P&O Celebrates Newbuild Milestone for New Iona

Iona Keel

A key stage in the construction of the P&O Iona has been marked at Meyer Werft as the P&O newbuild and yard team celebrated the milestone with the traditional coin-laying ceremony for the 180,000-ton LNG-fueled vessel.

A bronze coin from the historic Iona Abbey and a slice of precious green Iona marble from the island were placed under the block housing the bow thrusters before the block was then lowered onto these items.

P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: “This was an auspicious occasion in Iona’s build. The coin-laying is a long-held ship-building tradition which is to bring good luck to the ship and its crew through from construction to the future at sea.

“It is very special to think that a small part of the island of Iona will live within our own Iona. We hope that the qualities of beauty, heritage, pride, camaraderie, mutual support and loyalty from the island which attracted us to the name will be inherent in our ship, its crew and guests.

“The build of any ship is an incredible achievement but to see one of this size and scope is an extraordinary feat of skilled design and engineering. To view Iona’s SkyDome take shape was literally breath-taking – no other ship in the world has a glass dome of this quality of construction and scale. The extent of the space on Iona has allowed us to create not only spectacular spaces for shows, entertainment, dining and wellness but also many more intimate spaces for tranquillity and relaxation as well as exclusive performances. Iona will be game-changer for holidays.”

As part of the ceremony the ship’s central steel block, the mega block, which has already been constructed was floated out on to the water, according to a press release.

The 21.5-metre long block weighs 461 tons, is 19.4 metres wide and 9.8 metres high and had to be lifted by a 600-ton crane.

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Vessel Performance Key to Secondhand Ship Market for Carnival

Oriana

Carnival Corporation has sold 28 ships since 2006, averaging around two ships per year based on demand in the market.

That number was up in 2018, with the company announcing the exit of four ships overall.

The Pacific Eden was sold to Cruise & Maritime Voyages while the Pacific Jewel will head to Indian start-up Jalesh Cruises.

Holland America Line sold the Prinsendam, which will become the Amera next summer for Phoenix Reisen.

P&O Cruises UK also announced the Oriana will leave the fleet in 2019.

“The practical reality for us is if the ship is relevant to our guests and is delivering a double-digit return on invested capital … we have to invest more in that ship over time. We’ll continue with the ship in the fleet if it’s relevant to the guests and his earning is key if it’s not then the ship will be gone,” said Arnold Donald, president and CEO, on the company’s year-end and fourth quarter earnings call.

The secondhand cruise ship market has historically been highlighted by two to three nine- to eight-figure transactions on an annual basis, according to the Secondhand Market Report by Cruise Industry News.

“And so in terms of there being a robust secondary market, there’s no question, the secondary market has an opportunity not only because the IMO regulations but simply because the ageing of ships that are in the secondary market,” Donald added.

Donald said many operators in the secondhand market were sailing ships that are 40 to 45 years old, and those vessels will need to be replaced.

“So there should be a market for a number of the ships. But at the same time, to drive earnings and return on invested capital, if we had a need to scrap for ships, in a nutshell, we would do that. We don’t see that at this point in time. But if it came to that, we have no problems doing that,” Donald continued.

“But we’re not going to hold onto an underperforming asset, because we’re not able to sell it. I mean, if – we would scrap it if we had to. I don’t anticipate that, but if we had to do it, we would do it.”

Carnival Corporation to Operate Santa Cruz de Tenerife Cruise Terminal in Canary Islands

Tenerife

Carnival Corporation today announced an agreement with the Port Authority of Santa Cruz de Tenerife following a Board of Directors meeting presided by Pedro Suárez López de Vergara to be the first concession-holder to operate the Canary Islands’ and Mid Atlantic’s newest cruise terminal.

The terminal can accommodate “green” ships powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and will welcome AIDAnova, from the corporation’s Germany-based AIDA Cruises brand, on its maiden voyage in December, Carnival said.

Welcoming 617,987 cruise passengers in 2017, Santa Cruz de Tenerife is one of the busiest cruise ports in the Canary Islands, the seven-island Spanish archipelago off the coast of Africa and Spain.

Carnival Corporation also manages two other cruise terminals in Spain – the Helix and Palacruceros facilities in Barcelona.

Seven brands from Carnival Corporation – AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn and P&O Cruises UK – make port calls to Tenerife during the course of the year. Carnival Corporation expects to bring more than 300,000 passenger visits to the port in 2018 – half of all cruise passenger visits – with 130 calls by 31 different ships from the company’s cruise line brands.

“Carnival Corporation has long been a valued partner with the Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and the Canary Islands, and we are confident that they will be a wonderful steward of our recently built cruise port,” said Pedro Suárez López de Vergara, president of the Port Authority of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. “Thanks in large part to Carnival Corporationships, the cruise market generated an economic impact to the Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and the city of Santa Cruz of €24 million ($27.1 million) in the 2018 cruise season, an increase of €6m from the 2017 cruise season, and we look forward to continuing to share our beautiful island with visiting cruise passengers coming through this cruise terminal.”

The Port Authority of Santa Cruz de Tenerife celebrates this long-term agreement with the aim of extending the benefits to its other ports – Santa Cruz de La Palma, San Sebastián de La Gomera, La Estaca in El Hierro and Los Cristianos in Tenerife.

“This concession and our ongoing investment is part of Carnival Corporation’s long-term strategy to continue to develop the cruise industry in the Canary Islands,” said Giora Israel, senior vice president of global port and destination development for Carnival Corporation. “Our passion is to always provide the best possible experiences for our guests, and Tenerife is an extremely popular destination that offers something for everyone – including a storied history, beautiful beaches, exotic gardens, unique crafts and memorable cuisine. We look forward to ensuring that our cruise guests coming through the Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife have a great experience, and we also look forward to expanding relationships with our friends in Tenerife.”

Santa Cruz Terminal joins eight global ports and terminals already operated by Carnival Corporation and its cruise line brands, including:

Barcelona (Helix & Palacruceros terminals) in Spain
Savona in Italy
Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic
Puerta Maya in Cozumel, Mexico
Grand Turk Cruise Center in the Turks and Caicos Islands
Mahogany Bay in Roatan, Honduras
Long Beach in California