US Federal Judge Threatens to Ban Carnival Ships from US Ports

Carnival ships berthed in Miami

The Carnival Corporation is in hot water after a federal judge threatened to ban the company’s cruise ships from docking at ports in the United States after reportedly violating its probation period from another case.

According to the Miami Herald, U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz said Wednesday that she would decide at a hearing scheduled for June whether the cruise company’s probation will be lifted and a heftier punishment levied for the violations.

During the hearing, Judge Seitz scolded Carnival chairman Micky Arison and president Donald Arnold for the actions of the company, but neither man was in attendance. Seitz requested that top executives attended the June hearing to answer questions on the matter.

“The people at the top are treating this as a gnat,” Seitz said in court. “If I could, I would give all the members of the executive committee a visit to the detention center for a couple of days. It’s amazing how that helps people come to focus on reality.”

The Carnival Corporation has been on probation for two years after it was fined a record $40 million for illegally dumping oil into the ocean from its Princess Cruises ships and lying to authorities about the incidents. 

While on probation, authorities claim the cruise company continued to pollute the environment and worked to not only avoid the long arm of the law, but also actively used its clout to change the terms of the settlement.

“It appears there were some mischaracterizations made by others to the court,” Carnival Corporation Chief Communications Officer Roger Frizzell said in a statement. “We intend to fully address the issues raised at today’s court conference.”

“Our environmental responsibility has been and continues to be a top priority for the company. Our aspiration is to leave the places we touch even better than when we first arrived,” Frizzell continued. “This is only in the best interest of our guests, our company and the oceans upon which we travel.”

Original story:

https://www.travelpulse.com/news/cruise/judge-threatens-to-ban-carnival-ships-from-us-docks.html

Royal Caribbean welcomes Spectrum of the Seas to the family

ROYAL CARIBBEAN WELCOMES SPECTRUM OF THE SEAS TO THE FAMILY

First Quantum Ultra-Class Ship Features New Suite Class,

Innovative Dining and First-to-Brand Experiences

London, UK, April 11, 2019 – Royal Caribbean International, the world’s largest cruise line, officially took delivery of the 26th ship in its fleet, Spectrum of the Seas, in a ceremony held today in Bremerhaven, Germany. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain and President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International Michael Bayley received the new ship from Meyer Werft Yard’s Managing Partner Bernard Meyer at the official handover ceremony. The first in the Quantum Ultra class of ships, Spectrum will homeport from Shanghai starting June 2019.

SPECTRUM OF THE SEAS Signing ceremony 14
Michael Bayley signs to except delivery 

“We are excited to welcome Spectrum of the Seas, our first Quantum Ultra class ship to the Royal Caribbean family,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “We have once again combined revolutionary ship design with the latest technologies to deliver a ship that will redefine the China cruise market. We are excited for our guests to make amazing family memories.”

Designed and built to deliver an unforgettable vacation experience for all guests, Spectrum will debut the global cruise line’s first private enclave for suite guests, new stateroom categories, and innovative dining concepts, along with stunning features, experiences and technology – many of which have never before been seen at sea.

SPECTRUM OF THE SEAS Blessing ceremony 39

 Spectrum’s highlights include:

  • Royal Caribbean’s first exclusive suites-only area, which will feature the exquisite Golden and Silver suite accommodations in a private enclave at the forward end of the ship on decks 13 through 16. Vacationers booked in these luxury suites will have special keycard access, a private elevator and a dedicated restaurant and lounge. In addition to a range of exclusive amenities, guests will have access to The Balcony – a private outdoor space for sunbathing and relaxing – that offers the best views on board; and The Boutique, a shopping area where travellers can book private shopping experiences.

 

  • The two-level, 2,809-square-foot Ultimate Family Suite, accommodating up to 11 guests. The three-bedroom suite includes a master bedroom and two additional bedrooms for grandparents and other family members. Kids have their own kid-friendly space on the upper level, complete with an in-suite slide that will transport them to the living area below. Everyone in the family can enjoy time together in the recreation room, featuring surround-sound equipment for a night of karaoke, movies or video games.

 

  • Innovative dining concepts Sichuan Red– with authentic cuisine from the Sichuan province of China, Wonderland’s Dadong – a new outpost of Chinese chef Dong Zhenxiang, renowned for his much-coveted roast duck, and the Leaf and Bean traditional tea room and café parlour offering a range of authentic Chinese teas, classic coffee drinks as well as freshly baked Chinese and Western desserts and pastries.

 

  • A new lively and energetic karaoke venue, Star Moment, where family and friends can belt out and sing like stars. This venue debuts on Spectrum.

 

  • An enhanced SeaPlex– the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea where families can enjoy bumper cars, roller skating and basketball – with new augmented reality walls and floors, providing guests with thrilling, high-tech interactive experiences.
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Innovative Spy Pad
  • The iconic Sky Pad, a virtual reality, bungee trampoline experience located on the aft of the ship, as well as Quantum Class favourites the North Star, a glass capsule that takes guests more than 300 feet above the ocean for incomparable panoramic views; RipCord by iFly, a heart-pounding skydiving simulator experience; and the FlowRider surfing simulator.

 

  • Cutting-edge and transformative venues, such as Two70with its expansive floor-to-ceiling windows offering breath-taking 270-degree views of the ocean. Two70 features its signature Vistarama technology, which transforms the panoramic windows into a projection surface more than 100 feet wide and over 20 feet tall showcasing spectacular digital shows. Six agile Roboscreens, measuring over 7 feet tall and controlled by powerful, yet nimble robotic arms, create scenes as they soar and twist solo or as one. Two70 will also feature new room-scale augmented reality experiences that transport vacationers to new worlds of adventure.

Accommodating 4,246 guests at double occupancy and 1,551 international crew members, Spectrum will be the largest and most expensive ship in Asia when she arrives to her new home in Shanghai, China on June 3, 2019. Before Spectrum arrives to her new home this summer, she will sail a 46-night Global Odyssey from Barcelona, Spain to Shanghai, taking guests to an exciting array of ports including Aqaba, Jordan; Dubai, UAE; Muscat; Oman, Cochin, India and Georgetown, Malaysia. In winter 2019, the ship will reposition to Hong Kong to offer special holiday cruises.

Watch a video of the delivery ceremony here

https://www.royalcaribbeanpresscenter.com/video/1093/spectrum-of-the-seas-delivery-ceremony/

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Spectrum of the Seas Bridge 
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Main Dining room

 Spectrum of the Seas Fact File 

Measurement 169,000 GT
Overall Length 347.1 m
Width on frames 41.4 m
Number of decks 18
Draft 8.50 m
Machine power Wärtsilä 2x 12 V 2x 16V total 67,200 kW
Drive Power 41.00 kW
Speed 22.0 kts
Passengers (Double Occupancy) 4246 
Number of passenger cabins 2090
Number of outside cabins (including suites) 1759
Number of inside cabins 378
Crew approximately 1550
Theater capacity 1281
Number of restaurants 18
Number of bars / lounges 12
Total weight of the applied paint 300 t
Total length of laid cables 2900 km
Glass (areas total) 17,500 m²
Total length of laid pipelines about 400 km
Flag Bahamas
Class DNVGL

I really like the look of the Quantum & Quantum-Ultra classes, in my opinion the blue hull really suites the design.

Images courtesy of Royal Caribbean & Meyer Werft

MSC CRUISES UNVEILS PLANS FOR FUTURISTIC NEW CRUISE TERMINAL IN PORT MIAMI

New terminal will provide enhanced end-to-end customer experience for the benefit of both embarking and disembarking MSC Cruises guests

msc-portmiami
Image Courtesy: MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately-owned cruise company, announced today details of a new highly-innovative cruise terminal at PortMiami that will support its expanding presence in North America and in the Caribbean in particular.

As per the terms of the agreement, which has today received approval from the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners, MSC Cruises will design, construct, operate and maintain a large building that hosts two cruise terminals (AA and AAA) as well as two berths. Designed by the award-winning global architecture firm Arquitectonica, MSC Cruises’ exclusive new PortMiami terminals will be capable of hosting two mega cruise ships at the same time, allowing the Company to conduct two turnaround operations simultaneously, handling up to 28,000 passenger movements per day.

The company revealed the details during the Seatrade Cruise Global cruise conference in Miami, the world’s leading cruise conference. Vago, MSC Cruises Executive Chairman, said: “With another 13 cruise vessels due to join our fleet in the next eight years, our ambition is to have our most innovative ship classes represented at PortMiami, bringing a wealth of choice to our North American as well as international guests.

“In particular, the new terminal – which will be one of the most innovative the industry has seen – will ensure that we can provide our guests an enhanced end-to-end high-quality experience while both embarking and disembarking, thus adding to their ability to fully enjoy every moment of their vacation.”

MSC Cruises currently operates four vessels out of PortMiami: MSC Seaside and MSC Armonia year-round; MSC Divina seasonally; and MSC Meraviglia, which will join the ships sailing from Miami this fall, seasonally. With the new cruise facilities, MSC Cruises will bring a total 1 million guests through PortMiami each year.

Work on the new terminals is due to commence in early 2020. MSC Cruises currently estimates that the work will be completed by late 2022, at which time the Company will transfer all its PortMiami operations to the new Terminal.

MSC currently operates three vessels out of PortMiami, MSC Seaside and MSC Armonia year-round and MSC Divina seasonally. This will increase to four when MSC Meraviglia begins sailing seasonally from Miami in the autumn.

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Image Courtesy: MSC Cruises

 

The announcement from MSC is one of a wave of new terminals in the pipeline at PortMiami, earlier this year Virgin Voyages announced they would build a new terminal  while both NCL and Royal Caribbean have launched new terminals.

Have you cruised from Miami? its another one on my ever growing bucket list!!

MSC CRUISES REVEALS CREATIVE PROCESS BEHIND THE CIRQUE DU SOLEIL AT SEA SHOWS ABOARD MSC BELLISSIMA

·         Two original, unique shows available only on board MSC Bellissima

·         Cirque du Soleil continues to push creative boundaries with the introduction of breathtaking new stagecraft and performances

Geneva, Switzerland, 10th April 2019 – Cirque du Soleil at Sea is a unique entertainment concept created by MSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately owned cruise line, and Cirque du Soleil, the world leader in live entertainment. In March 2019, two brand new Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows, SYMA and VARÉLIA, launched on board MSC Cruises’ new flagship, MSC Bellissima. The leading cruise line has revealed today details of the inspiration and creative process behind these two original new shows along with the exclusive first images of the spectacular performances.

Every element of each new Cirque du Soleil at Sea show is unique from the concept and storyline, the characters, the costumes and makeup through to the music, staging and sound effects. The concepts are first developed by the experienced and talented creative team based at Cirque du Soleil’s international headquarters in Montreal, Canada. Following a rigorous casting process and intensive ideation workshops, the shows are then refined and brought to life on board the ship in the custom-built entertainment venue, the Carousel Lounge, designed to meet the specific needs of Cirque du Soleil.

The long-term partnership will result in eight original shows that can only be seen on board the Meraviglia class ships. Each ship will offer two brand new contrasting shows to deliver a truly unique and intimate experience for MSC Cruises guests.

SYMA is a fantastical odyssey into the heart of an imaginary world, and the search for a mysterious island inhabited by phantasmagorical creatures. The guests on board MSC Bellissima are embarking on a journey of discovery, just like the main character of the show. Immersive video images, an original set design, bioluminescent lighting and acrobatic feats make SYMA an unforgettable show.

VARÉLIA is a tale of modern chivalry where love and courage triumph over the greatest divides. A medieval tale with a futuristic twist, VARÉLIA follows a classic story arc in a cartoonesque world which adds a humoristic touch. Audiences will delight in the acrobatic feats, the laser show and the unique set design.

With these two new shows, Cirque du Soleil continues to push creative boundaries with the introduction of innovations in staging, makeup, costumes and performances. Some of the highlights include:

The Underwater Creatures characters in SYMA have ultraviolet iridescent makeup, which, along with parts of their costume, glow under special lights built into the custom-made Carousel Lounge

  • The creative team have used video projection mapping for the first time in SYMA to project content onto tangible set elements and props on stage to add yet another visual element to the show. This technology enhances the guest experience by animating static objects and surfaces.
  • The finale of VARÉLIA includes a breathtaking roller skating duo spinning at incredibly high speeds while completing complex tricks. This, coupled with an aerial hoop duo, creates a spectacular floor-to-ceiling climax.
  • Laser lights are used in VARÉLIA to create a futuristic and changing set design. They convey the theme and atmosphere of the show. With a strong focus on aesthetic principles the lasers create graphic figures and illusions where Cirque du Soleil at Sea artists can thrive.

Cirque du Soleil at Sea can be booked in advance at a reduced rate or whilst on board during the cruise for any remaining seats. Guests can either book to enjoy a three-course menu of palate-pleasing dishes served before the show (€35), or sip on a specialty cocktail (€15) and enjoy the pre-show that begins 30 minutes before the start of the Cirque du Soleil at Sea performance.

MSC Meraviglia was the first ship to debut the new Cirque du Soleil at Sea concept with the launch of the two shows VIAGGIO and SONOR in June 2017 and recently celebrated the 1,000th performance on board., Work is already underway for the next shows for MSC Grandiosa, that will launch in November 2019.

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About Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group

Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group is a world leader in live entertainment. On top of producing world-renowned circus arts shows, the Canadian organization brings its creative approach to a large variety of entertainment forms such as multimedia productions, immersive experiences, theme parks and special events.  It currently has 4,500 employees from nearly 70 countries. Going beyond its various creations, Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group aims to make a positive impact on people, communities and the planet with its most important tools: creativity and art.

www.CDSentertainmentgroup.com

Cirque du Soleil at sea was originally launched onboard MSC Meraviglia with two shows VIAGGIO and SONARin June 2017, at the end of March this year they celebrated the 1000th performance.

At the beginning of March I was very lucky to see a brief example shows onboard MSC Bellissima during her christening in Southampton, what I saw looked incredible and I hope to see a full show sometime.

 

Holland America Line to Name new Ship Ryndam

ryndam
Third Pinnacle class ship to be named Ryndam 

Holland America Line has announced that its third Pinnacle Class ship will be named Ryndam. Due to launch in May 2021 she will be the fourth ship in the company’s history to carry the name.

Like the first two ships in the class Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam the new ship will have a gross weight of 99,500 tonnes and will accomodate 2,666 guests. As the third in the series, Ryndam will feature enhanced Pinnacle Class amenities and innovations, the company said.

A ceremony marking the first steel cutting was held March 13, 2019 at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Marghera, Italy. Ryndam is the 17th ship the Italian shipbuilder has constructed for Holland America, with the most recent delivery being Nieuw Statendam.

“Holland America Line honors the timeless tradition of cruising while also embracing new innovations for today’s travelers, and the name Ryndam reflects the unique history of this company while honoring previous ships that were progressive in their time as this last Ryndam will be,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “From the first Ryndam more than 100 years ago to the most recent, the namesake ships have been beloved by our guests. The next Ryndam will bring new life to one of the most notable series of vessels in our history.”

The first Ryndam was part of the Holland America Line fleet from 1901 to 1929, starting as Rijndam before receiving the English spelling in 1923. In 1927 Ryndam I became the first Holland America Line ship to sail a world cruise, although it was chartered as a floating school at sea for that voyage. The second Ryndam served from 1951 to 1973, and the third sailed in the fleet from 1993 through 2015, when it was transferred to sister brand P&O Australia and now cruises as Pacific Aria.

CMV takes delivery of latest ship

At 19:48hrs local time Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) took delivery of its newest ship Vasco da Gama in Singapore. Built in 1993 by Fincantieri as Statendam she was the fifth ship to bear the name for Holland America Line. In 2015 she was purchased by P&O Australia and had been sailing as Pacific Eden until her purchase by CMV.

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© CMV 

Having been officially handed over she will now undergo a 20 day refit after which she will depart from Singapore on Wednesday, 24th April 2019 on a spectacular 46 night adventure visiting South East Asia; India Egypt; Jordan; transiting the Suez Canal; Israel; and classical highlights of the Mediterranean before arriving in London Tilbury, Amsterdam and Bremerhaven. Further details of Vasco da Gama’s maiden voyage are scheduled to be released in May.

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Maiden cruise destinations

The new ship will be deployed and dedicated to both the German and Australasian cruise markets. During the northern summer (May-October) the ship will operate under CMV’s German brand, TransOcean Kreuzfahrten with homeports of Bremerhaven and Kiel and during the Australian summer season (December-March) from Fremantle (Perth) and Adelaide, offering a more traditional scenic cruise experience.

The name was chosen after the cruise line asked valued Columbus Club members and Trade Partners to participate in her naming by choosing a name which was in keeping with the companies  ‘explorer’ theme for ship names. The choices were:- Pytheas, Vasco da Gama, Henry Hudson and Amerigo Vespucci.

The delivery of Vasco da Gama now brings CMV,s fleet of cruise ships to six, other ships in the CMV fleet are Astor, Astoria, Columbus, Magellan, and Marco Polo.

Vasco da Gama was a Portuguese nobleman, navigator and explorer, famous for being the first European to reach India by sea. After thousands of lives and dozens of vessels lost in shipwrecks and attacks in search of this passage, da Gama successfully landed in Calicut on 20th of May 1498. In doing so, he connected the Atlantic Ocean with the Indian Ocean and the Western World with the Orient, paving the way for an age of global commerce and European establishment in Asia. His outward and return journey around the Cape of Good Hope was at the time the longest ocean voyage ever undertaken, a distance equal to the equatorial circumference of the Earth, being about
24,000 miles! He successfully conducted three such voyages, and also served as the Second Viceroy of Portuguese India.

Cruise Line Cruise & Maritime Voyages
Gross Tonnage 55,877grt
Registry Bahamas, British Commonwealth
Classification Society Det Norske Veritas
Passenger Capacity 630 cabins (max 1220 passengers)
Re-built Greece 1993
Cruising Speed 16.5 knots
Passenger Decks 10
Lifts 8
Electric Current 100/220V AC
Stabilised & Air Conditioned Yes
Officers & Crew International
Cruise Staff & Entertainers British & International
Dimensions
Length 719ft (219.4m)
Beam 101ft (30.8m)

Take a look at the CMV website for further information and itineraries:

https://www.cruiseandmaritime.com/our-ships/vasco-da-gama

Cruise Line’s celebrate April fools day

The cruise industry certainly likes to join in with April fools day fun, and this year four news stories from different companies caught my eye.

Take a look at the following April fools day announcements from Carnival Cruises, Emerald Waterways,  Royal Caribbean, TUI Cruises and Virgin Voyages.

Have a read and a laugh at the same time!

Anyone on Carnival’s social Channels yesterday would have seen their announcement below:

Introducing the new Carnival Velocity. Sit back and relax at a nice easy 355mph. Swipe to see how you can soak up the sun in record speed, visit 20 beaches in one day, and take a 5-minute cruise to Cozumel! It’s all here on our newest, fastest ship. Bookings filling up fast.

– Ends –

Emerald Waterways launches ‘turbo-powered’ waterski sessions from back of its Star-Ships

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© Emerald Waterways

Emerald Waterways is enhancing the activities available on board their fleet of Star-Ships this summer with the launch of a water-skiing and paragliding programme from the back of its vessels.

Guests in search of an adrenaline rush will be able to take part in these high-speed activities for the first time, thanks to a revolutionary ‘turbo-boost’ button equipped on all of the river cruise line’s luxury Star-Ships.

The sporting thrills – available from April 1 2019 – are part of Emerald Waterways’ enhanced on-board fitness programme, which is being overseen by specialist Activity Managers assigned to all Star-Ships.

A rich programme of on-shore excursions – including guided cycle tours, hiking and canoeing experiences – as well as a wide selection of daily on-board classes have already been announced as the cruise line caters for a younger and more adventurous clientele.

Emerald Waterways European Excitement Director Olaf Prilo explained how the company had opted to upgrade the engines of its fleet this winter with nitrous oxide injection – similar to the system used in cars by street racers.

“Forget cruising sedately. Emerald Waterways is going to expand its reach and cater to those who feel the ‘need for speed’. Our new ‘boost’ button fires these Star-Ships up the river like a speedboat. Whether you are having a go at the water-skiing experience or just standing on deck, we are guaranteeing to get our guests’ hearts racing.”

Prilo said the water-skiing and paragliding sessions would take part in the centre of selected European cities following protracted negotiations with local authorities across the continent.
“Some loved the idea and agreed to our plans straight away, but there were some who turned it down. They couldn’t believe we’d proposed something so crazy!”

When high-speed sailing takes place, Emerald Waterways will shift the timings of its on-deck yoga, to ensure their guests’ shavasna is not disturbed.

– Ends –

LONDON, UK, 1 April 2019 – Today, Royal Caribbean International has announced plans to take its travel experiences to extraordinary new heights with the launch of its first ever aircraft, Master of the Skies. Set to take to the skies in 2022, the first Cloud-class plane will offer guests the chance to enjoy many of the hallmarks of Royal Caribbean’s incredible cruise holidays, now at 35,000 feet in the air.

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Master of the Sky © Royal Caribbean

Onboard, VIP guests will experience leg room like never before in the Ultimate Family Suite, a favourite feature from Royal Caribbean’s latest ships. When the seatbelt sign comes off it’s time to turn on the fun; this kid-friendly paradise features a dedicated entertainment zone that hosts an air-hockey table, a floor-to-ceiling LEGO wall, and a library of video games across multiple gaming systems, as well as a whirlpool and dining area. The unique family suite in the sky is the ultimate first-class experience and has been meticulously duplicated from the world’s largest cruise ship Symphony of the Seas.

And, in a first of its kind, the Ultimate Family Suite will include a never before seen ‘slide in the sky’, affectionately named The Marvel, which will swirl and twirl its way through the double-decker cabin. The exclusive inclusion is inspired by the slide found in the Ultimate Family Suite onboard Symphony of the Seas, and will join Royal Caribbean’s impressive collection of slides across its fleet including the Ultimate Abyss and The Blaster, the world’s longest waterslide at sea.

The across the UK social media channels, the cruise line touted the mock-launch of its first aircraft in 2022, which includes features as such as:

  • “Slide in the Sky”
  • Bionic Bar
  • Ultimate Family Suite
  • Ripcord by iFly skydiving simulator

– Ends –

My ship becomes your ship: TUI Cruises expands its product range – enjoy the most beautiful inland waters in Germany with “my pedal boat”

Hamburg, April 1, 2019. The sixth newbuilding was commissioned in six years with the Mein Schiff 2, now the Hamburg cruise ship operator TUI Cruises surprises with a new product line: With a fleet of initially 500 pedal boats TUI Cruises wants water fans for the Inspire small breaks in everyday life.

From the beginning of May 2019 rental stations of “Mein Tretboot” will be open at the waters of German cities as well as at various bathing lakes. For example, in Hamburg on the Alster, in Berlin on the Spree, but also on Lake Constance and the Steinhuder Meer, pedal boats of the make “My pedal boat” invite to small round trips. “With my pedal boat, we want to conquer a new sector in the leisure sector and at the same time make even more desire for time out on the water,” says Godja Sönnichsen, spokeswoman for TUI Cruises.

Already included in the rental price of 19.90 / hour is the Premium All Inclusive package known from the Mein Schiff fleet. This includes a small picnic basket with quality food and drinks that round off the pedal boat tour.

In addition, TUI Cruises has devised a special service: Trippers who do not feel like kicking themselves can be completely pampered with the “The Great Freedom” package: for only an additional 39.90 euros, food and drinks are included as well Pedal boat driver who is pedaling vigorously.

The guests on board the Mein Schiff fleet will also benefit from the new product: “In the future, we will also equip our ships with pedal boats of the brand, so that our guests will have the opportunity to individually explore the ports they have visited by boat,” explains Sönnichsen ,

The pedal boat rental on the Mein Schiff fleet will be part of the Premium All Inclusive offer.

https://www.ai-kreuzfahrt.de/news/mein-tretboot-neues-tui-cruises-angebot/

(Translated from German)

TUI
© TUI Cruises

– Ends –

The sky is no longer the limit with Virgin Voyages’ new private jet transfer

 

Private Jet Transfer Available for RockStar Suites Sailors on Virgin Voyages’ Second Ship Set To Sail in 2021

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© Virgin Voyages

Plantation, Fla. — April 1, 2019 — Virgin Voyages, the new lifestyle brand set to disrupt the travel industry, today announced it is upping the ante, and means of transportation for its RockStar Suites Sailors.

Inspired by The Runway, the red running track that sits atop of the ship like a halo, on Scarlet Lady, Virgin Voyages will soon give its Sailors the runway they deserve on its second ship. All Sailors staying in RockStar Suites will now arrive and depart via private jet transfer– so pop the champagne because the sky is no longer the limit with Virgin Voyages.

“From the sky to the sea, our RockStar Suite Sailors will truly live the glamorous life of a rockstar icon from the moment they begin their holiday. Why walk aboard the ship when you can fly,” said Tom McAlpin, president and CEO of Virgin Voyages.

Virgin Voyages has thrown out traditional clichés – and modes of transportation – on stuffy luxury and formalities with their RockStar Suites designed by Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio. The Suites bring a fresh take to yachting glamour steeped in the Virgin brand’s rock and roll heritage. Inspired by mega yachts and the glory days of rock and roll where stars like Queen, The Sex Pistols and The Rolling Stones reigned supreme, the RockStar Suites feature a retro-futurism design with a palette of deep blues used with iridescent dichroic elements to echo the deep blue sea.

RockStar Suites Sailors will live their best lives all taken care of with VIP private jet transfer, early access to onboard entertainment, restaurants and Shore Things. Upon disembarking the jet, Virgin Voyages RockStar Suites Sailors will have their very own wardrobe team to help unpack and repack, complimentary pressing service and nightly express swimsuit drying service– because no rockstar should ever have a wet bottom.

https://www.virginvoyages.com/press/latest-releases/Private-Jet-Transfers

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© Virgin Voyages

– Ends –

 

Oasis of the Seas Involved in Dry Dock Accident at Grand Bahama Shipyard

Around 18:43 local time yesterday Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas was involved in an incident after a crane collapsed on the vessel while she was at the Grand Bahama shipyard having repaired made to her azipods.

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image shared online of the Oasis of the Seas listing at Grand Bahama Shipyard, April 1, 2019.

According to reports, Royal Caribbean’s 225,000-tonne Oasis of the Seas was in the shipyard’s Dry Dock No. 2 when the accident occurred, leaving at least one large crane toppled on top of the vessel and the cruise ship with a noticeable list to starboard which can been seen in photos and video posted online. It was not immediately clear whether it was the Oasis of the Seas was listing inside the dry dock, or if it was the floating dry dock that was listing.

Eight people are reported to have been injured but thankfully none were believed to be life-threatening, the Grand Bahamas Tribune reported

A video released by Bahamas Press shows the lower part of the crane against the ship hull.

Video – © Bahamas Press via YouTube.

Royal Caribbean issued the following statement shortly after the incident:

“Earlier today, we responded to a site incident at the Grand Bahama Shipyard, where Oasis of the Seas is currently in dry dock.

Shipyard management has informed us of eight injuries, none of them considered life-threatening. 

We are aware of damage to the dock structure and to the construction cranes. We are assessing damage to the ship. Drydock is a maintenance procedure and there are no guests oboard the ship.”

Grand Bahama Shipyard’s Dry Dock No. 2, at 300 meters in length by 58.5 meters wide, is the largest of three floating dry docks at the yard. The dock is equipped with four large dock cranes. The Grand Bahama Shipyard is located in Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, only about 100 miles east of Miami, Florida.

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Image showing the layout of shipyard (Courtesy of Grand Bahama Shipyard)

An image was later released showing the collapsed crane laying across the Aqua Theater.

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Image courtesy of RCL Unofficial Fan Club (Facebook)

Built in 2009 at STX Shipyard Turku, Finland Oasis of the Seas was the lead ship in Royal Caribbeans Oasis class. With a length of 361.6 m and at 225,282 GRT, and capacity of 6780 guests, she was the world’s largest cruise ship when launched, a title which she held until 2010 when her sister Allure of the Seas was launched.

 Royal Caribbean will issue a further statement at 5pm local time today.

 

 

UK’s first dedicated LNG cruise terminal opens in Southampton

 

The first phase of a multi-million-pound upgrade to the Ocean Cruise Terminal in the Port of Southampton has now been completed. The XL-ready programme will see the terminal transformed to become the UK’s first dedicated LNG cruise terminal.

Cruise Terminal upgrade at Ocean Terminal

The terminal re-opened on 22nd March with the arrival of P&O Cruises Azura. Her arrival marked the start of Southampton’s busy cruise season.

The newly refurbished terminal now boasts a specious lobby area, a new escalator and stairs to allow for the increased guest flow to the upper level. The mezzanine floor has been extended to provide additional seating ready to accommodate an increase in passenger capacity.

This first phase has also included quayside infrastructure upgrades with 18 new 150 tonne bollards replacing the old 50 tonne bollards together with a new stores receiving area.

Phase 2 will see the installation of two new air bridges together with a further 2,000 roof-mounted solar panels. The project is due for completion early in 2020, in readiness for the arrival of P&O Cruise’s new 5,200-Guest flagship Iona due in May.

This £12 million project is in partnership with P&O Cruises and began in October last year.

Alastair Welch, Director at the Port of Southampton, said: “Cruise is a growing industry and we continue to make these significant investments which are crucial to ensuring we are in a good position to welcome the larger ships and the increase in passenger numbers.”

P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: Azura is be the first ship to berth at the newly renovated Ocean Cruise Terminal, which, when all the work is complete, will give our guests a much smoother, faster and more efficient boarding experience and will also prepare us for the arrival of our two LNG-powered ships.”

The Port of Southampton is Europe’s leading cruise turnaround port and currently welcomes over 2 million passengers each year. Each ship visit to the port generates around £2 million for the local economy.

Iona, which will homeport in Southampton, is the first of two new ships of the XL-class for P&O Cruises, with the next ship on order to be delivered in 2022. She is the first British cruise ship to be powered by LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas).

LNG is steadily becoming the fuel of choice for the cruise industry with a number of cruise lines including AIDA, Carnival, Costa, P&O, MSC, all choosing LNG power for future ships.

Carnival Corps current LNG order book:

Costa Cruises (Costa Smeralda); delivery October 2019.

Carnival Cruise Line (Mardi Gras); delivery 2020.

P&O Cruises UK (IONA); delivery 2020.

AIDA Cruises; delivery 2021.

Costa Cruises; delivery 2021.

Carnival Cruise Line; delivery 2022.

Norwegian Maritime Authority issues Press Release on Viking Sky incident

Press Release: Viking Sky

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PHOTO: Erik Johan Landa, Sjøfartsdirektoratet

Throughout the night, the NMA has worked together with the ship’s classification society, Lloyd’s, and the company in order to identify the reason why the Viking Sky suffered power “blackout” at Hustadvika in challenging weather conditions on Saturday 23 March. For the present, our conclusion is that the engine failure was directly caused by low oil pressure.

Last night, the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) granted the company a permit to sail on a single voyage to Kristiansund to have necessary repairs made. Throughout the night, the NMA has worked together with the ship’s classification society, Lloyd’s, and the company in order to identify the reason why the Viking Sky suffered power “blackout” at Hustadvika in challenging weather conditions on Saturday 23 March.

For the present, our conclusion is that the engine failure was directly caused by low oil pressure. The level of lubricating oil in the tanks was within set limits, however relatively low, when the vessel started to cross Hustadvika. The tanks were provided with level alarms, however these had not been triggered at this time. The heavy seas in Hustadvika probably caused movements in the tanks so large that the supply to the lubricating oil pumps stopped. This triggered an alarm indicating a low level of lubrication oil, which in turn shortly thereafter caused an automatic shutdown of the engines.

The NMA has drawn up a general safety notice about ensuring a continuous supply of lubricating oil to engines and other critical systems in poor weather conditions. This should be done in cooperation with the engine supplier and, moreover, be included in the ship’s risk assessments in the safety management system.

Viking Ocean Cruises has made the following statement: “We welcome the prompt and efficient investigation carried out by the NMA and we fully understand and acknowledge their findings. We have inspected the levels on all our sister ships and are now revising our procedures to ensure that this issue could not be repeated. We will continue to work with our partners and the regulatory bodies in supporting them with the ongoing investigations,”

Norwegian Maritime Authority is in a continuous dialogue with the company and classification society, and this cooperation has been successful. We will follow up the ongoing work to rectify damages on vessels. Furthermore, we will continue the constructive dialogue with the classification society, company and the Accident Investigation Board Norway in order to reveal underlying causes and identify appropriate measures.

https://www.sdir.no/en/news/news-from-the-nma/press-release-viking-sky/

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Current postion of Viking Sky in Kristiansund (Norway)