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BP Shipping Celebrates 100 Years of Maritime Success

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BP Shipping today celebrates its 100-year anniversary, making it the longest continually operating company in the BP group.

Formed on April 30, 1915 as the British Tanker Company, the business has adapted to significant world events including two world wars, the Great Depression, closures of the Suez Canal, and the impact of oil nationalisations on the world economy and the movement of oil and gas.

BP Shipping has also played its role in the evolution of safer and more environmentally sustainable shipping practices including inert gas systems, crude oil washing and double hulling, and has used its marine skills in the design and development of ground-breaking hybrid vessels in support of offshore oil and gas exploration.

John Ridgway, CEO of BP Shipping, said: “I am delighted to have led this great business in its centenary year, and all the many thousands of people that have served BP Shipping over the course of a century can be rightly proud of the company.”

Across the 100 years, the company has been responsible for the construction of more than 500 oil and gas tankers – an average launch rate of one new ship every 10 weeks of the century – as well as a myriad of small vessels to support BP’s international operations.

Today, BP Shipping operates some 50 oil and gas carriers with a further 200 large vessels and 400 coastal and barge vessels under charter transporting cargoes of oil, gas, refined products, lubricants and petrochemicals.

Company vessels and seafarers saw service in both world wars: between 1939 and 1945, 50 BP tankers – half of the entire fleet – were sunk in the Atlantic and Arctic Convoys and other theatres of war with the tragic loss of 657 lives.

The company has been amongst the leaders in the oil and gas shipping industry in technical innovation and safety standards for decades introducing advances in tanker safety and pollution control well before they became mandatory by international regulation. The company’s patented design for an inert gas system (IGS) which was introduced to BP vessels in the 1960s led to the industry mandating of IGS in the 1970s and was responsible for a major reduction in cargo related explosions. The work of a team of BP Master Mariners in the post-war period plotting precise ‘actual route’ measurements port-to-port led to the publication of the BP World Wide Marine Distance Tables. Today they are not only the industry standard for voyage calculations but are also a key determinant of the Worldscale Freight Rates Schedules which underpin commercial chartering arrangements across the shipping industry.

In the offshore oil and gas sector, BP Shipping led the design and development of Iolair, an innovative semi-submersible emergency support vessel (ESV) for the offshore industry in the 1980s and later Seillean – the world’s first dynamically-positioned offshore production vessel. Today, the company is involved in the development of ‘state of the art’ floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels and platforms for deployment in challenging new offshore environments in the UK, Angola and Norway.

John Ridgway added: “BP Shipping’s purpose has remained broadly the same for 100 years – that is to transport oil and gas for the BP group safely and securely. I have no doubt the business is well-placed to continue to do that for another 100 years.”

John Ridgway is retiring from BP Shipping after a distinguished career of 44 years; Susan Dio, from BP’s downstream business, will take the helm on 1 May, 2015.

BP Shipping currently has around 1,300 seafarers and has supported cadet training throughout its history with some 100 deck and engineering officer cadets coming through training schemes annually.

BP Shipping statistics

  • Owned or operated oil and gas tankers: c.500
  • Owned or operated tankers and small vessels: c. 1000
  • Owned or operated tanker fleet numbers peak: 160 ships (2 million dwt) in 1955
  • Owned or operated tanker fleet dwt peak: 6.8 million dwt (97 ships) in 1974
  • Owned or operated tanker fleet in 2015: c. 50 ships at 5 million dwt in 2015
  • 1939: ratio of tankers owned or operated to chartered: 90:10
  • 2015: ratio of tankers owned or operated to chartered: 27: 73
  • Total cargo transported in 2014: 180 million tonnes
  • First Anglo-Persian vessel: SS Ferrara (cased oil)
  • First British Tanker Co vessel: British Emperor, 5300 dwt
  • Only sailing ship (Schooner): Scandinavia (1917-22)
  • Largest owned/operated ship: P Class- British Pioneer VLCC – 309,000 dwt
  • Seafarers who lost lives on BTC managed vessels in WW2 : 657
  • BTC Seafarers taken prisoner: 260
  • BTC owned/managed vessels lost to enemy action in WW2: 50
  • Honours awarded to BTC seafarers in WW2: 203

BP Shipping Centenary “Riding the Waves” app for iPad and iPhone

Download our BP Shipping Centenary App – ‘Riding the Waves’ – to discover how BP built one of the world’s greatest merchant shipping fleets to transport its major oil discoveries in the Middle East and across the globe – to refineries, markets and customers during the past 100 years. Read about the key world events – from war to economic boom and bust – which determined the success and near failure of BP’s shipping arm. Hear the personal stories of triumph and tragedy of those who sailed with the BP Shipping fleet – and of those ashore who changed the world shipping industry for the better.

Download the app

Coast Guard detains cargo vessel for safety violations in Kalama, Wash.

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PORTLAND, Ore. — The Coast Guard detained the 224.9 meter long motor vessel Kind Seas, after significant safety violations were found during an inspection in Kalama, Washington, Friday.

Vessel inspectors from the Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit in Portland discovered the discrepancies during a routine inspection of the Marshall Islands-flagged vessel, which was built in 1998.

Safety violations were related to a complete failure of the emergency generator, which provides power to emergency equipment including the emergency firefighting pump system. Other discrepancies include deficient structural fire boundary doors designed to prevent the spread of a fire, inoperable bilge pumps critical to removing excess water and waste oil accumulation in engine compartments, and inoperable life saving communication equipment.

“Shipboard fires pose severe risk to vessel crews, the vessel, and the port,” said Capt. Patrick Ropp, commanding officer and officer in charge of marine inspection at MSU Portland. “The deficiencies were determined to pose significant risk to the vessel’s crew and the marine environment indicating that the vessel is unfit to proceed to sea.”

Coast Guard vessel inspectors are working with the Kind Seas’ flag state and Nippon Kaiji Kyokai, the vessel’s classification society responsible for certificating vessel construction and engineering, and the vessel’s crew, owner, and managing company to make essential repairs.

The Kind Seas, owned by Fairplay Maritime Ltd., is a bulk carrier, which loaded corn and wheat in Kalama and will depart for Japan after the safety violations have been corrected.

Cocaine found after North Sea boat raid

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A quantity of cocaine has been seized following a joint NCA, Border Force and Royal Navy operation in the North Sea.

Acting on intelligence supplied by the NCA, the ocean-going tug MV Hamal was intercepted by the Royal Navy frigate HMS Somerset and Border Force cutter Valiant about 100 miles east of the Aberdeenshire coast of Scotland on Thursday 23 April.

The operation was conducted following close cooperation with the French Customs Service DNRED and in coordination with the UK’s National Maritime Information Centre (NMIC) plus the Maritime Analysis and Operational Centre – Narcotics (MAOC-N) based in Lisbon.

The vessel was boarded and accompanied into Aberdeen where a search was carried out by specialist Border Force officers with operational support from Police Scotland.

The crew of the Hamal, nine men all aged between 26 and 63, were detained for questioning by investigators from the NCA’s Border Policing Command, and later charged with drug trafficking offences.

They remain in custody and will appear before Aberdeen Sheriff Court on Monday.

John McGowan, from the National Crime Agency’s Border Policing Command, based at the Scottish Crime Campus, Gartcosh, said:

“This is a potentially significant seizure of illegal drugs, only made possible by the co-operation between ourselves, Border Force, the Royal Navy, French Customs and our other international partners.

“The exact amount of cocaine on board is yet to be determined and the search is likely to continue for some time.

“The ongoing NCA investigation is being supported by Police Scotland.”

Image: UK National Crime Agency

Travel veteran Gloria Bohan named as godmother for Star Legend

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Gloria Bohan

Fort Lauderdale, FL, April 23, 2015 – Windstar Cruises made three major announcements today at the Cruise3Sixty press conference in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Gloria Bohan is the Godmother for the line’s newest yacht, Star Legend; Windstar debuts a new Rising Star program for travel professionals; and Steven Simao is appointed as Vice President of Travel Agency Sales. In an effort to keep inboxes free of clutter, all three press releases are below.

Gloria Bohan, CEO of Omega World Travel, announced as Godmother of Windstar’s Star Legend.

A seasoned travel executive and entrepreneur, Bohan brings over four decades of experience, expertise, and knowledge to the travel industry. She is the founder of Omega World Travel, the largest travel agency founded, operated, and majority-owned by a woman. Bohan is a travel industry leader with expertise that crosses all aspects of travel including corporate, government, meetings, vacations, and cruises.

Bohan cruised with Windstar for the first time in November, 2014 and enjoyed every minute of her experience. “I am so pleased to solidify my relationship with Windstar through my appointment as Godmother,” says Bohan, “It’s an honor to represent such beautiful ships, sailing such magnificent itineraries, and offering guests a true country club lifestyle experience. Windstar has really created a special cruising experience.”

Windstar will unveil Star Legend on May 25 at a Christening Ceremony in Rome, hosted by Bohan as Godmother. The ceremony involves a pier-side celebration and the maritime ceremony of naming and christening the ship.

We are honored to have Gloria serve in the prestigious role of Godmother of Star Legend. She is well respected in the travel industry, and a valued trade partner,” says Hans Birkholz, CEO of

Windstar Cruises. “Gloria is active with several philanthropic organizations and passionate about mentoring other entrepreneurs. Her entrepreneurial spirit aligns with Windstar’s own philosophy, and we are delighted to partner with her.”

In March Windstar announced female travel influencer Wendy Perrin as the Godmother for Star Breeze, Windstar’s other addition to its fleet in 2015, which launches on May 6, 2015. Both Star Legend and Star Breeze underwent $8.5 million complete stem-to-stern renovations with new public spaces, suites, and dining venues. The addition of these vessels, as well as Star Pride that debuted in May of 2014, is allowing the company to cruise to new destinations in 2015 including Iceland, as well as year-round sailings in Tahiti.

CMV to enter French Cruise Market

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CMV to enter French Cruise Market

British based Cruise Operator, Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV), is pleased to announce the sub-charter of the 16,144grt, 550 passenger cruise ship Azores from summer 2016 onwards to Rivages du Monde, the Paris based specialist cruise and tour operator.

Cruise & Maritime Voyages also confirm that Azores will be re-named Astoria when she completes her UK summer 2015 season. Prior to the start of the 2016 French North European, Adriatic and Mediterranean summer season, Astoria will operate a two month ex-UK spring season.

Christian Verhounig, CEO and Chairman of CMV commented, “We are committed to developing our international market presence and are delighted to have forged a business partnership with one of France’s most established and respected travel companies.

We believe that by changing the name to Astoria the product presentation will be simpler and more in line with our smaller ship offering alongside the similarly named 600 passenger Astor in contrast to our larger mid-sized vessels; the Marco Polo and Magellan, adopting the explorer theme”.

In 2016 Astoria will commence her French business on 11th May under the Rivages du Monde brand as a home market product operating 14 North European, Greenland, Adriatic and Mediterranean sailings from Le Havre, Dunkirk, Ostend, Bordeaux and Marseille.

Chris Coates, Commercial Director added, “We have been experiencing strong demand for Azores 2015 ex-UK regional summer programme. The introduction of Magellan to the fleet, which in 2016, will be operating year round, will enable Marco Polo to also be deployed regionally for part of the 2016 programme bolstering capacity and supporting Astoria’s  spring season. This will increase year on year UK market capacity close to 70,000 annual carryings”.

CMV’s summer 2016 programme goes on sale next month.

Cruise and ferry industry discusses how to promote Adriatic

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 ADRIATIC SEA FORUM: Dubrovnik today sees the opening of the second edition of the Adriatic Sea Forum – cruise, ferry, sail & yacht, a travelling international event dedicated to the sea tourism sector in the Adriatic.

Presentation of the new edition of the Adriatic Sea Tourism Report: in 2015, approx. 4.89 million cruise passengers (up 5.05% on 2014) are expected to pass through the ports in the Adriatic.

The number of ferry passengers passing through the ports considered is expected to remain stable at the end of (up 0.32% on 2014).

325 marinas identified in the areas, adding up to a total of approx. 80 thousand berths. 2015 is expected to see a rise in the turnover of the marinas and the charter companies operating in the area.

This morning, Dubrovnik played host to the opening of the second edition of the Adriatic Sea Forum – cruise, ferry, sail & yacht, the international travelling event dedicated to the sea tourism sector in the Adriatic devised by Risposte Turismo, a research and consultancy company for the tourism macro industry.

The Forum, organised this year in partnership with the Port Authority of Dubrovnik, the Municipality of Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik Tourist Board and ACI Club, aims to offer participants the chance to meet and work together to encourage the creation or further development of shared actions and projects, as well as the opportunity to study, discuss and analyse the potential of the Adriatic as an outstanding tourist destination for maritime tourism.

Following an introductory address and a brief presentation of the host city by Andro Vlahušic, the Mayor of Dubrovnik, the forum moved on to the plenary opening session entitled “The Adriatic: a sea, a destination, a brand”.

This session, which saw the participation of Maja Pak, Head of the Research and Development Sector of Spirit Slovenia (an agency for the promotion of business, innovation, development, investments and tourism); Cristiano Radaelli, Special Commissioner of the Italian National Agency of Tourism ENIT, and Željka Radak Kukavicic, Director of the National Tourism Organisation of Montenegro, included a discussion on how useful it could effectively be to promote the Adriatic as a single tourist destination, in order to boost the positive impact on the various countries in the area.

Although the speakers expressed a favourable opinion, it was highlighted that the word “Adriatic” hardly appears in any of the promotional materials of the countries that look onto it.

Also highlighted during the session was the need to identify tools able to help promote the Adriatic as a brand.

In the afternoon, when work resumed, Francesco di Cesare – President of Risposte Turismo – presented the new edition of the Adriatic Sea Tourism Report, the benchmark research report on sea tourism in the Adriatic in the cruise, ferry, sail & yacht sectors, drafted by Risposte Turismo.

As regards cruise traffic, the study conducted by Risposte Turismo indicates that in 2015, approx. 4.89 million passengers will pass through the cruise ports of the Adriatic (up 5.05% on 2014), with 3.072 calls (+ 8.47%).

These figures come from the projection made by Risposte Turismo on forecasts regarding, respectively 15 and 20 cruise ports in the Adriatic, which together accounted, in 2014, for 86.7% of the total amount of passengers carried and almost 100% of the calls.

It should be noted that this increase will not offset the fall in passenger cruise traffic registered in 2014 (down 10.9% on 2013) and that the upturn expected in the Adriatic will be below the general recovery forecast by Risposte Turismo for Italy as a whole for the end of 2015 (up 5.4% on 2014).

If we look at the individual ports, at the end of 2015, Venice is expected to maintain its top position, with some 1.63 million di cruise passengers carried (-5.7%) and 525 calls (+7.6%), followed by Dubrovnik, with approx. 870 thousand cruise passengers (+3.1%) and 584 calls (+1.2%) and Corfu, with 670 thousand cruise passengers (stable) and 405 calls (+2.5%).

With regard to cruise traffic per country, the new edition of the Adriatic Sea Tourism Report confirms that in 2014, Italy topped the list with approx. 2.4 million cruise passengers (52.6% of the total for the area) and 768 calls (27.1% of the total), followed by Croatia (approx. 1.1 million cruise passengers, i.e. 24.9% of the total and 1247 calls, i.e. 44% of the total) and Greece (approx. 676 thousand cruise passengers, i.e. 14.5% of the total, and 410 calls, i.e. 14.5% of the total).

Moving on to the ferry sector, the report contains an analysis of passenger numbers and calls in 40 ports in the Adriatic.

The forecasts for 2015 for 15 ports, accounting for 58.4% of the total number of passengers carried in 2014, show a situation that remains largely stable compared to the previous year (17.31 million passengers, +0.32%), and a similar result is also expected for the number of calls by the end of the year (up 0.98% to an estimated 80,600).

Specifically, among the ports examined, Split is expected to close 2015 with a figure of over 4 million passengers carried (+3%), Zadar with approx. 2.2 million (-3.2%), Corfu with over 1.5 million (stable) and Ancona with just over 1 million (stable).

Based on the analysis of passenger numbers per country, the Adriatic Sea Tourism Report has confirmed, for 2014, the leadership position of Croatia, with just over 9 million passengers carried (accounting for 52.5% of overall traffic in the Adriatic area) and approx. 46 thousand calls (accounting for 57.4% of the total calls registered).

Behind Croatia comes Greece, with just over 4 million passengers (23.5% of the total), and approx. 25 thousand calls (31.1% of the total), followed by Italy, which in 2014 registered over 2 million passengers carried (17.9% of the total) and approx. 7 thousand calls (9% of the total).

In addition to cruises and ferries, the 2015 edition of the Adriatic Sea Tourism Report offers a broad overview of the whole sea tourism sector, dedicating ample attention to the boating sector. The survey work initiated in the first edition of the report in 2013 has continued, with the mapping of 325 marinas with a total of 78 thousand berths, with the average of about 240 berths remaining stable compared to 2014.

Among the countries facing onto the Adriatic, Italy is once again the country with the largest number of marinas (181, i.e. 55.7% of the total) and berths (48,900, i.e. 62.5% of the total).

Alongside Italy on the podium are Croatia (127 marinas and approx. 20,500 berths) and Slovenia – Montenegro, with, respectively, 6 and 8 marinas and 2993 and 2893 berths.

The report also contains forecasts for 2015 regarding the turnover of a sample of 70 marinas and 20 charter companies in the Adriatic.

Both samples show strongly optimistic signs for the current year, with figures expected to remain stable or increase.

Specifically, as regards the marinas, 53% of those interviewed expect to see the value of visitors remaining stable, while 36% expect to see an increase, while as far as charter companies are concerned, 67% of the sample expects to see a rise in yachts, increasing to 83% for motorboats.

Day one of the Forum continued with a keynote speech by John Tercek, Vice-President for New Business Development at Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, in which he will present an analysis of the infrastructures dedicated to the cruise industry in the Adriatic, and two parallel sessions dedicated, respectively, to the future of the nautical sector in the areas (“Which future for the nautical sector in the Adriatic?”) and to the creation of new ferry links (“Focus ferry: building new routes”).

“The figures presented today on maritime tourism in the Adriatic, a selection of the more detailed results contained in the new edition of the Adriatic Sea Tourism Report, show a positive turnaround for the cruise industry in 2015, confirming the upturn – modest for the moment – in ferry traffic and in the confidence of operators in an increase in business in the nautical sector, also characterised by continual investments right along the Adriatic coast”.

“These signals,” di Cesare continued, “are not sufficient to close the significant gap that remains between the potential of the Adriatic as a destination and a scenario for tourism and the results achieved so far. This gap could be closed by working on a medium-to-long-term project able to give the Adriatic as a destination its own distinctive image, positioning and brand and to present the Adriatic as a single destination composed of a number of distinct areas”.

“It is in this direction,” concluded di Cesare, “that operators and public decision-makers should be moving, and it is on this path that we find the Adriatic Sea Forum, which – once again in this second edition – wishes to help give the Adriatic area the prominent role it deserves on the international tourist scene”.

The Forum will continue tomorrow morning with two plenary sessions dedicated, respectively, to the guiding role to be played by the cruise industry in the development of the Adriatic (“Cruise sector to lead Adriatic development”), and to the marinas in the area (“The marinas on the Eastern and Western coasts of the Adriatic”). It will then close with a plenary session entitled

The sustainable economic growth of the Adriatic”.

EUROPA 2: Modernization work completed successfully during docking stay in Hamburg

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As part of its first scheduled docking, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ EUROPA 2 underwent technical maintenance at Blohm + Voss in Hamburg from April 11-24, 2015. At the same time, cosmetic repairs and modernization work were carried out on board: the Sansibar and the Sushi Restaurant Sakura were fully redesigned and the eight family apartments were renovated to be even more family friendly. The full list comprised approximately 700 changes and improvements. The SPECIAL “EUROPA 2 – The Refresh” showcases what happened on board during the luxury vessel’s docking period. Click here to see the latest film online:

Over 600 specialists, from 80 mostly international companies, spent the last two weeks working on modernizations, cosmetic repairs and various structural elements on the ship. Over 4,500 m2 (15,000 ft.) of new carpet were laid and 2,000 litres (528 lbs.) of paint were applied to the ship. The modernization work focused mainly on the Sansibar. The most popular bar on board was given a new look and is now even more authentic, with wood paneling, room dividers in the form of wine crates with integrated seating, and a “chandelier” consisting of 1,000 wine bottles, giving the Sansibar a true beach bar atmosphere.

After their modernization, the eight family apartments are even more tailored to the needs of families, with a section of each split suite converted especially for children and teenagers, and includes a baby changing table, a children’s bathroom with bathtub, bunk beds (one of which is a Pullman couch), a play area with a painting and games table, and a gaming console (PS4).

The Sushi Restaurant Sakura on Deck 9 was also redesigned, with a new warm violet tone color scheme, wooden lights and room dividers featuring built-in LED candles. The atmosphere will now match that of a Japanese sushi restaurant.

At 18:00 hrs. CEST this evening, after spending two weeks in the dock and now sparkling like new, the EUROPA 2 will set off on its eight-day cruise from Hamburg to Hamburg via Rouen/France, Antwerp/Belgium, Ghent/Belgium and Amsterdam/Netherlands.

In January this year, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises launched, a new, visual initiative – presented by UK cruise expert Jonathan Beaumont – to create more awareness of the cruise style and concept offered on board the EUROPA 2. The ship has been awarded 5-stars-plus by the Berlitz Cruise Guide 2015. Click here to see the latest film online:

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