P&O Cuts Steel for 2020 Newbuild

From left: Paul_Ludlow, Josh_Weinstein, Tim_Meyer, and Stephan Schmees

P&O Cruises marked a  milestone recently as it cut the first piece of steel for its newest ship being built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg.

The steel cutting ceremony was attended by P&O Cruises senior vice president, Paul Ludlow; Carnival UK president Josh Weinstein and managing director of Meyer Werft, Tim Meyer.

The company said it will announce the name of the ship later this week.

The 183,900-ton ship is being built at a cost of $950 million and has the capacity for 5,200 guests.

Josh Weinstein said: “This is the first time in 20 years that P&O Cruises has had a ship built by Meyer Werft and I’d like to thank everyone who has worked so hard to get us to the first stage in the life of this ground-breaking vessel. Meyer Werft has an enviable track record of producing genuinely innovative ships which also deliver tremendous levels of operational efficiency and we look forward to continuing our successful partnership over the next couple of years to this ship’s completion in 2020 and beyond.”

Paul Ludlow added: “This is a very exciting and momentous day. Our new ship will be the largest ship ever operated by the brand and the largest ever to be dedicated exclusively to the UK cruise industry. It will also be the first ship in our market to be powered by LNG, the most environmentally-friendly power source yet for large-scale cruise ships. With UK passengers numbers set to top two million for the first time this year, we are confident in cruising’s future and believe that there will be an exceptionally positive UK response to this ship and the innovations it will bring. We also expect this ship to persuade many UK consumers to take that all important first cruise.”


MSC builds: own private island Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve

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MSC Cruises celebrates groundbreaking for the MSC’s own private island Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve

 The ceremony will start the construction of a unique Caribbean destination, which MSC guests will be able to experience exclusively from November 2018 onwards.
Munich, 17 January 2017 – MSC Cruises, the market leader in Europe, South America and South Africa, yesterday celebrated the groundbreaking for the Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve. The island south of Bimini in the Bahamas will become an exclusive nature paradise for MSC guests from November 2018 onwards. 

The Prime Minister of the Bahamas Perry Gladstone Christie and Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman MSC Cruises, as well as other Bahamian ministers and government representatives, accompanied the ceremony. Thus the transformation of the island, which was formerly used for sand extraction, begins an original natural experience.

The development of the Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve is an integral part of the 9 billion euro investment plan, which also includes up to eleven ultra-modern new buildings to be commissioned between 2017 and 2026.

Pierfrancesco Vago commented: “In close co-operation with the Bahamian government, we are transforming the crumbling industrial area into a blossoming natural paradise, thereby returning the island to its original state. We are thus expanding our significant investments in the Bahamian economy and providing the local population with long-term job prospects. “

Image result for msc private island


The innovative power of MSC is demonstrated by the fact that MSC ships will dock directly on the island, without – as usual. This allows the newly built berth with pier. The island is a direct extension of the ship and reflects all the experiences of board through a variety of facilities.

“The island is located 105 kilometers east of Miami, Florida, and offers 3.5 kilometers of beach, crystal blue water and a unique marine flora and fauna.” Gianluca Suprani, Head of Global Port Development and Shoreside Activities at MSC Cruises, added. It has the finest coral sand and, after completion of the work, the coastal waters become the home of dreamlike corals and exotic marine animals. MSC offers its guests a truly exclusive and unique caribbean experience. “

The island is lined with more than 80 different species of native trees, grasses, flowers and shrubs that bring back the original nature to life.
The MSC Seaside and other ships of the MSC fleet will start the Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve from November 2018 on wards.

Royal Caribbean’s Fain recalls milestones that broke new ground in cruising

Richard Fain started his history of milestones in 1962 with the S.S. France, which he called “a remarkable ship.” Photo Credit: Jamie Biesiada

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — Whenever Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. starts a new project, CEO Richard Fain said the company likes to start with history.

Celebrity Cruises is currently working on Project Edge, which will bring a new class of ships in the fall of 2018, and the line has been considering milestones in cruise ship design leading up to that project — the key innovations in cruising that have changed the way ships are built.

Fain shared some of those milestones with travel agents at Vacation.com’s annual conference at the Diplomat Resort and Spa this week.

“The pace of change has been growing very quickly,” Fain said.

He started his history of milestones in 1962 with the S.S. France, which he called “a remarkable ship.”

“It was designed for transportation,” Fain said, and everything about the Compagnie Generale Transatlantique ship (like its long, sleek design) was aimed at transportation.

Fain jumped next to 1970 and the “transformational change” that Royal Caribbean International’s Song of Norway brought to the industry.

“This was a ship that was really built for cruising,” he said. Decks were open and cabins were designed differently than those on the France — instead of keeping the passengers in them while being transported, Song of Norway’s cabins were designed to get passengers out of their cabins and into public spaces.

“A fundamental shift was taking place,” Fain said, in what the purpose of the vessel was.

Then, in 1975, another influencer came into play, this time in the form of a television show: “The Love Boat.” Fain said cruising was shifting in how it presented itself to the world, becoming open to mass markets.

Then Carnival Cruise Lines came out with Kathy Lee Gifford’s “Fun Ship” commercials in the 1980s. Cruising was no longer something limited to an older, wealthier clientele. It was becoming something for everyone.

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/xS5rUgRAzDc?rel=0Princess Cruises’ Royal Princess in 1984 brought the concept of more outside cabins and more balconies.

The Sovereign of the Seas, “a dramatic new vessel,” arrived in 1988. The Royal Caribbean ship introduced an atrium and more activity choices onboard, and was the largest ship in the world when it was built.

In 1999, Royal Caribbean again introduced a ship that was the largest built at the time: Voyager of the Seas. It had an ice-skating rink and rock-climbing walls, a promenade and a plethora of other activities.

“You wanted things that helped convey that this [cruising] was an unusual activity, that you could do what you wanted,” Fain said. He said Voyager of the Seas was instrumental in continuing to shift the idea that cruising was for everyone.

Fain considered the Celebrity Solstice, which started sailing in 2008, as the next innovative vessel because it brought a level of elegance to a large ship.

And the next year, 2009, Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas arrived, offering even more choices to cruisers. The model in the days of the Song of Norway was dinner, show, bed, Fain said. But with Oasis of the Seas, “that evolved to the point where you have 28 places to eat on board this ship,” he said. It offered specialty dining rooms and suites that appeal to a different crowd, and activities like the FlowRider surf machine for yet another.

The Disney Dream started sailing for Disney Cruise Line in 2011 with a focus on the outdoor decks, and making children the center of many offerings. It introduced all kinds of activities, like waterslides, that many would go on to follow, according to Fain.

Three years later, Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas added more unexpected amenities to a cruise ship: a gondola-like ball that raises passengers in the air for a bird’s-eye view, a skydiving simulator and the Bionic Bar with its robotic bartenders.

Fain said he believes Celebrity’s Edge-class ships will bring the next milestone to cruising, but was tight-lipped on the details.

Fain’s history lesson was well-received by agents, who largely agreed with his sentiments of game-changers in the industry.

Sandra Cleary is the CEO of CruCon Cruise Outlet Plus in New Hampshire. She started her cruise-only agency 20 years ago, and in her mind, the Voyager of the Seas was one of the biggest milestones in the cruise world.

“We want the ship with the rock-climbing wall,” was a frequent call she got in the late 1990s.

Customers didn’t even know the ship’s name, but were attracted by the many activities it offered, she said. She also pointed to the Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas as game-changers.

Mark Comfort, owner of Cruise Holidays in Kansas City, Mo., said Fain and Royal Caribbean are “arguably the biggest innovators in the cruise industry.”

Comfort says Sovereign of the Seas was the greatest game-changer.

“The design was unthinkable — undoable,” he said. Most predicted it wouldn’t work, Comfort said, but it did, and the “unthinkable” ship went on to change the industry.