Holland America Line takes delivery of Nieuw Statendam ship

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The new Holland America Line ship Nieuw Statendam has been delivered by Fincantieri Marghera shipyard in Venice.

The vessel is the 16th Holland America Line ship built by Fincantieri and is the line’s second Pinnacle-class ship after Koningsdam, delivered in 2016.

Italian shipbuilding company Fincantieri will also build the third vessel in the series, due to be delivered in 2021.

Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation’s chairman; Arnold Donald, the corporation’s president and chief executive; Stein Kruse, the chief executive of Holland America Group; and Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line, all attended yesterday’s ceremony.

According to the shipbuilding team, the 99,500-tonne vessel’s technology is aimed at ensuring energy efficiency and reducing the environmental impact.

Fincantieri is currently designing or building 53 other ships across all of its yards.

Mexico: Acapulco: Calls and Homeporting

The Norwegian Sun calls in Acapulco
Norwegian Sun in Acapulco.

Thirty calls are scheduled for the 2017-2018 season for Acapulco. That is a slight dip from last year because Holland America cancelled eight calls when Carnival Corporation did not conduct its destination site inspection, despite being invited by the port, explained Alex Casarrubias, port director. “We are confident that once Carnival, as well as Royal Caribbean, visit our destination, their ships will return,” he said.

“Our top client is Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings with Norwegian, Oceana and Regent,” Casarrubias continued. “Last year we also added the Magellan and Astor of Cruise & Maritime Voyages.

“The Magellan will homeport in Acapulco for three months, starting in February 2019.”

Acapulco was also a homeport in 2010 and 2011 and has since accommodated a number of turnarounds. This season, 90 percent of its traffic is transit calls and 10 percent turnarounds, but those percentages will change next season.

Recent turnarounds for Phoenix Reisen’s Albatros and Artania meant that passengers flew directly to Acapulco from England and Germany.

Casarrubias pointed out that nonstop airlift from Los Angeles started in December and that nonstop flights from Montreal and Toronto are starting in January.

Meanwhile, the Acapulco Cruise Committee’s priority continues to be to showcase Acapulco as a safe destination with top-notch infrastructure and services, he said. “We are in constant communication with the cruise lines and our main priority right now is to get Carnival to do its site inspection so they can confidently resume their cruise operation in our port.”

Passengers will find a “renewed” Acapulco. Grupo Autofin’s $1 billion master plan includes renovations of the Pierre Mundo Imperial and Princess Mundo Imperial resorts, as well as a number of new developments – hotels, shops, restaurants, spas, an eco-amusement park, a tennis stadium, a medical center and more, slated to be completed between now and 2022.

This year will also see the inauguration of a new terminal at the airport.

The most obvious attraction is Acapulco’s stunning landscape, according to Casarrubias, with its lush green mountains and sandy white beaches, in addition to its well-developed tourism infrastructure.

Carnival Corp ups full year revenue forecast on back of higher prices

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Carnival Corporation’s cumulative bookings for the next three quarters are at higher prices than last year and concentrated in the core cruise markets in North America and Europe.

Adjusted net profits for the last quarter edged up by $8 million year-on-year to $370 million as revenues grew from $3.7 billion to $3.9 billion on the back of a 4% increase in capacity.

The figures for the three months to May 31 were boosted by a 5% improvement in overall cruise ticket prices for the parent company of brands such as P&O Cruises, Cunard and Princess Cruises.

The improved rates affirmed efforts to increase demand “by building positive word of mouth through the delivery of exceptional guest experiences as well as our innovative marketing and public relations programmes,” said president and chief executive Arnold Donald.

The company expects full year 2017 net revenue yields in constant currency to be up approximately 3.5%, better than guidance given in March of up by around 3%.

Chief finance officer David Bernstein said: “Since the end of February, booking volumes for the next three quarters have been running in line with the prior year at nicely higher prices.

“At this point in time, cumulative bookings for the next three quarters are ahead of the prior year, again, at nicely higher prices.”

Looking forward, Donald said: “We are realising sustained strength in booking trends across all core products.

“We are delivering on our strategy to grow demand in excess of measured capacity growth while leveraging our industry-leading scale resulting in increased return on invested capital.”

The world’s largest cruise conglomerate saw the delivery of Princess Cruises’ Majestic Princess, the first ship tailored for Chinese passengers, as well as the addition of AIDAperla to German brand, AIDA Cruises.

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AIDAperla.

Two additional Princess Cruises ships, Caribbean Princess and Royal Princess, were fitted with the technical requirements to switch them early next year to the Ocean Platform featuring Ocean Medallion, the interactive technology for passengers which will debut on Regal Princess in November.

Donald told analysts in a conference call: “We have and we’ll continue to create carefully engineered high-quality destination experiences that are uniquely tailored to our guest references from our private islands like Princess Cays and Half Moon Cay to the planned expansion of our cruise terminal in Barcelona to our most recently completed port destination Amber Cove, in the Dominican Republic.

“We’re providing exceptional guest experiences that enable our brands to capture a price premium. We have many more innovations planned in port development that we expect to rollout in the coming years.”

He identified “new destination opportunities” in Cuba, the Bahamas and China.

The company expects to benefit from growing populations, increasing wealth and developing countries in addition to increased spending by consumers on “experience versus products”, all of which are contributing to 4% annual growth expected in travel globally.