Princess Cruises reveals the name of fifth Royal-class ship

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Princess Cruises has revealed its fifth Royal-class ship will be named Enchanted Princess.

Due to launch on June 15 2020, Enchanted Princess will operate European voyages and will be a sister ship to Royal Princess, Regal Princess, Majestic Princess and Sky Princess.

Enchanted Princess’ maiden season sailings will be available to book from November 8 this year.

Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises’ president, said: “The name Enchanted Princess is captivating and conveys the elegance and grace of our new ship which will introduce more travellers to the pleasures and value of cruising.

“We are certain Enchanted Princess will exceed the expectations of our guests, ensuring they have the most memorable cruise.”

Enchanted Princess will be followed by the debut of the sixth Royal-Class ship for Princess Cruises in 2021.

The cruise line also has two new Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) powered ships on order to be delivered in late 2023 and spring 2025, bringing its new ship order to five ships in six years.

Construction of the 143,700-tonne, 3,660-guest Enchanted Princess will take place in the Fincantieri Monfalcone shipyard with the ship set to feature an evolution of the design platform used for the cruise line’s existing Royal-Class ships.

Princess Cruises currently operates a fleet of 17 modern cruise ships, sailing to more than 380 destinations across every continent.

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Royal Caribbean Introduces SoundSeeker

Sound SeekerRoyal Caribbean International has designed and built a first-of-its-kind tool that transforms photos into an original, shareable soundtrack with a video to match. More than a year in the making, SoundSeeker is powered by artificial intelligence.

The tool is specifically designed to use machine learning to seamlessly create original soundtracks based on the content of each photograph, the company said.

By simply visiting http://www.SoundSeeker.com, users can upload three photos of their choice, and the AI analyzes them based on colour, landscape, backdrop, emotion, body language and facial expression. SoundSeeker then turns them into a shareable and soundtrack – virtually DJing life’s most brag-worthy moments, Royal Caribbean said.

“SoundSeeker is the latest proof point of Royal Caribbean innovation and how we focus it on delivering unexpected, memorable experiences; whether that is the SkyPad, which uniquely combines bungee jumping with virtual reality or live streaming your favorite shows from the middle of the ocean using VOOM, the fastest internet at sea,” said Jim Berra, chief marketing officer, Royal Caribbean International. “People of all ages crave new ways to share their best experiences on social media. This unprecedented tool allows you to put a completely unique, multisensory spin on sharing those memories – now friends and followers can see and hear your life’s adventures.”

Royal Caribbean teamed up with experts from Berklee College of Music, and technologists from around the world, to create the unique song generator.

“We were excited to work with Royal Caribbean International on this new technological innovation, and in the process, redefine what creative collaboration means,” said Panos A. Panay, Berklee vice president for Innovation and Strategy and managing director of BerkleeICE. “The work of BerkleeICE expands our students’ definition of what can be accomplished with music education by pushing the boundaries of creative expression utilizing technology. By harnessing AI to develop customized soundtracks for treasured memories, together, we have created a new way for people to share their experiences with one another.”

SoundSeeker uses machine learning, an artificial intelligence technique that enables computers to simulate human intelligence and make decisions on their own without explicit instructions. The learning process entailed more than 600 hours in which Royal Caribbean and a team of musicians and technologists reviewed hundreds of music tracks along with 10,000 photos, matching each of the 2.5 million combinations to one of 10 moods.

The AI in SoundSeeker uses Google Cloud Vision to identify objects, facial expressions and colours in a user’s photo by referencing the roadmap developed by the leaders in music theory at Berklee. SoundSeeker then finds the musical elements corresponding to each mood in the photo to compose a genuinely distinct audio and visual photo album. The Royal Caribbean tool is equipped to generate over one million unique tracks, based on custom base tracks, composed exclusively for the cruise line. The customized tracks take inspiration from a wide variety of music, including 90s hip-hop, rock, modern and electronic dance music.

Le Havre Planning More Cruise Terminals

MSC named its new Meraviglia last year in Le Havre

Le Havre is expecting 140 cruise calls this year and 420,000 cruise passengers, said Jean-Baptiste Gastinne, president of Le Havre Cruise Club.

Those numbers are up from last year and include 40 turnarounds, made up of 22 calls by the MSC Magnifica, 12 from the Royal Princess, as well as turns from Costa Cruises and Rivages du Monde.

The 2017 season was closed out by the Artania, which was on a Christmas cruise, becoming the 129th vessel to visit and rounding the passenger number for 2017 off to 397,522

The port facilities can easily handle three large cruise ships at once, said Gastinne, with virtually no size limits and a generous water depth of 10.5 meters.

There is no shortage of shore excursions for passengers, with both Normandy and Paris nearby.

Terminal 12 will get an upgrade in time for the 2019 season, enhancing its footprint for turnaround operations for big cruise ships.

“Thanks to the strong relationships with other cruise destinations in Northern Europe, we have driven visibility to the region and we now benefit from regular calls from cruise lines, which used to stop only for seasonal repositioning in the past,” noted Gastinne.

As the industry grows, Le Havre hopes to add three additional cruise terminals with the aim of welcoming up to four mega-ships at once and hosting two simultaneous turnarounds. 800,000 passengers annually by 2023 is not unrealistic, Gastinne noted.