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Aida Cruises: Aidaprima running late
Tuesday, 03 June 2014 00:00

Aidaprima’s arrival in Europe will be almost one year late. Aida CruisesAidaprima’s arrival in Europe will be almost one year late. Aida CruisesFollowing the announcement by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries that it would take a massive loss on the construction of two 122,000gt ships for Aida Cruises came the admission that the first ship, Aidaprima, would be delivered approximately six months later than scheduled.

Clearly this will be a major setback for Mitsubishi’s plan to re-enter the cruise ship construction market. In the company’s own words, it underestimated the amount of design work needed on the project. As a result, the previously scheduled 86-night maiden voyage from Japan to Hamburg in the spring of 2015 has been cancelled, as has the ship’s entire Northern European season.

Instead, she will sail from Japan in the autumn and spend the winter based in Dubai before heading to Hamburg for the first time, where, from late April 2016, she will be based permanently for seven-night English Channel and Norwegian Fjord cruises.

Princess Cruises: Expansion down under
Tuesday, 27 May 2014 00:00

Golden Princess moves to Australia in 2015. Rick FrendtGolden Princess moves to Australia in 2015. Rick FrendtIn what will be its biggest ever deployment in Australia, Princess Cruises will base five ships there during 2015-16, with the 108,865gt Golden Princess joining the growing fleet for the first time. She will use Melbourne as her home port. Dawn Princess and Sea Princess, already providing year-round cruises, will be joined by Sun Princess (all three 77,000gt) when she remains in Australia for the winter of 2016.

The fifth ship is the larger Diamond Princess, with a gross tonnage of 115,875. Golden Princess will start her season in Sydney in October 2015 before moving to Melbourne for five months, while Diamond Princess will be based in Sydney for the full summer season. Sun Princess will operate 11 cruises from Fremantle, while Brisbane will be her home between August and November 2015.

She will be replaced in Brisbane by Sea Princess, with both ships operating cruises taking in Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Queensland. In all, the five ships will offer more than 80 different cruises, firmly positioning Australia as Princess Cruises’ second largest market after North America.

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.


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