In chronological order some high- and lowlights of the cruise industry

1970

Royal Viking Line founded, a new company that aims to form a fleet of five star luxury vessels, sailing on world-wide itineraries. Three ships are ordered at once.

HAPAG-Lloyd formed from Norddeutscher Lloyd and Hamburg Amerika Line.

 

1971

Holland America Line (HAL) ends liner services from Rotterdam, the Netherlands to New York and switches to fulltime cruising by all of it ships.

Royal Mail Lines withdraw their Andes. Converted in 1960 from liner to luxury cruise ship, she became one of the most prestigious cruise ships of her time.

 

andes

1972

Carnival Cruise Lines formed by Ted Arison. The company’s first ship, Mardi Gras (ex Empress of Canada) is acquired.

 

1973

After her owners’ Deutsche Atlantik Linie bankruptcy, the German cruise liner Hanseatic is sold to the Russians. She is renamed Maxim Gorkiy.

 

1974

P&O purchases Princess Cruises.

Sitmar line switches to full time cruising.

SS France withdrawn from North Atlantic service by French Line because of high operating costs. She is laid up in the port of Le Havre.

Royal Cruise Line’s Golden Odyssey enters service, one of the first ships to introduce the concept of fly-cruises, where passengers are flying to their ship to join them there. Her passenger load exactly matches those of a Boeing 747.

 

GoldenOdyssey

1975

The television series ” The Love Boat” starts. This TV series has made cruising very popular in the USA. The first episodes were filmed on board Island Princess, but sister ship Pacific Princess became the real star of this long running TV series. Today Princess Cruises still uses the trademark The Love Boat for it’ s ships.

 

1976

Carnival Cruise Lines buys a second ship Queen Anna Maria from Greek Line and renames her Carnivale.

 

1977

World Explorer cruises founded: Universe, a converted freighter is introduced. The company starts with a new concept, it organises cruises for students part of the year (called ‘Semester at Sea’).

SA Vaal sold by Safmarine to Carnival Cruise Lines, She becomes Festivale.

univers

 

1978

RCCL : Song of Norway is lengthened at the Wartsila ship yard in Helsinki, Finland. It is the first time this kind of ‘ship surgery’, inserting a mid-ship section, is performed by a ship yard.

 

1979

American Hawaii Cruises formed. It operates the former transatlantic liners Independence and Constitution.

Society Expedtitions formed, the company carries out soft expedition cruises with the World Discoverer.

Knut Kloster, owner of Norwegian Cruise Line, in a surprise move buys the laid up ss France and plans to convert her to a cruise ship.

 

1980

DFDS forms Scandinavian World Cruises to operate one day cruises out of Miami. Later the name of the company is changed to SeaEscape Cruises, still existing today.

Conversion of the SS France to become the Norway is completed; she is the largest cruise ship in the world when she is introduced.

Norwegian America Cruises is formed to manage former North Atlantic Liners Sagafjord and Vistafjord as cruise ships after they are retired from transatlantic liner service.

norway

 

1981

Royal Viking Star lenghtened in Bremerhaven by AG Weser (sister ships Royal Viking Sky and Royal Viking Sea will follow).

 

1982

Uganda, Canberra and QE2 are sent to the Falkland Islands, acting as hospital/ troopships during the Falkland War between England and Argentina.

 

1983

Cunard Purchases Norwegian America Cruises along with it’s two ships Saga- and Vistafjord.

Lindblad Explorer is the first passenger ship to navigate the Northwest Passage through pack-ice.

lindblexpl

1984

Kloster (owner of Norwegian Caribbean Line) purchases Royal Viking Line, a company owning three 5-star ships sailing on world wide itineraries.

Several new cruise operators are founded: Regency Cruises, Windstar Cruises, Dolphin Cruises and Sundance Cruises.

Founded a year earlier, Premier Cruises starts operations.

 

1985

– Former DFDS cruise ferry Scandinavia starts sailing for Sundance Cruises as Stardancer on the US West Coast. She replaces Sundancer which became a victim of fire a year earlier.

– For the first time, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line will operate a vessel from another port than Miami. Nordic Prince will make seven day cruises from New York to Bermuda.

– The Holiday enters service for Carnival Cruise Lines. Measuring 46.050 GRT, she is the first of the new breed of mega- cruise ships.

MS_Holiday

 

1986

– Admiral cruises is formed by merging Eastern & Western Cruises & Sundance Cruises.

– Radisson Diamond Enters service, the world’s first SWATH cruise ship meaning Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull, making her look like a catamaran. This hull form makes her a very stable ship.

 

1987

– NCL changes name fom Norwegian Caribbean Lines to Norwegian Cruise Line and a new logo is introduced.

– Swedish Kockums shipyard goes bankrupt after delivery of cruise ships Jubilee (1986) and Celebrations (1987) to Carnival Cruise Line.

– The Windsong, owned by Windstar Cruises enters service; she is the world’s first sail assisted cruise ship.

– Sea Goddes Cruises, operating two small 5-star yacht cruisers Sea Goddes I and II is taken over by Cunard Line, which wants to expand in the luxury segment of the cruise industry.

– HAL acquires 50% of Windstar Cruises. Windstar operates two sail ships and has a third on order at the time.

– Queen Elizabeth 2, one of the world’s largest and most famous cruise ships converted from steam to diesel electric power at Lloyd Werft.

 

1988

– Seabourn Cruises first 5- star luxury cruise ship Seabourn Pride is introduced.

– Admiral Cruises merges with Royal Caribbean Cruises.

– Royal Caribbean takes delivery of the Sovereign of the Seas. Measuring 73.192GRT, she is the world’s largest cruise ship.

– Home Line ceases operations.

– Sitmar Cruises is purchased by Princess Cruises.

– Carnival tries to take over competitor Royal Caribbean Cruise Line but does not succeed.

– HAL takes over the remaining 50% of Windstar cruises, and is taken over itself by Carnival Cruise Lines.

 

sovotseas

1989

– Wartsila, famous yard and builder of cruise ships goes bankrupt, and is taken over by new owners Kvaerner, new name: Kvaerner MASA yards.

– Chandris Cruises, which operates a fleet of elderly liners converted to cruise ships launches Celebrity Cruises, an upscale brand which in turn will operate luxury, modern ships.

– Renaissance Cruises formed.

– Mitsui OSK introduces the Fuji Maru, a cruise ship mainly catering for the domestic Japanese cruise market.

– Lindblad Travel, the firm that started soft expedition cruising, closes it’s doors.

– Aloha Pacific Cruises, a company which organised cruises in Hawaiian waters goes bankrupt: Monterey, their only ship is put up for sale. She is sold to Mediterranean Shipping Cruises the following year.

 

1990

– French Paquet cruises purchases Ocean Cruise Lines. Paquet now owns three ships, Ocean Princess and Ocean Islander apart from their original vessel, the classic Mermoz.

– Japan Cruise Line, the second Japanese company in the Japanese domestic market starts operations with their Orient Venus.

– Celebrity Cruise starts operations. Owned by Chandris Cruises the company aims at the de luxe market.

Mermoz

 

1991

– Seawind Cruise Line starts operations. It owns a single vessel, that is known by and marketed under two names, Seawind Crown, but also under it’ s original name of Vasco da Gama.

– NYK introduces Asuka, a ship specifically designed for the Japanese cruising public.

 

1992

– Admiral Cruises ceases operations, it’ s ships are sold off.

– Chandris Celebrity Cruises forms a partnership with with OSG (Overseas Shipholding Group) in order to obtain the necessary funds for expansion.

– Society Expeditions ceases operations, it’s ships are sold off.

 

1993

– American Hawaii Cruises goes bankrupt, and is subsequently purchased by Delta Queen Steamboats, a company that owns two classic river boats, two stern wheelers to be exact and operates these on the Mississippi river.

– American Family Cruises starts operations. The company aims at families with children. Costa Cruises’ Costa Riviera is refitted (one entire deck is converted for the use of children) and starts service as American Adventure. Eugenio C is planned to follow as a second ship.

– Festival Cruises founded, today known in the USA as First European Cruises. Operations start with one ship, The Azur.

– Sea Quest Cruises, which operates soft expedition cruises with the Frontier Spirit ceases operations.

azur

 

1994

– Delta Queen Steamboat Cy. changes it’ s name to American Classic Voyages.

– Cunard Line buys the name Royal Viking Line, together with their largest vessel Royal Viking Sun. Royal Viking Queen is not included in the deal.

– American Family Cruises (just started a year before) closes down, because the level of bookings remained low.

– Fiesta Marina (a Carnival subsidiary operating Fiesta Marina ex Carnivale for the South American market) and Cycladic Cruises (operating in the Greek isles region) both cease operations.

 

1995

– UK Tour operator Airtours starts operating a new division called Sun Cruises. Two ships are acquired: Nordic Prince from Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and Southward from Norwegian Cruise Lines.

– Regency Cruises collapse. It’s ships are arrested in port and later laid up and auctioned off.

 

1996

– Royal Cruise Line , part of the Kloster Group, closes down. It’s ships are shifted to parent company Norwegian Cruise Line (Crown Odyssey and Royal Odyssey), or sold off: Star Odyssey becomes Black Watch for Fred Olsen Cruise Lines and Queen Odyssey joins Seabourn Cruise Line.

– Baltic Line ceases operations. One of it’s vessels, Baltica is sold to Arcalia Shipping (Lisbon) and renamed Princess Danae.

– Carnival buys 30% intrest in British tour operator Airtours which owns a cruise division called Sun Cruises catering for the UK-cruise market.

– Kvaerner buys Trafalgar House and becomes the new owner of Cunard Line (owners of the illustrious Queen Elizabeth 2) in the process.

SONY DSC

 

1997

– Carnival & Airtours both purchase all shares of Costa Cruises.

– Cruise Holdings purchases Delphin, Premier and Seawind Cruise Lines and continues operations under the name of Premier Cruises.

– Windstar purchases Club Med I and adds the vessel to its fleet as Windsurf.

– Norwegian Cruise Line buys Crown Majesty which was originally owned by bankrupt Majesty Cruise Line.

– Royal Caribbean Int. purchases Celebrity Cruises, both brands keep their own identity.

– Holland America Line sells Rotterdam to Premier Cruises, who rename her Rembrandt.

– HAPAG sells their famous Europa to Star Cruises, Star also acquires Sun Viking. New names for both ships: Superstar Asia and Superstar Sagittarius respectively.

– P&O sells Canberra after 37 years of service for srap.

– CTC cruises goes bankrupt. CTC was a British firm which chartered Russian cruise ships and offered cruises at moderate prices. However, cheap as they are, these ships cannot compete with the modern tonnage introduced by competitor P&O Cruises for example.

 

1998

– Cunard Line is sold again, this time to Carnival Cruise Lines, but remains a seperate brand in the Carnival family of cruise lines (Costa, HAL, Windstar, Seabourn, Airtours).

– Work on the Norwegian Sky starts, she is the unfinished hull of the former Costa Olympia ordered by Costa Cruises from Bremer Vulkan shipyard. Alas, during construction the yard went bankrupt.

– Norwegian Capricorn Line a daughter company of NCL is founded. It will operate the Norwegian Star ex Royal Viking Sea from Sydney, Australia

– NCL acquires Orient Cruise Line. This company operates the classic Marco Polo on destination oriented (soft expedition) cruises.

– German Meyer Werft delivers Superstar Leo, Star Cruises first newbuilding.

– Airtours takes over rival British tour/ cruise operator Direct Cruises. Direct remains a seperate brand however.

– Paradise (Carnival Cruise Line) is introduced as the world’ s first non-smoking cruise ship. Passengers caught smoking are fined and asked to leave the ship at the next port of call.

supstarleo

1999

– Voyager of the Seas (Royal Caribbean Cruises Int) is taken into service. She is the largest cruise ship ever built: 137.000 GRT.

– Residensea is not selling as much appartments as was hoped for on their newbuilding The World. It will be the first ship with residents who permanently live on board. As a result the planned vessel is scaled down from 85.000 GRT to 36.000 GRT.

– American Classic Voyages orders two 1900 pax. newbuildings at Ingalls shipyards, the first large passenger ships ordered in the US since many years.

– Sun Vista of Far Eastern Sun Cruises burns and sinks in the Straits of Malacca.

– Norwegian Dream (NCL) collides with container carrier Ever Decent in the English Channel and severely damages her bow.

– Plans are being developed for the largest cruise ship ever, the Queen Mary 2 by Cunard and Carnival.

 

2000

– Cunard Line signs letter of intent for building the world’ s largest cruise ship ever, the Queen Mary 2 at Chantiers de L’ Atlantique.

– Stefan, ex Stefan Batory, ex Maasdam, is scrapped in Aliaga, Turkey. Together with sister Rijndam, she was one of the first passenger liners in the ’50s to have a substantial number of tourist class cabins.

– Society Explorer’s small cruise vessel World Discoverer runs aground at the Solomon Islands. She has to be abandoned and shortly thereafter she is ravaged by local inhabitants.

– One of the oldest cruise ships afloat, the Britanis of 1932 begins her last journey to Indian breakers under the name of Belofin-1. She doesn’ t make it however, and sinks near Cape Town while under tow.

– British tour operator Airtours sells 50% ownership in Costa Cruises to Carnival for a reported $525 mio.

– Cape Canaveral Cruise Line takes Dolphin IV out of service because of corroded tanks, she is one of the last former Israeli passenger liners.

– Premier Cruises’ ships are all arrested for debt in various ports. Premier ceases trading.

– En route from New York to Southampton, Oriana (P&O Cruises) is hit by a gigantic 40 ft wave smashing several windows.

– Plans arise to let Norway of NCL and Superstar Leo of NCL’ s parent company Star Cruises switch places. Norway will depart to the Far East while Superstar Leo will sail in Hawaiian waters. Nothing happens however.

– Costa Classica, en route to British ship yard Cammel Laird for stretching is ordered to turn around while being of the coast of La Coruna, Spain. Costa states that the British yard does not have all preparations in order to finish the job on time (in 17 weeks).

– Seabreeze, one of the former Premier ships is sold to New York Merchant Bank DLJ, however en route from Boston to Charleston she suddenly develops a list and sinks 200 miles of the coast of Verginia.

– Commodore Cruise Line closes it’s doors. Expectations are that the company will be back in operation early in 2001, but this never comes to pass…..

DolphinIV

2001

– Italian Mediterranean Shipping Cruises orders two new ships from Chantiers de ‘Atlantique for delivery in 2003-2004. These ships will be MSC’ s first newbuildings.

– A near sister to Sea Cloud of 1931, the sail cruiser Sea Cloud II is delivered a year late because of problems during fitting out of her interiors.

– Royal Olympia announces plans to reactivate two classics, The Stella Solaris and the Apollon. However, neither of them actually returns to active service.

– Star Cruises plans to shift one of it’s vessels, the Superstar Aries (ex Europa) to subsidiary Orient Lines. She will be renamed Ocean Voyager and will make destination oriented, soft expedition cruises. Nothing happens however.

– Fred Olsen acquires the 1993 built Crown Dynasty of bankrupt Commodore Cruises (parent company of Crown Cruise Line which operated her). She is renamed Breamar.

-Princess Cruises announces that her best known vessel, Pacific Princess, star of the TV-series The love Boat will leave the fleet in 2002.

– Seven Seas Mariner, the world’s first all-suite all balcony cruise ship is christened in the port of Los Angeles. She is owned by Radisson Seven Seas Cruises.

– After finding 35 deficiencies, the UK Coast Guard detain the Ocean Glory, ex Provence, ex Enrico Costa in the port of Dover. She will never sail again, and ends up at the breakers some months later….

– P&O Cruises announces a new brand, A Rosa Cruises, which will aim at younger passengers

– In the autumn of 2001, both Renaissance Cruises (which owns eight brand new vessels) and American Classic Voyages cease operations. Both are victims of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington on Sept. 11 which causes a downturn in bookings.

 

2002

– Several new ships are expected to be taken into service this year: Carnival Pride, Carnival Legend, Carnival Conquest, European Stars, Finnmarken, Trollfjord, Star Princess, Brilliance of the Seas.

– Carnival Cruises reports over 28.000 bookings on one day, January 14th, a record.

– Construction on the largest cruise ship ever, the Queen Mary 2 starts at Chantiers de L’Atlantique.

– Canyon Ranch signs letter of intent: Kvaerner Masa will build two vessels for delivery in 2004-2005.

– A new cruise line called Imperium Cruises is formed. The company plans to lease two former Renaissance vessels, R six and R seven for service in the Indian Ocean, sailing from Dubai to east Africa and Egypt.

– The World, the first cruise ship offering 110 appartments for permanent living on board, is christened in Trondheim, Norway.

– Empress Cruise Line ceases operations. It’ s only vessel, the The Empress will be auctioned off.

– Sun Bay II is returned to her builder, Cassens Werft in Emden, Germany, because booking are very low for her inaugural season. Operator Columbus Seereisen tries to find other employment for this brand new vessel.

sunbay

– NCL buys the hull of the unfinished American Classic Voyages newbuilding from Northrop’s Ingalls ship yard and the fittings of the second newbuilding.

– A ship yard fire damages the Diamond Princess, a newbuilding for Princess Cruises. The yard, Japanese Mitsubishi Heavy Industries states that 70 % of the vessel is damaged.

– P&O Princess announces a new brand, Ocean Village. The new company aims at a young, active clientele and will operate the former Arcadia as Ocean Village.

– Oceania Cruises is formed, a new cruise line in the de luxe segment. Two former Renaissance vessels will sail for the new company.

 

2003

– On January 8th., Princess Cruises announces it will be taken over by Carnival Cruises, instead of merging with Royal Caribbean Int as planned in 2002. It’s shareholders agree with Carnivals last bid. The new company will be the largest of it’ s kind in the cruise industry, owning more than 60 ships with almost a 100.000 berths and another 18 ships on order. Carnival now owns the following companies: HAL, Windstar, Seabourn, Cunard, Costa, Princess, P&O UK, P&O Australia, Ocean Village, Swan Hellenic, Aida, A Rosa.

– HRH The Prince of Wales, Prince Charles expresses his support in relation to plans to acquire the classic Windsor Castle which has been in lay up for years in the Greek bay of Elevsis and use her as a floating restaurant, hotel or museum in an English port. She is in a remarkable good condition and virtually unaltered from her Union Castle days.

– P&O Australia’s Pacific Sky is hastily taken out of service as cracks caused by corrosion are found in her hull. After necessary repairs are made, she resumes service.

– The outbreak of SARS (lung illness Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) in Asia affects cruise ships schedules as many vessels are redirected at once. Star Cruises, the largest cruise line in the Far East switches two of it’ s vessels to Australian waters.

– In a surprise move, NCL buys two laid up veterans, the famous United States (in lay up since 1969!) and the Independence.

– On April 28th., Regal Cruises goes bankrupt, after an unsuccessful attempt to sell the company. Regal Empress is laid up.

RegalEmpress

– Dutch shipyard Rotterdamse Droogdok Mij., builders of the Rembrandt, ex Rotterdam in 1959, purchases the vessel which had been in lay up since the collapse of her former owners Premier Cruises in 2000. She will be restored and probably find use as a hotel ship in the port of Rotterdam.

– NCL announces a new brand, NCL America. It’ s ships will be US flagged and crewed. It will start operations in 2004 with the brand new Pride of America and the Pride of Aloha (currently Norwegian Sky) in Hawaiian waters.

– Imperial Majesty Cruise Line acquires the Regal Empress. She will replace the Oceanbreeze, which is shortly thereafter sold for scrap.

– NCL’s Norway suffers a serious boiler explosion. After it becomes clear that the boiler has to be replaced she is towed to Europe, to German Lloyd Werft. Repairs have not been carried out yet, so it remains uncertain if she will ever return to service……

– Both RCI and Carnival announce plans for building the largest passenger ship ever. RCL plans (and later orders) an ‘ ultra Voyager ‘ vessel measuring 160.000 GRT, derived from the Voyager class. Carnival plans an even bigger ship of 180.000 GRT for it’ s subsidiary Princess Cruises for delivery in 2006-2007.

– Carnival announces that the A Rosa brand will merge with the Aida brand; the latter will continue to exist, A Rosa will be phased out.

– Star Cruises order two large vessels (93000GRT) from German Meyer Werft, enlarged versions of NCL’s Norwegian Dawn and Star.

 

2004

– On January 8th, Queen Elizabeth II christens the world’s largest passenger liner, the Queen Mary 2 in Southampton during a formal naming ceremony.

– At Lloyd Werft in Bremerhaven, NCL’s newbuilding Pride of America which is almost finished at the time, sinks at her fitting out pier during a storm. The ship’s lowest four decks, including her machinery spaces are flooded, and her delivery date has to be postponed by a year.

– Greek – Italian owned Festival Cruises gets into serious financial difficulties and all of it’s ships are seized and laid-up. Although at first the company is certain normal operations will be resumed, later this year Festival closes it’s doors forgood….

– EasyCruise is founded. Immediately, the Neptune 2 (former Renaissance 2) is acquired and rebuilding of the vessel starts in Singapore. To start operations in 2005, EasyCruise will operate budget cruises. On a fixed week-long itinerary, passengers stay for at least 2 and maximum 14 nights. Food and cabin service will not be included in the cruise price.

easycruiseone

– Princess Cruises takes delivery of three vessels which are her largest ever; Diamond Princess, Caribbean Princess and Sapphire Princess, measuring 112.000 and 116.000GRT)

– Louis Cruises (Cyprus) purchases three ships from the financially troubled My Travel Group, Sun Cruises.

– Kvaerner Masa Yards reaches an agreement regarding the construction of a 200m/ 42500GRT vessel for Ocean Club Cruises. Construction of the Four Seasons, a residential ship just like The World is expected to start in the first half of 2005.

– MSC Cruises purchases two vessels of now defunct Festival Cruises: European Vision and European Stars. These ships are sister ships to ms Lirica and Opera, two newbuildings delivered as recently as 2003 and 2004 by French ship yard Chantiers l’Atlantique.

– NCL will pass several of their older ships on to parent company Star Cruises which will operate these vessels in Asian waters. NCL has several ships on order for delievery in the next two/ three years.

– RCCL orders a second Ultra-Voyager ship from Kvaerner Masa Yards. Carrying 3600 passengers and measuring 160.000GRT, these ships will surpass Queen Mary 2, currently the world’s largest passenger ship in size.

 

2005

– Cruise ship schedules are affected by the Tsunami in the Far East: Star Cruises amends the itineraries of two of its vessels, Superstar Virgo and Superstar Gemini as calls at Phuket, Thailand are cancelled. Star Clippers’ Star Flyer, based for several cruises in Thailand is relocated to Singapore. Ocean Princess and Andaman Princess have assisted in rescue operations immediately after the disaster took place,and are both laid up.

– New cruise company easyCruise also cancels ist inaugural cruises out of Singapore because of the Tsunami, the tidal wave that caused havoc in December 2004. After her refit is be completed, easyCruise I starts sailing in the Mediterranean spring 2005.

– A Greek court declares Royal Olympia Cruises bankrupt. The company’s three vessels are auctioned off. The company had been struggling to survive for about a year after her two most important ships, two recent newbuildings and one of her older ships had already been sold off.

– Sad news reached us: NCL’s ss Norway (ex France, 1962) has reportedly been sold to the breakers, problably in India. After an explosion of one of her boilers, she has been in lay up in Bremerhaven at Lloyd Werft for the last two years. Repairs to let her return to active service proved uneconomical. Plans to use her as a hotel ship in France or the Netherlands fall through. However, there are persistent rumours that she might be used as a hotel ship in the port of Singapore….

– The former Holland America Line flag ship Rotterdam of 1959 passes to new owners after her former Dutch owners run into financial difficulties. An investment firm has teamed up with a housing company and a Dutch university.There are plans to have her fulfill a new role as museum, hotel and college.

rdamv

– For the tenth time in a row, readers of the prestigious travel magazine Travel + Leisure vote Crystal Cruises to offer the best cruise product in the segment of luxury cruising onboard large vessels.

– A new company starts operations: Indian Ocean Cruises. Their first vessel is the small, classic Madagascar (built 1960 as the day cruiser Bremerhaven, she also sailed as Stella Maris II and Viking Bordeaux). Madagascar will sail on short cruises in south east African waters.

– The hull of the world’s largest cruise ship, RCCL’s Freedom of the Seas is floated out at Aker Finyards(Finland). Her maiden voyage is planned for April 2006.

– The cruise industry contributes 32.4 billion dollars to the North American economy in 2005, an increase of 8% compared to 2004. This is the result of passenger on shore spending, maintenance on ships, payments for port services, shoreside staffing and the purchase of goods necessary for ship operations.

 

2006

– Alstom, owner of shipyard Chantiers de l’Atlantique has sells a 75% stake in this yard to the Norwegian company Aker Yards.

– Royal Caribbean orders the largest cruise ship ever at AkerYards, Finland. She will measure an incredible 220.000 GRT and will accommodate 5.400 passengers! This ship will be almost 70.000 GRT larger than the Freedom of the Seas, which is currently being built at the same yard with delivery this summer. When Freedom enters service she will be the world’s largest cruise ship, surpassing the Queen Mary 2 in tonnage.

– A fire breakes out on board Star Princess (Princess Cruises) which quickly engulfes 100 staterooms. One death is reported. The Star Princess proceeds to Grand Cayman on her own power and offloads passengers there. An investigation is initiated.

– Freedom of the Seas, the worlds largest cruise ship is delivered by Aker ship yard to owners Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines today.

– Queen Mary 2 starts on her first world cruise on January 10th, 2007. She departs together with fleetmate Queen Elizabeth 2 from Fort Lauderdale. It is Queen Elizabeth’s 25th world cruise.

RMS-Queen-Mary-2

– Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 80th birthday aboard the small Scottish cruise ship Hebridean Princess. The Queen has chartered the ship for a cruise around the Western Scottish Isles. The Queen’s original yacht, the Britannia was donated to the port of Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland for use as a museum because the ship had become too old (44 years old) and thus costly to keep her in service as the Royal Yacht.

– The starboard engine of Louis Cruise Lines’ Calypso catches fire whilst on a trip from Tilbury to Guernsey. The ship rapidly fills with smoke and passengers are ordered to get their life jackets and report to their muster stations. However, the crew gets the fire under control quickly. The vessel proceeds under tow to Southampton for repairs. Calypso had been chartered by Dutch cruise agency Cruise Travel to celebrate their 20th year in the cruise industry.

– Aker Yards from Finland merges with French Alstom Marine owner of Chantiers de l’Atlantique. Both yards are renowned builders of cruise ships.

– NCL announces it will be the first cruise line to enable passengers to use their cell phone on board all of their ships while at sea. In 2002, NCL was the first cruise line to offer passengers wireless internet access.

– Sad news, Blue Lady, ex Norway, ex France, beaches at Alang for scrapping. Until the final end, rumours surrounded the ship, for example that she might be used as a floating hotel in Dubai. Soon, one of the most famous passenger ships of all times will silently disappear into history. Beaching the ship has been postponed several times, as she has asbestos on board. Finally, the Indian Government granted permission to have her scrapped at Alang after she had been at anchor in heavy seas off the Indian coast for several weeks.

– Carnival Cruise Lines introduces a new feature. Passengers can view a video in their cabins on which Carnival’s famous architect Joe Farcus tours the vessel they are sailing on and explains the central interior-theme of the vessel and the idea behind the decoration of the main public spaces on board.

– RCCL buys Spanish tour operator Pullmantur. Pullmantur currently operates five vessels. Probably vessels will be shifted between both companies. This is the first European brand RCCL now owns.

– The famous former Bergen Line cruise ship Scandinavia ex Stella Polaris is lost south east of Japan while under tow to China. Plans were to refit here there and subsequently operate her as a hotel/ restaurant in the Swedish capital of Stockholm. Stella Polaris had been operated as such for the last three decades in Japan. Recently she had been acquired by Petro Fast from Sweden.

– German operator Holiday Kreuzfahrten surprisingly goes bankrupt. Both vessels chartered by the company, the Mona Lisa and Lili Marleen will finish their Baltic cruises and will be returned to their respective owners.

– German tour oprator TUI and Carnival sign a letter of intent to operate two cruise brands targeted at the German market. One of the brands will be Carnival’s subsidiary Aida Cruises, known for their informal club style cruises, while the other will be a newly formed brand.

monalisa

 

2007

– The prestigious magazine Conde Nast Traveller awards the three Seabourn vessels the highest ranking of all cruise ships in the categories food and service. Since this survey amongst its readers was initiated in 1994, the Seabourn vessels received award after award.

– Carnival joins forces with the Spanish travel company Orizonia Corp. owner of Iberojet which operates two cruise ships, Grand Voyager and Grand Mistral. This deal will give Carnival a stronger foothold in Europe, and Iberojet a chance for fast growth.

– Carnival sells one of its subsidiaries, Windstar Cruises to Ambassador Int. for 100 million dollar. Ambassador is the owner of Majestic Cruise Lines which operates several classic paddle-wheelers like American Queen, Delta Queen, Mississippi Queen etc.

– Swan Hellenic Cruises, owned by P&O stops operations after their only ship Minerva II is withdrawn, but will probably continue as a brand after all. The company name and rights are been acquired by former P&O chairman Lord Sterling.

– One of the vessels of Cypriot-bases Louis Cruise Lines, the Sea Diamond (former Birka Princess) strikes rocks near the Greek island of Santorini. Passengers are evacuated and in the early morning hours the Sea Diamond sinks and now lies a 100 metres below the surface. It seems that two passengers are not accounted for after the vessel had been abandoned, a father and his daughter from France.

– German shipyard Blohm and Voss lengthens Fred Olsen Cruise Lines newest vessel Balmoral (former Norwegian Crown of NCL and due to enter service for Fred Olsen in January 2008) with a 30 meter midsection. This increases the ships capacity by one third.

– Problems for NCL. Due to heavy competition in Hawaiian waters leading to downward pricing, NCL announces it will withdraw the Pride of Hawaii and shift her to European waters in early 2008. The company has experienced massive losses in 2006 and 2007. The ship will be renamed Norwegian Jade.

– First Choice Cruises acquires Quark Expeditions and its fleet of 6 vessels which make expedition cruises. First Choice wants to expand in the expedition cruises market.

– Carnival reveals plans to upgrade cabins and public spaces on board all eight Fantasy vessels between now and 2009. They will also be renamed, as their current names will be preceded by “Carnival”.

– Interesting news. Cunard Line announces the sudden and unexpected sale of the famous Queen Elizabeth 2 to Dubai interests for a reported 100 million dollars. She will be used as a luxury floating hotel and entertainment centre, berthed at the Palm Jumeirah, a man-made island in the form of a palm tree. She will be delivered late 2008.

The Queen Elizabeth 2 berthed at Port Rashid close to Dubai Creek, Dubai. The ship was brought to Dubai to be turned into a floating hotel but the project appears to be on hold for the moment and the only sign of activity is a wisp of smoke from the funnel where the engines are kept turning over from time to time to keep air circulating. Pic: Keith Waldegrave           see story Amanda Perthen

– Royal Caribbean Cruises forms a new cruise line which will aim at the deluxe market: Azamara Cruises. The line will use two former Renaissance R-class ships as Azamara Quest and Azamara Journey

– For the first time, Carnival Cruise Lines will operate voyages to South America with 14- to 18-day departures featuring extended visits to several destinations in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Ecuador, Chile and Peru aboard the new 113,300-ton Carnival Splendor beginning in January 2009.

– Holland America Line launches As You Wish dining, an innovative program that allows guests to choose from the best of both worlds — either traditional pre-set seating and dining times, or a completely flexible dining schedule. One level of the two-tiered restaurant will offer flexible open dining service from 5:15 to 9 p.m. daily, and the other will host two seatings, an early and main seating.

– Ocean Majesty and Thomson Spirit collide in the Geiranger Fjord in Norway. One of Ocean Majesty’s lifeboats is damaged as well as Thomson Spirits bow.

– After NCL reported massive losses mostly from its US division (Hawaii) the company will receive a financial injection of $1 billion from Apollo Management, a firm which recently also invested in Oceania Cruises.

– P&O Cruises newbuilding Ventura is to be UK’s largest floating art galley. 40 British artists will produce almost 7,000 pieces of modern art worth over 1 million pounds. The collection on board will showcase work from all disciplines including sculpture, photography, digital print, mural, painting, glasswork, lenticular and mosaic.The art will be displayed all around the public areas of the new ship but the three stairwells will be a highlight of the collection, each led by a single artist.

– A new European cruise line is launched by Royal Caribbean Cruises. The new line, to be called CDF Croisieres de France will cater to the French market. Sailings will start in May 2008 using the former Europa, Superstar Aries, Holiday Dream under her new name Blue de France.

– Finally the Norway can be scrapped. This has been ruled by the high court of India although environmentalists still claimed asbestos and other dangerous substances are present on the vessel.

– The Explorer, operated by GAP Adventure Cruises sinks of the Argentinean Coast in Antarctican waters after striking a submerged iceberg. The vessel suffers a hole of about 10 cm in the hull and pumps can’t cope. Passengers are transferred to Nordnorge (Hurtigruten cruise ship) and Lindblad Expedition’s Geographic Endeavour. The Explorer, built in 1969 and former Lindblad Explorer, Society Explorer is known for being the first cruise ship to navigate the North West passage in 1984.

Ms-explorer

– As the transaction between Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) and Apollo Management, nears completion and the infusion of $1 billion comes into the company, NCL announces its Freestyle 2.0 fleet wide initiative featuring significant enhancements in its onboard product. The enhancements include a major investment in the total dining experience; upgrading the stateroom experience across the ship; new wide ranging onboard activities for guests of all ages; additional service and amenities for balcony, suite and villa guests; and a re-launch of a tiered Latitudes past guest recognition program.

 

2008

– Although british cruise-operator Travelscope had gone into administration, passengers who had booked the world cruise on the Van Gogh could set set sail Friday, reports the Press Association. The Gloucester-based Travelscope, a tour operator that also operates the ocean-going Van Gogh and river ships, had gone into administration shortly before Christmas. All other trips planned by the company, some 45,000 on number, were canceled.

– Private equity group Apollo Management agreed to invest heavily and become a major shareholder in Norwegian Cruise Line. NCL has announced the closing of a $1 billion cash equity investment. Apollo has now become a 50 percent owner of NCL. Star Cruises, NCL’s previous sole shareholder, owns the other 50 percent. NCL needed cash to implement Freestyle 2.0 on their ships and for the new F# prototype ship.

– Cunard Trio Sails Together for First — and Last — Time
Three cruise ships from the same company sailing out of the same port at the same time is usually not such a big deal. But when the ships are the three Queens of Cunard, and they’re departing from New York … well, that makes big headlines.

– Between 8:30 and 9 p.m. yesterday, Queen Mary 2, the new Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth 2 lined up in New York for their first ever rendezvous (and last; Queen Elizabeth 2 is being retired at the end of this year). It was a big event, even in a metropolis like New York. In Battery Park, thousands of spectators arrived to witness the historical lineup, which ended with fireworks as the Queens passed under the VerrazanoNarrowsBridge — Queen Mary 2 heading to Barbados on her 10-night Caribbean cruise, and Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth 2 to Ft.Lauderdale on their World Cruises.

– While this is the first World Cruise for the Queen Victoria, it will be the last for the Queen Elizabeth. Fortunately, the ship still has scheduled calls in New York prior to its retirement.

– Celebrity’s new vessel Celebrity Solstice innovation is grass: a 1/2-acre lawn for sports and relaxation. “The Lawn Club,” on the top-most deck, aft, will feature real growing grass and a full-time gardener to keep in good condition. It will be the central element of the ship’s outdoor experience.

Celsostice

– Marco Polo will depart Orient Lines fleet and being a one-ship operator and given the fact that NCL, Orient’s parent company will not replace the ship means that Orient Lines, created in 1991 as a destination-oriented company, will no longer exist.

– Carnival Cruise Lines’ “Evolutions of Fun” initiative, a $250 million renovation and upgrade program of its eight Fantasy-class ships goes ahead on schedule with pase 2 being implemented. Next vessel to be refitted the 70,000-ton, 2,052-passenger Carnival Fantasy which will enter dry dock this fall. A new aqua park, an adults-only area and a redesigned main pool are the main features of this program. Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration were the first two ships to receive these improvements, Carnival Paradise, Carnival Sensation, Carnival Elation, Carnival Ecstasy and Carnival Fascination will be renovated by the end of 2009. Phase one of the initiative, already complete, featured updated staterooms with flat-screen TV’s, a renovated 12,000-square-foot Spa Carnival facility, refreshed dining rooms, a New York-style deli, an atrium lobby bar, a new conference facility, a patisserie, and new photo and art galleries.

– Stelios Haji-Ioannou has put his first vessel for his low budget company easyCruise, easyCruiseOne up for Sale and has cancelled his new-build order (for up to seven ships!) at a Greek yard. The line will now launch in April easyCruise Life, their second ship which easyCruise bought in September 2007.
easyCruise Life will be operated om 7-night cruises around in Greek and Turkish waters.

– Celebrity orders fifth Solstice-class ship for delivery in 2012 and now has five Solstice-class vessels on order to be launched between 2008 and 2011.

– Pearl Seas Cruises, the recently formed line in the luxury cruise market, has experienced serious construction delays with its first ship. The vessel is now set to debut spring 2008 (built at Halifax Shipyard Ltd)ed.

-Thomson Cruises announces that its Thomson Emerald (built 1958, rebuilt in 1991) will be leaving the fleet at the end of October. Thomson has been chartering the vessel, owned by Louis Cruise Lines, since 1993 The ageing vessel is not up to standards anymore..

– Royal Caribbean takes delivery at Aker Yards, turku, Finland, of the Independence of the Seas, third vessel in the Freedom-class series. She measures 160,000 tons, carries 3,630 pax.

– Private Cabanas Introduced on Eurodam
On its first Signature-Class ship, Eurodam, HAL will introduce so called private cabanas, tented cabanas for private use on the Observation and Lido Decks. All of them will be furnished with woven chaises, ottomans and upholstered settees, and are stocked with bathrobes, plush towels, handheld fans, Evian spray misters and iPods already loaded with a variety of music.

– Swan Hellenic, returns on the cruising scene. Operating one vessel 12,500-ton, 350-passenger Minerva.
In 2006 the line was to be sold by parent company, Carnival UK; and its existing ship, Minerva II, was transferred to Princess Cruises. But, in April 2007, Lord Sterling (former P&O Cruises chairman) bought the Swan Hellenic name and its former passenger lists”. What he actually got was the name, its list of passengers and other back-of-the-house stuff; he then needed to go out and find a ship. Interesting detail: the Minerva now to be introduced was actually also Swan Hellenic’s popular former Minerva; so the ship is returning to her former name and owners.

– easyCruise’s newvessel, easCruise Life, has now departed on its maiden voyage (may 2008), a month late as she was delayed by greek labour strikes.

– HAL’s “Grande Dame”, the Rotterdam V of 1959 has returned home at last.Rotterdam V, its one-time flagship, pulled into Rotterdam for good; there, after years of planning and renovating the ship in Spain, Poland and Germany, the ship will be permanently docked and serve as a floating hotel.

SS-Rotterdam

– MSC has signed a contract with Aker Yards to build two more ships which will belong to the Musica class; they measure 89,600 tons and carry 2,550 passengers.

– easyCruise has decided to include Half-board meal packages and daily housekeeping as part of the published fares starting immediately. Up till now, the line, operating as a budget cruise line excluded all shipboard services from it fares, but because of this move, the line is getting closer to becoming a standard traditional cruis line. .

– TUI Travel, parent company of Thomson, now owns 100 percent of Island Cruises; this will result in Island Star leaving the fleet. She is acquired by Spanish Pullmantur, meaning all 2009, 20110 cruises will be cancelled.

– As a result of SOLAS 2010 safety rules, Fred Olsen will retire its classic Retire Black Prince of 1966. Costs of upgrading the little ship, still very popular among British passengers are too high.

– When QE2 enters Dubai’s port of Mina Rashid her active career as the wordls most publicized liner/ cruise ship will have ended. Plans are to strip the vessel, partially rebuild her and in three years after a grand reopening, operate her as a floating luxury hotel berthed at Palm Jumeirah, a manmade island shaped like a palm tree.

– Norwegian Cruise Line and STX Europe, which have been in dispute over plans for the newly developed F3 series of ships, have resolved their disagreements, resulting in NCL will now build just one ship, rather than the pair originally planned. This is scheduled to debut in May 2010. The disagreement began when NCL objected to the higher costs STX France calculated to make additional design changes NCL included in the F3 project at a later stage of development.

 

2009

– QE2, taken over from Cunard by Dubai government-owned firm Nakheel, is in danger of being sent to the scrap yard after all. Since delivery in November 2008, QE2 has been waiting for conversion to hotel, museum and convention centre. Spectacular plans have been shelved because of the economic crisis also hitting Dubai and as a result of this declining numbers of tourists visiting Dubai.

– Costa Cruises is the first shipping line which sells cruises through the website of an airline. In this case, Ryanair features a page on its UK-website through which passengers can book for Costa cruise packages. Ryanair flights can be combined with Costa cruises in this way.

– Construction on both new Disney vessels to be introduced in 2011 and 2012 has begun. Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy will measure 128.000GRT and carry 2500 pax. They are being built at Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany. Current Disney liners have the highest occupancy ratio in cruising because of the many children per cabin (ratio: 150%!). This means that although officially the new ships (which feature two extra decks) will carry 2500 pax, their actual occupancy will be around 3500.

– British Hebridean International Cruises will end sailing in international waters and sell one of her vessels, Hebridean Spirit. The line states it will focus on operating her remaining vessel, Hebridean Princess in domestic Scottish waters. Reason for this downsizing of operations is the company has received less bookings than expected because of the economic recession and suffers from a weak pound against euro and dollar. This means operating a vessel in international waters will no longer be viable.

Hebridean-Princes

– A group of world leaders from eight countries France, the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, Japan, Italy and Canada among them U.S. President Barack Obama will be staying on board MSC Cruises 135.000GRT MSC Fantasia during thus year’s G8 Summitin Sardinia.

– Starting March, a new cruise line will start operating ms Celebration on short cruises to the Bahama’s from Port Everglades. This former rebuilt Color Line ferry will be used and will replace the ss Regal Empress of now defunct Imperial Majesty Cruise Line. Regal Empress has recently been scrapped as she did not comply to the new SOLAS 2010 requirements due to her age.

– All Leisure Group (owners of Swan Hellenic Cruises andVoyages of Discovery) has acquired Hebridean Island Cruises. Hebridean went into administration earlier this year and had to dispose of one of her two vessels, Hebridean Spirit. The line will now focus on her domestic trade in the Scottish isles.

– The former Celebrity Galaxy, retired in March, has been launched in Hamburg. Germany-based TUI Cruises will target Mein Schiff (German for “My Ship) to German-speaking passengers. 50 million euro’s have been spent to completely modernize her resulting in some spectacular public spaces like the Himmel and Meer Lounge featuring pod chairs with cushions dangling from the ceiling. A number of balconies even feature hammocks.

– German operator Peter Deilmann Cruises will shut down its river cruise division beginning in 2010. The cruise line cites financial concerns as the reason. Through 2009, river cruises will be operated as normal and then Deilmann will sell of her fleet of eight river cruisers. The ocean-going cruise ship, Deutschland, will not be affected and will continue to offer luxury cruises. Deilmann is yet another victim of the current economic depression.

– Saga Holidays, the Britain-based two-ship line that aims at the over 50 market, has purchased a replacement for Saga Rose, the classic cruise ship which will retire in December 2009. The company acquired the 18,600GRT, 446-passenger Astoria at an auction yesterday in Gibraltar. After a thorough 14 million pound refurbishment, the ship will begin sailing in March 2010 as Saga Pearl II. (the refurbishment will include the addition of new balcony cabins; upgrades to the show lounge, spa and two swimming pools; and the creation of a library and a new Veranda Restaurant).

– A new British cruise line is formed: Cruise & Maritime Voyages, offering sailings on two intimate classic vessels, the 22.000GRT Marco Polo and the 17.000GRT Ocean Countess The line will aim at the same market as competitors Voyages of Discovery and Saga Cruises, both also British lines that cater for more mature travellers and emphasize on destination oriented cruises.

– Cruise line Paul Gaugain Cruises has been up for sale for some time and has now been sold to Pacific Beachcomber, a firm which owns luxury resorts. Owner Regent Seven Seas Cruises had just shifted operations of Paul Gauguin to the newly formed cruise line, Paul Gaugiuin Cruises starting from 2010 as Regent’s charter of the vessel ends 2009. Beachcombers interests are in the region of Tahiti, French Polynesia, so Paul Gaguin will most likely stay in the area.

Paul_Gauguin

– German cruise operator Transocean Tours, which charters Marco Polo and Astor, filed for insolvency in September. The company, which resides in Bremen will start restructuring within weeks. Cruises for the remainder of 2009 on both ships will be unaffected. It seems that one of the reasons for the company’s financial difficulties is the cancellation of Astor’s 2008/ 2009 world cruise resulting in high insurance payouts which had to be made.

– Up till now, Celebrity Cruises was one of the few cruise lines not to offer their passengers flexible dining options like NCL’s Freestyle Dining which was the first alternative dining program introduced in the business. Later all other large cruise lines followed, and now Celebrity introduces Celebrity Select offering passengers flexible dinner times and a new feature here is that passengers can pre book on a daily basis when and where they will dine, and with whom.

– Former Windjammer Barefoot Cruises passengers have formed a new cruise line to fill the void left in this niche market of casual sail cruises when Windjammer when bankrupt in 2008. The line will start operating the small 12-passenger Diamant from Grenada to six islands: Carriacou, Union Island, Bequia, Tobago Cays, Mayreau and Palm Island.

– Only a year after leaving the Cunard fleet for a new life as a luxury hotel in Dubai, the QE2 may have to be sold. The ship was bought for $100 million in 2007 by Nakheel, a specialist property subsidiary of state-run Dubai World, and has been berthed in Dubai since arriving there in November 2008. Now, Nakheel which has run into financial trouble will have to restructure (it has a debt of $ 60 billion) which could result in QE2 being sold off.

– Oceania which will launch the 66,000-ton, 1,258 passenger Marina, its first new-build, January 2010 unveiled drawings for its most expensive suites. The three Owner’s Suites on Marina are more than twice the size of their counterparts on her fleetmates Regatta, Insignia and Nautica. These 2,500-square-foot suites are the first staterooms to go from beam to beam, all across the ship offering views both from port- and starboard.

– Silversea’s 36,000-ton, 540-passenger new-build, Silver Spirit, has been handed over to the company by the Fincantieri shipyard in Ancona, Italy.
The inaugural sailing, from Barcelona to Lisbon will be on December 23.

Silver_Spirit

2010

-An extensive fleet modernisation plan has been launched by Celebrity Cruises which celebrates its 20th anniversary. Their Solstice-class vessels have proven so popular, that when overhauling their Millennium class vessels this will be done with Celebrity Solstice’s facilities in mind. Solstice introduced the industry’s first real lawn on the top deck of a cruise ship as well as an ice-walled bar among other never seen facilities.

– Paul Gauguin, the luxury cruise ship operated in the South Pacific for the last decade, has now been officially handed over to her new owners, Pacific Beachcomber. Itineraries will remain the same as will the ship itself apart from the replacement of the old spa by an algotherm Spa (which can also been found in the Inter Continental resorts Beachcomber also owns).

– Silversea’s new ship Silver Spirit has been christened and has been officially taken into service during a short and simple ceremony in Port Everglades. Just before the christening, the ship was inspected by the Centre of Disease Control and earned a score of 96 out of 100.

– Plans to dock the QE2, the former famous Cunard cruise liner now owned by Dubai developer Nakheel at Cape Town, South Africa during this summer’s FIFA World Cup have fallen through. Nakheel wanted to dock the ship for 18 months in Cape town, much longer than the World Cup, but port officials state they need the berth for handling regular cargo vessels. Nakheel is short of funds to execute their original plans to vastly rebuild the QE2 and operate her in Dubai and currently tries to find ways to have the ship generate alternative sources of income .

– Easycruise ends operations by cancelling sailings for the remainder of the 20210 season and offering passengers refunds. The line started in 2005 as a low budget cruise line in the Caribbean, meals and housekeeping were not included in the fare. Later Easycruise altered this and became more of a standard cruise line. A larger vessel replaced the original Easycruise One, but Easycruise did not succeed in finding an solid foothold in the cruise industry.

– For the first time a cruise ship has been named at an Arabian port: at a spectacular event during which Arabian horseman performed and parachutists with Costa logo’s on their parachutes landed, Costa Deliziosa was named by godmother Tala Dionisi, wife of the Italian ambassador to the Arab Emirates. Because of Muslim faith, a bottle of juice instead of champagne was used and the ceremony was referred to as a naming, not a christening.

Oceania first newbuilding Marina (it currently operates Regatta, Insignia and Nautica, all three ex-Renaissance ships) will be floated out of its construction dock during a special event at the Fincantieri shipyard in Genova. Although far from finished, travel agents and press are invited to tour the ship for a first impression.

– Three crew members have died and four other people have been injured after Costa Europa collided with a pier during bad weather in the Egyptian resort of Sharm El Sheikh this morning. An unexpected gust of wind threw the ship against the pier.

caeuropa

-A growth to 1.65 mio British cruise passengers in 2020 is envisaged because of ships offering more facilities are being introduced as well as cruises to more varied destinations are offered. This spectacular number of cruise passengers does cause shipping lines problems as they will have to increase capacity in time. British passengers mostly sail on ships of one of the brands of Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess, Cunard etc

– West Africa is becoming more important as a cruise destination. Crystal Cruises and Princess offer cruises in the region. Star Clippers and Seabourn Cruises also did until recently but because of increased risks of piracy off the coast of Somalia, these line have cancelled their sailings in the area for now. Several ports are building cruise terminals to be able to accommodate cruise passengers in the near future.

– Carnival Ecstasy (70,367 GRT, 2052 pax) suddenly developed a heavy list when it needed to avoid a large buoy which was adrift and had not been detected by the ships radar, resulting in 60 passengers suffering minor injuries.

– Cruise travelers suffer from cancelled flights in all of Europe because of several volcanic eruptions in Iceland. Cruise ships, Celebrity Eclipse, Thomson Dream and Island Escape offered assistance and repatriated stranded tourists back to the UK.

– Even on Royal Caribbean 225.000 GRT Oasis of the Seas, which is a stunning success because of its sheer size and impressive facilities, some of the ships facilities are used less than expected. An example of this is the Coney Island Boardwalk featuring a carousel and shops offering ice cream, candy etc. As these services come with a fee, passengers divert to the other (free) amenities this ship has to offer. So on sister ship Allure of the Seas, these lesser performing areas will be replaced by alternative facilities.

– A spectacular feature of Cunard’s new Queen Elizabeth, currently under construction, will be a two and a half deck art panel in the Grand Lobby, the area where passengers will board the ship, depicting the first ship to carry the name Queen Elizabeth, created by artist David Linley, a nephew of the Queen.

– Mr Kevin Sheehan, NCL’s CEO stated at a press conference onboard the lines new $1.1 billion Norwegian Epic that he line will not order a second F3-class sister ship to the Epic. Newbuildings, when ordered will be of an entirely new class.

– The SS United States has been saved from the scrapyard. Philadelphia philanthropist Mr Gerry Lenfest has donated $5.8 million, enabling the SS United States Conservancy to acquire the ship for $ 3 million from current owners NCL. Mr Lenfest will pay for docking fees for 20 months during which the Conservancy will develop a business plan to convert the ship to a floating hotel/ museum.

SS_United_States

– Passengers on the Clipper Adventurer (operated by Canadian Adventure Canada) saw their cruise end earlier than expected when their ship hit an uncharted rock en route from Epworth to Kugluktuk. When the ship couldn’t be freed on the next high tide, an icebreaker offered help and transported its passengers to Kugluktuk from where they were flown home.

– In September, Dick West, CEO of Cruise West announced the closure of the company after 64 years. The company had suffered badly from the economic crises and could not survive financially any longer.

– Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has christened Cunard´s new cruiser Queen Elizabeth (92.400 GRT). When the bottle smashed into her hull, the ship was covered by red, white and blue streamers.

– Costa Classica, stationed in Shanghai, China has collided with a cargo ship in the port of Shanghai when returning from a cruise, suffering a 20 meter gash above the waterline. Although summoned to their lifeboat stations, passengers have not been in any danger.

Costa Classica

– Although kept quiet by the line at first, NCL has ordered two 143.500 GRT ships from Meyer Werft, Germany. They will not be sisters to Norwegian Epic, but will be ships of a new generation derived from NCL’s popular Norwegian Jewel, Jade, Pearl and Gem.

– Regent Seven Seas wants to emphasize the ultra luxury character of its product by including pre-cruise stays to all of its sailings, starting next season, this in addition to shore excursions, beverages and tips which are already included in the fares of most sailings.

– The success of Oasis of the Seas’ extensive facilities is overwhelming and Royal Caribbean will include several of them in older ships when they are refitted. Starting with mid size Radiance of the Seas (90.000GRT) which will receive a Samba Grill Brazilian Steakhouse and Rita’s Cantina (Mexican food), Giovanni’s Table, serving Italian dishes and the Park Cafe deli, which will not be in situated in an actual park by the way and the Chef’s Table, an exclusive dinner restaurant.

– Splendor of the Seas (Carnival Cruises) has been stricken by an engine-room fire and the ship was adrift for four days before being towed into port. On board power was lost, toilets did not work. Food had to be improvised as the kitchen was also crippled.

– Saga Holidays, the line for passengers over 50 years of age has acquired a new vessel, the Blue the France. She will be refitted and will enter service in 2012

BleudeFrance

– Celebrity Silhouette and Celebrity Reflection, Celebrity’s two new vessels for 2011 an 2012 will offer more amenities than their three sister ships already in service. Onboard Reflection 42 suites will be added for which the pool will be raised one deck, more seats in the theatre and the Ocean View Café and cabana’s will be added which can be rented for half a day or a full day. Due to time limitations the size of Silhouette could not be increased, but it will feature 17 additional cabins.

 

2011

– P&O Cruises Australia has announced that is has sold Pacific Sun, which has sailed for the company since 2004, and before that operated as Jubilee for Carnival Cruise Lines. Rumour has it the buyer is a Chinese company and that she will sail from China’s mainland.

– Paul Gauguin Cruises announced today that it has acquired a new ship, which will sail for the company together with the Paul Gauguin, the company’s existing ship. The new vessel, to be named Moana, is Compagnie du Ponant’s former Le Levant, which can accommodate up to 90 passengers in 45 cabins. She will be renovated before being taken into service.

– Norwegian Cruise Line has announced the names of its new vessels 144,017-ton, 4,000-passenger Project Breakaway : Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway. The two ships will be taken into service in April 2013 and 2014, respectively. After a contest organised by USA Today five names remained in the runnning: Breakaway, Getaway, Bliss, Escape and Journey.

– Small British cruise line Noble Caledonia has acquired a second ship to operate alongside its existing vessel, MS Island Sky. The vessel acquired is Island Sky’s twin sister which was originally built for Renaissance Cruises in 1991, a 4,200-ton, 114-passenger vessel, which will be named Caledonian Sky. She sailed as Renaissance VI until November 2000, when she was sold to Hebridean Island Cruises and named Hebridean Spirit.

– Again two cruise ships being upgraded: Crystal Serenity, recently received a $25 million facelift during a two-week dry dock in Hamburg, Germany. The overhaul brings the Crystal Serenity in line with its sister Crystal Symphony which received a similar overhaul in 2009. The same goes for Carnival Destiny, which once was the biggest cruise ship. Destiny will be in drydock in early 2013 for more than a month, during which the Lido Deck will be upgraded amongst other enhancements.

– Royal Caribbean announced today that it will spend $300 million over the next three years to upgrade nearly its entire fleet, introducing family cabins and additional dining options to its Voyager-, Vision- and Radiance-class ships. The upgrades will also include ship-wide WiFi, in-cabin docking stations, flat-panel TV’s in cabins, computerized info kiosks and poolside video walls for entertainment.

– Following the recent naming ceremony of its smallest ship, Adonia, P&O Cruises has announced that it has ordered its largest ship ever, a 141,000-ton, 3,611-passenger vessel, to be launched in March 2015. The new ship will be built by Italian shipyard Fincantieri. Compared to Azura, currently the largest vessel in the P&O Cruises fleet, it will be 20% bigger in tonnage.

adonia

– The 710-passenger Adonia which arrived in Southampton a day late due to adverse weather conditions has been christened by godmother Dame Shirley Bassy. Until recently she has been sailing for P&O Cruises’ sister line, Princess Cruises, and was refitted at the Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport, Bahamas.

– P&O Cruises Australia has sold its Pacific Sun, which has been part of its fleet since 2004 and before that sailed as Carnival Cruise Line’s Jubilee. Although the buyer hasn’t been mentionded, it is believed that she is going to a Chinese buyer and will operate cruises out of China’s mainland.

– The 130,000-ton, 3,690-passenger Carnival Magic sets out on its inaugural cruise this weekend recently. Some of the ship’s innovations are the Cucina del Capitano, a family-style Italian restaurant with a Tuscan decor, the Red Fog Pub, the Spor Square, an activity deck with a ropes course hanging 150 feet above the sea and Cherry on Top, where everything from cupcakes to tux rentals can be bought/ rented.

– Viking River Cruises, as part of its ongoing $250 million expansion and upgrade program, announced today that it will take four new-builds in 2012 with state-of-the-art features into service.
The four new ships, Viking Freya, Viking Idun, Viking Njord and Viking Odin will sail from the beginning of the 2012 river cruise season and they will inaugurate the line’s Longship class of vessels, designed by maritime architects Yran & Storbraaten

– Some details of the 141,000-ton, 3,600-passenger ship, to be named Royal Princess became known recently and the most significant is the innovative Sky Walk, a cantilevered, glass-enclosed walkway that will extend 28 feet beyond the edge of the ship and 128 feet over the water. Even the floor is made of glass……

– The Australia and New Zealand cruise industry receives another huge boost when Holland America and Celebrity Cruises are positioning their Celebrity Solstice and Holland America’s just refurbished Oosterdam here. Normally, older, smaller vessels are operated in this area. In addition to these two vessels, Carnival Cruise Lines will deploy its 88,500-ton, 2,124-passenger Carnival Spirit in Australia also.

– Grand Princess, Princess Cruises 109,000-ton, 2,600-passengers vessel will receive a rather radical faceloft: during the 24-day refit, which will take place at Freeport’s Grand Bahama Shipyard from April 11 to May 4, workers will slice off the ship’s distinctive “shopping trolley” handle , altering its profile. Further more the atrium will be gutted and will recive a makeover.

grprincess

– Oceania Cruises’ new Marina was christened recently. The 66,000-ton, 1,250-passenger Marina is the first new-build in the premium line’s history. The price tag for the vessel (and its sister, Riviera, due in 15 months) lies at $600 million.

– The venerable ocean liner S.S. United States has been saved from the scrap yard for now. The S.S. United States Conservancy, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting, revitalizing and promoting America’s flagship, has acquired the the ship, thanks to a grant from the Lenfest Foundation. Last july Philadelphia philanthropist H.F. Gerry Lenfest agreed to contribute up to $5.8 million to purchase the ship from its owner Norwegian Cruise Line and maintain it for up to 20 months. S.S. United States has slowly been deteriorating at a Philadelphia dock since 1996.

– Disney Dream, Disney Cruise Line’s first new-build in more than a decade, has been christened in Port Canaveral by the ship’s godmother, “American Idol” and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson.
In true Disney style, the event started with an elaborate show, with all Disney characters present, and impressive fireworks.

– Cunard’s three ships – Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth – visited New York together and gathered by the Statue of Liberty for a fireworks display. The event marks only the second time Cunard’s entire fleet has docked in New York. The previous occasion was in 2008 before Queen Elizabeth 2, now languishing at a dock in Dubai, was retired.

– Hapag-Lloyd, an upscale cruise line that caters primarily to German-speaking travellers and considered to be one of the world’s best luxury operators, will take over Oceania’s 698-passenger Insignia for two years, beginning in April 2012. The ship will be renamed Columbus 2 (Hapag-Lloyd’s already owns four-star Columbus as part of the existing fleet which is little-known outside of Germany) for the duration of the charter. She will be primarily aimed at wealthy family vacationers with not much time to spare…

– Celebrity Infinity, the second of four Millennium-class ships scheduled to receive Solstice-class upgrades, will get even more new additions than the recently upgraded Celebrity Constellation, it was announced. Extra cabins will be added, eight suites will receive balconies, an ILounge computer lounge and Apple store will be added as well as the Tuscan Grille, Café al Bacio, Bistro on 5 creperia, Martini Bar and Cellar Masters wine bar and upgrades to stateroom and public area décor and furnishings.

– Southampton is doing remarkably well attracting cruise ships, recently some 18,000 passengers passed through the city, either disembarking or embarking, when Fred Olsen’s Balmoral and Black Watch; P&O Cruises’ Arcadia; Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria; and Saga Cruises’ Saga Ruby docked at the port together. 2011 is looking good so far for Southampton as more than 350 ships are already booked to call or turn around here for 2011, an increase of over 50 on 2010.

saga ruby

 

2012

– Royal Caribbean’s third Oasis-class vessel will be built by STX’s shipyard in France and will be delivered summer 2016. The cruise line has also opted for a second ship with a potential delivery of mid-2018.

– Costa Cruises’ Costa Pacifica hit a pier in Marseilles on the morning of December 11, leaving an eight-meter/24-foot gash in the side of the ship above the waterline. According to Costa Cruises strong winds caused the accident and no passengers or crew were injured.

– Celebrity Reflection, the final vessel in Celebrity Cruises’ five-ship Solstice class, was named in a ceremony on December 1 in Miami. The ship was christened by four Godmothers: women who, for deep personal reasons, are determined to fight breast cancer.

– Carnival Destiny will return as Carnival Sunshine in April 2013, after a 49-day, $155 million makeover. The water park, part of Carnival’s Fun Ship 2.0 initiative, will differ slightly from other ships with its racing theme. Its 334-foot long Twister water slide features a clear turn that extends over the edge of the ship and will display “racers’ ” times on a scoreboard while special lighting effects will add to the racing sensation. The new full-service Asian restaurant will offer an open kitchen for passengers to watch the chefs at work. Other facilities will include the Havana Bar, Shake Spot serving milkshakes and the Java Blue Cafe, a coffee bar. The top deck also will feature Sport Square with its rope course, including a new zipline feature and a two-level miniature golf course.
– NCL has announced it is building a third new ship, due for delivery in October 2015. The ship, codenamed Breakaway Plus, will be larger than Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway, measuring 163,000-gross tons and carrying 4,200 passengers. Breakaway Plus will be built at Meyer Werft GMBH shipyard in Germany

– Four ships in the Classic International Cruises (CIC) fleet have now been arrested, due to company debts. Princess Daphne, on charter to Germany’s Ambiente Kreuzfahrten, was arrested in Souda, Crete, on Oct. 2 The 17,000-ton, 580-passenger Athena and 800-passenger Princess Danae were detained in Marseille on September 17 for failure to pay crew wages and fuel costs. The 6,000-ton Arion is detained in Montenegro.

– The All Leisure Group (A.L.G.) – which owns the Discovery, the 12,500-ton, 352-passenger Minerva and the 2,112-ton, 49-passenger Hebridean Princess – wants to target the budget end of the cruise market by entering into a joint venture with C.M.V,Cruise & Maritime Voyages . Meanwhile, C.M.V. is returning one of its two ships, the 17,000-ton, 800-passenger Ocean Countess, to its owners Maximus Navigation.

MV_Discovery

– P&O Cruises has confirmed it will start refurbishing three of its seven vessel fleet before the start of 2014. The Oceana, Ventura and Arcadia will be drydocked and refurbished in the coming year.

– Saga Ruby, the last cruise ship built in the U.K., will be retired from the Saga Cruises’ fleet at the beginning of 2014. The ship will celebrate its 40th (ruby) anniversary with one final round the world cruise in 2013 .Quest for Adventure will revert back to its former name of Saga Pearl. Then, Saga will be back to a two-ship fleet in 2014. However,the line revealed plans for a new ship.

– Silversea has acquired a new expedition cruise ship. The luxury line has bought the 100-passenger, 4,077-ton expedition ship Galapagos Explorer II and upmarket Ecuadorian tourism company Canodros with it. The ship will be refurbished to Silversea standards and renamed.

– P&O Cruises’ Grand Event on July 3, when all seven of its ships will be in Southampton together to celebrate its 175th anniversary, will enjoy royal patronage. The line has announced today that Princess Anne, The Princess Royal, is to conduct a fleet review, the term for the historic tradition of a gathering of ships for a special occasion to be observed by the reigning monarch or their representative. The procession will be spectacular. Each ship will depart the quayside with a deck party onboard and a display of daytime pyrotechnics, forming a line in Southampton Water to sail in convoy past the 2,541-ton Patricia, saluting HRH The Princess Royal before dispersing to sail onwards to their various destinations.

– Saga Cruises’ Saga Sapphire has finally sailed on her much-delayed maiden voyage after two previous attempts at an inaugural cruise had to be scrapped due to engine trouble. At the same time, 18,591-ton Saga Pearl II was rapidly converted into Quest for Adventure. Quest for Adventure replaces the old Spirit of Adventure, a smaller, aging ship that, after six years of service for Saga, has been sold to a German company.

– An Australian billionaire has announced plans to build a replica of Titanic, called Titanic II. Clive Palmer, one of Australia’s richest men, estimated at $5 billion U.S., has signed a memorandum of understanding with a Chinese state-owned company, CSC Jinling Shipyard, to build the Titanic II, a Titanic 1912 replica, with construction due to start at the end of next year. Titanic II is to be as close a replica to the original as possible, even keeping the same dimensions and measuring just 40,000 tons (roughly the same as the original). The new ship is being designed with the assistance of a historical research team who have reportedly been instructed to maintain historical accuracy while integrating selective modernisations in design, technologies and navigation. Swimming pools, libraries, high-end restaurants and 840 luxury cabins mimicking the design of the Titanic era are all part of the proposed plans. The four funnels on Titanic II, for example, will be purely decorative and, in addition to an Internet cafe, will house a restaurant and theatre.

titanic-2

– Viking River Cruises has launched four ships during a single ceremony The festivities marked the debut of Viking’s new series of riverboats, the Longship-class. These, 190-passenger sister ships have been built together in Germany, although a delay at the shipyard meant that two, Viking Odin and Viking Idun, were named in Amsterdam and two, Viking Freya and Viking Njord, by live video link at the yard in Rostock. Four godmothers christened the ships: Joanna Lumley, star of “Absolutely Fabulous,” christened Viking Odin, Gail Wiswedel named Viking Njord, she was chosen because she’s Viking’s most travelled customer, Dr Lisa Randall Viking Idun’s godmother, is a respected theoretical physicist and award-winning TV producer Rebecca Eaton, served as godmother for Viking Freya.

– The former Cunard luxury linerQE2 has been anchored in Dubai’s Port Rashid since it retired in November 2008. First the current owners, Istithmar World, planned to turn the vessel into a floating hotel. Those plans were postponed because of the economic crisis not only in Dubai, but worldwide. Then, on this past New Year’s Eve, the ship was used as a luxury party space. Guests paid up to $1,633 for a VIP ticket to the event Since then, QE2’s owner has received a lot of rquests for parties and other events aboard, but say they are picky to whom is allowed on board. At the moment a crew of 40 is looking after QE2.

– Recently, Queen Mary 2 has been plagued by power outages. Twice even during her latest world cruise. According to Cunard: “After experiencing brief power interruptions, when backup systems immediately kicked in, full power was swiftly restored to Queen Mary 2 on each occasion. Hotel services were restored to the ship within 15 minutes, there was virtually no impact on guests and the ship is continuing on her voyage as normal.” Cunard has not announced any plans for additional maintenance on Queen Mary 2.

– Norwegian Cruise Line has revealed details on their upcoming Norwegian Breakaway. The vessel, the first of two 144,000-ton, 4,000-passenger Breakaway-class ships, will have her inaugural voyage in April 2013, sister Norwegian Getaway, will start sailing in spring 2014. Breakaway will introduce two novelty spaces: The Waterfront, an outdoor “boardwalk” with eight al fresco dining venues and lounges, will be located on an open promenade on deck 8; there will also be 678 Ocean Place, a three-deck atrium running the length of the ship featuring restaurants, bars, the casino and shops.

– Costa Allegra, which suffered from a power breakdown was drifting in the Indian Ocean following an engine room fire, but there was no danger for passengers and crew. Allegra’s Capt. Giorgio Moretti told the press that the ship was being “pushed by the current” some 20 miles from Alphonse Island, near the Seycelles of the coast of eastern Africa. Tugs are set to arrive on the scene soon and then it will be decided where to tow the ship.

costaallegra

– On the Royal Princess, Princess Cruises’ most recent new-build, the line’s signature, the gold-and-marble atrium, will be presented in a far more impressive and dramatic way. This central spot for dining and lounging will be some 50 percent larger compared with those found on other Princess ships. Royal Princess’s three-deck space will host a number of new venues, including a gelateria, an Italian-themed cocktail bar called Bellini’s, a gift shop and a seafood bar, Ocean Terrace, serving sushi and caviar. The atrium will feature a pair of marble spiral staircases. There will also be added an adults-only pool; and Princess’ first private cabanas. Expanded versions of the adults-only Sanctuary and Movie Under the Stars, both Princess features, will be back.

– In a joint statement, the Cruise Lines International Association, European Cruise Council, and the Passenger Shipping Association have stated they have voluntarily agreed to exceed current legal regulations regarding laws outlined by the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). Instead of simply holding a muster drill within 24 hours of embarkation, cruise lines will conduct the drills for all passengers before their ships even leave port.

– At least thirty people are believed to have died after Costa Concordia ran aground off the coast of Italy, began taking on water and then capsized. More than 4,000 passengers and crew were evacuated from the vessel; about 40 injured survivors have been hospitalized.

 

2013

– The QE2 could be on her way back to London, after four years of languishing in the port of Rashid, Dubai. Recent reports say the owners of the ship, Dubai-based Istithmar have sold the ship to the Chinese for £20m to be scrapped. Just before Christmas a 20-man Chinese crew replaced a crew of around 40 who had been maintaining the QE2 in Port Rashid for the last four years. But a London-based consortium say they have enough funds to get te ship back to the UK, if a berth can be found probably on the Thames in London.

– When Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Breakaway debuts in May, the ship will feature a fireworks show which will take place on the second to last night at sea each week, after the ship departs Bermuda and will be the grand finale of the ship’s 1980’s-themed deck party. Norwegian has been revealing a lot of information on the 4,000-passenger Breakaway, for example its Haven suite complex, kids’ activities, restaurants etc.

– After the Costa Concordia incident no fewer than 10 new safety procedures were put in place within a year of the accident, and three of them have been encorporated in maritime law by the end of 2012. Impact on the cruise industry has become visible eg when Costa Crociere parent company, Carnival Corp. published their financial results: in three successive quarters after the tragedy a net profit of $93 million was reported, compared to $217 million during the same three months a year earlier.

concordia

– MSC Cruises has announced it is retiring the oldest ship in its fleet, MSC Melody, after 17 years of service with the line. Built in 1982 as Atlantic, the 35,000-ton, 1,000-passenger Melody is the smallest and oldest ship in the MSC’s fleet.

– The QE2 will be operated as a floating luxury hotel in the Far East, according to the Financial Times. It was hoped that the liner would be brought back to the U.K., but its Dubai-based owners have sold it to a Singapore-based investment group instead. The ship will be leased for a 10 year period with an option to buy after this period. It is not clear where the ship will be docked, probably Singapore or Hong Kong.

– An ice patrol vessel, HMS Protector has rescued Hurtigruten’s Fram after it became trapped in Antarctic ice breaking through four-meter-thick ice to free the Scandinavian cruise ship when it became trapped in ice in the Antarctic Sound. There were 202 passengers onboard.

– Royal Caribbean International has announced the names of its next generation cruise ships of which construction on the first has started. The 158,000-ton, 4,100-passenger Quantum of the Seas is scheduled to debut in fall 2014, with sister ship, Anthem of the Seas, to be launched the following spring. Until now the ships had been referred to as “Project Sunshine”.

– In its latest update, Carnival Cruise Line reported that basic services and hotel functions have been restored to Carnival Triumph, which remains adrift in the Gulf of Mexico after a fire onboard. The freshwater system, part of the sewage system, limited elevator service and some power in the Lido dining area are operational.

– In a surprise move, Windstar Cruises will double its fleet, after Windstar reached an agreement with Seabourn to purchase three of its ships Seabourn Pride, Seabourn Legend and Seabourn Spirit. According to Windstar Cruises’ CEO, the line selected the Seabourn ships because the three older ships are exactly what Windstar was looking for: small ships, 150 to 300 passengers and all suites.

– NCL’s Norwegian Getaway will debut in January with a new dining and entertainment experience:- The Illusionarium. According to the line: the special effects-laden magic show is “inspired by the science fiction of Jules Verne, the artistry of magicians such as Houdini and the popularity of recent blockbusters featuring supernatural characters.” Passengers at the show will find antique spell books, “interactive” artifacts and relics in this spectacular show lounge. Visual effects from a 30-foot-wide video dome overhead will complete the performances.

norwegian-getaway

– At a spectacular naming ceremony, held in Amsterdam, Viking River Cruises inaugurated so many new ships into its fleet, namely eight eight that it was presented with a Guinness World Record. The fastest-growing river cruise line will be recorded by Guiness for having the most ships inaugurated in one day by one company”.

– Film star Sophia Loren, the godmother of the entire MSC Cruises fleet, christened Preziosa while Ennio Morricone, who has composed some of the most recognisable film scores including “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.”conducted an orchestra playing his music. MSC CEO Pierfrancesco Vago stated: “Preziosa will become a symbol of the cruise industry, which has continued to grow despite of the recession. With the introduction of Preziosa, MSC is now the third-largest cruise company in the world.” During the event, Preziosa was flanked by sister ships Splendida and Opera.

Carnival Cruise Lines has launched a $300 million program designed to enhance emergency power capabilities, introduce new fire safety technology and improve the level of operating redundancies to its entire fleet. The company also formed a Safety & Reliability Review board to oversee continuous improvement in these areas. The new enhancements are also designed to prevent potential loss of power, which recently happened to one of the companies ships, Carnival Triumph after an engine room fire.

– Disney Cruise Line today announced the overhaul of the 1,754-passenger Disney Magic, which has seen 15 years of service summer 2013, which will take place in Cadiz, Spain, in September- October. Area’s upgraded are restaurants, bars, the spa, the atrium, cabins and kids’ spaces, and a waterslide that swings out over the side of the ship will be included.

– Viking River Cruises, the industry’s largest river cruise line, has ambitious plans to introduce a new ocean-going cruise line. The news confirms rumours about Viking’s ambitions to expand into coastal cruising. The first of two 47,000-ton, 900-passenger newbuilds is planned for a debut in spring 2015. They’ll be constructed by Fincantieri, cost ca $350 million.

– Royal Caribbean has canceled Grandeur of the Seas sailings following a fire on board on May 27. Passengers were flown home and the ship was taken to a shipyard in Grand Bahama for repairs.

– Regent Seven Seas Cruises, which was the first line with an all-suite concept, has ordered a fourth ship for its fleet, the Seven Seas Explorer. She will be a 738-passenger vessel, built in Italy’s Fincantieri shipyard, with delivery in summer 2016. At 54,000 tons, the ship will be the largest vessel in the company’s fleet and will cost about $450 million. There will be 369 suites on the ship, all with balconies, and she will have six open-seating restaurants, a nine-deck atrium, a two-story theater, three boutiques, and a Canyon Ranch Spa Club.

– Silversea will add an eighth ship to its fleet, Silver Discoverer in March 2014. The 128-passenger 5,218-ton ship, the former Clipper Odyssey will sail in Micronesia, Melanesia, Polynesia, the Russian Far East, Southeast Asia, New Zealand and Australia and is currently undergoing a major refurbishment.

SilverDiscovererdpl

– When MSC’s Armonia calls at Venice on April 2, 2014 she will be the first cruise ship to come under Italy’s new rules limiting marine traffic in Venice’s Giudecca Canal. Beginning January 1, Venice will limit the number of cruise ships more than 40,000 gross tons transiting the Giudecca Canal to five a day, resulting in up to 20 percent less traffic than that of 2012. In November, no cruise ship over 96,000-gross tons will be allowed to enter the canal altogether.

– Thomson Cruises has cancelled its entire Red Sea winter cruise season on Thomson Majesty because of safety concerns in Egypt. Just before, Egypt had stated it was confident that cruise lines would return to the country in 2014. Thomson is one of many cruise lines which have cancelled port calls to Egypt over the past few months.

– Costa Cruises reveiled detalis of its future flagship and the biggest ship ever built in Italy, Costa Diadema during a press conference in Venice. The 132,500-ton, 4,947-passenger Costa Diadema will enter service October 30, 2014. Costa hopes it will restore and boost the brand’s image after the Concordia incident and attract new markets and customers to the line. According to Costa CEO Michael Thamm: “Costa’s back. We’re filling ships and raising prices. We’re back to where we were before the incident and booking levels are ahead.”

 

2014

The Russian passenger ship Lyubov Orlova -arrested three years earlier in Canada because of unpaid debts- which was on its way way under tow to the breakers almost a year earlier and broke free during a storm still seems to be afloat. The abandoned ship is inhabited solely by rats and is drifting towards the UK. Update: a couple of months later, a device on the bridge transmitted a signal that the ship was sinking.

UK based Cruise & Maritime Voyages is taking over Trans Ocean Kreuzfahrten from Germany. CMV will continue to operate Transocean’s only seagoing vessel Astor which it already chartered in 2013 from Transocean for cruises around Australia and in Asian waters.

Celebrity Cruises will upgrade the experience for passengers who book suites by providing them apart from their own lounge and restaurant  services not found anywhere else on board like complimentary wines chosen by the head sommelier, local food, etc. Also butler service and VIP priority during (dis-)embarkation will be included. Celebrity plans to take the exclusive experience by suite-passengers to a higher level thus increasing the difference with passengers in lower-grades.

Cuba Cruise, which started the first-ever round Cuba cruises will continue for a second season as the Louis Crystal, chartered from Cypriot Louis Cruise Lines was fully booked. Cuba is slowly opening up to tourism and several cruise lines are planning calls at Cuban ports, mostly Havana.

louis crystal

MSC plans to build a new class of ships bigger than anything in its current fleet, even surpassing the ships of the Fantasia-class. They will be the second largest in the world measured by passenger capacity. Only RCCL’s Oasis-class vessels carry more passengers. As usual, they will be built by STX France.

In addition to The Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, currently the world’s largest cruise ships, and the third vessel currently under construction, RCCL has announced a fourth ship in this series will follow due to the immense succes these ships enjoy amongst cruise passengers. This latest Oasis-class ship will debut in the spring of 2018.  As the first ships of this class are already a huge succes, only minor improvements will be added.

Norwegian Cruise Line invests $250 million in a fleetwide renovation and upgrade program called Norwegian Next. As part of the program, the line will copy several fetaures from Breakaway-class ships to the rest of their fleet. This concerns entertainment, dining, on board connectivity like better WIFI but there will also be enhancements to their private islands (a second one off the coast of Belize will be added soon) and environmental friendly upgrades to all of their ships.

The wreck of the Costa Concordia will be raised mid 2014 and will be towed to Genoa -which will take about five days- where it will be scrapped, which is estimated to take more than a year to complete.

The UK remains Europe’s biggest cruise market, with a 27% share of passenger numbers in 2013, according to the CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association). Last year, 1.7 million British passengers took a cruise. Also, Southampton again was Europe’s most busy port with over 1.5 mio passengers (dis-)embarking here. The cruise industry generated more than £2.5 billion to the UK economy in 2013.

River cruise line Haimark will embark into coastal cruising in 2015 with the launch of its first ocean going ship, MS Saint Laurent (formerly Sea Voyager) which will be extensively refurbished beforehand. After a $3.5 million refurbishment of the vessel, the company aims at providing high standard cruises along the North Atlantic Coast and in South and Central American waters.

Louis Cruises will rename their brand to Celestyal Cruises and will operate two of its ships, Louis Crystal and Louis Olympia under the Celestyal banner. Celestyal aims to provide passengers a true Greek experience onbaord its ships, and also want to upgrade to a higher level of luxury and service as seen before on Louis ships.

MCS Cruises will stretch four of its ships, MSC Armonia, Opera, Lirica and Sinfonia at a predicted cost of $270 mio. The vessels will aslo be refurbished in the process. An 80ft section will be added, adding 53 cabins and 193 passengers to their capacity. It will take about 12 weeks per vessel to complete the job.

As a result of its Fleet Fuel Conservation Program, Carnival Corporation & plc, owning over a hundred vessels being the parent company of Carnival Cruise Lines, Aida, Princess, Holland America Line, Costa etc. has improved its fuel efficiency by over 20 % over the last 7 years, resulting in a savings of $2.5 billion in fuel costs. Energy saving on board and fuel-efficient-designed hulls have contributed to this remarkable result.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has launched a website aimed at keeping potential cruisers informed of  safety aspects as well as and consumer complaints concerning cruise ships calling at U.S. ports. Information is given related to the Federal Maritime Commission (for consumer complaints) and the U.S. Coast Guard (for ship safety issues).

 

2014

The Russian passenger ship Lyubov Orlova -arrested three years earlier in Canada because of unpaid debts- which was on its way way under tow to the breakers almost a year earlier and broke free during a storm still seems to be afloat. The abandoned ship is inhabited solely by rats and is drifting towards the UK. Update: a couple of months later, a device on the bridge transmitted a signal that the ship was sinking.

UK based Cruise & Maritime Voyages is taking over Trans Ocean Kreuzfahrten from Germany. CMV will continue to operate Transocean’s only seagoing vessel Astor which it already chartered in 2013 from Transocean for cruises around Australia and in Asian waters.

Celebrity Cruises will upgrade the experience for passengers who book suites by providing them apart from their own lounge and restaurant  services not found anywhere else on board like complimentary wines chosen by the head sommelier, local food, etc. Also butler service and VIP priority during (dis-)embarkation will be included. Celebrity plans to take the exclusive experience by suite-passengers to a higher level thus increasing the difference with passengers in lower-grades.

Cuba Cruise, which started the first-ever round Cuba cruises will continue for a second season as the Louis Crystal, chartered from Cypriot Louis Cruise Lines was fully booked. Cuba is slowly opening up to tourism and several cruise lines are planning calls at Cuban ports, mostly Havana.

MSC plans to build a new class of ships bigger than anything in its current fleet, even surpassing the ships of the Fantasia-class. They will be the second largest in the world measured by passenger capacity. Only RCCL’s Oasis-class vessels carry more passengers. As usual, they will be built by STX France.

In addition to The Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, currently the world’s largest cruise ships, and the third vessel currently under construction, RCCL has announced a fourth ship in this series will follow due to the immense succes these ships enjoy amongst cruise passengers. This latest Oasis-class ship will debut in the spring of 2018.  As the first ships of this class are already a huge succes, only minor improvements will be added.

Norwegian Cruise Line invests $250 million in a fleetwide renovation and upgrade program called Norwegian Next. As part of the program, the line will copy several fetaures from Breakaway-class ships to the rest of their fleet. This concerns entertainment, dining, on board connectivity like better WIFI but there will also be enhancements to their private islands (a second one off the coast of Belize will be added soon) and environmental friendly upgrades to all of their ships.

The wreck of the Costa Concordia will be raised mid 2014 and will be towed to Genoa -which will take about five days- where it will be scrapped, which is estimated to take more than a year to complete.

The UK remains Europe’s biggest cruise market, with a 27% share of passenger numbers in 2013, according to the CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association). Last year, 1.7 million British passengers took a cruise. Also, Southampton again was Europe’s most busy port with over 1.5 mio passengers (dis-)embarking here. The cruise industry generated more than £2.5 billion to the UK economy in 2013.

River cruise line Haimark will embark into coastal cruising in 2015 with the launch of its first ocean going ship, MS Saint Laurent (formerly Sea Voyager) which will be extensively refurbished beforehand. After a $3.5 million refurbishment of the vessel, the company aims at providing high standard cruises along the North Atlantic Coast and in South and Central American waters.

Louis Cruises will rename their brand to Celestyal Cruises and will operate two of its ships, Louis Crystal and Louis Olympia under the Celestyal banner. Celestyal aims to provide passengers a true Greek experience onbaord its ships, and also want to upgrade to a higher level of luxury and service as seen before on Louis ships.

MCS Cruises will stretch four of its ships, MSC Armonia, Opera, Lirica and Sinfonia at a predicted cost of $270 mio. The vessels will aslo be refurbished in the process. An 80ft section will be added, adding 53 cabins and 193 passengers to their capacity. It will take about 12 weeks per vessel to complete the job.

As a result of its Fleet Fuel Conservation Program, Carnival Corporation & plc, owning over a hundred vessels being the parent company of Carnival Cruise Lines, Aida, Princess, Holland America Line, Costa etc. has improved its fuel efficiency by over 20 % over the last 7 years, resulting in a savings of $2.5 billion in fuel costs. Energy saving on board and fuel-efficient-designed hulls have contributed to this remarkable result.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has launched a website aimed at keeping potential cruisers informed of  safety aspects as well as and consumer complaints concerning cruise ships calling at U.S. ports. Information is given related to the Federal Maritime Commission (for consumer complaints) and the U.S. Coast Guard (for ship safety issues).

Celebration Cruise Line had to cancel all cruises on their only ship Bahamas Celebration, a cruise ship that sails two-night voyages from the Port of Palm Beach to Freeport and back, which struck an unknown object in the water while leaving the Bahamas . The ship returned to Freeport where she docked, already listing to port.

Three of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ ships Black Watch, Braemar and Balmoral will have refurbishment work done next year. Black Watch will have 27 cabins on Lido Deck 7 fitted with balconies while both Balmoral and Braemar will have a ‘Café Venus’  installed on board, serving high-quality coffee and luxury chocolates. Other general refurbishment work will also be carried out.

Costa Cruises launched its new flagship at a naming ceremony in Genoa, Italy. The ship built at a cost of €550 million measures 132,500-ton and has a passenger capacity 0f 4,947. She will be the biggest in the Costa fleet and is similar in design to Carnival’s ‘Dream’ class of ships. Designed by main Carnival designer Joe Farcus, new features aimed at emphasizing to passengers they are at sea include split-level rooms overlooking the sea and a large outdoor promenad.

It  seems that  Aia and foremost China, is on it’s way to become the world’s fastest growing cruise market as the number of Asian cruise passengers will reach 2.1 million next year, and is predicted to to rise to 4 million by 2020, according to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). 26 brands operating 52 ships a active in this region. By far most of the cruises in Asia have a duration of 2 to 7 days.

Starting onboard the new Qunatum of the Seas, Royal Caribbean will introduce two new apps which will help passengers plan the details of their cruises. Cruise Planner can bee used before boarding, making it possible to passengers  to arrange spa appointments, shore excursions and dinner reservations from their mobile devices. Onboard, passengers can use Royal iQ to plan and keep track of their schedules. The daily Cruise Compass will also be available, and passengers will be alerted if they have planned scheduling conflicts. Royal iQ will also allow passengers to communicate with each other. In addition to this, RCCL plans to hand out each crew member a tablet fleetwide. This can be used for their work onboard and to keep in touch with their relatives at home.

 

2015

Carnival Cruise Line normally operates three- to eight-night sailings, but is planning to expand by offering longer sailings beginning this fall. These longer cruises called Carnival Journeys  will stop at ports of call normally never visited by Carnival ships and will feature special onboard experiences. Local food and entertainment will be offered as well as lectures on topics ranging from cooking and arts and crafts to celestial navigation, digital photography and social media.

P&O Cruises newest and largest vessel Britannia has been taken into service. She  arrived in Southampton for the first time and was greeted by a flotilla of ships and parachutists, while spectators lined the quayside. In the following week she was named by Her Majesty The Queen and a week long of festivities followed.

Lindblad Expeditions will merge with Capital Acquisition Corp., an investment company , in a $439 million transaction that will result in Lindblad Expedition Holdings, Inc. to be listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market. Further more, Lindblad announced the order of two new ships, the first-ever newbuilds for Lindblad. Scheduled to be launched in  2017 and 2018 respectively, the ships will have 50 cabins, 22 with balconies. According to the line eight rooms can be configured into four adjoining cabins for families. All public spaces will be designed for maximum outdoor viewing with easy, quick access to decks for wildlife sightings.

TV presenter Gloria Hunniford christened Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ newest ship, Magellan, on March 12th. She was previously owned by Carnival Cruise Line, and still retains the distinctive Carnival funnel shape. Se was recently owned by Costa Cruises. Magellan was built in 1985 and last refitted in 2010.

Most cruise lines, among them MSC Cruises and Costa Cruises have cancelled all calls at Tunisian ports for the rest of the year following the terrorist attack in Tunis on March 18th. 12 passengers travelling on MSC Splendida were killed, and five passengers on Costa Fascinosa were also killed. The attack took place when passengers were visiting the Bardo Museum during an excursion, Terrorists opened fire when the buses arrived at the museum.

Carnival Corporation, which had already planned 10 new cruise ships to its fleet by 2018, will add 9 more ships to its fleets over a four-year period beginning 2019. The ships will be built by Fincantieri and Meyer Werft. The ships will all be new-class designs, each  designed and developed specifically for a selected brand under the Carnival cruise umbrella. Fincantieri will  build five ships, while the other four will be built at Meyer Werft.

Thomson Cruises will name its newest ship Thomson Discovery when it joins the fleet in 2016. She is the former Splendour of the Seas and will replace Island Escape. The purchase of the ship is a result of the joint venture between TUI Group and Royal Caribbean Cruises. Thomson plans to expand further within the UK market.

MSC hass announced the name of its latest newbuilding: MSC Meraviglia.The 4,500-passenger ship, delivery May 2017, will be second only to Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Class in terms of passenger carrying capacity. Meraviglia wiil start sailing in the western Mediterranean. Special features planned for the ship are interlinked family cabins allowing up to three cabins to be connected. According to MSC publications Meraviglia will have a large outdoor water park connected to a double-deck indoor amusement park; a double-deck aft lounge and entertainment space; and a two-deck interior promenade styled like a Mediterranean village. This area, which will house shops, bars and specialty restaurants, will be covered by an LED dome ceiling that will serve as a “digital sky” showing images and visual shows.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has awarded 11 ships perfect scores and gave failing grades to 2 vessels. Ships are checked twice yearly and of 55 ships checked perfect scores were given to Carnival Miracle and Carnival Pride; Celebrity Infinity; Holland America Line’s Eurodam, Noordam and Ryndam; Island Princess and Ruby Princess; Norwegian Jewel and Norwegian Sky; and Seadream I of Sea Dream Yacht Club. However, Silversea’s Silver Shadow and Caribbean Fantasy, run by America Cruise Ferries, received failing grades.

Windstar Cruises Star Legend , originally Seabourn Legend has been christened. She underwent an $8.5 million, three-week renovation in  Italy, which included expansion of the outdoor Star Deck; a new swim-against-the-current pool and whirlpool; expansion of the indoor/outdoor Veranda Cafe and addition of Windstar’s well-known Yacht Club..

The first cruise line entirely dedicated to volunteer tourism, Fathom, also called voluntourism, has been launched. The ship will sail from Miami to Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic. Passengers will be trained for two days before the ship casts off learning to teach English or build water-filtration devices and they will work together with local residents. For this new cruise service, the 710-passenger vessel Adonia will be shifted from the P&O brand.

After 32 years, Australia’s Coral Princess Cruises has changed its name to Coral Expeditions. All of its ships are to be rechristened and refurbished over the next year, Coral Princess I will become Coral Expeditions I, Coral Princes IIwill continue sailing as Coral Expeditions II and finally flagship Oceanic Discoverer will change to Coral Discoverer.

Virgin Cruises, the new cruise line founded by British billionaire Richard Branson has three new cruise ships planned, and is seeking passenger input on design and activities. A letter of intent has been signed with Fincantieri to build the three ships, the first of which will be delivered in 2020. She will measure 110,000-ton, carry 2,860 passengers and plans are for two sister ships in 2021 and 2022.

Hurtigruten has acquired a new ship to  be named Norway Explorer, The 320-passenger vessel was constructed in Portugal as a ferry but was rejected when she failed to make the desired speed.  She will first be refurbished and her hull will be ice-strengthenend.; she will start sailing on the regular coastal Hurtigruten-run.

Silversea Cruises has ordered a new flagship at Fincantieri shipyards, she will be named Silver Muse. The 40,000-ton luxury vessel will be delivered in 2017 and will carry 596 passengers. Speicific features are not yet released but she will be an evolution from the lines Silver Spirit of 2009.

Costa Cruises will get the second pair of a quartet of new cruise ships which have recently been ordered by mother company Carnival Corp. These ships will be 6,600-passenger giants and carrying more passengers than Royal Caribbean’s current Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas. The first pair of Carnival ships will go to Carnival Corporation’s German cruise line, AIDA. They wil run on liquified natural gas (LNG).

Celestyal Cruises has  aqcuired 1992-built MS Gemini (1,074 passengers)  She will be renamed Celestyal Nefeli and will be completely refurbished. She will replace the Celestyal Odyssey when the charter agreement for this ship ends in October. Together with fleetmates Celestyal Crystal and Celestyal Olympia she will cruise to the more intimate ports of the Mediterranean.

Saga Cruises has announced an order for a new cruise ship expected to be delivered in Summer 2019 with an option to order a second one for delivery in 2021. She will be an all-balcony ship, will carry just under 1,000 passengersand will be constructed by Meyer Werft from Germany. It has 540 suites and cabins and each has a balcony. The new ship  will replace one of the existing two ships in the Saga fleet and if Saga excercises the option for a second ship, it will replace the other existing ship.

The new CLIA report State of the Cruise Industry Outlook 2016, estimate that nearly 24 million passengers will take a cruise in 2016, up from 15 million a decade earlier. For 2016, 27 new ships are planned (including river vessels). Asia is expected to be the fastest growing region and Australia will pass the 1 million number of cruise passengers

Starting 2016 Costa Cruises and AIDA will introduce robots onboard their ships to assist passengers. For this they have signed up with a French firm Aldebaran to use their robot Pepper, capable of reading and reacting to human emotions by using depth and touch sensors. They will assist passengers with choosing excursions, restaurants and can communicate in German,Italian en English.

Prince will have a new vessel in its fleet between 2019 and 2020, one of four to be launched by Carnival’s new agreement with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri. She will include typical Princess features like a huge atrium, Movies Under the Stars and balconies in 80 percent of the cabins.Lindblad Expeditions – National Geographic has purhased Via Australis for $18 million from Cruise Australis. After an $10 million refit  she will replace National Geographic Endeavour and will sail to the Galapagos Islands.  She will be much cheaper to operate than NG Endeavour and will offer passengers more comfort in 50 cabins and public spaces with large windows for nature viewing.

 

2016

 Hurtigruten has announced it has ordered two new ships to its fleet, scheduled for delivery in summer 2018 and 2019. Both ships carry 600 passengers in 300 cabins and they will be marketed as expedition ships sailing in the polar regions. It has been 10 years since the line placed an order for a newbuilding, and this investment is the largest in the 123-year history of the company.

For the first time in  half a century, a cruise ship left Miami for Havana, when the Adonia of Fathom Cruises sailed for Cuba after a long period of preparations of trying to have the Cuban authorities grand permission to visit the island. Cruise passengers will fulfil volunteer work with local residents which is a new concept in cruising.

Royal Caribbean International took delivery of the world’s largest cruise ship today in France. At a ceremony held today in Saint-Nazaire’s STX shipyard, Royal Caribbean International took delivery of the world’s largest cruise ship, the 5480 passengers Harmony of the Seas,  She is Royal Caribbean’s third Oasis-class ship and a little larger than the previous ships, by 41 cabins and nearly 100 passengers.

A record 1,058,781 Australians took an ocean cruise in 2015, which is a growth of 14.6 per cent compared to the previous year; 25% sailed in Australian waters, rising from 80,000 to 270,000 according to this year’s figures from the Cruise Lines International Association. Australia’s growth is second only to that of China.

Royal Caribbean Cruises has announced a fifth Oasis-class ship, less than a week after the line’s inauguration of the Harmony of the Seas, with delivery planned for 2021. Also, RCCL made pulic it will add two ships to Celebrity Cruises’ new Edge Class (delivery in 2021 and 2022) . The Edge-class with already two ships ordered for 2018 and 2020, is positioned between the Solstice Class and the Millennial Class in terms of size and capacity.

Thomson Cruises has purchased the Legend of the Seas from Royal Caribbean International. She will join the Thomson fleet in May 2017 as TUI Discovery 2. In two weeks Thomson will take delivery of the TUI Discovery which is the former Splendour of the Seas, a sister ship to Legend of the Seas. Further plans for Thomson are that Mein Schiff 1 and Mein Schiff 2 will be acquired from TUI Cruises in 2018 and 2019 respectively, while current ships Thomson Majesty and Thomson Spirit will leave the fleet at the end of 2017.

An Italian court ruled again the 16-year prison sentence earlier given to the former captain Schettino of Costa Concordia who was again found guilty by a higher court of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning passengers in the accident, which took place off the island of Giglio,  in 2012, and led to the loss of 32 lives. Both Schettino and the prosecutor had appealed against the ruling of the court last year, when  the prosecutor had asked for a prison sentence of 26 years and Schettino’s lawyers asked him to be found not guilty.

The world’s oldest ocean-going passenger vessel, originally the Stockholm of 1948, now the Astoria will leave the Cruise & Maritime Voyages fleet in  2017, it was announced today. She will transfer to the French line Rivages du Monde. Also CMV will add P&O Cruises Australia’s Pacific Pearl to its fleet in June 2017, renaming her Columbus.

Hurtigruten has signed a letter of intent for two additional ships to its fleet, to be built by Kleven shipyard in Norway. CEO of the line Mr. Skjeldam stated “People no longer want to spend their holiday time being passive spectators, the new adventure traveller is looking for authentic experiences, which is why sedentary, standardised travel packages are becoming less popular and active adventure travel is booming.”  The two new ships are being designed  by Rolls-Royce together with Norwegian ship designer Espen Oino.

Cruise lines calling at the French Riviera like Royal Caribbean, P&O Cruises, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises  are likely to  cancel calls at the region following the terrorist attack in Nice where a truck driver steered into the crowds celebrating France’s Bastille Day, killing 84 people.

Silversea Cruises will invest $170 million in refurbishing Silver Whisper, Silver Wind and expedition vessel Silver Discoverer, as well as adding some upgrades. Many of the enhancements have been suggested by the line’s previous World Cruise passengers. Further enhancements to the fleet are planned for 2017, with plans for Silver Cloud to be refitted as a polar expedition vessel.

Crystal Cruises has shelved plans to restore the iconic liner United States as a cruise liner. After spending more than 1 million dollars in the investigation, it was concluded that although the ship still is strucurally sound, the technical (the hull would have to be completely rebuilt) and commercial risks would be to large. The ship will remain docked on the Delaware River in Philadelphia, while the S.S. United States Conservancy will continue its search for investors. Crystal plans to donate $350,000 to the Conservancy to cover the cost of the Big U’s upkeep.

P&O Cruises has announced plans to build a 5,200-passenger cruise ship, the largest ever built  for the U.K. market for delivery in 2020. She will be much larger than the lines current Flagship Britannia, measuring over 180,000GRT. According to P&O there will be no features like climbing walls, skydiving or surfing experiences on board as this will not be to the taste of their clientele. She will sail from Southampton year round. However, the first reactions to such a large vessel amongst P&O regulars is not very favourable generally, as English cruise passengers like classic, more intimate ships.

Carnival Corp. has ordered two new cruise ships for Carnival Cruise Line from Meyer Werft, Finland, which will become the largest in the line’s fleet, with delivery planned in 2020 and 2022. They will carry 5,200 passengers, compared to the lines latest addition Carnival Vista having a capacity of 3,936-passengers. They will be the first in North America to be powered by liquified natural gas (LNG). Last year, Carnival already placed an order with the same yard for four vessels,  two for German AIDA and two for Italian Costa, to be delivered from  2019 onwards.