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Sembcorp Completes Refurbs of Pacific Eden and Aria

Sembcorp Marine has successfully upgraded the Pacific Eden (formerly Statendam) and the Pacific Aria (formerly Ryndam) at its Admiralty Yard, it said in a statement.
The concurrent drydocking of these two cruise vessels at the same shipyard was a first for its operator P&O Cruises (Australia), which is part of the Carnival Corporation and a long-term partner of Sembcorp Marine.
With the sailaway of the Pacific Aria last week, Sembcorp Marine has set a record of 12 cruise ships repaired, upgraded and refurbished in a single year. Besides P&O Cruises (Australia), the customers for these projects were Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Star Cruises and SkySea Cruise Line.
“2015 has been a busy year for Sembcorp Marine in the area of cruise ship refits and upgrading,” said Sembcorp Marine Executive Vice President and Head of Repairs & Upgrades Wong Lee Lin. “Our successful completion of these very challenging projects reinforces Sembcorp Marine’s reputation as a leader in the cruise refit market. This in turn boosts the status of Singapore as a major global cruise hub.”
“We thank our partners and customers for choosing Sembcorp Marine to execute the projects, and for their trust and confidence in our capabilities,” Ms Wong added.
Sembcorp Marine’s customer portfolio today includes Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises – the world’s top two cruise companies – as well as Star Cruises, Asia’s leading cruise line.
Source: Cruise Industry News

Eden: ‘Massive Cruise Season’

More ships in Australian waters are playing right into the hands of a proactive port group in Eden.Six of nine calls scheduled for 2015-2016 are coming from P&O Cruises.
“We are getting better known as a recreational port, with good feedback from previous visits,” said Natalie Godward, cruise manager at Cruise Eden.
Cruise ships can look forward to a new breakwater wharf extension, coming in January 2016.
“The cruise lines are asking that their passengers have a great experience and get a taste of the area,” added Godward. “It is our job to over deliver on their expectations so we keep the ships and passengers coming back for more.”
Popular tours continue to be Eden and Sapphire Coast sight-seeing. Other well-attended excursions include arranged visits to the Whale Museum, national parks and an oyster tasting.
Source: Cruise Industry News

Crystal Adds Boeing 777 on Top of Previous 787 Commitment

Crystal Cruises has announced the purchase of a Boeing Business Jet B777-200LR, for its expanded brand extension Crystal Luxury Air, it said in a statement.
The announcement comes after Crystal’s news in July of an extensive brand expansion, which will include air vacations around the world aboard a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.
In addition to doubling the initial air projections with the expanded aircraft fleet, Crystal will work with the Registry of Aruba in developing and securing an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC). This will pave the way for Crystal Luxury Air to launch international operations.
The twin-aisle BBJ B777-200LR will be redesigned to accommodate just 88 guests with flat-bed first class seats; a beautifully appointed lounge and bar; and offer 14- and 28-day around-the-world and international itineraries, beginning in 2017, according to a company statement.
“Our mission is to make Crystal the core of what will become the world’s premier luxury hospitality and lifestyle brand collection, not only for the immediate future, but for years to come,” said Crystal Chairman Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay. “The acquisition of our second luxury aircraft is another profound step toward establishing our goal.”
“Following our expansion announcement, travelers and travel agents expressed a strong interest in all-inclusive luxury air travel with a wider range of itineraries,” says Crystal’s President and CEO Edie Rodriguez.  “Based on this enthusiastic feedback, we are growing our fleet to meet the demand from our guests and travel partners in luxury air options.”
Source: Cruise Industry News

Boudicca Refit Happening This Month at Lloyd Werft

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ 880-guest Boudicca will be entering drydock at the Lloyd Werft shipyard in Bremerhaven, Germany in November 2015, in preparation for the forthcoming 2016/17 cruise season.
Boudicca will arrive in Bremerhaven on Nov. 18 2015 from the Port of Tyne, Newcastle, following a 16-night cruise, and will undergo various engineering work, general refurbishment and interior and exterior painting.
During the drydock, Boudicca will also see 28 cabins on Lido Deck 7 fitted with terrace balconies. These new terrace balcony cabins will extend out 1.2 metres from the ship’s bulkhead.
Mike Rodwell, Managing Director of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “We experience extremely high demand for balcony cabins across our fleet, in particular on a smaller-sized ship such as Boudicca, and our new terrace balcony cabins are an innovative response to this.
“We installed the new terrace balcony cabins on sister ship Black Watch during her dry dock last Autumn, and these have proved very popular with our guests.”     
Source: Cruise Industry News

Cruise Lines Working with Greater Victoria Harbour Authority to Reduce Emissions

This year, Victoria, BC’s Ogden Point, had the best overall air quality readings over a full cruise season since monitoring began in 2009, said a statement from the port. During 2015 there was not a single recorded exceedance of any known local, national or international air emission standard related to cruise ships as measured by the BC Ministry of Environment’s air monitoring station located in James Bay. This year, Victoria welcomed 227 ship calls bringing more than 533,000 passengers and 206,000 crew to the region – a record year. Overall passenger count was up 15% versus 2014. The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) has partnered with the BC Ministry of Environment, Island Health (formerly Vancouver Island Health Authority), and the James Bay Neighborhood Association since 2011 to provide air quality monitoring for SO2 in the James Bay area and over this period, GVHA has provided over $63,000 to maintain the BC Ministry of Environment air monitoring station.  In 2015, no 24-hour period exceeded Island Health, CRD, BC, Canada, World Health Organization 24-hour average guidelines and no 1-hour period exceeded the BC, California, Canada, USA EPA, or EU 1-hour average guidelines. On Jan. 1, 2015, new international maritime regulations (for ships operating within the United Nations’ North American Emission Control Area) came into effect, which legally requires further reductions of ship emissions.  These regulations state that all ships operating in the North American Emission Control Area must use diesel fuel that has a 0.1% sulphur limit. Some cruise lines have been granted exemptions by the Flag State of the ship (in negotiation with US & Canada) by committing to the installation of scrubbers (exhaust gas cleaning technology) that will reduce emissions beyond those achievable with the use of diesel fuel that has a 0.1% Sulphur limit. With the introduction of scrubber technology, Greater Victoria has also economically benefited as cruise lines have chosen the Esquimalt Graving Docks to dry-dock ships and have scrubbers installed along with other major work.  Earlier this year the Crown Princess was in dry-dock to have scrubbers installed and in December, the Ruby Princess is scheduled to have major work done including the installation of scrubbers.  Both of these ships make Victoria a port of call during the cruise season. 
Source: Cruise Industry News

Anthem of the Seas' Inaugural Call: Joy Amid Mourning in Martinique

A capacity Anthem of the Seas arrived in Martinique’s Pointe Simon Monday morning, a just reward for an island dedicating itself to its growing cruise sector. Despite the celebratory mood in Fort-de-France, however, the port area – like the rest of the island – fell silent at 11am to honor and remember the dead in the Paris attacks.
At a plaque-exchanging ceremony aboard the ship, Karine Roy-Camille, chairman of Martinique Tourism Authority, said bringing the ship to the island was a colossal undertaking, and reflective of the kind of cooperative work the world needs to do: “With this, let us realize the biggest project on Earth is possible. I’m talking about peace.”
Anthem of the Seas Capt. Claus Andersen said a similar silent memorial had taken place at sea the previous night, as well as Monday morning.
“We cannot change what has happened,” he said. “But we are here to bring joy and happiness as best we can.”

Years in the making, the inaugural call crowns an embarrassment of recent success for the southern Caribbean island. A record 22 ships will make their first-ever port calls here between Oct. 26 and late summer 2016. Martinique projects a total 220,000 cruise passengers during that period from 176 port calls.
The 4,183 aboard Anthem of the Seas arrived to music and dancers, free samples of local chocolates, and a revitalized Fort-de-France waterfront with new features still under construction.
Source: Cruise Industry News

Thomson Announces Plans for New Ship Discovery

Thomson Cruises has unveiled plans for its brand new ship, Thomson Discovery, including a whole host of exciting dining options, a sleek new design and the announcement of its entertainment and hotel providers in order to modernise the fleet and the onboard customer experience, the cruise line announced today in a statement.
The ship will be transfered from Royal Caribbean International new spring, currently sailing as the Splendour of the Seas.
The Thomson Discovery will have eight dining venues, including two new signature restaurants – Snack Shack and Gallery 47 ˚.
Located on the pool deck and themed around brightly coloured, iconic British beach huts, Snack Shack is a fun, ‘festival-style’ eatery serving grill foods such as quesadillas, and nachos during the day and popcorn and cocoa on film nights.
The second signature venue is Gallery 47˚, located in the upstairs of the main restaurant, this venue will serve contemporary Italian food, as voted for by over 4,000 customers.  
The ship’s exterior will also receive a brand new look and feel.
Also announced is the news that PEEL Entertainment Group has been awarded the contract for onboard entertainment on Discovery and The Apollo Group has been awarded the contract for the hotel provision.
PEEL has been the live entertainment partner since the launch of Thomson Cruises in 2003 and together with Thomson, they have grown the award-winning programme into a product which is much-loved by passengers.
The appointment of The Apollo Group on Thomson Discovery follows its take-over as the hotel supplier on Thomson Dream and Thomson Celebration in November 2014; a move that saw customer satisfaction go from strength to strength. Apollo are well-versed in hotel operations and their dedication to excellence has seen them supplying innovative hotel services in the cruise industry for over 40 years.
Managing Director of Thomson Cruises, Helen Caron, said: “I’m really delighted to start unveiling our plans for Thomson Discovery as we are now just six months away from the launch. A big focus of our strategy is to modernise our on-board customer experience. On Discovery we’ll be offering our customers more choice and balance so they can really personalise their cruise with us.  I’m confident the new signature restaurants, together with other exciting on board features, will delight our current cruise customers while attracting new ones too, especially families.  
“The contracts for both suppliers will also play a key role in delivering the modernisation and pushing the boundaries of the on board customer experience push the boundaries of the on-board experience, with agreements for new shows and modernising and making changes to food and beverage offering for customers to be announced as Thomson Cruises delivers its modernisation plans.”
Based in Palma from June 2016, Discovery will be the largest in the fleet with a capacity of 1,830 across 915 cabins – almost 40 percent of which will offer balconies. In addition to the extensive dining choices, the family-friendly ship boasts an outdoor movie screen, rock climbing wall and eight bars and lounges.
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Source: Cruise Industry News

Western Australian Debut for Pacific Eden

P&O Cruises’ new Pacific Eden cruises from Fremantle on her maiden voyage this Sunday.
The 55,820-ton Pacific Eden is berthed in Fremantle this week, with final touches being made to the ship’s striking features ahead of her inaugural 10-night cruise.
About 1,500 guests will join Pacific Eden’s historic first itinerary which will see her call at Esperance (Nov 17), Adelaide (Nov 20), Kangaroo Island (Nov 21) and Melbourne (Nov 23) en route to Sydney.
Pacific Eden will be christened by actress Kate Ritchie in a dual naming ceremony on Sydney Harbour on November 25 with sister ship Pacific Aria, which will be named by singer Jessica Mauboy. 
The ceremony will be a key part of P&O Cruises’ Five Ship Spectacular which will see its entire five-ship fleet meet in Sydney for the first time for a day of celebrations.
P&O Cruises Senior Vice President Sture Myrmell said the addition of Pacific Eden and sister ship Pacific Aria had increased the cruise line’s fleet to five ships, enabling P&O to base a ship in Western Australia for longer periods of time.
“Western Australia is really coming into its own both as a cruise destination and a homeport, so we’re thrilled to have the capacity to be able to base one of our latest ships in Fremantle for the next two summers. Pacific Eden is sure to become a fast favourite among Western Australians as she offers an exciting line up of cruises from the state, giving local tourism a boost and bringing a wealth of economic opportunities to port towns up and down the coast,”  Myrmell said.
Source: Cruise Industry News

Royal Caribbean Launches Periscope Video Marketing Program

Royal Caribbean International today launched COME SEEK LIVE, running through the social media app Periscope (live video streaming) and showcased on billboards in New York City. This lets the public to interact in real time with features on the Anthem of the Seas and various ports.”It will allow followers from around the world the opportunity to experience the adventures of influential seekers via live-streaming of 13 live broadcasts from five islands over seven days, beginning today,” said a Royal Caribbean statement. “Streaming events will begin at the Las Playas natural water slide in Puerto Rico and adventure-hop from playing with green monkeys at the Wildlife Reserve in Barbados to riding ATVs in St. Maarten or enjoying a post-expedition refreshment made by a robot at Anthem’s Bionic Bar. Periscope followers will be able to direct the adventurers next steps with the unfolding story showing followers what they could be doing right at that moment onboard a Royal Caribbean adventure.”“COME SEEK LIVE is an exciting way for Royal Caribbean to challenge the misperceptions travelers have about the cruise industry. We are continually evolving the experience across our fleet, designing adventures that inspire and excite our travelers,” said Jim Berra, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Marketing, Royal Caribbean International. “It is natural that we would bring this innovation to the transformation of our marketing as well, especially as we recognize that millennials require us to communicate with them using new channels.”
Source: Cruise Industry News

Liberty of the Seas Arrives in Galveston

Royal Caribbean’s, Liberty of the Seas arrived on Friday at the Port of Galveston. The Freedom class ship replaced Navigator of the Seas year-round sailings from Galveston offering Texas vacationers roundtrip seven-night Western Caribbean itineraries throughout the year. “The repositioning of Liberty of the Seas to the Port of Galveston represents Royal Caribbean’s confidence in the Port of Galveston’s efficient cruise  operations and ability to attract passengers on its Freedom class ships,” said Mike Mierzwa, Port Director . “We are excited to homeport the largest cruise ship to sail from the State of Texas”. The Liberty of the Seas will offer 7-night Western Caribbean cruise itineraries, including Isla Roatan, Honduras; Belize City Belize; Cozumel, Mexico; Falmouth, Jamaica; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Costa Maya, Mexico as ports of call.
Source: Cruise Industry News