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Hurtigruten returns 14 ships to operation – launches new September British Isles expedition cruises

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After a successful return to sailing last month, Hurtigruten has released its plans to further ramp-up operations with 14 of 16 ships returning in August and September. In addition, Hurtigruten launches a series of new itineraries in the British Isles over the coming months.

– With the safety and well-being of our guests and crew as our number one priority, the response to our successful return to sailing last month has been extremely positive from both the local communities, our guests and crew. As travel restrictions are lifted, we are now entering the next phase of our step by step return to full operation, , Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam says.

Hurtigruten marked the return of cruising as MS Finnmarken became the first ocean cruise ship in the world to return to sailing with her June 16 departure. With limiting capacity and strict hygiene measures, Hurtigruten currently operates five ships on international and domestic Norwegian itineraries.

Now the world’s largest expedition cruise company has stepped up its rebound strategy, with plans to bring 14 of their 16 ships back in operation by the end of September:

**Hurtigruten marks the return of Arctic expedition cruising, as battery-hybrid powered MS Roald Amundsen and MS Spitsbergen starting Mid-July will offer 6 to 15 day voyages on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard.

**Step by step 7 additional ships will be introduced on the legendary Bergen to Kirkenes voyage along the Norwegian coast in August and September. As of this week, Hurtigruten already operates 4 ships in what’s known as “the most beautiful voyage in the world”.

**Hurtigruten launches a series of exclusive British Isles itineraries on the world’s first battery hybrid powered cruise ship the MS Roald Amundsen. Departing from Portsmouth (Sep 2), Liverpool (Sep 7 and 17) and Glasgow (Sep 12), the short expedition cruises will take guests to off-the-beaten-track destinations such as Isles of Scilly, Fowey, Rathlin Island, Fortwilliam, Oban, Fishguard and Waterford.

– We are thrilled to announce our new British Isles itineraries, and put a lot of pride into handpicking the destinations. We wanted to make sure guests can enjoy the British Isles like never before, visiting remote isles, seeing rugged nature and amazing wildlife, and enjoying charming coastal cities, towns and villages while avoiding the mass tourism crowds, Skjeldam says.

In June, Hurtigruten also announced their 2021 plans for year-round expedition cruise departures from Dover and Hamburg to Norway, Southern Scandinavia and the British Isles.

– Our British Isles departures have proven extremely popular. With the addition of 2020 expedition cruises, we will offer guests a unique opportunity to explore unique destinations already this fall , Skjeldam says.

First international cruises

**The newest addition to Hurtigruten’s fleet of custom built expedition cruise ships, battery-hybrid powered MS Fridtjof Nansen, marked the return of international cruises as she departed Hamburg, Germany on June 26 for the first in a series of summer 2020 expedition cruises to the Norwegian coast.

The 14 night itineraries will continue into September, exploring world heritage fjords, glaciers, bird cliffs, narrow inlets and other sites under the midnight sun – all the way to the iconic North Cape.

– As travel restrictions are lifted, we offer German and international guests two distinct and unique ways of exploring Norway. Expedition cruises departing from Hamburg, and the original voyages along the Norwegian coast. This summer, we will have the fjords all by ourselves. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the rugged beauty of the Norwegian coast, Skjeldam says

Small ships – strong demand

Hurtigruten is the world’s largest expedition cruise line and has operated in polar waters continuously since 1893. As the most experienced operator on the spectacular Norwegian coastline, Hurtigruten is the only cruise line to offer year-round sailings on the Norwegian coast.

– We are seeing a strong demand across all markets and all destinations, including the Norwegian coast, the Arctic and Antarctica. The demand reflects our predictions that small-ship cruising, with all our advantages such as more flexibility and fewer guests, will prove even more popular post-COVID-19, Skjeldam says.

Safer together

There have not been any confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 on any of Hurtigruten ships. Hurtigruten have implemented strict procedures to ensure the health and safety of guests and crew.

These include reduced guest capacity to allow even more social distancing, strict hygiene protocols, health checks and -screenings, frequent temperature readings upon boarding and entry to restaurants, and numerous other measures. Find out more about Hurtigruten’s Safer Together health and safety policies here.

Volkswagen Group of America welcomes first LNG-powered vehicle transport ship to U.S. port

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Volkswagen Group recently launched two new carrier ships that operate on liquid natural gas

Siem Confucius, one of the pair of new ships, arrived at the Davisville, R.I. port, marking its inaugural U.S. debut

Herndon, VA — Volkswagen Group of America (VWGoA) announced today that the company welcomed its first overseas liquid natural gas (LNG) transport ship to the VWGoA port in Davisville, R.I. The LNG-powered car carrier ship, named Siem Confucius, left Emden, Germany on June 16, 2020 to embark on its first voyage, which includes one stop in the U.S. before heading to the Gulf of Mexico. This is the company’s first in-service overseas carrier to operate on LNG.

The Siem Confucius is one in a pair of first-time trans-Atlantic LNG-fueled car carriers that Volkswagen Group and Siem Car Carriers AS unveiled in November 2019. Powered by LNG, considered a more sustainable form of energy than the standard diesel fuel typically used on traditional overseas car freighters, the new carriers help reduce carbon dioxide emissions. This is an important piece of the Group’s global decarbonization strategy.

“We are very excited to mark this occasion of the Siem Confucius arriving in the U.S.,” said Anu Goel, executive vice president, group after sales & services, VWGoA. “As a company, we are committed to an environmentally-friendly future. Adding two LNG-fueled carrier ships to our trans-Atlantic fleet is a big step and we look forward to continuing this momentum moving forward.”

Both ships have 13 car decks and the capacity to carry up to 4,800 Volkswagen Group vehicles at a time. The ship’s liquified gas tanks have a capacity of approximately 475,000 gallons each, which is enough for a complete round trip of the company’s standard 12,000-nautical mile America Round Tour shipping route.

“We are honored that the first U.S. stop for the LNG carrier is in Davisville,” said Mike Brokaw, port manager for Davisville. “It is an exciting step in the company’s evolution for our future and we are thrilled that so many of the U.S. ports can reap the benefits of this new technology.”

In addition to its visit to Davisville, the Siem Confucius also plans to make a stop in Veracruz, Mexico in advance of its return route to Emden. The new carriers will replace two of the original nine in the current fleet.

Ørsted signs long-term vessel contract for Greater Changhua offshore wind farms, enabling construction of first Taiwan-flagged service operation vessel

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Global offshore wind leader Ørsted announces the signing of a 15-year contract with Ta San Shang Marine Co. Ltd., a joint venture of Taiwan’s Ta Tong Marine Group (TTM) and Japan’s Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), chartering the shipping company to build the world’s first-ever Taiwan-flagged service operation vessel (SOV) for the operation and maintenance (O&M) of Ørsted’s Greater Changhua offshore wind farms

This charter contract represents the first-ever bespoke SOV in Taiwan and in Asia Pacific. It signifies that Ørsted continues to invest significantly in the Taiwan market, both financially and by transferring its world-leading O&M expertise.

Scheduled for delivery in early 2022, the SOV will use the Port of Taichung as its base port, where Ørsted’s future O&M facilities will be located, due to its proximity to the sites, water depths for accommodating deep draft vessels, and navigational access. The SOV will be utilized to provide top-quality O&M services for the Greater Changhua offshore wind farms, which will be located 35 to 60 kilometers off the Changhua coastline.

Christy Wang, Taiwan General Manager, Ørsted Asia Pacific, says: “Ørsted develops, constructs and operates offshore wind farms around the world and is pioneering and driving offshore wind development in Taiwan. Not only are we building the O&M base in the Port of Taichung, we’re also setting an unprecedented industry practice in Taiwan and the region by deploying the bespoke service operation vessel for the Greater Changhua offshore wind farms. More importantly, this SOV contract has given the Taiwanese vessel supplier a unique opportunity to tap into state-of-the-art technology in the offshore wind industry.”

Lin Hrong-nain, Chairman of Ta Tong Marine Group, says: “As the major and long-standing shipping and marine company since 1965 and based on our long-term collaboration with MOL in Taiwan’s shipping industry, we are excited to participate in this new opportunity in offshore wind and appreciate Ørsted’s contribution to invigorating Taiwan’s marine industry.”

Yasuchika Noma, General Manager of Offshore Project Division at Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, says: “We are excited to work with Ta Tong Marine Group and Ørsted to build the very first SOV for future operation and maintenance of Ørsted’s Greater Changhua wind farms. This marks an important step in expanding our presence in Taiwan’s offshore wind industry.”

Andreas Munk-Janson, Head of Operations of Ørsted Asia-Pacific, notes that this new SOV will ensure ultimate workability and efficiency of the daily O&M performance offshore, and, thus, the reliability and availability of the wind turbines. It also seeks to provide a very high standard of comfort and safety for offshore technicians and vessel crew.

The SOV is the first to be built to fit the complicated and harsh environment in the Taiwan Strait. It will house up to 60 technicians plus the crew and will only need to return to shore once a month. The smaller crew transfer vessels (CTVs), also used to facilitate O&M activities, can only carry a maximum of 24 people and have to return to shore on a daily basis.

Safety is a guiding principle for Ørsted, and so the newly built SOV will be equipped with advanced technologies, such as a motion-compensated gangway to enable technicians to ‘walk to work’. This will not only save time for technicians when travelling with and climbing onto the wind turbines from the CTV, it will also significantly improve their safety.

The SOV will also use a dynamic positioning system to automatically maintain its position and a 3D motion-compensated crane to mitigate wind induced motions on the loads to further ensure that technicians can carry out maintenance in a safe environment.

Equally important is the well-being of the O&M technicians. As their ‘home away from home’, the SOV will feature comfortable cabins, a recreational lounge area, fitness facilities, and a variety of healthy catering.

In addition, the vessel will have a design of environmentally improved capabilities. It will be prepared for fossil fuel-free operation and have an optimized hull design and a battery-hybrid setup to help reduce fuel consumption and decrease carbon footprint.

These high specifications, which are drawn from Ørsted’s state-of-the-art SOV fleet deployed in Europe, well demonstrate the company’s extensive and unparalleled expertise across the entire offshore wind industry value chain.

About Ørsted in Taiwan

  • The Greater Changhua 1 & 2a offshore wind farms will be located 35-60 kilometers off the coast of Changhua County and have a capacity of approx. 900MW, enough to supply around 1 million Taiwanese households with green power. The construction of the offshore wind farms will be finalized between 2021 and 2022.
  • In June 2018, Ørsted was awarded the right to build another 920MW offshore wind in Taiwan through its Greater Changhua 2b & 4 sites. Changhua 2b & 4 are to be built in 2025, subject to Ørsted taking final investment decision on the projects in 2023.
  • Ørsted is also the co-owner of Taiwan’s first commercial-scale offshore wind project, Formosa 1, which was extended from a capacity of 8MW to 128MW in 2019.

As the world leader in offshore wind, Ørsted operates more than 1,450 offshore wind turbines. Ørsted has installed approx. 6.8GW offshore wind capacity and has a further 3GW under construction, including Changhua 1 & 2a. In addition, Ørsted has secured the rights to build approx. 2.9GW offshore wind in the US by 2024, approx. 1.1GW in Germany by 2025, and approx. 0.9GW in Taiwan by 2025. It is Ørsted’s ambition to have installed a total of 15GW offshore wind capacity world-wide by 2025.

Stena, Wärtsilä, and Methanex Corporation celebrate five-year anniversary of world’s first methanol-powered commercial vessel

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Wärtsilä, Stena, and Methanex Corporation are proud to mark five years of successful operation of the methanol-fuelled ferry Stena Germanica. This is the first ship in the world to run on methanol as a marine fuel, signifying a major milestone in the continued shift towards a more sustainable future for commercial shipping in line with the industry’s decarbonization efforts.

Stena Germanica was converted to be capable of running on methanol fuel in early 2015 at Remontowa Shipyard in Poland. The 240-metre long ferry, with a capacity for 1500 passengers and 300 cars, was retrofitted with a first-of-its-kind fuel-flexible Wärtsilä 4-stroke engine that can run on methanol or traditional marine fuels. The ferry began the world’s first methanol-powered sailings between Gothenburg, Sweden and Kiel, Germany in late-March 2015.

“Being the owner of the world’s first ship with methanol-fuel represented a great step on our journey to become the leader in sustainable shipping, and is an achievement we are very pleased to share as we mark the five-year anniversary of Stena Germanica’s successful operation on methanol,” says Carl-Johan Hagman, Head of Shipping & Ferries at Stena AB. “The project took shape thanks to excellent cooperation between Methanex and Wärtsilä, and many areas within Stena.”

“Stena Germanica’s retrofit is yet another example of Wärtsilä’s leading position in bringing to the market innovative systems that increase efficiency and support environmental sustainability. The use of methanol as a marine fuel is likely to increase in the future, and high quality, reliable, smart technologies are essential to success,” says Toni Stojcevski, General Manager, Sales & Development, Wärtsilä Marine.

As part of its programme aimed at the enablement of viable sustainable fuels, Wärtsilä is continuing to invest in methanol for marine fuel applications, and further development work and testing procedures are planned.

Starting January 1, 2020, restrictions on Sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions were launched by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) globally. As a marine fuel, methanol is compliant with the IMO’s 2020 regulations by reducing Sulphur oxides (SOx) by approximately 99 percent, and has the ability to meet Tier III Nitrogen oxide (NOx) regulations without exhaust after-treatment. Methanol is already well positioned globally as a marine fuel, as it is available at more than 88 of the world’s top 100 ports.

“Our aim has always been to take a leadership position by being at the forefront of innovation in commercial shipping,” says Stuart McCall, Director, Business Development at Methanex. “Thanks to projects like this, methanol has been proven as a safe, reliable, and cost-effective marine fuel, and we continue to uncover innovative technological advances that optimise the performance and efficiency of the fuel as the market for methanol-powered vessels keeps growing”.

Methanol also offers a clear pathway towards meeting future carbon reduction targets in 2030 and 2050 when produced from renewable sources.

Stena Germanica’s conversion was a co-operation between Methanex Corporation, Stena Line, Wärtsilä, the Port of Gothenburg, and the Port of Kiel. The project was co-financed by the European Union, and the classification of the conversion to methanol was conducted by Lloyd’s Register. In the five years since the Stena Germanica’s launch, the market for methanol-powered vessels has seen continued growth. Methanex Corporation, through a wholly-owned subsidiary, Waterfront Shipping, operates the world’s largest methanol ocean tanker fleet with 11 vessels. Stena Bulk recently announced a joint-venture with Proman Shipping to build two methanol-powered vessels with delivery scheduled for the beginning of 2022.

Arne Wilhelmsen, a founder of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., dies at 90

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Arne Alexander Wilhelmsen, a founder of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) and a visionary strategist of the modern cruise industry, died Saturday, April 11, 2020, in Palma, Spain. He was 90. The entire Royal Caribbean family extends its heartfelt condolences to the Wilhelmsen family.

Wilhelmsen was a constant influence on the company from its founding, serving more than three decades on the company’s board of directors. Together with the company’s first CEO, the late Edwin Stephan, Wilhelmsen saw possibilities for the nascent cruise industry that others did not.

“At a time when the rest of the world thought cruising was a niche use for old transatlantic liners, Arne was already seeing glimmers of the growth that was possible,” said Richard Fain, RCL’s chairman and CEO. “He had a vision of the modern cruise industry when the ‘industry’ might have been a dozen used ships, total.”

Their key insight: building new ships uniquely designed for cruising in warm weather. The industry did not grow from New York, the traditional transit hub; it came to Miami, helping the region itself grow as the public discovered an entirely new way to take a vacation.

Wilhelmsen saw the potential for cruising to become the fastest growing segment in a growing vacation industry.  A believer in economies of scale, he once recalled, “My initial challenge was to convince my partners and management in Miami to build bigger and more efficient ships in order to grow the company.”  True to his vision, the company now sails 61 ships calling on all seven continents and its fleet features the largest cruise ships in the world.

Born on June 15, 1929, in Oslo, Norway, Wilhelmsen earned his MBA at Harvard Business School and worked as a chartering assistant for Norway’s EB Lund & Co. and later as a shipbroker in New York. After joining the family business in 1954, he became its president in 1961. The scion of a leading Norwegian shipping concern – Anders Wilhelmsen & Co AS – he spent most of his life in the family business, including an early stint as a deckhand.

“Arne was a steady presence and source of wisdom on our board for decades,” Fain said. “And in 2003, when he was ready to step back, he was succeeded on the RCL board by his son, Alex, who has carried the involvement of the Wilhelmsen family in charting our company’s course into its sixth decade. Our high standards as a company, our insistence on excellence in operations and design, and our determination to persevere all owe a great deal to the long-term vision of Arne, Alex and the Wilhelmsen family. We salute our friend, and we will miss him dearly.”

Hurtigruten extends temporary suspension of operations

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As a response to the continuing global coronavirus outbreak, Hurtigruten, the world’s largest expedition cruise line, will extend the temporary suspension of operations from pole to pole.

– The situation is affecting virtually everyone in one way or another. Hurtigruten is no exception. This is a setback for us, for the local communities we work with and for our guests. But the setback is only temporarily, says Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam.

Hurtigruten has not had any confirmed or suspected cases on any ships. But as a result of the extraordinary situation, Hurtigruten has extended the temporary suspension of operations worldwide.

With the latest development, including local and global travel restrictions and advisories, Hurtigruten has decided to extend the temporary suspension period:

  • All Hurtigruten expedition cruises will be suspended until May 12. In addition to already cancelled cruises, this includes the MS Fridtjof Nansen’s departure from Hamburg, Germany April 29 as well as MS Spitsbergen’s departure from Longyearbyen May 6.
  • In addition, Hurtigruten’s Alaska expedition cruise season will be postponed to July due to new travel restrictions from Canadian authorities. This means that the May 17, May 31, Jun 12, Jun 24 and July 1 MS Roald Amundsen Alaska departures unfortunately will be cancelled.
  • Operations on the Norwegian coast will be suspended through May 20. As of now, the first scheduled round trip departure from Bergen will be on May 21.

In agreement with the Norwegian Ministry of Transport, Hurtigruten has deployed two ships in an amended domestic schedule. The newly upgraded MS Richard With and MS Vesterålen is bringing critical supplies and goods to local Norwegian communities hit hard by travel restrictions.

– Seeing our ships laying idle for a prolonged period of time instead of exploring is difficult. These are extraordinary and emotional times for the entire Hurtigruten team. But I firmly believe it is the only responsible decision in the extraordinary crisis the world is currently facing, Skjeldam (pictured) says.

– There is nothing we would love more than welcome our guests back to explore the world with us as soon as the situation allows for it. I am confident that Hurtigruten and our explorers will hit the ground running as soon as we resume operations – embarking on life-changing adventures with all the Hurtigruten difference, Skjeldam says.

Flexible rebooking policy

To give explorers the confidence needed for their travel plans in a difficult and uncertain situation, Hurtigruten has introduced a flexible rebooking policy.

Guests who have their voyages cancelled because of the temporary suspension of operations are offered a Hurtigruten Future Cruise Voucher in the amount of 125% of amounts paid (including fees). They will also get a 10% discount on any future Hurtigruten cruise – Expedition or Norwegian Coast – from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2021.

Even though they are not affected by the temporary suspension of operations, guests booked on voyages through 30 September 2020 are offered rebooking, without any rebooking fee and a future discount of 10%, to any future Hurtigruten cruise – Expedition or Norwegian Coastal – for departures between 1 July 2020 and 31 December 2021.

Viking Line’s service as of April 2 and beyond

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Due to the Covid-19 coronavirus, Viking Line will continue to keep service on the Baltic Sea at a reduced level. Four of the Company’s seven vessels will sail primarily with cargo between Finland and Sweden, the Åland Islands and Estonia to ensure security of supply. Passenger traffic has virtually come to a standstill following the authorities’ restrictions. Demand for cargo transport remains high.

Viking Line continues to transport goods between Finland, Sweden, Åland and Estonia with four vessels to ensure security of supply.

“It is important to maintain vital social functions during these exceptional circumstances, and Viking Line is doing so by providing cargo service between these countries,” says Jan Hanses, president and CEO of Viking Line.

Viking Line’s service for the period April 2 and beyond:

Turku – Åland (Långnäs) – Stockholm

M/S Viking Grace and M/S Amorella will serve the route until further notice according to the following timetable:

Mariehamn – Kapellskär:

M/S Rosella will sail between Mariehamn and Kapellskär only for cargo on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays until at least April 30, 2020.  Passenger traffic can resume at the earliest on April 15, 2020, or in accordance with the instructions of the relevant authorities.

Helsinki – Tallinn

M/S Gabriella will sail between Helsinki and Tallinn until at least April 30, 2020, according to the following timetable

Suspended traffic:

  • Traffic between Helsinki and Stockholm will be suspended until at least May 13, 2020.
  • Cruise traffic from Stockholm to Mariehamn with M/S Viking Cinderella will be suspended until at least May 13, 2020.
  • Traffic with Viking XPRS, which normally sails between Helsinki and Tallinn, will be suspended until at least April 30, 2020.

We will contact the customers affected by the cancelled departures. Free re-booking and cancellation apply for booked trips.  Customers are encouraged to wait for this contact due to great pressure on the customer service. More info on refund and rebooking can be found on our website.

Princess Cruises Announces a Voluntary and Temporary Pause of its Global Ship Operations for 60 Days

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SANTA CLARITA, Calif., March 12, 2020:  In proactive response to the unpredictable circumstances evolving from the global spread of COVID-19 and in an abundance of caution, Princess Cruises announced that it will voluntarily pause global operations of its 18 cruise ships for two months (60 days), impacting voyages departing March 12 to May 10.

“Princess Cruises is a global vacation company that serves more than 50,000 guests daily from 70 countries as part of our diverse business, and it is widely known that we have been managing the implications of COVID-19 on two continents,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. “By taking this bold action of voluntarily pausing the operations of our ships, it is our intention to reassure our loyal guests, team members and global stakeholders of our commitment to the health, safety and well-being of all who sail with us, as well as those who do business with us, and the countries and communities we visit around the world,” added Swartz.

Those currently onboard a cruise that will end in the next five days will continue to sail as expected through the end of the itinerary so that onward travel arrangements are not disrupted. Current voyages that are underway and extend beyond March 17 will be ended at the most convenient location for guests, factoring in operational requirements. Princess will do everything possible to return each guest home with the greatest amount of care possible. During this time, our operations and medical teams across the fleet will remain vigilant in their care and service for guests and crew onboard.

For those who are impacted by this business decision, Princess is offering guests the opportunity to transfer 100% of the money paid for their cancelled cruise to a future cruise of their choice. To add a bonus incentive for guests to accept this offer, the company will add an additional generous future cruise credit benefit which can be applied to the cruise fare or onboard expenses. In addition, Princess will honor this offer for those guests who had made final payment and cancelled their booking on or after February 4, 2020. The future cruise credit can be used on any voyage departing through May 1, 2022.

Princess will protect travel advisor commissions on bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full and for the total amount of the future cruise credits, in recognition of the critical role they play in the cruise line’s business and success.

If the future cruise credit option does not work for some guests, they will be able to complete an electronic form on to request a cash refund. Princess asks guests not to call the Reservation Call Center due to the possibility of high call volumes and the potential of long on-hold wait times due to this unprecedented action. Guests and their travel advisors will be sent communications on how to manage cancellations and desired compensation. Information and instructions for requesting a refund are available online at

In a video posted on YouTube, Jan Swartz shares that “while this is a difficult business decision, we firmly believe it is the right one and is in alignment with our company’s core values. Rest assured the long-serving and dedicated professionals at our company will make best use of this time to prepare Princess Cruises’ fleet of cruise ships for a successful return to operation to serve our guests by delivering an exceptional vacation experience.”

Loyal guests, employees, travel advisor partners and business partners around the world have asked what they can do support Princess Cruises and its more than 35,000 team members in these challenging times. The answer is simple – book a cruise with Princess and bring your family and friends along. The company offers over 180 itineraries to popular and exotic destinations around the globe.

Princess Cruises plans to be back in operation beginning with cruises departing May 11, 2020.

The Joint Forces Command of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen: Thwarting a Terrorist Attack Targeting an Oil Tanker in the Arabian Sea

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Riyadh, March 04, 2020, SPA — Statement by the Official Spokesman of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen COL Turki Al-Malki
“An imminent terrorist attack that was aiming to target an oil tanker in the Arabian Sea 90 nautical miles Southeast of Yemeni Nishtun port was thwarted and foiled.

The failed terrorist attempt was carried out at (1439) on Tuesday 03 March 2020 during the sail of the oil tanker headed to Aden port. The attempt was carried out using (4) boats and attempting to bomb the oil tanker using one of the unmanned, remote-controlled exploding boats.

The naval threat to the global energy security, Sea Lines of Communication and international trade has evolved into a strategic threat to international security with the widening of terrorist organizations’ threats to sea straits from the Southern Red Sea, Bab-El-Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden to the Arabian Sea and the Strait of Hormuz.

The Joint Forces Command of the Coalition will continue to implement all necessary measures and procedures to neutralize and eliminate any naval threats in the Coalition’s naval area of operations, as it calls on international partners to consolidate and intensify international efforts to neutralize these threats against international security.”


All aboard!!! Stena Estrid to set sail on Monday

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Stena Line’s newest ferry to start service on Holyhead to Dublin route on Monday morning

STENA LINE has confirmed that its newest ferry Stena Estridwill start service on the Holyhead to Dublin route on Monday morning (January 13).

The ship’s maiden voyage will be the 8.55am crossing from Holyhead, while its first Dublin departure will be the 2.50pm sailing from Dublin Port.

Stena Estridwill make two daily return trips on the route, as below:

Ex-Holyhead Ex-Dublin
0855hrs 1450hrs
2030hrs 0215hrs

A crossing time of three hours and 15 minutes will pass very quickly with a range of facilities on board for passengers to enjoy, including the ship’s spectacular Sky Bar, two Happy World children’s play areas, a relaxing Hygge reclining lounge, Stena Plus lounge, two movie lounges, bigger Truckers lounge, Taste restaurant, and a bigger better shopping experience.Described as one of the most modern ferries in the world, Stena Estridis the first of three new next generation ferries that will operate on the Irish Sea as part of a multi-million-pound investment in the region. Sister ship Stena Edda is expected to commence operations from Liverpool to Belfast this spring, with a third vessel Stena Embla to be introduced on the same route in early 2021.

At 215 metres in length, Stena Estrid isone of the most advanced vessels in operation and larger than today’s standard RoPax vessels, with space to carry 120 cars and 1,000 passengers, and a freight capacity of 3,100 lane meters, meaning a 50 per cent increase in freight tonnage.

The name Estrid is connected to Stena Line’s Scandinavian heritage. It is an Old Norse eastern-Nordic version of the name Astrid. Estrid is commonly found on old runestones and means ‘divinely beautiful’.

Stena Line is the largest ferry operator on the Irish Sea, offering the biggest fleet and the widest choice of routes between Britain and Ireland including Holyhead to Dublin, Fishguard to Rosslare, Cairnryan to Belfast, Liverpool to Belfast, and Heysham to Belfast routes, a total of 232 weekly sailing options. Stena Line also offers a direct service between Rosslare to Cherbourg with three return crossings a week.


Builder AVIC Weihai Shipyard Co (Weihai, China)
Type Ro-Pax ship
Ferry route / homeports Dublin-Holyhead
Speed 22 kn / 41 kph / 25 mph
Length (LOA) 215 m / 705 ft
Beam (width) 28 m / 92 ft
Gross Tonnage 41,671 gt
Lane Metres 3,100
Passengers 1,000
Cars 120
Freight vehicles 210
Cabins 175


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