Posted by: cruise2 | 19 September, 2016

Three New Mississippi Riverboats

by kevin Griffin writing for

The year 2012 saw a revival of cruising on the Mississippi River and its tributaries when, what is now the American Queen Steamboat Company, managed to place the 436-berth 3,707-ton American Queen back into service for the first time in four years.

The American QueenAmerican Queen

American Queen had been built by McDermott Shipyard in Morgan City, Louisiana, in 1995 and been laid up since 2008.

That same summer, American Cruise Lines introduced its own newbuilding, the 150-berth 2,700-ton American Eagle, completed that year in the line’s own shipyard, the Chesapeake Shipbuilding Company, in Salisbury, Maryland.

American Cruise Lines' paddlewheeler, American Pride (Courtesy American Cruise Lines)

American Cruise Lines’ paddlewheeler, American Pride (Courtesy American Cruise Lines)

After four seasons of no Mississippi cruises whatsoever, the river was back to two ships and 586 berths. Then, in 2015, a third vessel was added when ACL built the 150-berth 2,700-ton Queen of the Mississippi. This brought the number of berths available to 736.

Now, come three more vessels with another 501 berths that will bring the Mississippi fleet up to half a dozen ships and 1,237 berths, more than doubling the capacity of the first two ships.

First of the new trio is ACL’s 185-berth America, an enlarged version of American Eagle and Queen of the Mississippi, also from Chesapeake Shipbuilding. She was delivered in May and is now working together with a second Queen of the Mississippi, the first having been sent to the Columbia River as American Pride.

American Cruise Lines' paddlewheeler, America (Courtesy American Cruise Lines)

American Cruise Lines’ paddlewheeler, America (Courtesy American Cruise Lines)

Like all the other ACL riverboats, America is propelled by diesel engines and propulsion is through a stern paddle.

Second of the newcomers is French America Line’s 150-berth 4,332-ton Louisiane. Completed in 2000 as the last river cruiser to be build by the old Delta Queen Steamboat Company, Louisiane was built by Leevac Shipyards of Jenning, Louisiana, and completed by Cascade General Shipyards in Portland, Oregon, for work on the Columbia River.

The 150-passenger Louisiane (Courtesy French America Line)

The 150-passenger Louisiane (Courtesy French America Line)

Unlike most other riverboats in the United States, Louisiane is screw-propelled, with propulsion obtained from four diesel engines.

This summer, French America Line brought Louisiane around from Portland to New Orleans as deck cargo on a heavy lift sem-submersible barge and she is now at the Bollinger Shipyards in New Orleans (See video), where she is being prepared for her inaugural voyage from New Orleans on October 22. 

Louisiane will sail from her own dedicated cruise terminal at Gretna, Louisiana, directly across the river from New Orleans.

The 150-passenger Louisiane: the Veranda and the Panorama stateroom (Courtesy French America Line)

The 150-passenger Louisiane: the Veranda and the Panorama stateroom (Courtesy French America Line)

The third “new” Mississippi cruise vessel, announced last week, will be a 166-berth 3,560-ton conversion to be renamed American Duchess.

This vessel has been selected from among the American floating casino fleet to become the American Queen Steamboat Company’s third ship, joining American Queen and the 223-berth American Empress, which operates on the Columbia River.

The floating Isle of Capri casino at Bettendorf, Iowa, has just been replaced by a new shore-based one, making the vessel available for purchase.

Presently called Bettendorf Capri, the vessel has two 10’9″ tall decks, while a third lower height deck will be added atop the ship.

The Bettendorf Capri to be renamed American Duchess after a conversion

Bettendorf Capri to be renamed American Duchess after a conversion

A paddle wheel will also be added to give the impression that the vessel is powered by her own paddlewheel, although this will not actually be the case and she will be screw-propelled.

The latest American Queen vessel was built in 1995 by the Bender Shipbuilding & Repair Company of Mobile, Alabama.

Bender, which is no longer in existence, produced a fleet of eight casino ships between 1993 and 1995 and then never built any more.
To date, American Queen has not announced what shipyard will get the conversion contract nor its cost, but it has set a deadline for delivery by June 2017.

In Europe contact The Cruise People Tel +44 (0)20-7723 2450  and in North America contact The Cruise Prople +1.647.299.7447

Posted by: cruise2 | 12 September, 2016

Celestyal Cruises Plans Newbuildings

by Kevin Griffin writing for

Kyriakos Anastassiadis, ceo of Piraeus-based Celestyal Cruises, has been telling cruise industry publications recently that his company will be ordering new ships. “We will definitely get newbuilds,” he has said, “it’s just a matter of time.

The Thomson SpiritThomson Spirit

They will be mid-sized vessels, not bigger than 60,000 tons and 1,800 passengers. Our business model is built on mid-sized vessels.”

Any new ships would be specifically designed for 3- and 4-night itineraries, and all outside cabins would have balconies. “The ultimate objective is to get into new builds, but it’s a lot of money,” he explained.

Mr. Anastassiadis said the company has spoken to shipyards, and is working on yard slot availability, as well as a financing package for the ships, and is also working with a ship designer. “The problem is the shipyards are full and the earliest we would get a newbuilding would be 2021 or 2022.”

Louis Majesty currently sailing as Thomson Majesty

Louis Majesty currently sailing as Thomson Majesty

In interviews, Mr. Anastassiadis also confirmed the return to the fleet at the end of 2017 of both the 1,254-berth Thomson Spirit and the 1,462-berth Thomson Majesty, presently operating on charter to Thomson Cruises.

Thomson is replacing these ships with more modern vessels having more balconies from its Royal Caribbean affiliate.

In other news from Celestyal, the company will launch a winter programme with the 1,450-berth Celestyal Olympia in the Eastern Mediterranean in 2016-2017.

The Celestyal Crystal (Courtesy of Celestyal Cruises)

Celestyal Crystal (Courtesy of Celestyal Cruises)

Meanwhile, Thomson Majesty has been mooted for off-season sailings in the western Mediterranean, where Louis used to operate this same ship from Genoa and Marseilles as Louis Majesty.

In addition, the company’s Cuba Cruise brand will move to a year-round programme starting in 2017 and the 966-berth Celestyal Crystal could be joined by a fleetmate from November 2017.

The Celestyal Olympia (Courtesy of Celestyal Cruises)

Celestyal Olympia (Courtesy of Celestyal Cruises)

The line also plans to add a second ship in Cuba, which could be the Spirit when she returns to Celestyal. One ship will continue the present 7-night programme on a year-round basas while the second ship will offer 3- and 4-night sailings on a year round basis in and around Cuba.

Finally, Celestyal Olympia will go to the Persian Gulf in 2017-18, to operate a season of 3- and 4-night cruises out of Dubai to Bahrain, Doha and Muscat that will last through April 2018, when she will return to Piraeus for her summer season in the Greek islands.

Bookings in Europe through The Cruise People 0207 723 2450 and in North America The Cruise People at Expedia CruiseShipCenters, North Durham 647-299-7447

Posted by: cruise2 | 8 September, 2016

New Ship For Cruceros Australis

by Kevin Griffin writing for

Expedition line Cruceros Australis, which cruises Patagonia, the Chilean Fjords and Tierra del Fuego, has confirmed that it is building a new ship to replace the 130-berth Via Australis.

Mare Australis, Via Australis sister ship

Mare Australis, Via Australis sister ship

Via Australis was sold earlier this year to Lindblad Expeditions, who will now sail her in the Galapagos.

Her earlier sister ship, Mare Australis, also now sails in the Galapagos, for Metropolitan Touring.

This leaves Cruceros Australis with just one ship, the 200-berth 4,508-ton Stella Australis, built in 2010, until the company is able to add a second ship in October 2017. The new ship, for which a contract was signed in February, will be “a streamlined, modern vessel, comparable to the Stella Australis,” the company said.

Stella Australis

Stella Australis

As with her earlier sister ships, Stella Australis was built at Chile’s Asenav shipyard in 2010. The new ship is being built in the same shipyard, located in Valdivia, Chile.

Asenav is also building a small Great Lakes carferry for the Ontario Government, for delivery in 2018.

Cruceros Australis is part of Chile’s Comapa Group, which also includes Navimag Ferries. Navimag also offers tourist outings between Puerto Montt, Puerto Chacabuco and Puerto Natales on two overnight ferries, the 14,798-ton Eden and the 9,951-ton Evangelistas.

Posted by: cruise2 | 7 September, 2016

Two Sister Ships For Hapag-Lloyd Cruises

by Kevin Griffin writing for

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, a member of Germany’s TUI Group, has confirmed plans for two new expedition ships. The two 240-berth vessels are being designed and constructed by Fincantieri subsidiary Vard in Norway. Interior design will be by Oceanarchitects of Hamburg.

Artist impression of the new Hapag-Lloyd Cruises' expedition ship

Artist impression of the new Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ expedition ship

The order firms up a letter of intent that Vard announced on May 31 with reference to an “undisclosed cruise company” and the contracts for the two ships are subject to finance.

The ships’ hulls will be built by Vard’s shipyard in Tulcea, Romania, and final delivery is scheduled from the shipbuilder’s Langsten yard in Norway in March and October 2019, respectively.

Developed by Vard in close cooperation with Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, the luxury expedition cruise vessels will be approximately 16,100 gross tons and have dimensions of 453 by 72 feet. Each ship will have seven passenger decks, with accommodations for a total of 240 in 120 cabins and suites and a high proportion of balcony cabins. Each ship will have a crew of up to 170.

Designed for cruising the polar regions of the Arctic and Antarctica, they will be built to Polar Class PC6, and will also be capable of operating in warm water areas such as the Amazon.

On-board Zodiacs will allow landings in otherwise inaccessible expedition areas. The ships will also feature a water sports marina at the stern.

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises' Hanseatic in Hamburg

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Hanseatic in Hamburg

Karl Pojer, ceo of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises said the newbuildings will help the company further develop its expedition segment. Their 480 lower beds will offer 38% more capacity than the 348 berths presently available on the company’s existing expedition ships, Hanseatic and Bremen, which will have been in service for almost twenty-five years by the time the new ships are delivered.

The new ships “will also serve to strengthen our leading position in this market, in particular at the international level,” said Pojer. One of the ships will serve the German-speaking market in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, while the other will serve that market plus the Benelux, the UK and the US.

Sebastian Ebel, executive board member of TUI Group in charge of cruises, said: “The cruise business is one of the key elements of TUI’s growth strategy. Our ambitions are underpinned by our investment in the two new ships for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ luxury and expedition cruise segments serve as world-class benchmarks.”

With Crystal Endeavour and Scenic Eclipse due in August 2018 and the Hapag-Lloyd ships in Spring and Autumn of 2019 the comparisons are:

Also being constructed by Vard, the four smaller expedition ships that are being built for Ponant, at 10,000 tons and 420 feet, will be “traditional” Ice Class 1 ships rather than the Polar Class vessels Hapag-Lloyd has ordered.

Posted by: cruise2 | 25 August, 2016

CMV’s Columbus Plans 121-Night 2018 World Cruise

by Kevin Griffin writing for

Cruise & Maritime Voyages has announced that its Columbus will leave Tilbury on her first CMV world cruise on Thursday, January 5, 2018.

Cruise & Maritime Voyages' Columbus (Courtesy CMV)

Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ Columbus (Courtesy CMV)

This vessel was launched as Sitmar Cruises’ Fair Majesty in 1988 before becoming Princess Cruises’ Star Princess in 1989 and P&O Cruises’ UK-based Arcadia (II) in 1997-98.

Before heading for the P&O Australia fleet as Pacific Pearl in 2010 she traded in the Mediterrean as Ocean Village. As P&O’s Arcadia, this ship had served as a replacement for the longstanding P&O flagship Canberra.

Announcing the new programme, Lisa Jacobs, head of trade sales at CMV said: “People dream that when they win the lottery they will take a World Cruise. Now they can without that windfall – CMV has made the wish possible with our buy one get one half price deal.”

P&O Cruises' Arcadia (II) 1997-98

P&O Cruises’ Arcadia (II) 1997-98

The World Cruise includes four continents, three oceans, 40 ports of call including Tahiti, Auckland, Sydney, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai, and the enlarged Panama and Suez canals. Shorter sector options will also be be available.

Columbus’s departure marks to the day the 20th Anniversary of this ship’s inaugural world cruise as P&O’s Arcadia in 1998.
Ms Jacobs said: “Built for deep sea ocean cruising, we believe that Columbus is the ideal ship for this epic circumnavigation of the globe. Her expansive lounge and deck areas offer the perfect surroundings to escape the winter in style and comfort.”

The Ocean VillageOcean Village

The world cruise is available from £8,275 per person in double occupancy – the equivalent of around £68 per day – when booked by 30 November 2016. The cruise is available in North America, in $US, through The Cruise People at CruiseShipCenters tel 647-299-7447.

There are free twin cabin upgrades for early bookers. This fare is based on two people sharing a twin cabin and includes delicious full board cuisine, afternoon tea and late night snacks, Captain’s cocktail parties, deck parties, self service tea and coffee between 6 am and midnight, big show entertainment, cabarets and classical interludes, daytime activities and leisure facilities, Guest speakers and arts & crafts, porterage of luggage port to cabin and port taxes.

A total of 150 cabins are also available on board Columbus for solo travellers, with a 25% single supplement on the equivalent category for twin share prices.

Posted by: cruise2 | 11 August, 2016

New Investors In Hurtigruten?

by Kevin Griffin of The Cruise People, London

According to reports from Cruise Industry News and Bloomberg, Hurtigruten could be on the block again, according to sources familiar with that company.

MS Spitsbergen - Hurtigruten (Ex Atlantida)

MS Spitsbergen – Hurtigruten (Ex Atlantida)

TDR, the British private equity firm which acquired a 90% interest in Hurtigruten in late 2014, is said to be talking to three potential buyers after having received unsolicited offers.

Since 2014, Hurtigruten has acquired and refurbished a new ship, the 335-berth Spitsbergen, in addition to refurbishing four existing ships. It has also more recently ordered two newbuildings, with an option for two more.

When TDR acquired Hurtigruten, the bid at the time valued the company at about $884 million, with in addition to TDR two existing shareholders, Norwegian investor Petter Stordalen and Trygve Hegnar’s Periscopus AS, with 5% each.

Each investor could see the value of their stake double if TDR succeeds in finding new buyers willing to pay a good price. That means the fund’s partners and investors could profit handsomely on a company that also receives large state subsidies. But Mr. Stordalen, known in Norway for his hotel investments, is said to think it is more likely that additional investors will buy into the company.

Strong results are said to have increased interest in the company, which reported an 18.3% increase in operating revenues and a 90.5% jump in operating profits last year. The company nonetheless logged a pre-tax loss because of large one-time charges tied to the acquisition and refinancing of the company in 2014.
Hurtigruten and TDR declined to comment on these reports.

Posted by: cruise2 | 8 August, 2016

Montreal’s New Cruise Terminal

by Kevin Griffin of The Cruise People, Ltd – London writing for

The Port of Montreal is in the midst of investing $78 million in restoring its cruise terminal, the Iberville Passenger Terminal, on Alexandra Pier. The terminal is closed for the 2016 season while the facility is being completely rebuilt.

Montreal's existing cruise terminal with Mackay Pier opposite

Montreal’s existing cruise terminal with Mackay Pier opposite

The present terminal is located just below the entrance to the old Lachine Canal on the Alexandra Basin at the foot of McGill Street, where the Cunard Line and Anchor Line Transatlantic ships used to berth, while Canadian Pacific Steamships’ Transatlantic ships docked on the opposite side.

For this year’s season, cruise ships and passengers are being handled at temporary facilities at Pier 34-35 and 36-37, located downstream from the iconic Jacques-Cartier Bridge, about five miles away from Old Montreal.

This bridge, which first opened as the Montreal Harbour Bridge in 1930, has served as the backdrop to many Port of Montreal postcards.

Montreal's temporary terminals at Pier 34-35 & Pier 36-37

Montreal’s temporary terminals at Pier 34-35 & Pier 36-37

Smaller vessels continue to dock at Mackay Pier, which is located close to Bickerdike Terminal but unfortunately on the wrong side of the port, meaning shuttle buses are needed to get to town. Victory Cruise Lines’ 210-berth Victory I and Blount Small Ship Adventures 88-berth Grande Caribe and Grande Mariner are using that facility this year.

For this summer, two large marquees have been put up at Pier 34-35 and at Pier 36-37, offering a waiting area with access for the disabled, tourist information counter, free WiFi, vending machines for coffee, soft drinks and snacks, public telephones and facilities, taxi ranks, shuttle service to Old Montreal and free long-term parking.

Pier 34-35 is primarily serving Holland America Line’s 1,266-berth Maasdam and 1,348-berth Veendam, Regent’s 708-berth Seven Seas Mariner, Silversea’s 388-berth Silver Whisper, and overseas visitors such as Aida Cruises’ 2,050-berth AidaDiva, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ 516-berth Europa 2, Viking’s 930-berth Viking Star plus a single call by Pearl Seas Cruises’ 210-berth Pearl Mist.

Victoria Pier Montreal (© Peg & Jim Healy)

Victoria Pier Montreal (© Peg & Jim Healy)

Pier 36-37 is being used to handle overflow when two ships are in port. Thus Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ 848-berth Marco Polo will call there on September 10-11, Holland America’s 1,404-berth Rotterdam on September 17, Oceania’s 684-berth Regatta on September 30, Seven Seas Mariner on October 1, the 684-berth Azamara Quest on October 23-24, Phoenix’s 594-berth Amadea, with a two-night layover on October 13-15, and the 450-berth Seabourn Quest on October 21.

Seabourn Quest will use all three terminals this summer. She will call at Pier 34-35 on September 11, at Mackay Pier on October 1 (with Rotterdam at 34-35 and Seven Seas Mariner at 36-37) and will be at 36-37 on October 21 (with Seven Seas Mariner at 34-35).

The use of these sections for cruise ships actually raises some history in the Port of Montreal as passenger cruising from Pier 34-35 occurred once before, when the Clarke Steamship Company was based there from the mid-1950s to the early 1960s. Before the war, the piers had been used for ocean vessels while the coastal passenger ships called at Victoria Pier.

But with the 1950s mining boom on the North Shore and increasing purchases by Canada’s newest province, Newfoundland, cargo flows soon outstripped the shed capacity at Victoria Pier.

The 76-berth s.s. North Shore cruised weekly from Montreal's Pier 34-35 to the mighty Gulf of St Lawrence

The 76-berth s.s. North Shore cruised weekly from Montreal’s Pier 34-35 to the mighty Gulf of St Lawrence

In 1955, Pier 34 therefore became the base for Clarke’s passenger and cargo sailings to Newfoundland and the Gulf of St Lawrence. A big reason for this was that Pier 34 had over 44,000 square feet of shed space compared to only 2,970 square feet in Clarke’s previous shed at Victoria Pier.

On the passenger side, two ships sailed every week of the navigation season, usually April through November, from Montreal to the Gulf of St Lawrence. Every Monday and Tuesday, the 76-berth North Shore departed for the Quebec North Shore and the 46-berth North Gaspé for the Gaspé Peninsula, with alternate voyages extending to les Iles de la Madeleine.

Montreal's new terminal rendering (© Port of Montreal)

Montreal’s new terminal rendering (© Port of Montreal)

As Pier 34 was downstream from the Jacques Cartier Bridge, departures were not as dramatic as they had been from Victoria Pier, where ships would swing out from the pier, turn and catch the current and then sweep down under the bridge before proceeding down the St Lawrence. Nevertheless, passengers still had the long sweep of Montreal’s port before following the St Lawrence Ship Channel down towards Quebec.

But after three years at Pier 34, the line’s passenger ships moved back to Victoria Pier, with the cargo ships remaining at Pier 34 and expanding as well to Pier 35, which offered an even bigger cargo shed of 53,600 square feet.

The North Gaspé thereafter sailed from Victoria Pier’s Windmill Basin, but North Shore moved back to the cargo piers in 1959, spending the next three years based at Pier 35. Clarke’s passenger services came to a close, however, with the transfer of the North Gaspé to a new base in Nova Scotia in 1960 and the sale of North Shore to Greece’s Typaldos Lines in 1961. That same space that was once used by Clarke ships is now being used as a temporary home for cruise ships.

Artist impression of the planned glass observation tower with gardens (© Port of Montreal)

Artist impression of the planned glass observation tower with gardens (© Port of Montreal)

Among the attributes of Montreal’s new cruise terminal will be a glass observation tower, from which it will be possible to view not only Mount Royal and the Montreal skyline but also the deep sweep of Montreal’s port, itself a thousand miles from the sea. The new tower will join the earlier Sailors’ Clock Tower on Victoria Pier, which was officially opened by the then Prince of Wales, later King Edward VIII and the Duke of Windsor in October 1919.

A Century later, in 2019, the new observation tower will be opened to celebrate Montreal’s 375th Anniversary as one of the oldest cities and centres of civilisation in North America.

Perhaps the most significant aspect of the new cruise terminal design, however, is that, like Vancouver’s Canada Place, which was built on Canadian Pacific’s old Pier BC, it will open up Montreal’s port to the public. By being included in the plan, the new terminal’s public areas will allow the public to appreciate the city’s port and historical and economical ties that are still important today.

Posted by: cruise2 | 22 July, 2016

Adventure of the Seas To Acquire 100 More Cabins

by Kevin Griffin writing for

Royal Caribbean International has announced that its 3,114-berth Adventure of the Seas is to receive the most complete refit ever given to a Royal Caribbean ship, at the Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport later this year.

The $61 million job will add another 100 cabins plus a FlowRider, dual waterslides and a Splashaway Bay water park for children, as well as new Japanese and Steakhouse alternative restaurants.

The Enchantment of the Seas was lengthened at Rotterdam in 2005

Enchantment of the Seas was lengthened at Rotterdam in 2005

It was of course an executive of Grand Bahama Shipyards that told Seatrade in 2010 that every extra cabin added to an existing ship had the potential to produce $100,000 in annual revenue to the ship. This will be true for every double-occupancy cabin that can generate $1,000 per passenger per week.

For the future 3,314-berth Adventure of the Seas, using this rule of thumb, her new staterooms will be capable of generating about another $10 million a year in passenger revenue.

The last major expansion to a Royal Caribbean ship was Enchantment of the Seas, which was lengthened at Rotterdam in 2005 to provide 151 more cabins. That job cost about $55 million, with the 151 cabins being able to produce about another $15 million in revenue per year.

The newly-enlarged Adventure of the Seas will commence service from San Juan in November.

Posted by: cruise2 | 19 July, 2016

Genting’s German Shipyards

by Kevin Griffin writing for

Genting Hong Kong has announced that the three shipyards in the German State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Nordic Yards) that it bought in April will be renamed as MV Werften, in honour of the state. The yards are located in Wismar, Warnemünde and Stralsund.

The Crystal river yacht vessels Debussy and Ravel (Artist concepts courtesy of Crystal Cruises)

The Crystal river yacht vessels Debussy and Ravel (Artist concepts courtesy of Crystal Cruises)

This acquisition and an investment of €100 million in these yards will enable the company’s shipbuilding interests to build and repair not only its own fleet of cruise ships, but also others. The new MV intends to build three large cruise ships per year.

In addition to its shipyards, Genting Hong Kong operates Star Cruises and Dream Cruises and has more recently acquired Crystal Cruises from Japan’s NYK.

MV Werften will deliver the first of three new 100,000-ton cruise ships for Crystal Cruises as well as four luxury ships for Crystal River Yachts in 2017, the first of a series of 20,000-gross-ton Crystal Endeavour class polar expedition yachts in 2018 and the first of a series of 201,000 gross ton Star Cruises Global Class cruise ships by 2020.

The Crystal Exclusive (Artist concepts courtesy of Crystal Cruises)

The Crystal Exclusive (Artist concepts courtesy of Crystal Cruises)

Genting Hong Kong, which operates Genting’s cruise line interests, established the Lloyd Werft Group in 2016 through the rapid acquisition of Lloyd Werft in Bremerhaven and Nordic Yard’s three shipyards in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

With the shipyards and their approximately 1,700 experienced managers and workers, the Lloyd Werft Group will be capable of building cruise ships larger than the biggest currently afloat.

Cruise Ship Marco Polo at Damen Shiprepair Vlissingen

Cruise Ship Marco Polo at Damen Shiprepair Vlissingen

Jarmo Laakso, who has thirty-five years of experience in building passenger ships, acquired in the European shipbuilding industry as well as in executive positions with Royal Caribbean Cruises, has been appointed managing director of MV Werften.

Of the three Nordic Yards, Mathias-Thesen-Werft (MTW) was best known for producing the five 750-berth “Ivan Franko” class ocean liners, of which the second in the series, Aleksandr Pushkin, now renamed Marco Polo, is still sailing after more than fifty years.

The most recent cruise ship produced at Wismar was the 1,936-berth Norwegian Sun of 2001, as well as a midbody section to lengthen Norwegian Majesty, which now sails as the 1,462-berth Thomson Majesty.

Stralsund has meanwhile built three Hurtigruten vessels, the 483-berth Kong Harald and 466-berth Richard With in 1993 and the 475-berth Nordlys in 1994, as well as a series of river cruise ships for Premicon AG in more recent years.

Posted by: cruise2 | 21 June, 2016

Airline Seat Pitches

by Kevin Griffin writing for

Celebrity Cruises’ new Jet Set Sail flights from the UK, described the Titan Airways aircraft they use as having a generous 31″ seat pitch.”

The 130-seat Boeing 737 and the Celebrity private departure lounge

The 130-seat Boeing 737 and the Celebrity private departure lounge

In relative terms, this can be considered generous when UK charter airlines such as Thomas Cook Airlines offer 29″ seat pitch and budget carrier Ryanair 30″.

But as one of our readers from Singapore advised us, one North American airline’s long-haul Boeing 777 fleet has now been refitted for 10 abreast seating and 31″ seat pitch.  He added that “they have lost me as a customer. I used to fly with them to Toronto via Hong Kong, but now I take Eva via Taipei, where the same aircraft has 9-abreast with 34″ seat pitch, and most of the time I am upgraded into Eva deluxe class.”

Eva is owned by a shipping company, Taiwan’s Evergreen Line.

In other words, if you are worried about space on the plane that is taking you to your cruise, it is always worth investigating.
If you can’t get much from your agent or carrier then a good source for this information is by TripAdvisor, which will give you not only seat pitch but aircraft seatmaps and airline comparisons.

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