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The first web2.0 spanish blog about Maritime Affairs. El primer blog web2.0 español sobre el sector marítimo.

Hapag-Lloyd mulls cruise ship order

domingo, febrero 25, 2007
HAPAG-Lloyd in Germany is rumoured to be negotiating two 120-m long polar expedition cruise ships with domestic shipyard Meyer Werft.

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Disney to build at Meyer Werft

DISNEY Cruise Line has signed a letter of intent to build two 122,000-gt, 2,500-passenger cruise ships at Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany. Delivery will be in 2011 and 2012, with operations likely to be outside the Caribbean. Disney’s current fleet consists of the 83,000-gt Magic and Wonder, built in 1998 and 1999; those 1,754-passenger ships were built at Fincantieri.

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Disney doubles cruise play

LAKE BUENA VISTA 23 February – Disney Cruise Line is finally expanding its fleet with two new post-Panamaxes after six growth-free years. Parent Walt Disney Company has signed a letter of intent with Germany’s Meyer Werft for construction of two 122,000-gt, 2,500-passenger vessels for delivery in 2011 and 2012 respectively. Currently, Disney's Fincantieri-built 83,000-gt, 1,754-passenger Disney Magic and Wonder (launched in 1998 and 1999) primarily sail Caribbean voyages, but have sporadically ventured into seasonal deployments on the US West Coast and Mediterranean. These non-Caribbean voyages “have recently set booking records and booked 30-50% faster than the existing itineraries at higher prices,” said Disney in a statement, strongly implying where the expanded future fleet will position. Walt Disney Parks & Resorts chairman Jay Rasulo affirmed: "With a larger fleet, we'll have greater flexibility to offer a variety of itineraries.” Given its massive parent company and built-in brand recognition, Disney Cruise Line was originally viewed as a potentially major force in the cruise industry. That sentiment waned on the company’s growth stagnation since its debut, but the newbuilding announcement could herald greater market significance in the future.

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Carnival Dumps Costa Rica After Pax Attacked

Interesting post in cruisecritic.com

Carnival Passenger Defends Cruisers from Armed Robber

On Cruise Critic's boards, a thread called "Who Thinks Carnival Should Dump Costa Rica?" was prescient. ABC News this morning told viewers that Carnival has now replaced all port calls in Limon with a stop in Honduras. The locale in Honduras was unidentified but is most likely the island of Roatan.

Carnival has not immediately responded to a request for confirmation.

As Cruise Critic (and just about every other media outlet in the world) reported yesterday, a dozen passengers from Carnival Liberty, docked at Limon, on Costa Rica's east coast, had been taking a tour of the area when three young men, one armed with a gun and another with a knife, targeted the group. A scuffle ensued and a 70-year-old passenger, a former Marine, subdued the gunman by putting him in a headlock; ultimately the 20-year-old burglar's neck was broken. The attacker's accomplices ran away.

According to an AP report, the passengers put the injured man into their tour bus and took him to the hospital; he later died. The passengers were then interrogated by police before being permitted to return to the ship, acknowledging that the Marine was acting in self defense. Carnival Liberty sailed away that evening. The ship will return to Ft. Lauderdale as scheduled tomorrow (Sunday).

That this incident prompted Carnival to cancel calls by all ships in the fleet at Limon is no surprise to members of Cruise Critic's boards who've engaged in debate about the port change.

"In Costa Rica we had a wonderful time," writes RU Cruzin. "We walked all over town, sat in a local bar and talked with a man who kept buying us beers. We played street soccer for at least an hour with four little boys, while their mothers watched ... and undoubtedly laughed at how ridiculous we looked.

"I don't think I'm tempting fate. I have a genuine concern, and interest in the people, not just the tourist attractions. Maybe we have been lucky, but I truly believe that there are way more good people on this earth than there are bad. We hear so much about the bad that we are afraid to open ourselves to the experiences that are waiting to change our perception."

Many others echoed RU Cruzin's sentiments. PaulMedik, in particular, captured the general tone of the travelers responding. "Costa Rica didn't seem to be as dangerous as many other ports I've been to. I saw the greatest potential for problems in Panama and more armed locals in Jamaica. Miami is likely more dangerous than all three combined, and the danger there can come from any direction."

Adds PaulMedik, "We can't go through life avoiding areas that are potentially dangerous; we just have to be aware of what potential exists and alert for any signs that danger is imminent.

"If anyone really should learn a lesson from this week's 'violence' in Costa Rica, it is the thugs who would do harm to apparently helpless tourists. As the Costa Rican thugs learned, appearances can be deceiving!"

Even Cruise Critic's own profile of the port of Limon warned travelers to beware. "It is not crime-free, though, so it still pays to take care in its towns and streets."

It's quite possible that other cruise lines will follow suit and cancel calls at Limon; we'll keep you posted.

--by Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor

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Fertiliser cargo fire off Galicia

martes, febrero 20, 2007
LA CORUNA 19 February– Spanish maritime safety agency Salvamento Maritimo is evacuating the eight remaining crew members of the stricken Antigua and Barbuda-flagged cargo ship Ostedijk, before an attempt is made to flood the ship’s burning cargo of fertiliser. The ship is under tow and will be taken to about 10n-miles of Estaca de Bares, near Cape Viveiro, Galicia, where a tug will pump water onto the ship. The salvage operation will take place in sheltered waters and not at a port, the Salvamento Maritimo spokesman added. Four Filipino crew members suffering from the effects of gas intoxication were airlifted off the Ostedijk yesterday afternoon. This new crisis off the coast of Galicia started when the Dutch-operated, 7,300dwt ship called for emergency assistance in the early hours of Saturday. It is reported to have been en route from Norway to Valencia. The ship was towed to around 14 miles off La Coruna where it was later allowed to continue sailing. However, it made a second emergency call little more than 12 hours later, on Sunday morning, from around 34n-miles off Cape Vilan. The crew members have since been released from hospital but have complained to local media that they should have been evacuated after the first emergency call was made.

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Big Easy suffers setback

NEW ORLEANS 16 February – Carnival Corp is delaying its second deployment to New Orleans because of weak demand. The 2,758-passenger Carnival Triumph was originally slated to join the Fantasy in New Orleans in August, but will instead stay in Miami until at least April 2008. “There are lingering misperceptions by the vacationing public as to the recovery of New Orleans’ tourism infrastructure, which has necessitated a re-evaluation of our timeline,” said Carnival president Bob Dickinson in a statement. During Carnival’s last quarterly call, chairman Micky Arison dubbed New Orleans “one of our best homeports prior to the hurricane and one of our worst now”. Other lines that returned after Hurricane Katrina are Norwegian Cruise Line, with the Norwegian Sun (switching to Norwegian Spirit in 2007-2008) and Royal Caribbean with the Grandeur of the Seas (which moves to Tampa next year). Royal Caribbean president Adam Goldstein declined to comment to Fairplay on the Grandeur’s performance, but said in general that a mix of factors are impacting Gulf Coast-homeported demand, including “the recovery of New Orleans”, perception issues on Cozumel, and general macroeconomic factors. Before Katrina, New Orleans thrived as a homeport due to the popularity of pre-and-post hotel packages, but the city’s leisure sector has since been hit by spiralling crime, with 21 murders in the first 42 days of 2007.

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Cruising embraces NY winter

NEW YORK 15 February – Cruise lines are hiking winter sailings from New York to the Caribbean, with Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 the latest entrant. Today Cunard announced a new series of 14 NY-homeported Caribbean itineraries between 3 October and March 2008. The resurgence of wintertime NY cruising after an absence of several decades was pioneered by Norwegian Cruise Line, which offers voyages aboard the Norwegian Spirit and Norwegian Dawn this winter and will place its newest vessel, the Norwegian Gem, into that market next winter. NCL was followed by Holland America Line with the Noordam, while Royal Caribbean will offer winter sailings out of Port Liberty, New Jersey in 2008. Despite harsh weather conditions, the growing NY trend is being fuelled by demand from drive-to-port customers in the lucrative "Tri-State" source market. RCCL regional vice president Michael Ronan earlier saidthat the increase in NY-homeported cruises has changed the Caribbean deployment equation, with such routes favouring Eastern Caribbean ports because ships travelling down the US Eastern Seaboard have limited range to sail the islands before returning north. “The Freeports of the world, which are very low on the call list, are picking up traffic because of their location,” Ronan explained.

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Rice barge hits Carnival's Fantasy

martes, febrero 13, 2007
NEW ORLEANS 12 February – Carnival Cruise Lines’ Fantasy is undergoing repairs today to mend a 10-m gash sustained in a collision with a barge on Saturday as the vessel was on its final homeward leg up the lower Mississippi towards New Orleans. No injuries or pollution were reported in the accident at Mile Marker 88, Fairplay was told by Coast Guard Lt Cmdr Cheri Ben-Iesau and the Panama-flagged cruise ship was allowed to finish its voyage on its own power to the Erato Street Terminal, where returning passengers disembarked. On arrival, company and USCG inspectors reviewed the damage and immediately cancelled the outbound cruise and Ben-Iesau says the vessel will be laid up for eight days for repairs and certifications. The 2,050 outbound passengers were allowed to board, told they could stay aboard ship – as a floating hotel while visiting pre-Mardi Gras New Orleans, Ben-Isau added. Passengers were given full refunds for that trip and 25% discounts on a future three- or five-day cruise. "We didn't want to leave people sitting on the piers," Carnival spokesman Tim Gallagher said. "We feel terrible that these folks are losing their vacation. We know it's not just matter of money, but a matter of time and people do lot of planning." Minor damage was reported to the rice laden barge, one of a string of six being pushed downriver by the towboat Repentance. An investigation is underway into the collision and Fantasy’s next cruise – set for next Thursday – will also have to be shortened or cancelled, Ben-Iesau added. An initial statement from Carnival blames the incident on the towboat, asserting that its ship “was struck” and that the tow operator “lost control and collided with the Fantasy”.


European cruise market up for grabs

viernes, febrero 09, 2007
BRUSSELS 09 February – A few more cruise ships orders are likely to be placed soon as there are still slots available at yards for delivery in 2010, according to Pier Luigi Foschi, CEO of Costa Crociere in Italy. Foschi was speaking in Brussels on Tuesday at an event of the European Cruise Council, of which he is the chairman. He did not elaborate on which lines were likely to order new tonnage in the near future, but he pointed out that low penetration of cruising in Europe despite rising passenger numbers provides an excellent platform for much further growth. The European cruise market has grown at about 10% per year since 2001 to 3.3M passengers in 2005, the latest year for which figures are available, but still only one per cent of the European population has ever taken a cruise. Foschi noted that the combined value of newbuilding deliveries, which amounted to just euro3.7Bn ($4.7Bn) in 2005, is now in the region of euro5.0Bn per year and will remain at this level for a few years. Foschi is also member of the board of Carnival Corp & PLC, the world’s largest cruise shipping company.

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Cruise port security 'not as good as airports'

BRUSSELS 09 February – The events of 9/11 led to a sharp increase in awareness of potential security risks at cruise ports, but there is still room for improvement, according to Paolo Costa, chairman of transport and tourism committee of the EU Parliament. “We do not have the same kind of security as we do at airports at all (cruise) ports yet – despite the ISPS Code,” Costa told Euromoney's cruise industry conference in Brussels on Tuesday. In broard terms, security is an issue that concerns all EU member countries, but the question is who should pay for it. “Is it a private fear or a public concern?” Costa asked. He answered his own question by saying that security fears are a public concern, but currently addressing the issue is primarily the responsibility of each member state.

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Orizonia ingresa 240 M € por aportar sus barcos a la joint venture con Carnival y conserva la gestión española

HOSTELTUR • 09-02-2007
“No se trata de una operación de compra y venta, sino de un proyecto en común para crecer en el mercado español de los cruceros”, aseguró el consejero delegado de Orizonia, Gabriel Subías, durante la presentación de la joint venture suscrita con Carnival, que ya adelantó ayer este diario.

Gabriel Subías y Pier Luigi Foschi, tras el acuerdo.
La joint venture se formalizará legalmente durante el segundo trimestre del año y será entonces cuando se conozca el nombre de la nueva marca, si bien el propósito es que sea una marca que resulte familiar y que recuerde lo más posible a Iberojet Cruceros. Si bien no ha sido confirmado y sus responsables aseguran que está por determinar, la nueva marca podría denominarse Ibercruise.

La joint venture supone, por parte de Orizonia, la aportación de Iberojet Cruceros (cuyos activos son sus dos barcos), que ha sido valorada en 320 millones de euros. La nueva empresa resultante será propiedad de Carnival Corporation en un 75% y de Orizonia en el 25% restante, si bien la gestión y comercialización se mantendrán en manos españolas y, de hecho, está previsto que se mantenga el mismo equipo y que el director general sea Alfredo Serrano, actual director general de Iberojet Cruceros.

Recuperación de inversión

Con esta operación, los fondos Carlyle y Vista (que tienen el 55% y 36% respectivamente de Orizonia) ven ya retornar 240 millones de euros de los casi 900 que invirtieron en mayo pasado en la compra al grupo Iberostar de su división emisora (liderada por Iberojet y Viajes Iberia), así como de las inversiones realizadas por Orizonia en las últimas semanas con la compra de Viajar.com y Cóndor Vacaciones.

Los barcos que Orizonia aporta a la joint venture con Carnival son el Grand Mistral (de 1.196 pasajeros) y el Grand Voyager (de 834 pasajeros).

A medio plazo, el objetivo de la joint venture es ampliar la flota con otros dos barcos, tal y como adelantó hace unos días Gabriel Subías. Lo previsible es que estas dos nuevas incorporaciones a la flota de la joint venture no sean de nueva construcción, sino que ya estén operativos, y de unas 40.000 toneladas, de modo que cuando la nueva marca comience a operar cuente ya con cuatro barcos.

Gestión española

Pier Luigi Foschi, presidente de Costa Crociere (una de las 12 marcas pertenecientes a Carnival Corporation), y que será el presidente del Consejo de administración de la nueva compañía resultante de la joint venture, aseguró durante la presentación que la filosofía de gestión de Carnival “contempla que las marcas que integran el grupo tengan una alto grado de autonomía”, y que se conserva “la identidad española” de la nueva joint venture “gracias a ese 25% que conserva Orizonia, que además mantiene la gestión y seguirá realizando la actividad de turoperación”. Por su parte, Gabriel Subías señaló que para Orizonia “los cruceros son una línea estratégica de negocio, y esta operación nos permitirá seguir creciendo en ese mercado”.

La compañía resultante de la joint venture seguirá operando los mismos destinos del Mediterráneo que Iberojet Cruceros opera actualmente. Iberojet Cruceros facturó 70 millones de euros en 2006 y transportó a 67.000 cruceristas.

Carnival Corporation es un grupo de compañías de cruceros líder mundial en el sector, que integra 12 marcas, entre ellas Carnival Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Princess, Seabourn y Holland America, entre otras. Cotiza en las Bolsas de Nueva York y Londres.

El grupo Orizonia está formado por los turoperadores Iberojet, Solplán, Viva Tours, Turavia y Cóndor Vacaciones; las agencias Viajes Iberia y a Viajar.com; la compañía chárter Iberworld, el broker aéreo Aerobalear y la compañía Iberojet Cruceros.

Su accionariado se lo reparten Carlyle (55%), el 36% Vista Capital (Banco Santander), el 5% es de la empresa financiera ICG y el 4% es del equipo directivo que dirige Subías.

Segunda operación del sector español de cruceros

Esta es la segunda operación de calado que se produce en el mercado español de los cruceros, tras la venta de Pullmantur a Royal Caribbean que llevó a cabo a finales de agosto el grupo Marsans. El precio fue de 430 millones de euros, según declaró a HOSTELTUR el hasta entonces presidente del turoperador, Gerardo Díaz. Además, el comprador se hizo cargo de los 270 millones de la financiación de cuatro de los barcos de la mayorista, que todavía estaba pagando. En total, 700 millones de euros.

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Spain: Grounding prompts comms query

jueves, febrero 08, 2007
MADRID 08 February – Spain’s Ministry of Public Works has launched an enquiry into the absence of recordings of conversations held between the captain of the grounded reefer vessel Sierra Nava and the country’s maritime safety agency Salvamento Maritimo. The opening of the enquiry comes after the director of the Merchant Marine Authority, Felipe Martinez, said on Tuesday he could not say for certain whether the recordings of the conversations existed or not. The recordings, together with those held between the Harbour Master Authority of Algeciras and the master of the Sierra Nava, would provide vital evidence on the key moments leading up to the grounding of the ship at the mouth of the Bay of Algeciras. However, Martinez did confirm that a power failure had affected the conversations over the rescue of 14 crew members of the Sierra Nava in the night of 27 January. It is now known that stormy weather was the reason for loss of radar coverage at a maritime safety control tower in Tarifa near Algeciras. More than 170 tonnes of fuel has been recovered from a beach in Algeciras since the vessel hit rocks on a beach. Meanwhile salvors have extracted 106 tonnes of bunkers from the reefer’s tanks.

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Carnival Corporation & Plc and Iberojet Sign Letter of Intent to Form Joint Venture for Large-Scale Spanish Cruise Operation

New Company will Expand Iberojet's Existing Cruise Business, Serve Rapidly Growing Spanish Market

MIAMI, Feb. 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), the largest cruise vacation company in the world, and Orizonia Corporacion, Spain's largest travel company which operates its own cruise fleet under its Iberojet division, today announced the signing of a letter of intent to form a joint venture to operate and expand the existing Iberojet Cruceros brand in Spain.

Iberojet Cruceros operates two modern cruise ships, the 834-passenger Grand Voyager, built in 2000, and the 1,196-passenger Grand Mistral, constructed in 1999, which represent the newest ships in the contemporary Spanish cruise market. The new joint venture would eventually be comprised of a multi-ship fleet serving the rapidly expanding Spanish vacation sector.

Under the proposed agreement, the two existing vessels would be transferred to the joint venture company. The intention is to grow that fleet over the next several years through the acquisition of existing tonnage from Carnival Corporation & plc's current fleet.

"Iberojet operates a very successful cruise brand, along with a wide range of quality and affordable vacation products, which have garnered extremely strong brand awareness with Spanish consumers. With their extensive experience marketing in Spain, combined with a keen understanding of Spanish vacation trends, Iberojet provides a solid partnership for expanding in one of the fastest-growing segments of the European vacation industry," said Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation & plc's chairman and CEO.

Commented Pedro de Esteban, Orizonia's chairman and managing director of The Carlyle Group, Orizonia's principal shareholder, "We are very proud in partnering with Carnival, the world's leader in the cruise vacation business. With Carnival's support and expertise, we intend to continue expanding our operations, adding high quality vessels and providing specialized top services to our Spanish customers."

Added Gabriel M. Subias, Orizonia Corporacion's CEO, "It is a great opportunity for us and Iberojet Cruceros to join forces and develop a strategic alliance with Carnival, a world leader in cruising. Through the years, we have always enjoyed close professional and personal relationships with Carnival. Our collaboration in the development of a successful joint venture will position us as the preeminent Spanish cruise operator."

Under the proposed transaction, the Iberojet cruise business being contributed to the joint venture company will be valued at euro 320 million, with euro 180 million in debt, representing a net capital value of euro 140 million. Carnival will own 75 percent of the joint venture with Iberojet owning 25 percent.

Iberojet Cruceros would utilize the current Iberojet cruise management team with its president Alfredo Serrano reporting to the joint venture's board of directors. It is expected that Pier Luigi Foschi, chairman and CEO of Carnival's Costa Cruises unit, will serve as chairman of the board of the joint venture. Costa already has a strong presence in the Spanish sector.

"With the combined strengths of the Costa and Iberojet organizations, the new joint venture should generate even greater brand recognition in our efforts to grow the interest in cruising in a market that we believe is primed and ready for expansion," Foschi said.

Carnival expects the transaction to be neutral to earnings on an annualized basis for the 12-month period following the transaction closing. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2007, pending approval of both companies' boards of directors, all necessary regulatory approvals, customary due diligence and execution of definitive agreements.

About Carnival Corporation & plc

Carnival Corporation & plc is the largest cruise vacation group in the world, with a portfolio of cruise brands in North America, Europe and Australia, comprised of Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, Windstar Cruises, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Ocean Village, P&O Cruises, Swan Hellenic, and P&O Cruises Australia.

Together, these brands operate 81 ships totaling 144,000 lower berths with 20 new ships scheduled to enter service between March 2007 and spring 2011. Carnival Corporation & plc also operates Holland America Tours and Princess Tours, the leading tour companies in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon. Traded on both the New York and London Stock Exchanges, Carnival Corporation & plc is the only group in the world to be included in both the S&P 500 and the FTSE 100 indices.

About Iberojet

Headquartered in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Iberojet is a division of Orizonia Corporacion, the country's largest and oldest travel company, tracing its origins back to 1930. Orizonia was acquired by The Carlyle Group and Vista Capital in July 2006 from Iberostar Group.

In addition to the two cruise ships, Orizonia owns Spain's leading tour operators, including Solplan Viva Tours, Turavia Iberski, Viamed, Iberojet International, and Condor Vacaciones, which market leisure travel packages throughout Europe, North and South America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia. Viajes Iberia also has divisions specializing in business travel, meetings and conventions.

D-Viagen is the trade name operating in Portugal with 11 offices distributed between Lisbon and Oporto. Viajar.com is a specialized Internet supplier dedicated exclusively to online travel sales.

Orizonia also operates 700 retail travel agencies marketed under the Viajes Iberia brand name, as well as Iberworld, a charter airline with 11 medium- and long-haul aircraft providing round-trip service between Madrid and Europe, South America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia.

SOURCE Carnival Corporation & plc


Euro cruise 'now worth $10.75Bn'

BRUSSELS 06 February – European cruise tourism is currently valued at €8.3Bn ($10.75Bn) in direct expenditure, according to figures released by the European Cruise Council. The expectation is for that figure to grow to €12.7Bn by 2010, the Council’s chairman, Pier Luigi Foschi, said during a presentation yesterday at the European Parliament in Brussels. A major study of the economic impact of cruising - European Cruise Contribution - was commissioned by the Council together with shipbuilders’ grouping Euroyards and cruise port associations Med Cruise and Cruise Europe; it was completed by UK-based GP Wild International and Business Research & Economic Advisors from Pennsylvania. Foschi, who is chief executive of Costa Crociere, said the cruise industry is responsible for more than 180,000 jobs across Europe, which could grow to 250,000 by 2010. Europe’s shipyards have orders for 95% of new cruise ships between now and 2010, worth more than €18Bn, while cruise tourism within Europe doubled from 5.7M passengers in 1995 to 14.4M in 2005. In 1995 one million Europeans took a cruise: it is estimated that will rise to 4M by 2010. The report forecasts that cruise passengers will make more than 17M visits to cruise ports by the turn of the decade.

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MSC Napoli salvage interrupted

LYME BAY 07 February – Salvors working to remove containers from the beached MSC Napoli on the UK south coast have relocated the shuttle barge back to Portland port ahead of poorer weather and bigger sea swells. So far 314 of the 2,318 containers have been removed, 69 yesterday. Priority is being given to dangerous goods. Robin Middleton, Secretary of State’s Representative in Maritime Salvage and Intervention, advised that more containers are likely to be lost overboard during the period of bad weather, although the removal of oil will continue as long as the work is deemed safe. Reconnaissance flights will help to identify missing containers and enable security officers to reach them before members of the public. A statement issued by the UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency underlines that “normal arrangements in terms of recovery of wreck material through voluntary salvage do not apply in the case of the MSC Napoli” because the owners of the ship [Metvale Ltd/Zodiac Maritime Agencies Ltd] have placed “comprehensive salvage contracts … to recover all items from the vessel, including those lost overboard and washed ashore.”


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US Congress reconsiders Marpol VI

WASHINGTON, DC 07 February – Legislation to implement Marpol Annex VI in the US was re-introduced yesterday in Congress and appears headed for speedy approval. The measure, which died in the last congressional session because it failed to win approval by both houses by adjournment, was re-introduced by Minnesota democrat James Oberstar and is scheduled to be marked up today by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, was said by Washington maritime lawyer Dennis Bryant. Congress changed the bill somewhat from the version originally suggested by the White House by handing most authority for enforcement to the Coast Guard, while the Bush administration had originally tasked the Environmental Protection Agency with those duties, said Bryant, an attorney with Holland & Knight. In addition to being supported by the environmental lobby, the bill also has support of the maritime industry, including Intertanko and the Chamber of Shipping of America. Passage of the bill will bring the US into line with the rest of the world on air pollution standards, Bryant says, and may stave off several states – such as California – that have been proposing their own standards.


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Germany cruises towards 1M mark

BRUSSELS 07 February – The German cruise market, which has suffered a long period of weakness, has started to grow in the wake of German economic recovery, and the market could generate one million passengers in 2010, a senior industry figure says. "We will have 1M deep sea passengers in 2010; this would be five years behind the UK, but it is a safe estimate," said Aida Cruises president Michael Thamm. He was speaking at a European Cruise Council event in Brussels yesterday. Aida, a division of Carnival Corp, is the biggest cruise operator in Germany. Cruising has a market penetration of just 1% in Germany and generated €1.2Bn ($1.5Bn) in revenue in 2005. Thamm expects that revenue figure to double in 2011.


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Cruise 'Wave Season' worries grow

martes, febrero 06, 2007
MIAMI 05 February – Surprisingly strong 4Q06 results for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCCL) are being overshadowed by booking weakness this year. Commenting on the 1Q "Wave Season", when a disproportionate number of bookings are placed, RCCL chairman Richard Fain said: “The early indications from the wave period are less encouraging than we had hoped.” He added that “the beginning of the year is down slightly, but the revenue picture for the balance of the year is strong”. For 2007 overall, RCCL expects a 3% increase in net yields, with newly purchased Spanish line Pullmantur accounting for two-thirds of that growth. But because of seasonality, Pullmantur will have a negative impact on 1Q07 and 2Q07 and a positive effect on 3Q07 and 4Q07. For 1Q07, RCCL estimates net yields will decrease around 3%, while net cruise costs will increase 4-5%. RCCL reported profits of $46.6M in the traditionally weak fourth quarter period despite “less robust Caribbean pricing”, compared with a loss of $3.6M in 4Q05. For full-year 2006, RCCL reported net income of $633.9M, down significantly from $716M in profits in 2005; however, 2005 results were skewed by an accounting change; not counting that change, 2005 profits were $663.5M.

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