To agents’ delight, new cruise ships steaming for the West Coast

The Norwegian Bliss, shown here in a rendering, will make a June debut in Seattle.LONG BEACH, Calif. — For years, agents on the West Coast have pleaded with suppliers to put new cruise ships in ports near their clients. Now they’re getting their wish.

This year, the Norwegian Bliss will make a June debut in Seattle, the first time a new Norwegian Cruise Line ship has been stationed in the West since the Norwegian Star began sailing in Hawaii in 2001.

Next year, Carnival Cruise Line will launch its latest ship, the Carnival Panorama, in Long Beach, Calif., while Royal Caribbean International will move the Ovation of the Seas, just 2 years old, to Seattle.

Together, the three ships will add more than 12,000 new or nearly new lower berths, at least seasonally, to the West Coast market.

“It’s very exciting. There’s been a big need out here for a long time,” said Betsy Geiser, vice president at Uniglobe Travel in Irvine, Calif. “Historically, it’s been older ships and smaller ships. Carnival’s making a big improvement by bringing [the Panorama] here.”

With their proximity to the Caribbean, East Coast ports, particularly Miami and Fort Lauderdale, have long been the default homeports when a new vessel emerges from the shipyard.

In recent years, ports such as New York have also benefitted as fleets grew and lines cultivated new markets.

But in a sense, the West Coast is the cradle of the industry, said John Mast, vice president of marketing for Expedia CruiseShipCenters in Vancouver.

“It’s important to remember that Princess, with that run down to Mexico, sort of kicked off the U.S. cruise industry in many ways,” Mast said.

The California-Mexico itinerary, immortalized in “The Love Boat” television show, is still a mainstay of the market. Carnival plans to enrich Ensenada with new port activities in a bid to make Long Beach one of its biggest hubs.

“I think there’s been a renaissance going on for the West Coast, and I think that Carnival’s investment is a very strong indicator of that,” Mast said.

There are several reasons why the region is enjoying a rebirth, Mast said. One is the recent expansion of the Panama Canal. Before 2016, the cruise industry’s newest and largest ships couldn’t fit through the locks. Now that a wider channel has been opened, it is easier to move most large ships back and forth.

Also, after several years in which European cruise seasons were marred by terrorist activity, domestic ports have become more attractive long-term investments, especially in excursion-rich Alaska.

Mast said the new ships, with their go-kart tracks and Imax theatres, can help attract a younger demographic to Alaska.

“It seems kind of gimmicky to have a racetrack on the roof,” he said, “but the reality is that Alaska is a wonderful summer vacation for families. Families are a huge market. If I know kids, that will immediately get them excited, and we know that kids play a role in forming the vacation choice.”

For agents, the practical impact of having news ships on the West Coast is that they are easier and more profitable to sell.

Anita Pagliasso, president of Ticket to Travel in San Jose, Calif., said, “Cruisers are very excited about something new. It becomes lucrative because the pricing’s always higher when a brand new ship comes out, so the higher the pricing, the higher the commission. It goes hand in hand, I think.”

Pagliasso said the opportunities extended beyond West Coast agents.

“I think some of the feedback I got, even some of the agents in the Midwest, was that [clients] have gone to Florida enough, and they want something different,” she said. “This is a great opportunity for not only West Coast agents to promote these ships but other agents who have clients who have done all the cruising out of Florida and are looking for something new and exciting.”

Newbuilds to be delivered in 2016

Newbuilds to be delivered in 2016:

Finesse, AIDAprima, River Voyager, AmaViola, AmaStella, AmaDessa, America, Samatha, Princess Panhwar, Avalon Passion, Avalon Imagery II, Carnival Vista, Elbe Princesse, Origin, Emerald Belle, Koningsdam, Seven Seas Explorer , Ovation of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Scenic Amber, Scenic Spirit, Scenic Azure, Scenic Aura, Seabourn Encore, Dream Cruises’ unnamed ship , Grace, Joy, Mein Schiff 5, Ganges Voyager II, Amadeus Silver III, Viking Sea and Viking River Cruises’ six Longship class river cruise vessels. 

AIDA Cruises 

  • AIDAprima (3,250 – March 2016) Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (See image)
  • Unnamed new class ship (3,250 – Unknown: previously announced March 2016) Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
    New ship design (6,600 – ) Meyer Werft
    New ship design (6,600 – ) Meyer Werft

    AMA Waterways 

  • AmaViola (158 – 2016) (“Certo-class” ship) Vahali Shipyard
  • AmaStella (164 – 2016) (River cruises in Europe)
  • AmaDessa ( – 2016) (“Certo-class” ship) Gendt Shipyard
    (March 2015: AmaWaterways’ Executive Vice President and Co-owner Kristin Karst has confirmed the line will build two more ships in 2017 for river cruises in Europe)

    American Cruise Lines 

  • America (185 – Early 2016) Chesapeake Shipbuilding Corp.
  • Queen of the Mississippi ( – 2017) Chesapeake Shipbuilding Corp.
    Unnamed coastal cruise ship (170 – Spring 2017) Chesapeake Shipbuilding

    APT, Travelmarvel and Maing Fong Company 

  • Samatha (30 suites – January 2016) Shipyard in Yangon (River cruises on the Burma River in Myanmar)
  • Princess Panhwar (36 suite – January 2016) Shipyard in Yangon (River cruises on the Burma River in Myanmar)

    Avalon Waterways 

  • Avalon Passion (2016)
  • Avalon Imagery II (2016)
  • Avalon Myanmar (36 – September 2015)

    Blue Star Line

  • Titanic II Project (2,435 – Delayed to 2018) CSC shipyard

    Carnival Cruise Lines

  • Carnival Vista (3,954 – Spring 2016) Fincantieri
  • Unnamed Vista class ship (3,954 – March 2018) Fincantieri

    Carnival Corp & Plc
    March 2015: Carnival Corp & plc is ordering a total of nine cruise ships, five from Fincantieri and four from Meyer Werft. The new ships would be delivered over a four-year period between 2019 and 2022. Fincantieri will build five of the new vessels at its shipyards in Monfalcone and Marghera in Italy while Meyer Werft will construct the remaining four at both its German yard at Papenburg and its new and larger capacity Finnish yard at Turku. June 2015: it was announced that the two at Meyer Werft will be for AIDA Cruises. July 2015: the two at Meyer Turku will be for Costa Cruises.

    Celebrity Cruises

  • Project Edge class ship (2,900 – Fall 2018) STX France (Letter of intent)
  • Project Edge class ship (2,900 – Early 2020) STX France (Letter of intent)

    Costa Cruises Asia

  • Unnamed ship (4,200 – 2019) Fincantieri
  • Unnamed ship (4,200 – 2020) Fincantieri

    Costa Cruises 
    New ship design (6,600 – 2019) Meyer Turku (See image below at right)
    New ship design (6,600 – 2020) Meyer Turku

    Croisieurope 

  • Princesse Elbe (80 – Spring 2016) Saint-Nazaire shipyard (Paddlewheel river cruise ship)
  • Princesse Apsara (60 – ) (Cruises on the Mekong)
  • Daniele (24 – ) (Barge)
  • Deborah (24 – ) (Barge)

    Crystal Cruises
    The Crystal Exclusive (Artist concepts courtesy of Crystal Cruises)

  • New Crystal Exclusive class ship (1,000 – 2018) Lloyd Werft (Letter of Intent) (See image at left)
  • New Crystal Exclusive class ship (1,000 – ) Lloyd Werft (Letter of Intent)
  • New Crystal Exclusive class ship (1,000 – ) Lloyd Werft (Letter of Intent)

    Crystal River Cruises
    The Crystal river yacht vessels (Artist concepts courtesy of Crystal Cruises)

  • Crystal Bach (110 – March 2017) Lloyd Werft (See image at right)
  • Crystal Mahler (110 – March 2017) Lloyd Werft
  • Crystal Ravel (84 – March 2017) Lloyd Werft
  • Crystal Debussy (84 suites – March 2017) Lloyd Werft

    Dream Cruises – Genting Hong Kong
    (November 2015: Genting Hong Kong announced the launch of Dream Cruises with the two new ships under construction at Meyer Werft for Star Cruises)
    The Genting Dream (Rendering courtesy Dream Cruises)

  • Unnamed ship (3,364 – October 2016) Meyer Werft
  • Unnamed ship (1,682 cabins – Fall 2017) Meyer Werft

    Ecoventura

  • Origin (20 – January 2016) Shipyard in Guayaquil, Ecuador

    Emerald Waterways

  • Emerald Belle (182 – Early 2016) (Den Breejen Shipyard)
  • Unnamed sister ship (182 – 2017)
  • Unnamed sister ship (182 – 2017)
  • Unnamed sister ship (182 – 2017)

    European Waterwayas 
    Finesse (8 – May 2016) Hotel barge

    Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts 

  • Four Seasons Ocean Residence (48,600 grt – ) Kvaerner Masa (Aker Yards) (Conditional contract)

    General Maritime Transportation Company (GNMTC) 

  • Unnamed ship (1,739 – December 2012) STX Europe St Nazaire
    (June 2011: STX France has rescinded the contract and is looking for a new buyer. March 2012: sold to MSC Cruises)

    Holland America Line

  • Koningsdam (“Pinnacle” class ship) (2,650 – March 2016) Fincantieri (See image)
  • Second “Pinnacle” class ship (2,650 – November 2018) Fincantieri

    Knud E Hansen (Naval architects)

  • New green-design expedition ship (300 – )(See image)

    Lindblad Expeditions

  • Unnamed coastal vessel (100 – Second quarter of 2017) Nichols Brothers Boat Builders
  • Unnamed coastal vessel (100 – Second quarter of 2018) Nichols Brothers Boat Builders

    Lüftner Cruises – Amras Cruises – Amadeus Cruises

  • Amadeus Silver III (168 – 2016) De Hoop, Holland

    MSC Cruises 

  • MSC Meraviglia (4,500 – May 2017) (Vista project ship ) STX France
  • MSC Meraviglia sister ship (4,500 – 2019) (Vista project ship ) STX France (See image at right)
    (MSC Cruises has options for two further Vista project ships to be delivered by 2022)
  • MSC Seaside (5,300 – November 2017) Fincantieri
  • Second Seaside class ship (5,300 – May 2018) Fincantieri
    (See image below

    Norwegian Cruise Line 

  • Norwegian Bliss (4,200 – Spring 2017) Meyer Werft
  • Breakaway-Plus class cruise ship (4,200 – Spring 2018) Meyer Werft
  • Breakaway-Plus class cruise ship (4,200 – Autumn 2019) Meyer Werft

    OVDS – Hurtigruten – Norwegian Coastal Voyage 

  • Fram’s sister ship (2008) Fincantieri (Option to be confirmed)

    Peace Boat

  • New Ecoship (1,700 – 2020) (Subject to financing by donations or investors) (See image at right)

    Pearl Seas Cruises 

  • Unnamed sister ship of the Pearl Mist (214 -) (Originally the ship would be built at the Irving Shipbuilding, in Halifax, Nova Scotia but in March 2008 Pearl Seas decided to built the second ship in a different shipyard)

    P&O Cruises Australia

  • Unnamed ship (2,400 – 2019/2020) Fincantieri

    Polar Cruise Enterprises

  • Ursus Maritimus – Ice breaking cruise liner (240 – ) Rauma yard of STX Finland

    Princess Cruises

  • Majestic Princess (3,560 – Summer 2017) Fincantieri
  • Fourth “Royal Princess” class vessel (3,560 – 2019 / 2020) Fincantieri

    Residential Cruise Line Ltd.

  • Magellan (residential cruise ship) – Aker Yards (Memorandum of Understanding)

    Riva Waterways – Evergreen Tours

  • Riva Royale (180 – April 2014) Shipyard De Hoop (River ship)
  • Riva Princess (180 – April 2014) Shipyard De Hoop (River ship)

    Regent Seven Seas Cruises
    Seven Seas Explorer (Rendering courtesy of Regent Seven Seas Cruises)

  • Seven Seas Explorer (738 – Summer 2016) Fincantieri Sestri Ponente (See image at right)

    Royal Caribbean International

  • Ovation of the Seas (4,100 – Mid 2016) Meyer Werf
  • Harmony of the Seas (5,400 – Mid 2016) STX France
  • Third ship of the Oasis class (5,400 – Mid 2018) STX France
  • Fourth Quantum-class ship (4,100 – Spring 2019) Meyer Werf
  • Fifth Quantum-class ship (4,100 – Fall 2020) Meyer Werf

    Saga Shipping – Saga Cruises
    The new Saga's cruise vessel (Artist impression, courtesy Saga / Meyer Werft)
    Unnamed new class ship (540 suites and cabins – 2019) Meyer Werft (There is an option for a second ship with delivery in 2021) (See image at left)

    Scenic – Luxury Cruises & Tours

  • Scenic Amber (169 – March 2016) River ‘Space-Ships’ class (Den Breejen shipyard)
  • Scenic Spirit (68 – January 2016) Cruises on the Mekong River in Asia
  • Scenic Azure (48 cabins – March / April 2016) (Portugal’s Douro River cruises)
  • Scenic Aura (24 balcony suites – September 2016) (Myanmar’s Irrawaddy River cruises)

    Seabourn Cruises

  • Seabourn Encore (604 – Second half of 2016) Fincantieri (See image)Seabourn Encore (Rendering courtesy of Seabourn Cruises)
  • Seabourn Ovation (604 – Spring 2018) Fincantieri (See image)

    Sea Cloud Cruises

  • Sea Cloud Hussar (136 – November 2010) Factoria Naval de Marin, Spain (She is a three-mast sailing vessel)

    Silversea Cruises 

  • Silver Muse (596 – April 2017) Fincantieri
  • Unnamed vessel (-) Fincantieri
  • Unnamed vessel (-) Fincantieri
    (October 2014: Shanghai-based ICBC Leasing announced that it had signed with Monte Carlo-based Silversea Cruises for the financing of three cruise ships to be built by Fincantieri in Italy)

    Star Clippers 
    Star Clippers' new ship (Illustration courtesy of Brodosplit Shipyard)

  • New five-masted sailing vessel (300 – Late 2017) (Brodosplit shipyard in Split, Croatia) (See image at right)

    Sunstone Ships

  • Project Unlimited (240 – ) (Expedition ship) Meyer Werft (Letter of intent)(See image)

    Tauck – Scylla AG
    MS Grace arriving in Hardinxveld The Netherlands

  • Grace (Inspiration Class ship) (130 – 2016) (See image at left))
  • Joy (Inspiration Class ship) (130 – 2016)

    TUI Cruises

  • Mein Schiff 5 (2500 – 2016) Meyer TurkuMein Schiff 3(See image sister ship Mein Schiff 3)
  • Mein Schiff 6 (2500 – 2017) Meyer Turku
  • Mein Schiff 7 (2500 – 2018) Meyer Turku Oy
  • Mein Schiff 8 (2500 – 2019) Meyer Turku Oy

    Uniworld River Cruises

  • Ganges Voyager II (56 – January 2016) (Ganges River Cruises. Haimark Travel is building the ship for Uniworld)

    Unknown cruise operator

  • New Expedition Vessel for Extreme Conditions (60 – December 2014) Kleven Maritime AS (Norway)

    Utopia Residences 

  • Utopia – private residential vessel (105,000 ton – ) (June 2011: the letter of intent for the Utopia is expected to become a firm contract) Samsung Heavy Industries

    Vantage Deluxe World Travel

  • River Voyager (176 – March 2016)
    (Ship for European river cruises)

    Victoria Cruises

  • Victoria Emperor (Over 200 – planning stage) (River cruises in China)

    Viking Ocean Cruises

  • Viking Sky (944 – February 2017) Fincantieri (See image sister ship Viking Star – Photo Neven Jerkovic at Shipspotting.com)
  • Viking Sea (944 – Mid 2016) Fincantieri
  • New luxury ocean ship (944 – Early 2017) Fincantieri
  • New luxury ocean ship (944 – Mid 2018) Fincantieri
  • New luxury ocean ship (944 – End 2020) Fincantieri

    Viking River Cruises
    October 2014: Viking has placed an order for six Longship class river cruise vessels with Neptun Werft in Rostock. The now ordered ships will be delivered in the Spring of 2016.

    Virgin Cruises
    Unnamed new class ship (2,800 – 2020) Fincantieri
    Unnamed new class ship (2,800 – 2021) Fincantieri
    Unnamed new class ship (2,800 – 2022) Fincantieri

    Xiamen International Cruise Co Ltd

  • China Xiamen (2,000 – planning for October 2018) Xiamen Shipbuilding Industry
    (August 2015: Cruise Industry News has reported that Xiamen Shipbuilding has dropped plans to build the ship) 

 

Southampton’s QEII cruise terminal set for £5m upgrade

A £5 million revamp of Southampton port’s QEII cruise terminal will begin this winter.

ABP Port of Southampton and Carnival UK are jointly funding the improvements.

The work is being carried out over two phases in 2015/16 and will include a ship-to-shore walkway to replace the existing one, which was initially installed for Cunard’s Queen Mary 2.

This will ensure a greater range of ships can use the terminal with new technology, improving passenger flow and experience.

The terminal upgrade will also include improvements to the existing check in, baggage and passenger X-ray areas, installing a new 46-person lift and re-organising the passenger drop-off area.

The first phase of the work is due to be completed in spring 2016. The second phase, which includes the installation of the new walkway, will be finalised in winter 2016.

ABP Southampton director, Nick Ridehalgh (pictured), said: “The number of cruise passengers coming through Southampton’s port continues to rise, with 1.75 million expected to pass through this year.

“It’s therefore vital that we ensure our facilities are in the very best shape to accommodate these passengers and that they are laid out in a way that gives people a seamless and stress-free start to their holidays.”

Carnival UK port services and government affairs director, Steven Young, said: “We are delighted that these works, following on from recent improvements to both the Ocean and Mayflower cruise terminals, will give our guests a consistent and improved experience regardless of the terminal at which they join or leave the ship.

“As well as Cunard and P&O Cruises other Carnival brands including Princess, Holland America and Aida will benefit.”