Costa trials onboard robots

Pepper robots are being used on board Costa and Aida cruise ships

Costa Group has signed an exclusive agreement with French company Aldebaran to use its Pepper robots on board vessels to assist passengers on Costa and Aida cruise ships. Pepper is the world’s first robot that reads main human emotions.

Michael Thamm, chief executive of the Costa Group, said: “With an emotional robot on board our cruise ships we are once again continuing our tradition of innovation. For us, this is an important step towards a digital future for our brands.”

Pepper has successfully completed a trial on board AIDAstella. The first batch of Peppers will join the crew and start helping on board AIDAprima and Costa Diadema in spring 2016, guiding guests when they embark and while on board. They will also be on hand to provide recommendations and tips on restaurants, events and excursions. They can communicate in German, Italian and English. By summer of 2016 the rest of the robots will be joining the crew aboard the Costa and Aida fleets.

Pepper was developed in Japan and is the first humanoid robot capable of recognising the main emotions and to take his environment into account and proactively act accordingly. Pepper is well equipped with features and a high-level interface for communicating with those around him, to move fluidly and analyse expressions and voice tones using the latest advances in voice and emotion recognition.

The robot measures 120cm tall and weighs 28kg. Its movement is provided by three omnidirectional wheels while a 3D camera detects people and their movements and it has a 10 inch touch screen.

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First world cruise for Chinese guests departs Shanghai

Costa Atlantica departs Shanghai

By Tom Stieghorst
Costa Atlantica departed Shanghai on March 1 on what Costa Cruises describes as the first world cruise by a ship specially for the Chinese market.

The voyage will span 86 days and 28 destinations in 18 countries.

Costa Group CEO Michael Thamm was among the group of dignitaries on hand to see the ship off.

Given the Chinese preference for short itineraries, the launch of a world cruise is a particular milestone. The Atlantica will visit a number of destinations in the Mediterranean and the United States, including a three-day call in New York and a two-day stopover in Los Angeles.

Carnival Corp. CEO was paid $8.7 million last year

Carnival Corp. president and CEO Arnold Donald received $8.7 million in compensation last year, an increase of 11% from 2013.

The cruise company’s 2014 net income rose 14.4% in 2014. Carnival’s stock price rose 12.8% over the year.

Donald earned a salary of $1 million, plus stock compensation worth $3.5 million, non-equity compensation plan remuneration of $3.9 million and $291,000 of other compensation, including private use of the corporate jet.

The five mostly highly paid executives at CarnivalCorp.  earned a combined $32.7 million, including $6.5 million for Costa Group CEO Michael Thamm, $6.1 million for departed Carnival Cruise Lines president and CEO Gerry Cahill, $6.1 million for chief operations officer Alan Buckelew, and $5.2 million for CFO David Bernstein.

The information is contained in a statement filed with U.S. financial regulators in advance of the annual shareholders meeting, which is set for April 14 in London.