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Star Cruises invests US$25 million to refurbish SuperStar Virgo

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

Star Cruises has earmarked US$25 million to refurbish SuperStar Virgo, further strengthening its cruise holiday products for regional and international passengers.

During the three-week dry-dock renovation (Jan, 2012), the 76,800 gross ton and 1,870-passenger SuperStar Virgo will have a facelift with new hull design as well as a makeover in its cabin, restaurants, entertainment, bodycare, shopping, sports and recreation venues.

It will return to homeport in Singapore to offer world-class cruising experience on 23 Jan 2012, the first day of the Year of the Dragon. The vessel will ply the straits of Singapore and Malacca in various itineraries including 2N, 3N and 5N destination cruises calling at popular locations such as Phuket, Langkawi, Port Klang, Malacca, Redang, and Penang; and 1N and 2N high seas cruises.

"This US$25-million investment underpins Star Cruises continuous drive to grow Asias cruise industry," said William Ng, Chief Operating Officer, Star Cruises. The Asia-Pacific cruise industry is expected to grow in leaps and bounds, and Star Cruises is well-positioned to take the lead in further developing and expanding the industry.

This rejuvenation programme follows the refurbishments of Star Pisces (homeport in Hong Kong) and SuperStar Aquarius (current season's homeport in Sanya), in February and April 2011 respectively, with a combined cost of US$13.6 million.

Viking River Cruises expands to oceans – orders two newbuildings from STX France

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

STX France SA has received an order to build two luxury cruise ships from Viking Ocean Cruises, an affiliate of Viking River Cruises. The vessels will be delivered in spring 2014 and spring 2015, respectively, and will be part of Viking's new Ocean Cruise brand. An option for a third ship is being considered.

The vessels will be operated primarily on the Mediterranean seas and be dedicated mainly to Viking's US, British and Australian customers.

The vessels will have a length of 230 meters and a width of 26.5 meters. They will each include 888 passengers in 444 cabins with a complement of 444 crew members.

The contract will represent about 2.5 million man-hours. Construction is expected to start in mid-September 2012 for the first vessel and in mid-September 2013 for the second vessel. The contract is subject to financing.

Well known as the world's leading river cruise company Viking ranks as an upscale owner. Viking River Cruise currently operates a fleet of 23 river vessels, and has 8 river cruise vessels under construction. River cruising is destination oriented and the two ocean going vessels will similarly be designed with destination cruising in mind.

"We are proud to have been selected by Viking to build their new series of ships and delighted to contribute to their expansion into a new market" says Jacques Hardelay, General Manager of STX France.

Carnival repeats strategic growth will add 2-3 ships to fleet per year

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Carnival Corp & plc, the world’s largest cruise shipping group, says it will pursue strategic growth as stated earlier in spite of weak global economy.

“We remain focused on strategic growth through the addition of two to three new ships per year and expect to continue to return excess cash to shareholders. Based on the above guidance, we estimate our cash from operations will approach $4 billion in 2012, while our capital investment commitment will be $2.6 billion. We expect to generate significant free cash flow in 2012 and beyond, which should provide further opportunities to return cash to shareholders,” said Chhairman and CEO Micky Arison in a statement.

During 2012, the company will introduce three new ships. Costa Fascinosa is scheduled for delivery in April, while AIDAmar and Carnival Breeze are scheduled for delivery in May. Recently, P&O Cruises (Australia) sold Pacific Sun which will leave the fleet in July 2012.

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