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Germany: Cruise market growing
Tuesday, 20 May 2014 00:00

Aida Cruises’ ships have made a significant contribution to the growth of the German cruise market. William MayesAida Cruises’ ships have made a significant contribution to the growth of the German cruise market. William Mayes

The German cruise market is the fastest growing in Europe and one of the fastest growing in the world, according to recently-released information. The Hamburg Cruise Centre expects the number of German ocean cruise passengers to exceed two million in 2015 and 2.5 million by 2020.

In anticipation of the arrival of AIDAprima next spring, a third terminal will be built on the south bank of the river Elbe, incorporating separate terminal buildings for incoming and outgoing passengers, parking for 1,500 cars and a dedicated ferry berth for the local ferries to connect with the city centre.

Aidaprima will be based in Hamburg year-round and will operate from the city every week on various Norwegian and English Channel itineraries. Aida Cruises is by far the largest player in the German market, with ten ships at present, carrying an estimated 764,000 passengers in 2013, an increase of 20 per cent on 2012.

 

 
Cruise & Maritime: Further expansion plans
Tuesday, 13 May 2014 00:00

CMV have taken on the marketing of Delphin. Trevor BostonCMV have taken on the marketing of Delphin. Trevor Boston

Hot on the heels of the CMV takeover of Transocean Kreuzfahrten came the news that it had acquired the sales and marketing of another German operator, Passat Kreuzfahrten. Passat operates Delphin, a 470-passenger ship built in 1975 by Wärtsilä in Turku as Byelorussiya, one of a series of five ships for the Black Sea Shipping Co.

After an incident in 1992 when she fell over in dry dock in Singapore, the vessel was towed to Bremerhaven and was later renamed Kazakhstan II. She changed hands several times and was eventually named Delphin in 1998, from which time she has generally been operated by German companies, although she did spend some time under arrest in Venice in 2010 when one of them collapsed.

CMV currently operates the 1964-built Marco Polo and the 1971-built Discovery in the UK market and Astor primarily for British and Australian passengers in winter and German passengers (as Transocean) in the summer. With the Transocean acquisition also came four river cruise ships and the German river programme, which sits well alongside CMV’s own river cruise operation.

 
Svalbard: Northern archipelago closed from 2015
Tuesday, 29 April 2014 00:00

Just one more call at Magdalena Bay for Saga Sapphire before the new rules take effect. William MayesJust one more call at Magdalena Bay for Saga Sapphire before the new rules take effect. William Mayes

Norway’s remote northern archipelago of Svalbard will largely be closed to cruise ship passengers after 1 January 2015 as the final stage of the heavy fuel oil ban takes effect. The regulation was originally introduced in 2007 for much of the area. The temporary exemptions in place for Magdalena Bay and Ny Alesund expire at the end of the year. From that date no ship carrying (not just burning) heavy fuel oil will be permitted within the confines of the national parks, effectively leaving just a single access point to Spitsbergen, the largest island of the archipelago, at Longyearbyen. The area will largely become the preserve of the small expedition ships, many of which, by the nature of where they sail, already use the lighter marine diesel fuel.

 

 
Royal Caribbean: Oil spill traps ships
Thursday, 24 April 2014 10:54

Several cruise ships, including Carnival Magic were inconvenienced by a large oil spill. William MayesSeveral cruise ships, including Carnival Magic were inconvenienced by a large oil spill. William Mayes

Following the collision between the bulk carrier Summer Wind and a fuel barge in the Houston Ship Channel on 22 March, about 170,000 gallons of heavy tar-like oil was spilled into the sea, largely blocking all of the ports in Galveston Bay and seriously affecting traffic to and from Galveston, Texas.

Around 100 vessels of all types were stranded as a result, including Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas and Carnival’s Carnival Magic, both of which were bound for Galveston and both of which arrived about ten hours late after being required to travel through the area at slow speed to prevent further spreading the oil. The sailing of Princess Cruises’ Caribbean Princess was delayed, as was the arrival of Carnival Triumph the following day.

Initially Navigator of the Seas’ next cruise was cancelled, but it seems that poor communication led to the passengers being embarked. They were advised that they could stay aboard until disembarkation, but two days later it was decided to undertake a shortened cruise. The Channel reopened for daylight passages on 26 March.

 
Holland America: HAL goes back to Bermuda
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 00:00

Veendam returns to Hamilton. William MayesVeendam returns to Hamilton. William Mayes

After an absence of two years, Holland America Line’s Veendam will return to Bermuda in 2015, but with a number of seven-night sailings from Boston, rather than New York. Unlike many of the larger ships calling at the British Overseas Territory, Veendam is small enough to dock at Front Street in the capital, Hamilton. In the past two years the ship has been operating on Canadian and New England cruises, largely between Boston and Quebec.

Meanwhile, on 4 March the first steel was cut at Fincantieri’s Marghera yard for the prototype ship in Holland America Line’s so-called Pinnacle Class. With a provisional gross tonnage of 99,500, she will be the company’s largest ever ship, and the 15th to be built for them by Fincantieri. To be delivered in February 2016, she will carry 2,660 lower berth passengers and have a maximum capacity of 3,152 and have a length of 300m.

 

 

 
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