximately $260 million pursuant to the option under the Bareboat Charter. Financing is being provided by the seller.

The 2,002-berth Norwegian Sky currently operates three and four-night voyages year-round from Miami, Florida.