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MSC Cruises signs letter of intent for the construction of a new next-generation prototype for up to four ships

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MSC Cruises announced earlier today that it has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with STX France for the construction of up to four over 200,000 GRT LNG-powered ships. The four ships, the first one of which would be delivered in 2022, will be based on yet another advanced new next-generation prototype and will form what will be known as the “World Class” of MSC Cruises ships. The announcement was made at the Élysée Palace in the presence of the President of the French Republic, François Hollande, as well as MSC Group’s Founder and Executive Chairman, Gianluigi Aponte, and STX France’s CEO Laurent Castaing.

MSC Cruises is the first global cruise line brand to develop an investment plan of this length and magnitude, spanning an horizon of over ten years, from 2014 through 2026, and for a total of up to eleven next-generation ships. The new orders would reflect an additional nearly €4 billion investment, which will bring the total value of the Company’s 10-plus years investment plan to nearly €9 billion.

Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises Executive Chairman, declared: “Today’s announcement is further proof, if needed, of our view that this industry presents significant opportunities for additional growth going forward for both our brand and product, as well as of our firm commitment to be best-positioned to capture them to the fullest. For this reason, our ten-plus year investment plan now encompasses up to eleven new MSC Cruises ships, coming into service between 2017 and 2026. It is also a reflection of our constant commitment to innovation, as we will partner with STX France to design yet again a completely new prototype – already the sixth in our history. In fact, in yet another industry-first, the new MSC Cruise World Class prototype will feature – amongst other highly innovative elements – a record-breaking, futuristically-conceived design that will make the ship a truly unique place to be at sea, whilst maximizing the open air space available to guests.”

Mr Vago continued: “Our long-standing focus on innovation will make the new prototype quite unlike anything currently existing in the cruise industry. It will be: yet the richest in amenities and features for guests, for both families and their children as well as adults; cutting edge in design all-around; featuring the latest and the best state-of-the-art smart technology at sea; using the most-advanced environmentally-friendly technology available, all the way through the LNG-propelled engines. Moreover, it will be a ship for all seasons and for all regions.”

Laurent Castaing, STX France Chief Executive Officer, commented: “We have just signed an unprecedented agreement with MSC Cruises which will give us a vision of our industrial capacity for the next ten years! We have had a good relationship with MSC Cruises for many years now, and this new agreement strengthens this further. We have already designed four different classes for MSC Cruises– Opera, Musica, Fantasia and Meraviglia – each with four ships, and now we are working together on this new generation of “World Class” ships. By 2026, a total of 20 ships that will have been designed and built by STX France in Saint-Nazaire.”

Mr Castaing added: “MSC Cruises has been expanding its global footprint and fleet of state-of-the-art ships that combine cutting-edge technology, comfort and unrivalled entertainment with the lowest impact on the environment. In order to achieve this next stage of growth, MSC Cruises have selected STX France for our unparalleled engineering and production capacities as part of a long-term partnership – a decision that pleases me immensely.”

The four ships provided under the LOI – two firm orders and two further options – will be delivered in 2022, 2024, 2025 and in 2026. They will feature a GRT in excess of 200,000 tonnes, more than 2,700 cabins and approx. 5,400 lower berths occupancy capacity.

MSC Cruises’ investment plan includes orders with STX France for two Meraviglia and two further Meraviglia-Plus Class ships as well as orders with Fincantieri in Italy for up to three next-generation Seaside Class ships. Additionally, the plan encompassed the €200 million Renaissance Programme of four of 12 of the Company’s fleet, already the most modern at sea, which was also carried out by Fincantieri.

Norwegian Joy’s keel laying ceremony held at Meyer Werft in Germany

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First block placed in the building hall for Norwegian Joy, signifying the start of construction on line’s first purpose built ship for China

Wiesbaden, April 7, 2016 – Norwegian Cruise Line 诺唯真(NCL) together with executives at Meyer Werft, have celebrated the keel laying ceremony in Papenburg, Germany for Norwegian’s first ever ship styled exclusively for Chinese guests Norwegian Joy 喜悦号(Xǐ Yuè Hào), arriving Summer 2017.

During the ceremony, the first of 80 blocks that will comprise the 168.800 gross ton vessel was lifted into the covered building hall, officially marking the start of the ship’s assembly. Norwegian Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH) executives were present in the hall and laid the traditional “lucky coin”, before the first block, weighing 680 tons, was placed by a massive crane.

“We are absolutely thrilled to celebrate the Keel Laying for Norwegian Joy today with our partners at Meyer Werft,” said Norwegian Cruise Line President and Chief Operating Officer Andy Stuart. “Norwegian Joy is yet another evolution for Norwegian Cruise Line and we know the outstanding work of the teams at Meyer Werft will truly make her a first class vessel.”

A special commemorative coin featuring the ship was created to celebrate the day’s activities. In a ceremony held at the XingTian Temple at Fang Ta Park in Shanghai on March 31, 2016, NCLH China executives gathered for a traditional prayer and pledge ceremony to the Chinese Goddess of the sea, Mazu 媽祖, to bring blessings to the coins, the ship and all of the guests who sail on her. The same coin was then placed under the block during the ceremony.

“We are carefully designing every element of Norwegian Joy, from her VIP accommodation to gourmet dining venues, outstanding recreation and entertainment choices and family-friendly features, to create a First Class at Sea experience that is completely focused on exceeding the expectations of our Chinese guests,” said NCLH China President David Herrera.

In addition to the ceremony, Norwegian Cruise Line also announced the appointment of David Herrera as President, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings China. Previously Senior Vice President Strategy and Business Development for NCLH, David will assume new responsibilities for the sales, marketing, public relations and operations for all three brands within the NCLH portfolio in his new role. To lead the launch efforts for Norwegian Joy, Mr. Herrera, his wife Patty and their three young sons will be relocating to Shanghai this summer.

“David is building an incredible team of talented individuals in China who are committed to making the launch of Norwegian Joy a resounding success, and that dedication starts at the top,” said Harry Sommer, NCLH Executive Vice President, International Business Development. “It was abundantly clear that David’s involvement in our China efforts since 2012, as well as his enthusiasm and passion, made him the right person to lead the team on the ground in Shanghai and we are so pleased to have him in this new role.”

Home porting in Shanghai & Tianjin (Beijing), Norwegian Joy was designed by the team at NCL to provide First Class at Sea experiences specifically for the Chinese traveller, with on-board amenities that cater to the unique holiday desires of Chinese guests. Built at Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany, the ship features German precision engineering to the highest possible standard, all while offering superior customization for the culture and preferences of Chinese guests along with the exciting and innovative features found on NCL’s most recent vessels.

“This steel block for Norwegian Joy marks another milestone of our successful partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line,” said Bernard Meyer, Managing Director of Meyer Werft. “We are thrilled to build a totally new ship which is designed for the fast growing Chinese market and will be delivered in just 12 months.”

Norwegian Joy’s experiences include a multitude of VIP accommodation, from exclusive suite complex The Haven by Norwegian®, an all-new Concierge category and the most family-friendly stateroom options in the fleet; along with a technology-driven interactive Galaxy Pavilion outfitted with bumper cars, Oculus Rift virtual reality; car racing simulators and much more.

The ship’s top decks will feature the only race track at sea and laser tag, along with two waterslides and a serene open space for relaxation and renewal. Norwegian Joy will also offer international luxury shopping boutiques with renowned global luxury brands, in fashion, jewellery and electronics.

With a fleet of 14 liners cruising worldwide, Norwegian Cruise Line was this year voted “Europe’s Leading Cruise Line” for the eighth consecutive year in the prestigious World Travel Awards, as well as “Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Line” for the third time and “World’s Leading Large Ship Cruise Line” for the fourth year running.

Stolt-Nielsen sees strong 2016 after solid quarter

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Photo: Stolt-Nielsen Limited
Photo: Stolt-Nielsen Limited

Stolt-Nielsen Limited (Oslo Børs: SNI) today reported unaudited results for the first quarter ended February 29, 2016. Net profit attributable to shareholders in the first quarter was $30.4 million, with revenue of $464.0 million, compared with a net profit of $21.4 million, with revenue of $494.6 million, in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Highlights for the first quarter of 2016, compared with the fourth quarter of 2015, were:

  • Stolt Tankers reported an operating profit of $31.2 million, compared with $35.4 million, reflecting the impact of fewer operating days in the first quarter.
  • The Stolt Tankers Joint Service Sailed-in Time-Charter Index was 0.77, unchanged from the fourth quarter.
  • Stolthaven Terminals reported an operating profit of $10.5 million, up from $2.6 million in the previous quarter when results were held down by write-downs of certain assets, accelerated depreciation and settlements of customer claims.
  • Stolt Tank Containers reported an operating profit of $11.8 million, down from $13.1 million, as downward pressure on pricing continued.
  • Stolt Sea Farm reported an operating profit of $5.5 million, compared with an operating loss of $2.5 million. The accounting for inventories at fair value had a positive impact of $3.4 million, compared with a negative impact of $2.7 million in the previous quarter.
  • Corporate and Other reported an operating loss of $1.2 million, compared with an operating loss of $5.0 million.

Commenting on the Company’s results, Mr. Niels G. Stolt-Nielsen, Chief Executive Officer of Stolt-Nielsen Limited, said: “Stolt Tankers had another good quarter, helped by a continued strong spot market and low bunker costs. This was despite the impact of fewer operating days, as two of our deep-sea ships were out of service and two more were recycled during the period. Stolthaven Terminals reported improved quarter-on-quarter results, but the improvement was relative to a weak fourth quarter, in which results were held down by the negative effects of a number of one-time items. Stolt Tank Containers reported a decrease in operating results for the quarter, as price competition more than offset an increase in shipments. Stolt Sea Farm had a good quarter, consistent with the positive impact of seasonal holiday sales.”

“Looking forward, at Stolt Tankers we expect the second quarter and possibly the third to look much like the first quarter, though with fewer lost operating days. The longer term outlook for Tankers hinges on how long the spot market holds up. Thanks to lower feedstock costs, chemical exports out of the US Gulf have been good-one of the few bright spots in an otherwise lacklustre global market. We remain concerned about the impact of the orderbook, though delays and cancellations seem increasingly likely. Stolthaven Terminals is on the road to recovery, and we expect to see small, gradual quarterly improvements this year. That said, ongoing actions to increase utilisation and enhance both profitability and operational performance are not expected to fully impact results until 2017. Stolt Tank Containers is facing increased competition, as we have noted before, but we continue to see growth opportunities ahead for this business.”

This information is subject to the disclosure requirements pursuant to section 5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act.

Stena signs contract for four new RoPax ferries

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– Will be the most fuel efficient ferries in the world

Stena has signed a contract, subject to Board approval by the end of April, for an order of four new RoPax ferries with planned delivery during 2019 and 2020, with an option for another four vessels. The vessels will be optimized for efficiency and flexibility and will be built by AVIC Shipyard in China.  The intention is that the four initial vessels will be used within Stena Lines route network in Northern Europe.

“We are very pleased that Stena have signed a contract for four vessels with an option for another four. During the course of the past 24 months our engineering staff has managed to develop a design that is not only 50% larger than today’s standard RoPax vessels, but more importantly, incorporates the emission reduction and efficiency initiatives that have been developed throughout the Stena Group during the past years. These ships will be the most fuel efficient ferries in the world and will set a new industry standard when it comes to operational performance, emissions and cost competitiveness, positioning Stena Line to support its customers in the next decades”, says Carl-Johan Hagman, Managing Director of Stena Line.

The vessels will have a capacity of more than 3 000 lane meters in a drive-through configuration and will accommodate about 1 000 passengers and offer a full range of passenger services.  The main engines will be “gas ready”, prepared to be fueled by either methanol or LNG.

“With this investment we are building on our successful RoPax concept mixing freight and passengers. Through standardization we secure a reliable operation and through flexibility we can provide an even better support to our customers and help them to grow”, says Carl-Johan Hagman.

“We foresee a continued demand growth for short sea services in Northern Europe and in many other parts of the world.  Ferry transportation will play an essential part in shaping tomorrow’s logistics infrastructure if we are to have sustainable societies.  Not only is transportation on sea the most environmentally efficient way of moving goods, it is also infrastructure that provides reliable and speedy logistics with very limited public cost. Through this investment we prepare Stena Line for further growth”, says Dan Sten Olsson, Chairman in Stena Line.

Princess Cruises Continues Global Growth and Expansion with Two New Ship Orders

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Princess Cruises announces two new Royal Class ship orders. (PRNewsFoto/Princess Cruises)
Princess Cruises announces two new Royal Class ship orders. (PRNewsFoto/Princess Cruises)

SANTA CLARITA, Calif., April 4, 2016 / — Princess Cruises announced that it has reached an agreement with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri S.p.A. to build two new ships, entering into service in 2019 and 2020.

The finalization of the contract follows the announcement late last year of a memorandum of agreement between Princess Cruise’s parent company, Carnival Corporation & plc and Fincantieri for five new ships including the Princess Cruises new builds. As the world’s largest travel and leisure company, Carnival Corporation has an existing fleet of 100 cruise ships and a total of 16 new ships scheduled for delivery between 2016 and 2020.

The contract was signed on Saturday (April 2) at a ceremony at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Marghera attended by Italian Minister of Infrastructures and Transport Graziano Delrio, Carnival Corporation Chairman Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald, Fincantieri CEO Giuseppe Bono and Stein Kruse, CEO of Holland America Group, which includes Princess Cruises.

“We are incredibly proud and excited to add two new ships to our already formidable fleet,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises.  “With this new ship commitment Princess Cruises will continue to grow and expand globally as the world’s destination leader in premium cruising.”

The unnamed 143,700-ton, 3,560-passenger ships will be the brand’s fourth and fifth Royal-class vessels, featuring an evolution of the successful design platform used on Royal Princess, Regal Princess and the new Majestic Princess coming in 2017.

The new Princess ships will include the signature elements that have become synonymous with the brand’s best-in-class guest experience featuring a soaring central atrium, multiple dining, entertainment and retail venues; outdoor theater experience; and 80 percent of all staterooms with balconies. The ships will also include new innovations to enhance the guest experience even further.

Specific features and amenities for the ships, along with deployment details, will be revealed in the near future.

Viking Sea Sets Sail On Maiden Voyage: Second Ship for Viking Ocean Cruises Continues Legacy of Destination-Focused Travel

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Viking Sea, the second ship from Viking Ocean Cruises, seen arriving in Venice, Italy. The 930-passenger ship is now on its maiden voyage and will be officially christened in London on May 5. Visit www.vikingoceancruises.com for more information. (PRNewsFoto/Viking Cruises)
Viking Sea, the second ship from Viking Ocean Cruises, seen arriving in Venice, Italy. The 930-passenger ship is now on its maiden voyage and will be officially christened in London on May 5. Visit www.vikingoceancruises.com for more information. (PRNewsFoto/Viking Cruises)

LOS ANGELES, April 4, 2016 /– Viking Ocean Cruises® (www.vikingoceancruises.com) today announced its second ship, Viking Sea, has embarked on her maiden voyage from Istanbul to Venice, officially doubling the size of the company’s fleet and continuing its vision for destination-focused cruises. From Venice, Viking Sea will sail through the Mediterranean and into the Atlantic on her way to be officially christened on May 5 on London’s Thames River in Greenwich. Following the christening, Viking Sea will spend her maiden season sailing itineraries in Scandinavia and the Baltic, as well as the Western and Eastern Mediterranean.

“Too often in recent years the most talked about ships have been the biggest ships. It is our view that some cruise lines have focused too much on building bigger ships and not enough on helping guests connect with the destination,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises. “We have created ocean cruises that put the destination at the center of the experience, with smaller ships that are smarter in design. As our second ship sets sail with her first guests we look forward to introducing more travelers to the unique way that Viking does ocean cruising – a style of cruising that was inspired by our experience and success on the rivers.”

Ships Designed for Destination Cruising
Classified by Cruise Critic as “small ships,” Viking’s ocean ships have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, boast 465 cabins and accommodate 930 passengers. Viking Sea is the second of six ocean cruise ships on order. The third ship, Viking Sky, will be delivered in early 2017; the three remaining yet-to-be-named ships will be delivered in late 2017, 2018 and 2020, respectively.

Light-filled with modern Scandinavian décor, Viking Sea, like her sister ships, was designed by experienced nautical architects and engineers, including the same interior design team responsible for the award-winning fleet of Viking Longships®. Throughout the ship, details were incorporated to pay homage to Nordic heritage and to help guests immerse themselves in local surroundings. A glass-backed infinity pool cantilevered off the stern offers unobstructed views; indoor-outdoor spaces offer more options for al fresco dining than any other vessel in its class; huge windows and skylights blur the lines between inside and out; and a wrap-around promenade deck nods to a bygone era of classic ocean liners.

Onboard Viking Sea, clean lines, woven textiles and light wood evoke the Viking spirit of discovery and connection to the natural world. A carefully curated collection of Scandinavian artwork adorns the walls of the restaurants and public spaces. In the two-deck Explorers’ Lounge at the bow of the ship, the décor was inspired by ancient Viking trade routes and navigation methods – imagery of star constellations and astronomical maps are complemented by antique globes, astrolabes and sofas with cozy pelts. In the LivNordic Spa, the holistic wellness philosophy of Scandinavia is in mind – from the Nordic ritual of the hydrotherapy pool and a real Snow Room, to materials inspired by Scandinavian nature: Swedish limestone and black slate; juniper and teak wood details; recycled and etched opaque glass; and cast iron. In the Wintergarden, blonde wood “trees” stretch their branches up to the glass ceiling, forming a lattice canopy over a serene space where guests can enjoy afternoon tea service. And in the Viking Living Room, a geometric garden was inspired by the wild lichen of Norway’s Finse Mountain Plateau.

Destination-Focused Enrichment
Designed for discerning travelers, Viking offers guests “the thinking person’s cruise” as an alternative to mainstream cruises. The Viking Difference is providing guests with extraordinarily well-designed cruises that bring them closer to the cultures of the world. Itineraries are designed for maximum time in port, often with late evenings or overnights, so guests can experience local culture at night or evening performances. Ports include both cosmopolitan cities and “collector ports,” appealing to those with an interest in history, art, music, and cuisine. And only The Viking Way brings guests itineraries that feature Local Life, Working World and Privileged Access experiences.

While onboard, guests enjoy informative talks from local experts and carefully selected lecturers in The Theater. Dining options onboard Viking Sea elevate food as a cultural experience – the World Café features global cuisine with live cooking and open kitchens; Mamsen’s features Norwegian deli-style fare, according to the recipes of Hagen’s mother, Ragnhild, otherwise known as “Mamsen;” The Chef’s Table celebrate cuisines from around the world with multi-course tasting menus and wine parings; and Manfredi’s Italian Restaurant embraces authentic Tuscan and Roman cuisine. With the Kitchen Table experience, guests have an immersive opportunity to shop, cook and eat with the Executive Chef.

While every cruise fare includes a guided excursion in each port, Viking’s optional excursion program was designed to provide guests with enriching experiences that go beyond the iconic and expected. Highlighted examples include:

  • Cooking with a Countess, Venice, Italy – Countessa Lelia Passi welcomes Viking guests to her home, which has been in her family for hundreds of years. In the magnificent surroundings of this lavish palace, the countess and her teaching staff share with guests the secrets of Italian cooking.
  • Sail & Swim the French Riviera, Toulon, France – Guests have the opportunity to try their hand at sailing a luxury sailboat on the Bay of Toulon. Weather permitting, the yacht will anchor in one of many small coves, where guests can relax with a drink or snack, or perhaps a swim in the warm waters of the Mediterranean.
  • A Normandy Countryside Cheese & Brandy Tasting – In the village of Pont L’Évêque, savor a special Norman lunch amidst the Calvados barrels of Les Tonneaux du Père Magloire restaurant. After your meal, you will visit the cellars to learn how apples are transformed into the “eau de vie,” the water of life—Normandy’s favorite brandy.
  • King Crab Safari, Honningsvåg, Norway – Guests set off in a deep-sea raft into the pristine waters of Sarnesfjorden, where the vistas are breathtaking, with green slopes soaring on all sides. From there, fishermen guides show guests how prized king crabs are harvested before heading back to shore, where a feast is prepared under a Sami tent.
  • Fjord Safari to a Goat Cheese Farm, Flåm, Norway – This tour provides the rare opportunity to experience Norway’s great outdoors by small boat and by hiking trail through a spectacular fjord—all rewarded with lunch at an authentic farm.
  • A Beer Lover’s Adventure & Walking Tour, Ålborg, Denmark – Giests sample some of the best-loved Danish beers on this walking tour of the district surrounding Jomfru Ane Gade, where Danes come to relax and enjoy local brews.
  • Jerusalem & Bethlehem Private TourGuests have an opportunity to tailor their exploration of Jerusalem and Bethlehem to suit their personal interests with a private guide and transportation.

Booking Details
From now through April 30, 2016, Viking is offering U.S. residents 2016 Special Savings and 2017 Early Booking Discounts with 2-for-1 pricing on cruise departures and up to free air. Viking Inclusive Cruising provides a small ship experience at a big ship value—with every cruise fare including a veranda stateroom, shore excursions in each port of call, all onboard meals, and all port charges and government taxes. Guests also enjoy many complimentary amenities as part of their fare, including: beer and wine with lunch and dinner service; premium dining reservations; Wi-Fi; self-service laundry; access to the Thermal Suite in the LivNordic Spa; and 24-hour room service—a value of more than $2,400 per couple for an average cruise. Contact a travel agent or call Viking toll free at 1-855-8-VIKING (1-855-884-5464).

NORDANA nominates Rickmers-Linie to represent it in China

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“NORDANA has nominated Rickmers-Linie to represent it in China.”
“NORDANA has nominated Rickmers-Linie to represent it in China.”

NORDANA Project and Chartering and Rickmers-Linie, Hamburg are pleased to announce that Rickmers-Linie represents Nordana in China effective as from 17 March 2016.  With this step the two companies extend their already existing partnership which began in June last year when Rickmers (Japan) Inc was appointed as the sole General Agent of NORDANA Project and Chartering in Japan. The Rickmers-Linie Representative Offices in China will support Nordana on marketing in China and will also coordinate documentation including agency services through sub-agencies.

NORDANA owns and operates a modern fleet of about 25 break bulk & heavy lift multipurpose tweendeck vessels with an average age of four years, with cranes combinable up to 500 mtons lifts, serving on a tramper basis worldwide.

On the occasion of the signing ceremony in Shanghai Torben Reinhard, Owner’s Representative Far East from Nordana said: “We look forward to broadening the cooperation with Rickmers-Linie, who have a long history in China and have an excellent knowledge of the Chinese market and a network of its own Representative Offices in the country”

Kai-Henrik von Taube, Director Line Management at Rickmers-Linie, the Hamburg-based specialist for project and heavy lift liner services, added: “Our partnership in Japan is working so well that we both decided to extend it to China. We look forward to serving all our customers jointly on a more global basis, especially in the markets of Asia, India, the Middle East and Africa.”

NORDANA was established in Denmark in 1957 and its Asian Head Office is located in Thailand. NORDANA is part of the Weco Group which includes tankers (StenaWeco), ro-ro’s, a bulk division and multipurpose tweendeckers. Weco Group operates more than 90 vessels and is a privately owned company.

More information about NORDANA is available at www.nordana.com

Rickmers-Linie is one of the world’s leading specialists in the global transportation of break bulk, heavy lift and project cargo by sea. With regular sailings and reliable schedules, the company has set new industry standards. Rickmers-Linie belongs to Rickmers Group, which offers diversified activities in the segments of Maritime Assets, Maritime Services and Rickmers-Linie.

Further information on Rickmers-Linie is available at www.rickmers-linie.com

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Announces Newbuild Order for Regent Seven Seas Cruises

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logo_detailMIAMI, March 31, 2016– Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (Nasdaq:NCLH) (together with NCL Corporation Ltd., “Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings”, “Norwegian” or the “Company”) today announced that it has reached an agreement with Fincantieri of Italy to construct a sister ship to Seven Seas Explorer for its Regent Seven Seas Cruises brand for delivery in 2020.  Seven Seas Explorer is currently under construction and is scheduled to make its debut in July 2016.

The new Explorer-class vessel will build on the runaway success of Seven Seas Explorer, the first newbuild for Regent Seven Seas Cruises in 14 years.  Scheduled for delivery in 2020, the new ship will retain many of the high-end features and amenities that have led to Seven Seas Explorer being hailed as the most luxurious ship ever built. Guests can anticipate exquisite gourmet dining, plush lounges and spacious accommodations, including a rendition of the Regent Suite, a new class of ultra-luxurious suite that will debut on Seven Seas Explorer. Expanded details for the new ship will be announced at a later date.

“When we began conceptualizing Seven Seas Explorer a little over four years ago, we knew from the onset that she would be something special and make an immediate and lasting impression in the marketplace,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.  “We expect that the positive impact on earnings and impressive return on investment from Seven Seas Explorer will be significant and that her sister vessel will make a similar contribution.”

“We knew immediately from the overwhelmingly positive response we received from travel partners and past guests that Seven Seas Explorer was going to resonate with guests searching for the ultimate in luxury travel,” said Jason Montague, president and chief operating officer of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “The extraordinary demand generated by Seven Seas Explorer, including record-breaking booking volumes, reinforced our decision to expand our fleet with an additional ship that mirrors the same incredibly high standards of luxury.”

The contract price for the vessel is euro 422 million and the Company has committed financing in place from a syndicate of banks for export credit financing in connection with this order.

Fred. Olsen to commence its first cruise season from Falmouth in Spring 2016

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qx564l5n5mejfua7hkojFred. Olsen Cruise Lines will be commencing its first-ever cruise season from Falmouth in April 2016, offering two unique, great-value holidays on board its elegant 880-guest ship, Boudicca. Guests can choose from a 12-night ‘Canary Islands & Portugal’ cruise, or a 10-night ‘Around the UK’ sailing from Lands’ End to John O’Groats.

Nathan Philpot, Sales and Marketing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

“It has always been our philosophy to offer easier access and greater convenience with departures from more regional ports than any other cruise line, and we are pleased to be giving our guests in the South West the chance to cruise with us ‘from right on their doorstep’.

“We have been calling at Falmouth for some years on transit calls, and we hope that as many local people as possible will take up this opportunity to take a Fred. Olsen cruise and explore the world from their nearest port.”

Fred. Olsen’s two cruises from Falmouth in 2016 are as follows:

– Boudicca’s 12-night D1604 ‘Canaries & Portugal Spring Break’ adult-only cruise, ex Falmouth on 12th April 2016. Prices start from £1,099 per person.

Make the perfect Spring-time escape to the charming Canaries and Portugal, taking in Funchal, on the ‘Garden Island’ of Madeira, Santa Cruz in La Palma, Santa Cruz in Tenerife, Arrecife in Lanzarote and Lisbon, Portugal’s lively capital.

– Boudicca’s 10-night D1605 ‘Land’s End to John O’Groats’ cruise, ex Falmouth on 24th April 2016. Prices start from £499 per person.

Travel the length of the British Isles on this fantastic ‘Land’s End to John O’Groats’ cruise: what’s more, you do not even have to own a passport, as Fred. Olsen guests can provide other acceptable forms of photographic identification at Check-in.

Explore Liverpool, Kirkwall on the Orkney Islands, Invergordon, Scrabster, Tobermory and Belfast, plus, enjoy a scenic cruise past impressive Fingal’s Cave.

All prices listed are based on two adults sharing a twin-bedded, Interior Room, and include accommodation, all meals and entertainment on board, and port taxes.

Fred. Olsen will also be continuing its commitment to the Port of Falmouth in 2017, with another two Spring departures aboard Boudicca: a 12-night ‘Canary Islands & Madeira’ voyage, leaving on 1st April 2017, and a 16-night ‘Discovering the Amalfi Coast’ adventure, sailing on 13th April 2017.

For further information on Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, visit the website at www.fredolsencruises.com

Seabourn Offers First Glimpse Of The Stunning View Lounge On Board Seabourn Encore: The Observation Bar

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Seabourn Offers First Glimpse of The Observation Bar Onboard Seabourn Encore (PRNewsFoto/Seabourn)
Seabourn Offers First Glimpse of The Observation Bar Onboard Seabourn Encore (PRNewsFoto/Seabourn)

SEATTLE, March 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — With less than 10 months until the launch of Seabourn’s newest ultra-luxury vessel, Seabourn Encore, in December 2016, the award-winning small-ship cruise line is revealing design details of the ship’s beautiful and sophisticated Observation Bar.

Located on Deck 11 and surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass walls, the Observation Bar will be the highest indoor viewing point on the ship – offering stunning 270-degree forward-facing views for guests to enjoy at sea and in port. The centerpiece of the lounge will be a dramatic, semi-circular skylight to cast sunlight and moonlight over the bar area, while comfortable leather lounge chairs and handsome high-backed barstools surround the square bar.

The Observation Bar will feature a variety of culinary and beverage services every day from morning until night. In the morning, the Observation Bar will offer the Early Morning Riser continental breakfast, while afternoons will feature the line’s popular daily white glove tea service. As the sun sets and well into the evening, the lounge will transform into a destination for cocktails, canapés, and piano entertainment before and after dinner.

“The Observation Bar is a stunning space that our guests will be able to enjoy throughout the day,” said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. “It will be an ideal place to relax and share conversation with fellow guests while enjoying remarkable views.”

Seabourn Encore will expand and build on the line’s award-winning and highly acclaimed Odyssey-class ships, which revolutionized ultra-luxury cruising with enhanced accommodations and innovative amenities when they were introduced between 2009 and 2011. Seabourn Encore will maintain the line’s high ratio of space per guest, enabling highly personalized service. A sister ship, Seabourn Ovation, will join the fleet in 2018.

Designed by hospitality design icon Adam D. Tihany, Seabourn Encore will feature modern design elements and innovations consistent with the line’s reputation for understated elegance. The 40,350-GRT ship will be configured with one additional deck and new expanded public areas, and is expected to carry just 600 guests, based on double occupancy. In addition, every suite will feature a private veranda.

Seabourn will continue to reveal renderings and updates about Seabourn Encore via the dedicated microsite: http://encore.seabourn.com. Filled with imagery, details and news of the ship’s continuing progress, including “sunsets until launch,” the microsite offers an inside look at the most exciting Seabourn launch in years. Additional details, news and images will be revealed on the site on an ongoing basis.

For more details about the award-winning Seabourn fleet, or to explore the worldwide selection of Seabourn cruising options, contact a professional travel advisor, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit www.seabourn.com.

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