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NCL: More expansion planned
Tuesday, 26 August 2014 00:00

Norwegian Escape will now have three sisters. Norwegian Escape will now have three sisters. Just as Meyer Werft was closing the deal to take over the former STX shipyard at Turku in Finland, in a joint venture with the Finnish Government, NCL ordered a further two ships in the so-called Breakaway Plus class. Currently Meyer has two of these 165,000gt, 4,200-passenger vessels under construction at the Papenburg shipyard, the first of which, to be named Norwegian Escape, will debut in October 2015. Sistership Norwegian Bliss will follow her in spring 2017.

The two new orders are expected to be built at Papenburg and are scheduled for delivery in the spring of 2018 and the autumn of 2019. The contract price for the new ships is estimated at €800 million each. No names have yet been announced. The NCL fleet currently comprises 13 ships, of which nine have come from the Papenburg yard.
If the deal that allows Meyer Werft to take a significant stake in the Turku yard goes ahead, it will free the ship-builder from the constraints imposed by the long transit that ships have to make of the river Ems, and should keep the environmentalists happy as well if no further widening or deepening of the river takes place.

P&O Australia: Names announced for additions
Thursday, 21 August 2014 00:00

Statendam will move to P&O Australia in 2015. RICK FRENDTStatendam will move to P&O Australia in 2015. RICK FRENDTFollowing a competition to name the two ships that are due to join the fleet of P&O Cruises Australia in late 2015, the winning entries were Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden. Holland America Line’s Ryndam and Statendam are the two ships to be given the names, and they will be refitted to reflect the requirements of their new market. Their introduction will allow P&O Cruises to offer more short break cruises, as well as opening up new destinations.

P&O ships have been cruising from Australia for more than 80 years, but up until the late 1980s it was ships from the UK fleet that were used, although both Arcadia (1954) and later Oriana (1960) were dedicated to the market for year-round cruising.

Cruise & Maritime: Return to the UK for Azores
Tuesday, 12 August 2014 00:00

Azores will join the CMV fleet in January 2015.Azores will join the CMV fleet in January 2015.When Athena left the UK market in 2010 at the end of a short charter to Page & Moy, it was the end of that company’s own cruise programme, and it was thought unlikely that the ship would return to the UK other than during transit calls. She had been chartered to the UK company Travelscope in 2007 and 2008, but, following the failure of that business, was then chartered to Germany’s Phoenix Reisen for 2009.

With the demise of owners Classic International Cruises, the future for this 1948-built ship, whose claim to fame was that, as Stockholm, she collided with and sank Andrea Doria in 1956, was beginning to look bleak. Portuscale Cruises came to the rescue and, along with three of her former fleetmates, she was acquired and extensively refitted.

She came back into service this year with a charter to Germany’s Ambiente Kreuzfahrten but, unfortunately, poor bookings resulted in the early termination of the charter and the closure of the company. Now, renamed Azores, she has a new charterer, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, who will take over the ship in January 2015 as a direct replacement for Discovery, which will be taken out of service by owners All Leisure Group.

Apex Tur: Back in service in Turkey
Tuesday, 05 August 2014 00:00

EasyCruise Life (1981/9,878gt) is now back in service as Ocean Life, the latest in a series of names given to the ship.EasyCruise Life (1981/9,878gt) is now back in service as Ocean Life, the latest in a series of names given to the ship.A sister of Ocean Endeavour, Ocean Life, has also returned to service this year, operating for Turkey’s Apex Tur on a series of three- and four-night cruises from Kusadasi, Turkey to the Greek Islands. This ship was built as Lev Tolstoy for the Black Sea Shipping Company, and later became Palmira. Between 2001 and 2006 she was Mano Maritime’s The Jasmine and in 2008 became EasyCruise’s second ocean cruise ship, EasyCruise Life.

That venture was short-lived, and the company and the ship were sold to Greek ferry operator Hellenic Seaways, who did not use the ship. She was chartered in 2010 to Blue Ocean Cruises as Ocean Life, but, after another failure, returned to Piraeus for lay-up (and repairs to a cracked hull). Now she is back in service in the Greek Islands.

Adventure Canada: Back in cruise service
Tuesday, 29 July 2014 00:00

Kristina Katarina has recently been sold and renamed Ocean Endeavour.Kristina Katarina has recently been sold and renamed Ocean Endeavour.After a period in use as an accommodation ship off Shetland, FleetPro Ocean has secured a charter for its Ocean Endeavour for the summer of 2015. She will operate a series of cruises in the Canadian Arctic and on the Greenland coast, including two Northwest Passage voyages between June and September 2015.

Ocean Endeavour was built in Poland in 1982 as Konstantin Simonov for Russia’s Black Sea Shipping Company. She was later transferred to the Baltic Shipping Company and in 1996, while still in Russian ownership, was renamed Francesca and registered in Cyprus.

From 2001 to 2009 she operated as The Iris for Israeli Mano Maritime, but was then sold to Katarina Cruises of Finland, for whom she underwent a major refit before entering service as Kristina Katarina. Katarina Cruises withdrew from ocean cruising in 2013, and the ship was sold to FleetPro Ocean. At 12,907gt, she is one of a series of seven similar ships built for the Russians.

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