THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE CRUISE INDUSTRY SECOND QUARTER 2016
PUERTO PLATA REVIVES TOURISM “Bride of the Atlantic” renews vows with tourism thanks to a wave of investments
REWRITING HISTORY: AFTER THE HISTORIC CALL TO CUBA, TARA RUSSELL HIGHLIGHTS FATHOM’S BENEFITS FOR DESTINATIONS AND PASSENGERS
HEAD FOR THE STINGRAYS OF CAYMAN. ( THEY’LL FORM A WELCOMING COMMITTEE . )
Stingray City, Grand Cayman
As your guests disembark in the Cayman Islands, they will be greeted by unique encounters as far as the eye can see. From the renowned tastes that earned us the title of Culinary Capital of the Caribbean, to the rare level of service that comes naturally here, your passengers will ﬁnd their Caymankind.
Second Quarter 2016 www.travelandcruise.com
ON THE COVER
Features SPOTLIGHT 10 Fathom Makes Successful Social Impact Debut with Inaugural Voyage to Dominican Republic Fathom has already benefitted numerous Dominicans, but the best is yet to come, tells President Tara Russell Amber Cove Cruise Port in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
DEPARTMENTS 07, 09
Faces in the Industry
Travel & Cruise Magazine © 2016. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part, in any form, electronic or otherwise, without written permission of the FCCA is prohibited. To subscribe or change your address, please send requests to email@example.com Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) 11200 Pines Blvd., Suite 201 Pembroke Pines, FL 33026 Phone: (954) 441-8881 Fax: (954) 441-3171 Published by:
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The information in this publication is provided “as is.” FCCA, CLIA and its Member Lines disclaim all representations and warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to any information, services, products and materials contained herein. FCCA, CLIA and its Member Lines will in no event be liable for any damage or losses as a result of your use of this publication.
LET’S GET TECHNICAL 12 The Tour Guide: More Important Now Than Ever! Amilcar Cascais, VP of Carnival Cruise Line’s tour operations, recounts cruise linecontracted excursions’ evolution and how guides can make or break the experience and operator 15 Itinerary Planning: Are We There Yet? Cruise lines cannot simply ask Siri where to go, and MSC Cruises’ VP of Operations Albino Di Lorenzo shares insight about the decision process 17 Government Relations’ Role with Destinations It’s all whom you know, and relationships between governments and cruise lines could help your destination 19 The Importance of Infrastructure in the Cruise Industry With cruise ships getting bigger, so is the need for improved infrastructure, tells Bo Larsen, VP of strategic partnerships for CLIA Europe MEETINGS AND EVENTS 20 FCCA Plus Seatrade Cruise Global Equals Opportunities for Success A horde of meetings and networking opportunities helped FCCA members and cruise executives maximize their time and business 24 Cruise Line CEOs Tell Innovation, Differentiation and Destinations Will Continue the Industry’s Meteoric Growth Cruise industry brass rang out with a clear message during Seatrade Cruise Global’s State of the Industry
12 28 Making the Most of Meetings at Sea RESEARCH AND FINDINGS 30 Cruising Into the Future New data shows more room for growth in the rapidly expanding cruise industry, tells Peter Yesawich, vice chairman emeritus of MMGY Global 32 Why Cruise Travel Is Outpacing General Leisure Travel ENVIRONMENTAL AND REGULATORY PRACTICES 34 The Cruise Industry Charitable Foundation: Agent of Change 35 Congressional Cruise Caucus Continues Course for Smooth Sailing between the Cruise Industry and Policymakers 36 Holland America Line Receives Sixth Consecutive Green Gateway Award from Port of Seattle for Environmental Stewardship 36 AIDA Cruises and Shell Form Strategic Partnership to Supply EnvironmentallyFriendly LNG NEWBUILDS AND REVITES 39 Carnival Corporation to Build Five New Cruise Ships Memorable experiences and maximized efficiency will lead the way to growth, says CEO Arnold Donald 40 MSC Cruises Moves Forward with World-Class, Over 200,000 GRT, LNGPropelled Vessels Executive Chairman Pierfrancisco Vago tells that the contract for up to four cutting-edge ships provide further proof of growth, innovation and environmental-friendly technology
Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise | 3
THERE ARE PORTS OF CALL, AND THOSE THAT BECKON. Sail to a cruise destination that’s as pleasurable for you as it is your passengers. The four ports of the U.S. Virgin Islands feature seven berths with fully established accommodations designed to attend to all of your vessel’s needs. While ashore, your passengers will be overcome with our alabaster beaches, great shopping, and unique cultural and culinary attractions. For more information on the ports of the U.S. Virgin Islands, visit www.viport.com and www.wico-vi.com.
FREDERIKSTED, ST. CROIX
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©2016 U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism
44 Features 41 Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Seven Seas Explorer Will Have a Sister 41 Oceania Cruises Christens Newest Ship, Sirena SHIPBOARD AND LAND-BASED EXPERIENCES 42 The Rise of the River Cruise: Sail Iconic Rivers while Visiting Distinctive Corners of the World 44 From the Deck to the Shore, Disney’s “Frozen” Experiences Add to Summertime Fun 46 Norwegian Joy’s Exciting and Innovative Features Fuse Unique Experiences with Chinese Comforts and Preferences DESTINATIONS AND PORTS: THE CARIBBEAN AND LATIN AMERICA 49 MSC Cruises Showing Faith in South America President of MSC Cruises South America, Roberto Fusaro, shares reasons for optimism in the South American market 50 Puerto Rico to Showcase Improvements at the 2016 FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show After experiencing a 17-percent passenger arrival growth after last hosting the event, Puerto Rico looks to show off infrastructure and product upgrades to cruise executives and stakeholders
52 Tortola Pier Park: The Gateway to an Ideal Caribbean Getaway in the BVI A new pier, landside development and cruise line contracts are putting the scenic British Virgin Islands on the cruise scene 54 Puerto Plata: Resurgence of the Dominican Republic’s First Tourism Destination 56 Antigua and Barbuda: A Cruise Paradise Still Expanding 60 Trinidad and Tobago: The Atypical Caribbean 62 Discover the Island of Roatán 64 Del Rio Praises New Cuban Policy, Looks Forward to Future Operations DESTINATIONS AND PORTS: NORTH AMERICA 66 Port of New Orleans to Showcase Its Offerings and Growth to Cruise Executives and Stakeholders Hosting the 2016 FCCA PAMAC gives the opportunity to display New Orleans’ tours, culture, museums and increased cruise capacity 66 PortMiami Eyes Accelerating $38 Million Investment to Berth MSC Seaside 69 CLIA North West & Canada and CLIA Alaska Celebrate 2016 Cruise Season in Vancouver
70 Port of Los Angeles Plans $100 Million Revitalization DESTINATIONS AND PORTS: EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA 72 New Record for Europe’s Cruise Market: 6.6 Million Europeans Cruised in 2015 73 Top 10 “Must-Do” European Excursions 74 AIDAdiva Kicks Off Cruise Season in Rostock-Warnemünde DESTINATIONS AND PORTS: AUSTRALASIA 76 Cruise Tourism Continues to Add Value to the Australian Economy Even after a record summer cruise season, Australia’s growth story is expected to turn the page 77 P&O Cruises Embarks on Biggest-Ever Western Australia Season 78 Royal Caribbean Going Big in Hong Kong with Largest-Ever Homeported Ship and Voyager of the Seas’ Extended Season and Upgrades MEMBERS AND TRAVEL AGENTS 83 CLIA Releases Second Quarterly Travel Agent Cruise Industry Outlook Lower airfares, favorable currency rates and ports close to home driving cruise bookings, according to CLIA’s quarterly report 84 Platinum Member Highlights Updates from FCCA Platinum Members show a snapshot of upgrades and developments by destinations, ports and stakeholders
Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise | 5
:::: PRESIDENT’S LETTER: FCCA
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Micky Arison FCCA Chairman, Chairman Carnival Corporation Michael Bayley President & CEO Royal Caribbean International Adam Goldstein President & COO Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Karl L. Holz President Disney Cruise Line Richard E. Sasso President MSC Cruises (USA) Inc. Andrew Stuart President & COO Norwegian Cruise Line
FCCA STAFF Michele M. Paige President Adam Ceserano Senior Vice President Terri Cannici Vice President, Operations Omari Breakenridge Director, Communications & Design Carlos Santamarina Director, Membership Events & Programs Justin Paige Manager, Communications, Marketing & Research Jessica Lalama Executive Assistant Raquel Nales Administrative Assistant
Michele Meeting with Alejandro García Padilla, Governor of Puerto Rico.
PEOPLE OFTEN CATEGORIZE cruising as innovative. From launching new experiences to
landing at new destinations, the industry continues to evolve. This adaptation to consumers’ constantly changing wants and needs is something we all must embrace. For destinations, this means adapting to both cruisers’ desires for engaging experiences, ranging from heart-pounding adventure to cultural understanding and leisure, along with cruise lines’ growing capacity and technology. As a trade association for the cruise industry, I am proud to also embrace this philosophy of evolution, along with something else that categorizes the industry: partnership. This magazine is a testament to both, as the FCCA has joined with Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) to transform our successful quarterly publication into the official magazine of the global cruise industry. We will also continue to build onto this partnership with new features and events, like the upcoming Travel Agent/Destination Summit, which will gather 200 agents for an addon to our 23rd annual FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show—taking place in San Juan, Puerto Rico from September 26-30 and joining over 1,000 cruise tourism stakeholders and 100 cruise executives for meetings, workshops and exhibiting and networking opportunities. You can read more about that in an article by Puerto Rico, which has also utilized the philosophy, witnessing a 17-percent jump in passenger arrivals since hosting the 2011 event because of their partnership with the industry and innovations to infrastructure and product. This edition of Travel & Cruise features other examples of innovation and partnership leading to mutual successes. FCCA Member Line presidents, chairmen and CEOs stress its importance in a recap of the State of the Industry. Tara Russell, president of Fathom, touches on their innovation and impact on the destinations they call. And FCCA Member Line cruise executives like Amilcar Cascais, vice president of tour operations for Carnival Cruise Line, and Albino Di Lorenzo, vice president of operations for MSC Cruises (USA) Inc., discuss some of the innovations of cruise line tour operations and itinerary planning, along with how industry partners can utilize this knowledge to improve their business. Plus, you can read how the FCCA continues to innovate to forge these partnerships between its members and the cruise industry, such as the new meetings and networking events during Seatrade Cruise Global. With further innovation and growth comes an even greater need for synergy, so the FCCA remains committed to continually innovating and growing to help foster understanding and partnerships between cruise destinations, stakeholders and lines. Respectfully yours,
Michele M. Paige President FCCA Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise | 7
EMBARK IN A MARVELOUS EXPERIENCE THROUGH COLOMBIAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S HOMEPORT AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OVER 1,022 WEEKLY INTERNATIONAL AIR FREQUENCIES.
:::: PRESIDENT’S LETTER: CLIA
CLIA GLOBAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Adam Goldstein CLIA Global Chairman President & COO Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd Micky Arison Chairman Carnival Corporation & plc Frank J. Del Rio President and CEO Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Arnold Donald President and CEO Carnival Corporation & plc Richard D. Fain Chairman and CEO Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Karl L. Holz President Disney Cruise Line and New Vacation Operations, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio Chairman Silversea Cruises Group Pierfrancesco Vago Chairman, CLIA Europe Executive Chairman MSC Cruises
CLIA STAFF Cindy D’Aoust President & CEO Tom Fischetti Chief Financial Officer Bud Darr Senior Vice President, Technical and Regulatory Affairs Mike McGarry Senior Vice President, Public Affairs & Government Relations Lorri Christou Senior Vice President, Strategic Marketing & Communications
WELCOME TO THIS EDITION of Travel & Cruise, the official magazine of the global
cruise industry. Earlier this year, I shared two key CLIA priorities: 1) Enhancing CLIA member value and 2) Unifying our industry on a global scale. This expanded publication demonstrates our commitment to those priorities and creates a platform that delivers relevant content to our collective membership. As leaders, it is imperative that we listen to each of the many voices in our community and help all our members achieve success. An important element of this commitment is increasing collaboration within the cruise industry. This approach led to an expanded partnership with the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA). This issue is filled with industry news and contains top industry trends. Whether it is spotlighting CLIA’s leadership in establishing policy and industry best standards or highlighting the incredibly important segment that is our travel agent community, Travel & Cruise delivers important updates to each constituent in the global cruise industry. CLIA is proud to release our first jointly developed edition at our annual education conference, Cruise360, in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. I look forward to speaking with you, our readers, to gain input on ways to enhance the value of our magazine publication. We welcome your contributions, so please connect with us. I am also thrilled to share another exciting announcement as a result of our collaboration with FCCA. This September, CLIA will introduce a new Travel Agent/Destination Summit co-designed with FCCA, hosted by Puerto Rico. This event, taking place in September, is a first for CLIA and offers our membership another opportunity to spend quality time with destination experts, experience ship inspections and learn from industry leaders. More information regarding this new opportunity will be released in the coming months. As we continue to collaborate and develop new partnerships, you can be sure that our ‘One Industry, One Voice’ philosophy will be fostered by the many voices and perspectives of our global community. Together, our voice is louder, our influence is greater and we can ensure that cruising is the first and best vacation choice for travelers around the world. On behalf of everyone at CLIA, thank you to Michele Paige and her team, and to you, our community— our valued Cruise Line Members, Travel Agency and Agent Members and our Executive Partners across the world—for your continued support. Best,
Cindy D’Aoust President & CEO
Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise | 9
Fathom Makes Successful Social Impact Debut with Inaugural Voyage to Dominican Republic
By Roger Frizzell, Chief Communications Officer, Carnival Corporation
athom, the newest brand within Carnival Corporation, returned from its successful inaugural voyage to the Dominican Republic April 17. It was the culmination of more than two years of work from Fathom’s president Tara Russell and her team to launch this new concept in cruising called social impact travel. “Our goal and vision is to ensure human flourishing, to inspire the human impact journey and to harness that for the greater good of others,” Russell said. Russell and her team worked closely with the Dominican Republic community leaders and stakeholders to identify projects that are authentically impactful, scalable and sustainable. The projects are wide ranging and touch all aspects of the region from education to employment to the environment. For Fathom’s inaugural voyage, for 10 | Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise
instance, hundreds of guests joined Fathom for a unique weeklong journey that left a lasting impact on each of them, as well as an immediate impact on people in need in the Dominican Republic. “Feedback from our guests during the voyage was extremely positive,” said an enthusiastic Russell. “This first voyage provided more evidence there is a growing market of guests who want to make a positive, direct impact when traveling. Fathom gave our guests a unique way to leave an impression on a very personal level within the community, as well as have an extraordinarily rewarding experience.” Launched in June 2015, Fathom provides the opportunity to travel with likeminded people, become immersed in another culture and work alongside its people to create enduring social impact. What sets Fathom apart is the long-term, systematic partnership approach and unique business model of traveling every other week to the
Dominican Republic—a combination that creates sustained and lasting impact. “Our brand has been on an incredible journey, from the idea’s conception over two years ago through today,” added Russell. “We set out to do something special with Fathom by introducing the world to a unique type of travel—travel with purpose.” Preparation at seas for each of those onboard is key—basic Spanish lesson, geography, culture and history lessons, plus training for the type of volunteer each traveler has signed up to do. Food from the local culture is also featured on the 704-passenger Adonia, as well as the entertainment. MAKING A SUSTAINABLE IMPACT Fathom selected the Dominican Republic as its first impact destination, as it is a country of great beauty and rich culture, but also a country with great needs. The average household income is less than $6,000, and
more than 3 million Dominicans do not have access to piped water. Yet the country has much potential: its natural resources are plentiful; it has a good infrastructure that can allow for positive impact; and its people are motivated to create better lives for them and their families. Impact activities in the Dominican Republic include a wide range of projects focused on economic development, education and the environment. During the inaugural voyage, guests, depending on their individual passions and skills, participated in projects they felt most strongly about and worked directly alongside local people and Fathom’s partner organizations. “We have already accomplished a lot in a short period of time, but there is still much to do,” added Russell. “We are looking forward to taking our guests every other week to the Dominican to continue making a profound and lasting impact for people in the country.” Working with its impact partners Entrena and the Instituto Dominicano de Desarrollo Integral, Inc. (IDDI), in less than one week, Fathom and its guests made an immediate impact, including the teaching of conversational English—a driver for employment success— with some 650 students, as well as reforestation with the planting of more than 2,400 trees. In addition, the passengers onboard undertook water filter production that produced 50 water filters (for a country where more than 3 million residents do not have access to piped water), along with the harvesting of more than 200 pounds of cacao nibs and wrapping of some 6,000 chocolate bars working hand-in-hand with a women’s cooperative.
Other projects included recycling and the production of concrete floors I homes for 20 local residents. “An elderly grandmother was the first recipient of a cement floor,” said Sharon Kenny, a journalist making the inaugural journey. “Knowing we had made a real impact on their health, welfare and future was an extremely rewarding and satisfying experience for all of us.” MAKING TIME FOR LEISURE When not participating in social impact projects, Fathom guests experienced fun and memorable recreational, leisure and sightseeing activities in the Dominican Republic. Whether exploring ancient ruins, interacting with the abundant marine life in the clear water, or lounging along the sun-soaked stretches of surf and sand, guests made the most of their experiences in the Dominican Republic. The MV Adonia docked at Carnival Corporation’s newest port Amber Cove, located in the Puerto Plata region, where guests had access to select shore excursions. The port offers numerous sea and landside experiences, including several beach getaways, kayak, paddle board and snorkeling tours, ATV-like terracross buggy expeditions, Puerto Plata tours, helicopter rides, fishing trips, horseback riding, deep sea fishing tours and catamaran sailings. Guests also discovered that impact travel is far more than a seven-day experience. On the return trip, Fathom helped guests with ways they can stay involved by bringing the knowledge, inspiration and insight back to their home communities.
TRAVEL TO CUBA The history books marked May 2 as the first cruise from U.S. to Cuba in over 50 years after Fathom arrived in Havana, also commemorating the first time in decades that Cuban-born individuals traveled by sea to or from Cuba. The historic call was part of Fathom’s new itinerary of seven-night voyages to three Cuban ports of call every other week. “Our arrival…in Havana is a special moment in history that contributes to a more positive future,” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. “We are so honored that Carnival Corporation and our Fathom brand can be part of such a meaningful milestone. As we worked to become the first U.S. cruise company to sail from the U.S. to Cuba in more than five decades, it was clear just how much interest there is from travelers who want to experience Cuba.” Fathom’s round-trip culturally immersive cruise itinerary featured experiences in the Cuban port cities of Havana, Cienfuegos, and Santiago de Cuba, providing travelers the opportunity to enjoy a rich and vibrant culture that until now most U.S. travelers have only seen in photographs. Designed for rich immersion and ease of travel, the Fathom Cuban itinerary offers passengers a comfortable cabin including all the amenities of a modern hotel, plus the luxury of having to unpack only once. Every night, Fathom travelers also return to the comforts of MV Adonia and enjoy onboard experiences including Cuban- and Caribbean-inspired food and films, music and dancing, and much more.
“This is history in the making.” –Tara Russell, President, Fathom
Tara Russell, President, Fathom
Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise | 11
LET’S GET TECHNICAL ::::
The Tour Guide: More Important Now Than Ever!
By: Amilcar Cascais, Vice President, Tour Operations, Carnival Cruise Line
t has been just over 30 years since I joined the cruise industry, and how times have changed. Every aspect I remember is different—there were few amenities onboard; we offered a handful of tours in each port, if that; and selling tours comprised of three pursers sitting behind a couple six-foot tables on a stage in some lounge with a few rolls or books of tickets, each representing a tour like old movie tickets. We would give guests this simplistic ticket in exchange for cash or travelers checks (yes, I said travelers checks or cash, which is a good as money, so said Yogi Berra). That was it. The rolls would be marked with the tour’s capacity, usually with a paper clip or rubber band, and the tour was sold out once you reached that not-so-scientific symbol. Period. The session would also end either by no more guests in the lounge or tickets to sell. 12 | Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise
If we did have more tickets to sell, the purser’s office would hold the tickets and sell on request. One of the pursers would telex (yes, I said telex), fax or call the tour operators with the counts, and that was it. How simple it all was. We had a few tours to offer on a cruise as a whole; however, they delivered excellent experiences by great guides. Turn the clock 30 years, and we now offer dozens of tours on a single cruise; do PowerPoint presentations; have stateroom TV channels running shore excursion clips in; arrange presales via websites; provide 40 pages of tour information on any given cruise; produce banners and flyers for our dedicated shore excursion teams and audio and visual guides…you get the picture. Now, why did I agree to write this article? I hold the strongest opinion that in all the noise now surrounding shore excursions, little attention is being paid to the most
crucial component—the tour guide. There are some exceptions; a few operators do; and I congratulate them on their wisdom. Just like the cruise ships of today nearing or topping a billion dollars to build, with more amenities than you can experience on a single cruise—if you don’t have the right crew with proper skillsets, the intended experience’s delivery can be far from ideal. We receive thousands of communications from guests every week on their incredible cruise experience, and without fail it always ties back to a crewmember who made it exceptional. A memory to last a lifetime, how wonderful is that? The same goes for shore excursions; from the simplest and inexpensive to the most complex and expensive tour, the tour guide can make the difference. Unfortunately, the trend I have witnessed the last few years has been that tour guides are not mentioned as often as I
:::: LET’S GET TECHNICAL
Amilcar Cascais, Vice President, Tour Operations, Carnival Cruise Line
“…from the simplest and inexpensive to the most complex and expensive tour, the tour guide can make the difference.” recall in the past. Now, the reasons for this are as varied as the destinations we visit and tours we offer, and many are significant. But I call them excuses for mediocrity. Opportunity: this is how I see the current status. Please allow me to elaborate. Not all tour operators have the financial strength and additional bandwidth needed to create new experiences, which may require tens of thousands—if not hundreds of thousands—of dollars to bring to life, along with year-afteryear investments to keep up with the industry’s demand, especially for the appeal of repeat guests. However, operators can improve their product with a much smaller investment—the skillset of their tour guides. Now, one may say that local mandate requires hiring from a pool of guides, but nothing prevents from teaching them further while under contract. I am sure that in most cases, if not all, this is possible. Prominence: this what you want to achieve as a tour operator to be at the top of your field, and in my opinion, there is no faster way to get there and stay there then by having the best guides that will ensure every tour offering and guest experience will represent a lasting
memory that they will tell us about, along with the rest of the world, for that matter, with today’s abundance of social media. Marketability: having the best, most experienced and credentialed tour guides is extremely marketable, from my perspective. You give yourself an edge over your competition. When an operator has such a position, it should be promoted loudly and confidently first to the cruise line, which will make the choice to buy or not to buy products from you, and then by the cruise line to the guests, who will have the ultimate choice to buy or not to buy the offering. The product’s perceived value can be greatly enhanced if delivered by the most qualified and experienced guides. The three points I made above should be enough to make you analyze your current state of business. If this is an opportunity for you, then you owe it to yourself and your team to explore it. I hope to see tour guide associations and guides’ roles in your business used more often, for their experience, qualifications and certifications and integrated into your proposals to cruise lines. Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise | 13
14 | Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise
:::: LET’S GET TECHNICAL
Itinerary Planning: Are We There Yet? By Albino Di Lorenzo, Vice President, Operations, MSC Cruises (USA) Inc.
Albino Di Lorenzo, Vice President, Operations, MSC Cruises (USA) Inc.
here to? Cruising is a popular option for vacationers all over the world. More and more people are exploring the high seas on cruise ships due in part to the exciting locations these “floating hotels” can offer. With so many beautiful places to see, why choose just one? Cruising gives you the opportunity to explore multiple destinations on a single trip. Where else can you wave goodbye to the tranquil mountains of Philipsburg, St. Maarten and then greet the vibrant views of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, all without leaving your room? Accomplishing this task may seem seamless to the guest, but it actually involves an important job behind the scenes. The fact that you can leave from St. Maarten at 5:00pm and arrive in Puerto Rico at 8:00am the next morning is all a part of a central process called itinerary planning. Itinerary planning takes place constantly and involves multiple departments within the company, as well as outside partners. An itinerary can greatly impact the success of a company, so itinerary planners have to carefully examine each unique port of call. They have to consider the proximity to the other ports on the schedule, the
desirability of each individual port, shore excursion activities, safety and security, port development, docking space, marketability of the destination, country development and adequate shoreside facilities. Current events can also positively or negatively influence a guest’s perception on the attractiveness of a destination. Every aspect that is considered when selecting a port plays a key role in the overall guest experience. The cruise industry is constantly changing, and cruise lines need to keep up with the times, or they run the risk of getting left behind. In a business full of competition, not only do we have to be knowledgeable of the current trends, but we also have to be pioneers. Market research is essential. To this end, cruise lines conduct surveys to find out where guests are interested in going. People are always looking for new and exotic experiences and ports of calls, and this is clearly reflected in the presence of many cruise lines now in Cuba and Asia, along with developing new products, like our island development in The Bahamas, Ocean Cay Marine Reserve. A strong worldwide presence can also benefit a company or destination in building brand recognition and awareness and, thus, demand. Additionally, offering a variety of destinations and experiences can help in securing repeat cruisers, as well as attracting new business. We want to continue to enhance our
guest experience, as we are in the business of delivering memorable moments. It is essential that we exceed our guests’ expectations both onboard and on land. We have to work hand-in-hand with each port because the destination and offerings affect guests’ perspective of our own brand. Moreover, each port has a responsibility of their own to market their product as cruise lines can market and sell the itinerary. An important question for the destination to ask is “Why should they choose us?” To conclude, when considering an itinerary, there are many factors that play a key role in the decision making process. Market research and product stability are essential. Cruise lines have to be innovative and understand consumer demands. People cruise for a variety of reasons (e.g. relaxation, exploration, cultural enrichment, and excursions). Whatever the reason for cruising, it is up to us to find a destination and experiences that will deliver on all facets. Furthermore, as a cruise line, we have to match the quality of services delivered onboard with the services provided in each unique destination. With an ever-evolving industry, there are many more exciting and exotic locations to discover, presenting almost-endless possibilities. As a cruise line, we constantly ask, “Where to next?” As a destination, you must tell us and our passengers why to visit. Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise | 15
:::: LET’S GET TECHNICAL
“As the industry grows globally, the challenges do equally.”
Government Relations’ Role with Destinations
o better understand the role of government relations today, we must take a brief look at the past and the origins of the current cruise industry. Passenger travel started on cargo ships, which provided the lifeblood of global transportation. As passenger movement increased, ships were built to carry more passengers and less cargo. Travelers mostly used ships to move from one point or destination to another, not for leisure, but more and more amenities developed to enjoy while onboard. The regulatory environment under which all operations were governed, however, remained founded in the cargo industry. After all, they were ships with similar basic measurements and technical characteristics. Fees for pilots, tugs, docks, navigational dues and others were set based on a simple set of measurements and applied to passenger or cargo. Immigration and customs formalities were handled at the beginning and end of the cruise, and almost all passengers boarded and disembarked in the same ports. Enter the age of modern cruising in the 1960s. Now cruising goes from incidental to the core business; cargo spaces are converted to more gust cabins and amenities; and service
becomes a priority. Year-round itineraries to the Caribbean and Mexican Riviera with multiple ports of call and defined hours in port—normally 10 hours or less—become the standard of the industry. Larger, highercapacity ships with new marine technologies— like twin propellers and rudders, side thrusters and, later, azipods—emerge. But the basic regulations remain fundamentally unchanged. The 1960s also witness significant changes in the political makeup, especially in the Caribbean and Central America. Many islands gain full or partial independence. New governments are formed, financial goals set and laws enacted to attract foreign investment and support tourism, the emerging economic component. The need arises to expand or develop port facilities appropriate for the arrival of thousands of tourists. Here is where the need for increased focus on destinations’ government relations becomes more apparent. With each election of a new government or change of official or party, the need to initiate, develop and maintain relations with key ministries or agencies is clear. Now it is essential to address matters like educating key agencies on the value of the cruise visitor to the destination, along with changing global requirements from environment to health, finance and compliance. Monitoring
of new laws and regulations also becomes necessary. Interactions with governments as a company or industry to assure these new laws support sustainable growth develop into ongoing dialogue. As the industry grows globally, the challenges do equally. Many of the issues and solutions encountered in the Caribbean emerge around the world in some form. And what about the natural disasters and global health challenges that now surface unexpectedly and can have a huge impact on all parties? With a solid broad base of relations between cruise lines and destinations, even these unfortunate situations can be planned for, dealt with and minimize the negative impact on the destination while accelerating recovery. And the destinations’ private sector? Since cruise lines do not vote, they have no direct say in who is elected or how they will govern. The most productive overall relationship between a cruise line, the industry and a destination ideally will be built on a strong private sector with good ties to the cruise industry and a solid ongoing relationship with the government across all key areas that impact tourism. This is why the FCCA works tirelessly to establish these relationships between cruise lines and destinations’ private and public sectors to foster these mutual benefits. Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise | 17
:::: LET’S GET TECHNICAL
“Proper Infrastructure is essential… when it comes to creating itineraries…along with catering to growing consumer demands.”
The Importance of Infrastructure in the Cruise Industry
the cruise vacation experience has evolved to encompass more than just the actual cruise, so has the need to focus on proper infrastructure. Vital for the cruise industry’s continued successful growth, having the proper infrastructure to support it is equally important. In 2016, for instance, there are 27 new ships on order, and many of those ships have some of the largest passenger capacities the industry has seen. So having ports that are able to handle this demand remains an important aspect of the ongoing growth. Proper Infrastructure is essential for the cruise lines, ports and destinations when it comes to creating itineraries that work well with each other, along with catering to growing consumer demands. Each year, we see more and more itineraries being offered. As cruise lines continue to adapt, it’s equally important that the ports and destinations are also adapting. Cruise lines, along with the ports and destinations they work with, need to be constantly communicating, as they collaborate in providing the best possible experiences for travelers. This continues to be an important focus of the industry.
By Bo Larsen, VP, Strategic Partnerships, CLIA Europe
This past year, we saw first-hand what open communication looks like when the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) held its Port and Destination Forum in Hamburg, Germany. At this Forum, CLIA cruise line members and port and destination members had an opportunity to network and create a dialogue for future projects. The cruise industry needs to see more collaboration between cruise lines, ports and destinations. Positive collaboration provides a better understanding between the two parties, as well as helping reduce costs for both the cruise lines and ports. Giora Israel, Senior Vice President, Global Port & Destination and Development Group, Carnival Corporation, offers some insights on the importance of collaboration. “Passengers play an important role in the planning of cruise itineraries. Cruise lines and ports and destinations should work together to cater to this demand,” said Israel. “Passenger flow creates economic impact as well as drives other services, like pre- and post-stays and airline transportation.” Israel also highlighted some of the key things that cruise lines are looking for, including the need for ports to accept feedback from the cruise lines and their passengers, better communication on berthing options, and coming to a better agreement on long-term pricing mechanisms. He also explained that cruise lines can
offer advice and make long-term financial guarantees to ports in order to facilitate better relationships. Israel also continued to stress the position that passengers play in the strategy that ports and cruise lines should take when planning new projects. Ports are an important aspect of the cruise passenger experience, from parking availability and options to procedures when it comes to picking up luggage and bags. Road systems and access from airports are critical to a successful vacation experience. These are all determining factors when cruise lines are choosing where to homeport new ships. As part of CLIA’s Summit at Sea this past January, 80 CLIA Executive Partners and 18 cruise line executives came together onboard the MSC Preziosa. They visited four different ports to look at different port infrastructures in Barcelona, Marseille, Genoa and Civitavecchia. Each port represented a top import port in the Western Mediterranean and gave attendees the chance to discuss important topics and needs. Opportunities like CLIA’s Summit at Sea continue to support the need for stronger relationships and ongoing communication. CLIA is focused on facilitating this for the cruise industry as well as educating partners on current trends and legislature. These relevant platforms will continue to move the industry forward. Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise | 19
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FCCA Plus Seatrade Cruise Global Equals Opportunities for Success
his year’s Seatrade Cruise Global was an exciting and rewarding time for all attendees, offering ample opportunities to renew and create business partnerships, discuss ideas and tackle issues with the attending cruise line representatives and global stakeholders. And the FCCA amplified these opportunities for its Member Line executives, Platinum Members and partner destinations. After all, positively impacting the relationship and understanding between these entities is one of the FCCA’s main functions. It did this at Seatrade by providing multiple events and opportunities to put members on a first-name basis with FCCA Member Line executives, presidents and CEOs—interactions that spawn relationships and put a foot in the door. “The FCCA maximized time and opportunities during this busy week,” told Micky Arison, chairman of Carnival Corporation and the FCCA, who was on-hand at many of the events. “Time 20 | Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise
becomes extremely limited, and the FCCA made it possible to meet with some of the industry’s most important stakeholders throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, helping us work synergistically to improve cruise tourism in the region.” To foster these engagements during Seatrade and actualize its resources and attendees, the FCCA programmed a block of functions coinciding with the event to ensure that Platinum Members have a direct line to the FCCA Member Line presidents, CEOs and executives who decide where ships call, what to sell onboard and how to invest in destinations and infrastructure. It began the Sunday before Seatrade at an annual pre-event welcoming party offering an intimate affair for Platinum Members and Member Line executives like Arison and Adam Goldstein, president and COO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited. Sponsored by the U.S. Virgin Islands and hosted by Governor Kenneth Mapp, the event let the group spark or strengthen relationships, prepare for the week ahead and sway to the steel drums while taking in the water views and
award-winning cuisine at Smith & Wollensky Miami Beach. FCCA Masquerade by the Sea then started Seatrade with a bang, gathering more than 200 at Vibe Las Olas on Tuesday, March 15. Following the first long day of meetings and workshops, the event let Platinum Members and guests loosen their ties and enjoy casual networking opportunities with some of the cruise industry’s most important decision makers. “The FCCA’s opening event for Cruise Shipping Miami gave a unique chance to interact with the cruise industry,” said Arison, who attended the event with Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation, and Stein Kruse, president and CEO of Holland America Group. “Building relationships with the industry’s decision makers is essential for successful operations and dealings, and the FCCA and its events always offer that.” More of these key players—including Arison, Goldstein; Karl Holz, president, Disney Cruise Line; Richard Sasso, president & CEO, MSC Cruises (USA) Inc.; and Andy Stuart, president & COO, Norwegian Cruise
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Line—hosted tables at the FCCA’s keynote Seatrade event, the 22nd annual FCCA Gala Dinner and Entertainment Extravaganza. Taking place on Wednesday, March 15, the Gala joined more than 400 attendees looking to improve their cruise tourism business. After a 90-minute reception and silent art auction with the entire audience, attendees sat down with their pre-selected cruise executive for a private dinner with a side of product promotion, relationship building and business development. “The FCCA Gala facilitated networking between Member Line executives and cruise tourism stakeholders, while contributing to a good cause—the FCCA Foundation,” told Michele Paige, president of the FCCA. “Of course it is crucial to link anyone doing business in the cruise industry with decision makers from the cruise lines, which is the best way to build understanding and business relationships, but even better is benefitting the citizens from Latin America and the Caribbean.” All proceeds benefitted the FCCA Foundation, a non-profit, charitable organization that funds humanitarian causes in the Caribbean and Latin America, from disaster relief and supporting hospitals and orphanages to annual projects like children essay and poster competitions and the Holiday Gift Project, which gave more than 8,000 underprivileged
“Building relationships with the industry’s decision makers is essential for successful operations and dealings, and the FCCA and its events always offer that.” –Micky Arison, Chairman, Carnival Corporation & plc and the FCCA children something to celebrate last December by delivering presents, festivities and smiles. Both the Gala and FCCA Foundation’s efforts were possible because of Port Everglades, the Featured Event Sponsor; Canaveral Port Authority, the Partner Sponsor; Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival, the Reception Sponsor; and Park West Gallery, whose contribution and assistance gave the silent art auction a voice. The FCCA’s Seatrade booth also hosted networking events. In addition to serving as a one-stop shop for Seatrade attendees looking to learn more about the FCCA, the both helped fulfill another goal of the FCCA, promoting partner destinations and companies, while bringing together Platinum Members and Member Line representatives in a private atmosphere. Plus, the booth hosted a series of meetings
taking place between FCCA Member Line executives and destinations’ private and public sectors, including a meeting between FCCA Member Line CEOs and FCCA partner destinations’ ministers of tourism. “Our meetings and events made it possible for our partners to optimize the cruise executives gathered for Seatrade Cruise Global,” said Paige. “We pride ourselves in bringing executives and stakeholders together to discuss crucial operational issues and develop relationships that pave the way for future business and mutual success.” Indeed, this year’s Seatrade Cruise Global again benefited participants with its success-proven formula combined with new features and a new location, but the FCCA offered backstage passes to meet the real rock stars—key decision makers from Member Lines.
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MEETINGS AND EVENTS ::::
The Twenty-Second Annual Gala Dinner Extravaganza
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Cruise Line CEOs Tell Innovation, Differentiation and Destinations Will Continue the Industry’s Meteoric Growth
he State of the Industry set the stage for Seatrade Cruise Global’s agenda chockfull of workshops, panels, exhibiting, networking opportunities and more at the Broward County Convention Center. But most importantly for the auditorium packed with cruise tourism stakeholders, it gave a glimpse of the future—along with a look to the past, an idea of the current growth and input about how it all applies to attendees—from presidents, chairmen and CEOs of the world’s largest cruise lines. Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO of CLIA, first gave some of the global numbers and trends. After praising expanded partnerships 24 | Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise
with Seatrade, leading to participation in more events, and the FCCA to produce this magazine, the official global publication of the cruise industry, she touched on the $119.9 billion of economic impact and 1 million jobs in 2014; the industry’s unparalleled safety and environmental record; and surging demand for cruising leading to a record 23 million cruise passengers in 2015. “But 2016 shows no sign of slowing down,” she said and pointed to the forecast of 24 million passengers, largely thanks to the globalization and growth of markets like Australia and China, the continued strength in North America, and cruising’s unmatched ability to personalize its experiences for all types of travelers. Moving further to the future, she
told, “the possibilities for the cruise industry are endless if we work together…adapt to new business and consumer demands…and continue to innovate.” These same trends and seemingly impressive numbers also fell on the radar of the roundtable discussion. Moderated by Peter Greenberg—travel editor of CBS, Emmyaward winning investigative reporter and “the travel detective”—the panel included Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings; Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation; Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises; and Pierfrancisco Vago, chairman of MSC Cruises. Greenberg first focused on the record 23
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“The purpose of cruising is still to go to new and different places and experience [them].” –Richard Fain, Chairman & CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
million passengers in 2015—a “small fraction” of the more than 1.2 billion that crossed an international border. “But that small fraction represents staggering, unparalleled growth,” with bookings up significantly year over year and shipyards full with orders of new vessels. He credited the cruise industry’s innovation for part of this growth and asked the panel for their thoughts and examples. “Obviously innovation is something very important to us,” told Fain, with the implied series of at-sea firsts like rock climbing and skydiving. But Fain touched on the important distinction between innovation and creativity: “Creativity is coming up with great ideas. Innovation is bringing great ideas to life.” He also gave an example of how those great ideas do not always translate, like the originally planned grassy rolling hills onboard the Oasis-class, which after unsuccessfully testing models at FIU, turned into Central Park’s nooks and crannies and numerous offerings. And when they do translate, they give a whole new definition to cruising. Though shocking, considering cruising’s growth and increased maturity, he told that the industry still needs to battle people’s misconceptions about cruising, and innovations help that. After an example of a belief that cruising is sedentary, he asked, “So how do you argue that cruising is sedentary when you can go surfing, and you can go ice skating?” “It says something about who we are as an industry, so it really helps redefine us,” he continued. “To innovate, you have to think outside the box, and you have to think differently,” said Donald. “We listen to the guests because you want diversity of thinking to create the innovation.” He also drew a similar distinction: “Innovation for us…is actually how you convert that difference in thinking to what in the end is an experience. So it’s all about experience; to exceed guests’ expectations… to have a memorable, deep, emotional
experience.” And he reminded that those experiences and expectations vary between cruise brands, from the ultra-luxury Seabourn to the contemporary, social Carnival. “To me innovation is first understanding your customer, and second it has to be something that differentiates your product enough that customers are willing to pay for it,” told Del Rio. “There has to be a balance between…innovation for the sake of innovation and innovation that has a return.” He also highlighted one of the key features of the innovation: “the innovation is driven by the drive to seek yield.” With new vessels limited to how quickly shipyards can build (a capped industry growth rate of around six percent) and a new vessel only adding a percentage point or two of capacity for large cruise lines, “innovation is the only way to drive yield.” “Nobody wants to only grow six percent; that’s just not good enough,” told Donald, agreeing with the need for innovation and fleet refurbishments driving higher yields. Of course, it also helps that chasing higher prices by teaching old dogs new tricks saves $800 million of debt and waiting six years. “Therefore there’s going to be a greater emphasis to maintain existing fleets,” told Del Rio after mentioning that the company’s smallest, oldest ship commands the highest yield, along with the company’s $500 million of planned vessel upgrades over the next two years. However, Del Rio reminded of other benefits of newbuilds. “You need new vessels to enter new markets,” he said, reaffirming the industry’s growth and increased demand, and giving the example of Norwegian Joy, the line’s newest ship that is being custom-built for the line’s newest market, marking its entry into China. “Innovation is my second name,” told Vago. Calling MSC the “new kid on the block,” he stressed the importance it places on constantly reinventing, especially in the light of growing more global. This reinvention can
be seen in the four different ship prototypes developed in the last 10 years, along with features like the highest ratio of public spaces and servers descending from the ceiling to serve wine before disappearing into the fog above. “Innovation is about delivering an experience you could never have at home.” He also touched on MSC’s differentiation as a European product adapting to markets like the Caribbean, with a recent North American push including a dedicated berth at PortMiami and an extensive island development in The Bahamas, Ocean Cay Marine Reserve. “A lot of Europeans come back to the Caribbean, so the Caribbean is very important,” he told, while reminding that many North American cruisers want to embrace the European feel. With all the onboard innovation, many, including Greenberg, have referred to a cruise ship as a destination in and of itself, but “it’s not a destination by itself,” declared Fain. “The purpose of cruising is still to go to new and different places and experience [them], but to do so in conjunction…I would say they’re symbiotic, so you want to go to new places, but you also want wonderful experiences onboard.” The symbiotic destinations also received plenty focus from the panel, with the rise of markets like China and the potential of new destinations like Cuba. Donald referenced China’s 135 million Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise | 25
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“…the opportunity is there…and it’s a sustainable industry.” –Pierfrancisco Vago, Chairman, MSC Cruises
outbound tourists in 2015, the largest outbound tourist nation in the world. “So we have six ships…we’re infinitesimal in China.” Though he predicted that the cruise industry in China could eventually be as large as the current overall industry, he reinforced the growth restraints. Plus, that restraint also applies to cruise lines’ deployment strategies. “We’re not just going to take our other 95 percent [and move them to China]…so the reality is we can only grow so quickly there.” The panel also discussed Cuba, reminding that it already thrives as a tourism destination, currently Canada’s number one tourism destination, and even a cruise destination, with a cruise pier in Havana, and multiple locations that can support small ships. “Today Havana is ready to take our ships,” told Del Rio. But Vago, who has MSC Opera homeported in Havana, told, “Cuba is very complex between port and operations,” stressing the constant work necessary with the authorities and hope that their current operations have sent the message that Cuba “needs to do something about infrastructure.” Fain agreed that the current infrastructure will not support 5,000-6,000 passengers, “and it doesn’t need to.” He argued even in its limited capacity, Cuba will have a large impact 26 | Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise
on both the cruise industry and the Caribbean. “My view is that Cuba has already been a benefit…in terms of size, it’s not going to divert much traffic from other places because it simply doesn’t have the capability of handling that many ships, but what it will do…is create a halo of interest, and as people start to go and talk about Cuba…it will raise the Caribbean in total.” Donald agreed that Cuba would just be “one of many port calls” for the ships that go there, and Fain echoed “one of many, and it adds two percent or five percent of the supply of places to go, and it will add 10 or 20 percent to demand of cruising…I think it’s a great opportunity for the Caribbean.” “It’s going to be a slow, rolling start,” said Del Rio after telling Cuba’s capacity was currently capped at one medium-sized ship, or about 2,000 passengers. “So the Caribbean doesn’t have to worry,” he said before citing the new regulation allowing cruises beginning in the United States to visit other destinations after calling Cuba. “It will shine a bright light on the overall area…the Western Caribbean will get a jump. Places like Jamaica, Grand Cayman [and] Mexico will benefit from all of this.” “Cuba’s a great refresher for the Caribbean,” said Donald. “It’s taking Europeans there now,
but there’s pent-up demand here in the US. It’ll help all brands. It’ll help all the rest of the Caribbean islands,” he continued and mentioned Cuba’s draw for people who already traveled to the Caribbean to want to return. “So it’s going to be a great, expansive thing.” New destinations and further market penetration were music to Vago’s ears. “24 million is nothing,” he said, stressing that the opportunity lies in the untapped potential of a population more than 8 billion, along with the ability for cruising’s rapid ascents in underserved markets, like European cruising increasing 50 percent over the last five years, with land-based tourism remaining flat. “So I think the opportunity is there…and it’s a sustainable industry.”
“We listen to the guests because you want diversity of thinking to create the innovation.”
–Arnold Donald, President & CEO, Carnival Corporation & plc
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MEETINGS AND EVENTS ::::
Making the Most of Meetings at Sea
ombining business and pleasure—with a dash of oncein-a-lifetime experiences—is the hallmark of a successful meeting or corporate event. Meetings and events at sea offer unique adventure and excitement with exotic destinations, a variety of entertainment and dining options and vessels to suit any group’s purpose and personality. While nearly 70 percent of Americans have cruising on their “bucket list,” only about 20 percent have actually cruised. That makes meetings and events at sea an exciting, buzz-worthy experience for attendees, especially as incentive travel. TURN-KEY MEETINGS FOR EVERY ORGANIZATION Land-based meetings are often built from the ground up, with the meeting planner setting 28 | Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise
a program of entertainment, dining and diversions, while also creating an inviting and functional meeting space. With cruise-based meetings, existing activities, venues and options can be utilized, offering fewer action items and greater control for the planner. Plus, the full complement of onboard activities ensures that guests don’t feel a need to venture off on their own (as they are highly likely to do at a land-based venue), creating a more cohesive and engaged group and a more productive meeting. From intimate river cruise vessels to large, well-appointed oceangoing cruise ships, meeting planners can select the type of cruise, duration, destination and activities that suit their customer’s personality and goals. THE BEST OF LAND AND SEA Meetings and events at sea offer the best of all worlds on board—top-tier facilities,
high-quality entertainment and fine dining, with captivating shore excursions available at exotic ports of call. With cruises available in every corner of the world, breathtaking destinations are easily accessible by means of the convenient and comfortable travel afforded by a cruise ship. MAKING SENSE FOR YOUR DOLLARS A cruise ship is the ideal venue for meetings and events, especially for those with tight budgets or who wish to add a bit of sizzle without breaking the bank. Meeting planners can realize significant savings in food and beverage, audiovisual equipment and support, meeting space, entertainment and ground transportation, all by capitalizing on existing inclusions and equipment on a cruise ship. Planners have the option of chartering an entire vessel, buying out all the rooms and service or overlaying their programming
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MYTH BUSTING: MEETINGS AT SEA MYTH: It’s a lot more work to plan a meeting at sea. TRUTH: Cruise lines plan a full schedule of activities and events, entertainment and dining options for thousands of guests each day. Meeting planners have a readymade resource for full programming, meals and entertainment—planners can simply add their agenda to the ship’s existing schedule for a simple, turnkey event. MYTH: A cruise meeting will bust my budget. TRUTH: “Generally, the budget for a five-day, landbased event would be sufficient for a seven-day cruise meeting,” says Jo Kling (MPI South Florida Chapter), president of Landry & Kling. “Pricing is set up-front, so there are no surprises. A meeting on a cruise ship means significant savings in ground transportation, entertainment, audiovisual, meeting space and F&B costs.” MYTH: We’re not really a buffet kind of crowd. TRUTH: Today’s cruises offer a wide variety of dining options, from gourmet and specialty restaurants to quiet cafes for a quick bite. Cruise ships provide the ultimate selection for any group.
onto an existing cruise. Costs are confirmed well in advance of departure, preventing “budget creep” and allowing for consistency. For major events, such as the Super Bowl or trade shows, vessels can be docked alongside ports, functioning as a “floating hotel” during periods of high demand. LIVING THE GOOD LIFE Cruising affords planners the opportunity to provide highly appealing options to their attendees while leaving the vast majority of programming and execution to the onboard cruise ship event staff. Cruise ships offer a wide variety of dining options, from fine-dining specialty restaurants with visiting chefs to quaint, romantic cafes. For evening entertainment, attendees can choose from myriad options, including comedy clubs, Broadway-caliber theater productions, outdoor movies on a big screen, lively nightclubs and intimate jazz lounges. Additional onboard amenities offer once-in-a-lifetime experiences such as skydiving in a vertical wind tunnel, hanging ten on a FlowRider surfing machine, cooking like an expert chef at a hands-on culinary demonstration and trying a hand at ice sculpting. In fact, options like these make cruising a great opportunity for attendees to bring the whole family. From childcare options to programming that appeals to every age group and interest level, meetings and events at sea are a smart choice for today’s meeting planners.
MYTH: Guests aren’t interested in cruise meetings. TRUTH: Cruising is on most people’s bucket lists, making meetings and events at sea a tremendous draw. More than half of all organizations that plan a meeting at sea get such overwhelmingly positive feedback that they schedule a second meeting at sea within three years. MYTH: My guests will feel bored on a cruise ship. TRUTH: Not so! Today’s cruise ships are designed to offer myriad options for diverse interests, ages and activity levels. From skydiving simulators to yoga classes, world-class shopping and Broadwaycaliber entertainment, there’s something for everyone. Plus, ports-of-call excursions offer guests a break from meetings or training. MYTH: It is difficult to get speakers on a cruise ship. TRUTH: There is no less flexibility with returning a speaker home on board a cruise ship than there is with a land-based venue. In fact, a cruise venue is more likely to appeal to a speaker in terms of remaining on the vessel, sometimes with the speaker’s family included. The speaker can disembark at the next port of call. Reprinted with permission from the 2015 Guide to Meetings & Events at Sea, a publication of Meeting Professionals International. Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise | 29
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CRUISING INTO THE FUTURE By Peter C. Yesawich, Ph.D., Vice Chairman Emeritus of MMGY Global
he results of the brandnew MMGY Global 2016 Portrait of American Travelers® reveal that the global cruise industry is about to enjoy unprecedented growth in demand from US leisure travelers, despite lingering concerns about discretionary spending in the aftermath of the recession and anxiety about the perceived safety of travel. In fact, prospective demand for cruise vacations should drive the industry’s embarkation numbers from the US to record levels during the next two years.
HERE’S WHY: • 12% of active US leisure travelers (those who took at least one overnight trip primarily for leisure purposes during the past 12 months) took at least one cruise vacation last year (by way of comparison, 18% took a theme park vacation, and 11% took a vacation to an all-inclusive resort). Fully 56% of active US leisure travelers express interest in taking a cruise vacation during the next two years, however, suggesting there is considerable potential demand to be cultivated…and converted. • A lthough cruising has traditionally been viewed as a preferred vacation alternative for mature travelers (age, not behavior!) and
Boomers (50–68 years of age), Millennials have overtaken their older counterparts in both taking cruises (18% have done so during the past 12 months) and interested in taking one during the next two years (66%). This is particularly noteworthy, and encouraging, as Millennials represent the largest generational cohort of active travelers today. • Half of traveling grandparents (54%) are interested in taking a cruise during the next two years. This underscores the considerable potential that exists to market cruise vacations to “multi-generational” families (grandparents, parents and grandchildren) and represents a market segment from which demand is destined to continue to grow in the future because the median age of the US population is rising (hence, more adults will soon find themselves among the ranks of grandparents). • Cruising also appears to be a particularly attractive “Celebration Vacation,” or one that is motivated by the achievement of an important “life event.” The latter includes such things as marriage, college graduation, retirement, or a “milestone” birthday or anniversary (one divisible by five, such as a 25th wedding anniversary). This is also an important insight because Celebration Vacations typically are planned much further ahead, are longer in duration, include more participants and are exempt from many traditional budgetary constraints. Translation: those who take them typically spend more. • Over a third (36%) of travelers who are interested in taking a cruise during the next two years plan to use the services of a traditional travel agent to make the arrangements, and almost a quarter (22%) generally book cruises through a traditional travel agent. • The evolving media habits of prospective cruisers reaffirm the importance of funding advertising schedules that include both offline (television) and online (web and social) components, as each plays an important role in moving prospective cruisers from “inspiration” to “booking.” And as noted in the survey results, the aggregate average time
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adults who are interested in cruising now spend online daily (for all purposes) exceeds the average amount of time they spend watching television. â&#x20AC;˘ Exposure in social media will play an increasingly important role in cultivating future demand from leisure travelers who are interested in a future cruise vacation, as over half (56%) visit online communities and blogs seeking information about destinations and travel service providers, and six out of ten (62%) of travelers interested in taking a cruise that consult online reviews trust the reviews posted by other travelers more so than the product and experience reviews authored by institutional sources. S o, all in all, it appears the near-term itinerary for the cruise industry calls for smooth sailing. For more actionable insights from the MMGY Global Portrait of American TravelersÂŽ, or subscription information, please visit mmgyglobal.com.
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Why Cruise Travel Is Outpacing General Leisure Travel
ruise travel is becoming the vacation of choice around the world, quickly outpacing leisure or land-based travel. In fact, from 2004 to 2014, global cruise vacations have grown faster in popularity than global land-based vacations by a 20 percent margin, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Annual Report 2014. And the industry shows no signs of slowing down. In 2016, 24 million passengers are expected to sail, up from the record 23 million in 2015, according to Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA) 2016 State of the Industry Outlook. Travel agents are also predicting a higher demand for cruise travel, with eight out of 10 CLIA Travel Agent Members stating that they are expecting an increase in cruise sales in 2016 over last year. “Cruise lines are constantly updating their offerings and providing almost unlimited itinerary options for travelers, so it comes as no surprise that cruise travel is outpacing alternative vacation experiences,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO of CLIA. “A cruise vacation delivers amazing experiences in locations around the world at a tremendous value.”
From the ease of travel to expanded destinations, here are the top 10 reasons why cruise vacations are on the rise:
Whether travelers are hoping to relax by the pool or explore ancient ruins, there’s a cruise and itinerary available.
CRUISE VACATION VARIETY: Over the past 15 years, cruise vacation options have continued to evolve, and today there is a cruise for every kind of traveler. Ranging from family cruises complete with kidfriendly brand experiences to high-end pampering at world-class spas, there’s a cruise experience for every travel desire. BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK: Cruise travelers state the “Return on Experience” offered by a cruise vacation is better than other vacation options. In addition to meals, accommodations and on-board activities that are typically included in the price, cruises also allow travelers to see multiple destinations in one trip and for one cost.
CRUISE TO EVERY CORNER OF THE WORLD: Cruising not only allows travelers see and travel to multiple destinations, but also makes touring foreign countries accessible and less intimidating. A cruise can take travelers to foreign lands without the worry of navigating airports, restaurants or tourist sites.
ON THE RIVER AND BEYOND: River cruising is experiencing a big boost in cruise popularity and allows travelers to reach intimate, inland destinations that were never thought possible.
MULTI-GENERATIONAL CRUISING: It’s hard to please everyone when it comes to vacationing, but cruising is designed to appeal to every age, from toddlers to seniors. From family reunions to the family vacation of a lifetime, cruise experiences are the perfect multigenerational travel solution.
A TAILORED TRIP: Cruises offer each traveler the chance to customize a trip specifically to personal travel preferences.
NEVER A DULL MOMENT: Many cruise lines offer a variety of onboard activities to keep travelers entertained, day or night, as they travel from port to port. From simulated surfing and sky diving to wine and chocolate tastings, the offerings are diverse and abundant.
STAYING CONNECTED AT SEA: While many like the appeal of being disconnected while on vacation, there are those that want or need to be connected while at sea. Today’s cruises offer a myriad of Wi-Fi, onboard texting and data options. A HEALTHIER VACATION: With a growing emphasis on health and well-being, cruising offers a wide variety of health benefits. From the purity of ocean air to onboard fitness options, there’s a way for everyone to stay healthy in both mind and body while on a cruise. UNPACK ONCE TO SEE THE WORLD: Cruising gives travelers the chance to see, do and experience all areas of the world. While one can pack as little or as much into their trip as they’d like, their suitcase only needs to be unpacked once.
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ENVIRONMENTAL & REGULATORY PRACTICES ::::
The Cruise Industry Charitable Foundation: Agent of Change
ruise lines are committed to giving back to local communities all over the world, and the Cruise Industr y Charitable Foundation (CICF) is one example. Founded in 1998, CICF was established to enhance the cruise industry’s charitable contributions in communities where the industry does business through educational assistance and training programs, environmental preservation initiatives, civic and community development, and public health programs. A special focus area for CICF includes educational and training programs that have been designed to improve literacy, promote good citizenship and public service, as well as teaching basic life skills. Increasing reading, math and science proficiencies are another component. Particular attention is given to disadvantaged children and low income communities. When it comes to educational assistance and training programs, one longstanding relationship CICF has built is with the Washington Workshops Foundation, because it embodies all of CICF’s goals. Founded in 1967, this private, nonprofit, nonpartisan education foundation annually presents topical leadership seminars in 34 | Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise
Washington, D.C. for high school, junior high and elementary school students from across the U.S. and the international community. Since 1998, CICF has sponsored Washington Workshops Foundation’s Democracy in Action seminar, which brings students to Washington, D.C. for a week. The seminar offers students a broad range of educational experiences to learn about the federal government, centered around research and preparation for a Model Congress on the final day. Students experience an action-packed meeting with their senators and representatives. “The Cruise Industry Charitable Foundation plays an integral part in helping us carry out our mission of providing valuable experiential education programs for students and empowering future leaders,” said Tom Crossan, Executive Director of the Washington Workshops Foundation. “The generous support from CICF creates incredible opportunities for America’s youth to visit their nation’s Capital and gain a greater understanding of U.S. government, politics, policy making and the importance of being engaged and informed citizens in our democracy. The Democracy in Action program offers an unparalleled window to opportunities our students weren’t aware of
before this experience. Our many thanks to CICF for their generous support and commitment to American’s youth.” CICF also focuses on organizations and programs designed to promote environmental awareness and public education. CICF partners with the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and sponsors their yearly gala during Capitol Hill Ocean Week. The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (NMSF) is dedicated solely to supporting the national marine sanctuary system through education and research initiatives, public engagement and advocacy. Their mission is to enhance national marine sanctuaries and to ensure a healthy ocean. Coinciding with World Oceans Day on June 8, the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation will host the Capitol Hill Ocean Week (CHOW) during June 7-9, 2016. It is the nation’s top Ocean Policy Conference. As a sponsor of CHOW, CICF is helping promote ocean conservation and awareness with policy makers and other stakeholders. “CICF is proud to support the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation’s Capitol Hill Ocean Week,” said Michael McGarry, executive director, Cruise Industry Charitable Foundation. “This event is an important way to give a voice to ocean conservation on Capitol Hill.”
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Congressional Cruise Caucus Continues Course for Smooth Sailing between the Cruise Industry and Policymakers
une marks the arrival of the Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA) annual Congressional Cruise Caucus, where various cruise industry stakeholders gather to engage Washington D.C.’s legislative and political leaders. Representing every facet of the cruise industry, CLIA, together with cruise line executives, Executive Partners and travel agency leaders, uses this opportunity to engage with elected officials. Educating them on the industry and advocating policies that allow for the preservation and continued growth of the U.S. cruise industry are a critical part of this caucus. Although the Congressional Cruise Caucus is an important component of CLIA’s advocacy efforts, CLIA engages with policymakers all year long. CLIA’s Capitol Hill outreach has resulted in increased appreciation for and understanding of the cruise industry among lawmakers in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Lawmakers know that travel and tourism is essential to the American economy, and that cruising makes up a growing portion of the travel industry. In 2014 alone, the cruise industry contributed $46.09 billion to the United States economy. With half of global cruise passengers embarking from United States ports, millions of passengers will contribute billions of dollars to the local economies of those port communities. The economic benefit of cruise travel extends to all 50 states and every congressional district. CLIA wants to ensure that lawmakers are aware of this information when considering legislative initiatives affecting the industry. Although CLIA engages with national and international government agencies around the world, the Congressional Cruise Caucus focuses solely on the U.S. Congress. Policymakers continually
demonstrate how much they value the cruise industry’s contributions by sharing their time to meet with CLIA’s members. This year’s Congressional Cruise Caucus speaker lineup includes Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), and last year’s appearances and speakers included Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI), Representative Patrick Murphy (D-FL), Representative Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Representative Jeff Denham (R-CA). Recently, legislators took an important additional step to recognize cruise travel professionals. By booking 70 percent of all cruise vacations, cruise travel professionals certainly have a tremendous impact on the cruise industry, and CLIA brought this impact to the attention of policy leaders. Last year with the encouragement of CLIA, legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives designating October as “Cruise Travel Professional Month.”
One of the authors of the resolution, Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), said, “By designating the month of October as ‘Cruise Travel Professional Month,’ we acknowledge the spirit, innovation, and creativity of those who work in the cruise industry, while also recognizing the safe and secure environment provided to all passengers and staff.” Government policies can impede or benefit the operations of cruise lines and stakeholders. Year-round engagement allows CLIA to educate lawmakers on the value of the cruise industry and the cruise travel experience. Policymakers can then make informed decisions when considering legislation with the potential to impact the cruise industry. To help its diverse membership succeed, CLIA will remain focused on government policy proposals on Capitol Hill and around the world for the common interests of the wider cruise community.
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ENVIRONMENTAL & REGULATORY PRACTICES ::::
Holland America Line Receives Sixth Consecutive Green Gateway Award from Port of Seattle for Environmental Stewardship THE PORT OF SEATTLE presented Holland America Line with its sixth consecutive Green Gateway Award, given annually to cruise and commercial lines that call at the port and whose environmental efforts are deemed worthy of recognition. “Holland America Line’s commitment to the environment is something we’re very proud of, and to be recognized for the sixth year by the Port of Seattle with a Green Gateway Award is a testament to our dedication and focus,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “We are continuously seeking more ways to be an environmental steward and responsibly sail the world’s oceans. We are honored to earn these accolades in our hometown.” Holland America Line also received the Technology Innovator award for investing in its Seattle-based fleet that has resulted in yearover-year reductions in fuel use and resultant greenhouse gases. Port of Seattle also cited the cruise line’s installation of IPCO Power Fuel Treatment systems that are designed to
enhance combustion, lower emissions, improve fuel economy, extend engine overhaul intervals and lower overall operating costs. In previous years Holland America Line received the Green Gateway Award for its use of shore power, comprehensive practices to reduce emissions and its commitment to protecting the environment. Holland America Line also was named the 2014 Marine Environmental Business of the Year by the Port of Seattle and the Seattle Propeller Club. The company was honored for its efforts to shrink its global environmental footprint through a series of objectives that reduce consumption of fuel and water, engine emissions and generation of solid waste. Holland America Line’s ships meet or exceed all provisions of the international regulations governing the environmental management of marine operations. But the company aims for superior environmental performance while operating responsibly via a practices to reduce pollution through strong
policies, effective procedures, innovative technology, best practices and consistent training of employees. Holland America Line is among the pioneers in the maritime industry in investing in technology to reduce engine emissions while a ship is at berth. Six of the 15 Holland America Line ships — ms Amsterdam, ms Veendam, ms Noordam, ms Zuiderdam, ms Oosterdam and ms Westerdam — use shore power at the ports of Seattle, San Diego, Halifax and Vancouver. In addition to the Green Gateway Award, the company also received the 2014 Blue Circle Award from Port Metro Vancouver for the fifth consecutive year and the 2012 Rear Admiral William M. Benkert Environmental Protection Award from the U.S. Coast Guard for its commitment to the environment. Holland America Line was named among the 2016 World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute for the fifth consecutive year for its commitment to high ethical standards.
AIDA Cruises and Shell Form Strategic Partnership to Supply Environmentally-Friendly LNG ON AIDAprima’s FIRST docking in Rotterdam on April 19, AIDA Cruises and Shell sealed their partnership for the future supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to AIDAprima and her sister ship, AIDAperla. AIDAprima is the world’s first cruise ship that can be operated in port with the environmentally-friendly LNG, leading to a major reduction in emissions when docked. As the exclusive strategic partner of AIDA Cruises, Shell will supply the LNG at all ports for low-emission ship operation. “We believe in LNG as being the cleanest fossil fuel,” said Felix Eichhorn, president, AIDA Cruises. “In Shell, we have a strong global partner who will forge a new path with us in establishing LNG within the maritime industry. With the supply of 36 | Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise
LNG to AIDAprima when she is docked, we are setting a clear trend in terms of environmental and climate protection.” In all ports along the Metropolitan route, AIDAprima can be operated with LNG while docked at port. The preparations and initial permit procedures for the ports of Hamburg, Southampton, Le Havre, Rotterdam and Zeebrugge are already well underway. LNG trucks will ensure the supply of LNG to AIDAprima. In contrast to the use of traditional marine diesel containing 0.1% sulfur, emissions will be significantly reduced when using LNG. The emission of sulfur oxide and soot particles will be completely prevented, and nitrogen oxide emissions will be reduced by up to 80 percent, and carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent. Aida President Felix Eichhorn and Lauran Wetemans, General Manager LNG Development for Shell Sign Agreement
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Shallow Water Interaction
“Splasher’s” Kids Pool
Deep Water Swim
“The Current” River Ride
DOLPHIN CAY AQUAVENTURE MARINE HABITATS
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Carnival President Christine Duffy, Leon Sutcliffe, Ben Clement and Sergio Senesi in Front of Carnival Vista, Carnival’s Largest Ship, efore Her Maiden Voyage
Carnival Cruise Line Takes Delivery of New 133,500-Ton Carnival Vista
At a traditional maritime handover ceremony on April 28, Carnival Cruise Line took delivery of its newest, largest and most innovative ship, the 133,500-ton, 3,954-passenger Carnival Vista. After a summer schedule in Europe running through October 2016 and a 13-day trans-Atlantic crossing, Carnival Vista will operate a pair of 11-day cruises from New York in November 2016, then launch yearround Caribbean service from Miami later that month. Carnival Vista offers a number of unique features, including a groundbreaking suspended cycling experience called SkyRide, the first IMAX Theatre at sea and the RedFrog Pub & Brewery offering three different kinds of beer brewed on board. Also new is Family Harbor with special family accommodations and a family concierge, along with the tropics-inspired Havana staterooms and suites featuring a dedicated pool area. The ship’s outdoor spaces include a massive WaterWorks aqua park, highlighted by the 455-foot-long Kaleid-o-slide, the longest slide in the fleet.
and opportunity to deliver experiences that our guests will not only remember for the rest of their lives, but will also share with others,” said Arnold Donald, chairman of Carnival Corporation. “Using our strategic fleet enhancement plan to delight our guests is an important part of our measured growth strategy, which includes replacing less efficient ships with newer, larger and more efficient vessels over a very specific period of time.” The new ships for both Costa Asia and P&O Cruises Australia are expected to be 135,500-ton vessels with the capacity to carry 4,200 passengers. The 143,700-ton, 3,560-passenger ships for Princess Cruises will be the brand’s fourth and fifth Royalclass vessels, featuring the successful design platform used on Royal Princess, Regal Princess and the new Majestic Princess coming in 2017. They will all be specifically designed and developed for each brand and the guests and markets it will serve, supporting the corporation’s overall goal of providing extraordinary vacation experiences for an exceptional value for its guests around the world. The new Costa Cruises Asia ships will prominently feature the brand’s “Italy’s finest” experience, with the new ship design serving to enhance the overall onboard immersion in Italy’s unique style, hospitality, entertainment and culinary excellence. The new ship order will also strengthen Costa Asia’s leadership and position in the region, as well as its commitment to continuously develop Asia Pacific and China to be one of
the leading cruise markets in the world. The P&O Cruises Australia ship, the brand’s first-ever newbuild construction, will be designed to capture the essence of modern Australia and will feature the largest passenger capacity of any ship in the line’s fleet, serving 4,200 passengers. The new ship will join an already growing fleet that was recently expanded with the addition of Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden in November 2015, and will see the introduction of the 2,000-passenger Pacific Explorer in 2017. Australia is one of the fastest growing cruise markets in the world, with an average annual passenger growth rate of 20 percent over the past decade, and the enhanced fleet for P&O Cruises Australia will help meet growing cruise demand in the region. The new Princess Cruises ships will include the signature elements that have become synonymous with the Princess guest experience, such as a soaring central atrium hub with multiple dining, entertainment and retail venues; Movies Under the Stars outdoor cinema experience; and 80 percent of all staterooms with balconies. The ships will also include new innovations to enhance the guest experience even further. Carnival Corporation has now taken delivery of two new ships in 2016—AIDAprima for AIDA Cruises and ms Koningsdam for Holland America Line. Including the five new ships, Carnival Corporation has a total of 16 new ships scheduled to be delivered between 2016 and 2020.
FORMALIZING CONTRACTS FOR BUILDING FIVE NEW CRUISE SHIPS Left to right: Neil Palomba, President, Costa Cruises; Stein Kruse, CEO, Holland America Group; Corrado Antonini, Former Chairman, Fincantieri; Michael Thamm, CEO, Costa Group; Orlando Ashford, President, Holland America Line; Giuseppe Bono, CEO, Fincantieri; Graziano Delrio, Italian Minister of Infrastructure and Transport; Arnold Donald, President & CEO, Carnival Corporation & plc; Micky Arison, Chairman, Carnival Corporation & plc; and Vincenzo Petrone, Chairman, Fincantieri
Carnival Corporation to Build Five New Cruise Ships
Carnival Corporation & plc recently finalized contracts with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri S.p.A. to build five new cruise ships as part of a memorandum of agreement announced in 2015. The five new ships include two that will be built for Costa Asia for deployment in China, two ships for Princess Cruises and one designated for P&O Cruises Australia, with deliveries expected in 2019 and 2020. “Supporting our goal to exceed guest expectations on every cruise, these new ships will create a whole new level of excitement Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise | 39
NEWBUILDS & REVITES ::::
MSC Cruises Moves Forward with World-Class, Over 200,000 GRT, LNG-Propelled Vessels
Fincantieri Shipyard Director Antonio Quintano, Left, and Orlando Ashford, President of Holland America Line, Sign Papers for Delivery of ms Koningsdam.
Holland America Line Takes Delivery of ms Koningsdam
Holland America Line took delivery of ms Koningsdam on March 31, 2016, officially making it the first Pinnacle-Class ship in the fleet. After the signing ceremony at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Italy, the ship made its way to Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy, for its Premiere Voyage on April 8. Following a series of premiere Mediterranean voyages, Koningsdam’s official naming ceremony will take place in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on May 20. Following the naming festivities in May, the ship will head to its summer home port of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and sail a series of northern Europe and Baltic cruises before returning to the Mediterranean in September. In the fall, the ship will head across the Atlantic Ocean to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where it will homeport at Port Everglades and spend the season exploring the Caribbean. The 99,500-ton vessel accommodates 2,650 guests and is the ultimate expression of Holland America Line’s brand evolution. Koningsdam debuts several innovative concepts and new public spaces and venues, while still featuring popular amenities guests associate with the cruise line. The ship will feature Holland America Line’s first purposebuilt staterooms for families and solo travelers among its 1,331 guest accommodations. Guests will delight in new fine-dining options at alternative restaurants like a French seafood brasserie and an immersive 40 | Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise
farm-to-table concept dinner experience. Onboard entertainment will be taken to a new level with the energetic Music Walk area, featuring all genres of music showcased in venues featuring live musicians rocking the crowd and the popular B.B. King’s Blues Club. With the 270-degree LED projection at World Stage, new concepts for show-time performances will immerse the audience in panoramic visual and sound effects.
MSC Cruises signed a letter of intent (LOI) with STX France for the construction of up to four over 200,000 GRT LNGpowered ships. The four ships, the first which would be delivered in 2022, will be based on yet another new next-generation prototype, forming what will be known as the “World Class” of MSC Cruises ships and marking a total investment plan of nearly €9 billion to add 11 next-generation ships from 2014-2026. “[The] 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,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises. “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.” “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-ofthe-art smart technology at sea; using the most-advanced environmentally-friendly technology available, all the way through the LNG-propelled engines,” he continued. 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 tons, more than 2,700 cabins and approximately 5,400 lower berths occupancy capacity. MSC Cruises’ investment plan includes orders with STX France for two Meravigliaclass vessels and two Meraviglia-Plus vessels, 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 Program of four of 12 ships in MSC’s fleet.
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Oceania Cruises President and COO Jason Montague; Sirena’s Godmother Claudine Pepin; and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings President CEO Frank del Rio at Sirena’s Unveiling
Oceania Cruises Christens Newest Ship, Sirena
Oceania Cruises officially welcomed its newest ship, Sirena, into its fleet on April 28. The 684-passenger Sirena follows the award-winning design blueprint of sister ships Regatta, Insignia and Nautica, with amenities including four gourmet restaurants, six elegant lounges and bars, the renowned Canyon Ranch SpaClub, and 342 lavish suites and luxurious staterooms. “We launched Oceania Cruises with a visionary belief that we could create something special; with an unwavering commitment to serve our guests the finest cuisine at sea, we established a culinary reputation that to this day defines the Oceania Cruises brand,” said Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. “That culinary tradition continues, as we welcome Sirena to the family. Sirena builds upon our epicurean heritage with new gourmet dining experiences, and in godmother Claudine Pépin, who is a noted chef and member of the culinary world’s royal family.” Sirena is also the first ship in the Oceania Cruises’ fleet to showcase the enhanced entertainment offerings being developed for the line, a full range of world-class musical, theatrical and comedic productions.
Her inaugural season will sail Europe and the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, South Pacific, Australia and beyond.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Seven Seas Explorer Will Have a Sister
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. recently
reached an agreement with Fincantieri of Italy to construct a sister ship to Seven Seas Explorer for its Regent Seven Seas Cruises brand. Set to for delivery in 2020, the new Explorer-class vessel will join Seven Seas Explorer, which is currently under construction and scheduled to make her debut this July. The new vessel will build on the runaway success of Seven Seas Explorer, the first newbuild for Regent Seven Seas Cruises in 14 years, retaining 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. “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 COO 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.”
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SHIPBOARD & LAND-BASED EXPERIENCES ::::
The Rise of the River Cruise: Sail Iconic Rivers while Visiting Distinctive Corners of the World
ow can travelers leisurely explore several countries and discover multiple cultures in a matter of days? The answer is sailing on an iconic river aboard a river cruise. According to Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA) 2016 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook, the demand for the river cruise experience is at an all-time high. As of 2015, there were 169 river CLIA member cruise ships on the water, with 18 additional ships ordered for 2016. “These intimate voyages allow passengers to experience multiple, memorable destinations in a short amount of time, all while traveling the world’s most famous, historic rivers,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO of CLIA. “As the demand for river cruising grows, there are now more experiences and destinations than ever before. In addition to cruising through Europe on the Rhine or Danube rivers, passengers can take river cruises
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through South America, Asia, Africa and even the U.S., offering access to some of the most authentic and treasured travel destinations in the world.” From Egypt to Asia, six iconic rivers around the world are easily accessible by river cruising and include the following: THE MAGIC & MYSTERY OF THE NILE: One of the world’s most famous waterways, spanning more than 4,000 miles, the Nile River offers unbelievable sights of ancient temples, lush rainforests and impressive mountains. Avalon Waterways offers a nineday river cruise from Cairo that takes cruisers on a voyage through 5,000 years of history, visiting temples built in the time of Cleopatra, the famed Sphinx and the Great Temples of Giza. THE BATTLES & BEAUTY OF THE MEKONG: Stretching through thousands of miles of authentic Asian rice paddies and fish farms, the Mekong River’s beautiful deltas have been site to famous
battles, specifically during the Vietnam War. Now, the peaceful waterways provide the perfect atmosphere for cruising. New options in Vietnam and Cambodia include AmaWaterways’ 15-night Mekong upstream and downstream itineraries. The voyage takes cruisers along the fabled Mekong River for an unforgettable authentic experience exploring rural villages, floating markets, and a Buddhist monastery. The itinerary includes Ho Chi Minh City with additional stops in Siem Reap, Hanoi and Ha Long Bay. THE “RIVER SEA” OF THE AMAZON: The longest river in South America and world’s largest resource of fresh water, the Amazon offers thousands of years of tropical history and beauty. Seabourn offers the chance to blend the beauty of both river and ocean, including sailing along the iconic Amazon River with a 15-day Amazon & Caribbean Isles Cruise. This cruise takes passengers on a luxurious journey along the Amazon with excursions into the jungle and beyond.
EIGHT REASONS TO RIVER CRUISE
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River cruising lets passengers experience multiple memorable destinations within a short amount of time, all while traveling on the world’s most famous, historic rivers. Why has river cruising picked up steam lately? Here are a few reasons:
A TREK THROUGH AMERICAN HISTORY ON THE MISSISSIPPI: The Mississippi River is drenched in rich American history weaving through 1.2 million square miles and multiple states. Adventurers on American Cruise Lines sail on a Mississippi River Cruise paddlewheeler journey taking them along the famed domestic waters and through 10 states. Guests experience the jazz of New Orleans, French-inspired beauty of Natchez, the Gateway Arch of St. Louis and more.
1. Daily Discoveries: Because river cruises stop at new ports almost daily, passengers can enjoy an itinerary full of unique destinations to discover.
A RISE ALONG THE RHINE: Known for enchanting castles and dramatic landscapes, the Rhine River has been crossed by the likes of Julius Caesar and George Patton. CroisiEurope’s Christmas Market Cruise celebrates the holidays along the Rhine, visiting multiple Christmas markets in the European capital of Strasbourg, the “Christmas Cities” of Nuremberg and Rudesheim which feature the Christmas Market of Nations. Tauck’s Rhine and Moselle cruise blends the beauty of two historic rivers and allows passengers to experience the Netherlands to Switzerland, through Germany, France and Luxembourg. Cruisers can pay tribute to the fallen in the Battle of the Bulge at the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial, view medieval masterpieces like Bernkastel, Trier and Cochem, and experience an exclusive dinner at a medieval moated castle in Germany.
2. Scenic Sailing: Looking to unwind on the water while taking in the sights? Although river cruise lines do not spend a full day cruising, there is typically no shortage of time to take in the beautiful views when passing through scenic stretches such as the Danube’s Wachau Valley and the Rhine’s River Gorge. 3. All-Inclusive: Most river cruise companies offer an all-inclusive product, with food and beverages included in the price. Often excursions are also included in the overall price, allowing travelers to enjoy a decadent vacation without the stress of planning every detail and pinching pennies. 4. One-of-a-Kind Experiences: With access to narrow ports and the ability to navigate through shallow waterways, river cruising offers a cruise for travelers who love to experience new cultures, visit historical sites and relax in luxury.
THE GORGEOUS GANGES: Boasting the highest population of any river basin in the world and winding through India and Bangladesh, the sacred Ganges River is not only gorgeous but constantly changing. The river is slowly changing its path, naturally shifting 2.5 kilometers since 1990, so the river offers a truly once-in-alifetime course. Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection exclusively offers a chance to sail this fertile and unique waterway with India’s Golden Triangle & Sacred Ganges river cruise and tour. Highlights include Delhi’s Humayun’s Tomb, the Taj Mahal, the Agra Fort, Jaipur’s City Palace, Mother Theresa’s home and tomb in Kolkata, Verdic temple in Mayapur, and Kalna’s Rajbari Temples. “River cruising is the ultimate experience offering an immersive, cultural and pampered vacation, complete with exceptional land excursions and vessel amenities,” D’Aoust continued. “Travelers can sail on storied waterways and discover new pockets of the world.”
5. Return on Experience: River cruises offer a fantastic return on experience and investment by allowing passengers the chance to see multiple destinations under one price tag. 6. Local Tastes and Cultures: Travelers get whisked away and drenched in local cultures with unique excursions and culinary experiences, including authentic experiences at historical sites and tasting culinary masterpieces made with locally sourced ingredients. 7. Love for Luxe: River cruises offer an exclusive, luxurious option for travelers. Their smaller vessels provide an intimate vacation setting with staff focused on each guest. 8. New Options: River cruising lets travelers visit intimate corners of the world, such as areas along the Mekong and Amazon Rivers. Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise | 43
Photo by Matt Stroshane
SHIPBOARD & LAND-BASED EXPERIENCES ::::
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Photo by Kent Phillips
Photo by Kent Phillips
Top: Disney Cruise Line guests can immerse themselves in the animated hit “Frozen” with experiences inspired by the film, including a spectacular deck party, a three-song stage show production number, new character meet and greets, storybook adventures ashore and more. Bottom (L-R): On select Disney Magic and Disney Wonder sailings featuring a full day of “Frozen”-inspired fun, themed desserts include Almond Berry Crumble Cake, Olaf’s White Chocolate Floro Dome andPannekaken, a Norwegian pancake; At Anna and Elsa’s Boutique on the Disney Magic, aspiring young princesses receive the fairy tale treatment with special makeovers inspired by their favorite royal sisters. Young boys can also join the “Frozen” fun with an Olaf-inspired transformation. Opposite page: Disney Cruise Line guests can immerse themselves in the animated hit “Frozen” with experiences inspired by the film, including new character meet and greets with Anna, Elsa and Olaf.
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From the Deck to the Shore, Disney’s “Frozen” Experiences Add to Summertime Fun
A DAY OF FROZEN FUN, INCLUDING NEW DECK PARTY On select Disney Magic and Disney Wonder sailings to Europe and Alaska, Disney Cruise Line guests are transported to the land of “Frozen” when the ship is transformed into a winter wonderland and a day of frozen fun culminates with an extravagant celebration with friends from the Kingdom of Arendelle. On one special morning, guests will awake to discover a magical freeze has overtaken the atrium lobby with sparkling icicles adorning the grand staircase, resembling the majestic mountain-top ice palace of Queen Elsa. Icy adventures and fun for the entire family throughout the day include all-new meet and greets and themed experiences like “Anna’s Chocolate Chase” scavenger hunt, using Elsa’s magical powers to make snow and ice, and a “Frozen” themed dining experience with a menu inspired by traditional Nordic fare and special dishes inspired by the film. The evening fun kicks off with “Freezing the Night Away with Anna, Elsa and Friends,” a family-friendly interactive deck party featuring the famous royal sisters of Arendelle and their fun-loving Nordic companions. By now, the freeze has spread to the upper decks of the ship, with giant snowflakes, icicles and snow-covered rocks. The celebration begins with a highenergy line dance, set to the movie’s ice cutting scene, featuring the arrival of Kristoff, impressively twirling his ice picks, and Princess Anna. Anna and Kristoff ’s beloved companions, Sven, the trolls and Olaf, make virtual appearances at the party. Sven
engages the crowd in reindeer games like “Sven Says” and the “Troll Stroll,” and Olaf leads a sing along to his signature song, “In Summer.” Elsa arrives with a snowy gust of wind, calling on guests to sing “Let it Go” with her as she conjures up a wintry spectacle to cool things down for Olaf. In true Disney fashion, Elsa unleashes her magic, sending a chill through everyone as the powerful Academy Award-winning song echoes from the ship. The evening concludes with more family dancing on the pool deck, followed by fun just for adults in the nightclub featuring dance performances and frozen specialty drinks. ADVENTURES ASHORE IN NORWAY Disney Cruise Line guests who travel aboard Disney Magic to Norway, the land that inspired Arendelle from “Frozen,” have the opportunity to join exciting port adventures that bring this fairytale setting to life. One signature adventure ashore in Ålesund, Norway, created exclusively for Disney Cruise Line, immerses guests in the splendor and charm of Norway, with the help of Anna and Elsa, in an enchanting storybook village. Other shore excursions take Disney Cruise Line guests to discover the
breathtaking natural wonders, stunning architecture and rich Scandinavian culture depicted in the film. IN SUMMER AND BEYOND Adding to the excitement, offerings debuted in 2015 continue this summer and beyond. Aboard Disney Magic, Anna, Elsa and Olaf are part of the line up of beloved Disney characters who together teach a young girl the power of her dreams in the Disney Cruise Line original production, “Disney Dreams … An Enchanted Classic.” Scenes featuring “Frozen” characters include renditions of three popular songs: “Let it Go,” “For the First Time in Forever” and “In Summer.” The show segment is a heartfelt, humorous and memorable tribute to the “Frozen” film, preserving its endearing and playful tones with an inspiring message. Special effects are magical, with a snowfall throughout the theatre and a breathtaking transformation of the young girl’s room into her own ice palace. On all four Disney ships, Olaf is giving warm hugs alongside Anna and Elsa. Children and families have the opportunity to meet and take photographs with their favorite “Frozen” friends on their royal tour of the Disney Fantasy, Disney Dream, Disney Wonder and Disney Magic.
Photo by Matt Stroshane
n summer 2016, Disney Cruise Line guests can immerse themselves in the animated hit “Frozen” with exciting experiences inspired by the film, including a spectacular deck party, storybook adventures ashore, a three-song stage show production number, character meet and greets and more.
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SHIPBOARD & LAND-BASED EXPERIENCES ::::
Norwegian Joy’s Exciting and Innovative Features Fuse Unique Experiences with Chinese Comforts and Preferences
hen Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) revealed the features and amenities for Norwegian Joy (Yuè Hào) they proved why the line’s newest ship is being hailed as its most innovative and luxurious ship ever. Scheduled to arrive in summer 2017 and homeport in Shanghai & Tianjin (Beijing), Norwegian Joy was designed to provide unique experiences for the Chinese traveler, with onboard amenities catering to their vacation desires with superior customization for the culture and preferences of Chinese guests, along with the exciting and innovative features found on NCL’s most recent vessels. With a capacity of 3,900 guests, Norwegian Joy will deliver on the promise that guests will enjoy ‘First Class at Sea’ experiences, starting with her VIP accommodations. Norwegian Joy will feature The Haven by Norwegian®, the line’s exclusive, ship-within-a-ship suite luxury complex offering a private respite with personal butler service, a dedicated concierge, priority access to entertainment and specialty dining, a private restaurant, enclosed courtyard and 74 spacious and meticulously decorated suites. The ultra-exclusive experience in The Haven on Norwegian Joy will also include an all-new Observation Deck with 180 degree views—the same as the ship’s officers experience from the Bridge—with gourmet canapés and premium beverages.
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An all-new accommodations category will debut on Norwegian Joy, the first at sea Concierge level. Guests who stay in the Concierge staterooms aboard Norwegian Joy will enjoy a VIP experience, featuring larger balcony staterooms with luxurious en suite amenities and the services of a dedicated concierge to make arrangements on board, from entertainment to dining. A perfect category for families and guests looking for extra personal service, the Concierge staterooms will also offer guests an exclusive Concierge lounge, with a private bar and refreshments available throughout the day. Norwegian Joy will continue NCL’s long history of innovation in providing engaging, exciting features and amenities for guests to enjoy. Sure to delight guests of all ages, the ship’s top decks will offer a wide-range of never-before-seen-at-sea experiences. At the very top of the ship, guests will take the ride of a lifetime on a thrilling twolevel competitive racetrack– the first ever at sea. Cruisers can race family and friends and even share a photo of their first place finish. Afterwards, they can challenge one another to a game of laser tag in the open-air course, sure to be a hit with both kids and kids-at-heart. When guests step inside Norwegian Joy’s Galaxy Pavilion, they will find themselves in a world unlike anything they’ve ever seen at sea, complete with immersive virtual reality experiences, thrilling simulator rides and interactive video walls. Guests can go for a spin with friends or family on exciting hover craft bumper cars or start their engines in a professional singleseat racecar that’s been converted into a stateof-the-art racing simulator. Three interactive dark ride simulators provide guests with a captivating experience featuring real-time 3D graphics, 360-degree surround sound and multi-sensory special effects, while flight and car simulators will let guests take flight or take to the road for an adrenaline-filled experience. Movie buffs will be transported to a galaxy far, far away and into an intense battle as they pilot a fighter to take on the forces of the dark side in a Star Wars® battle
pods video game, and gamers can partake in a contest of skill at six Xbox® console stations. Those guests who enjoy advanced technology will be exhilarated by state-of-the-art virtual optic experiences by Oculus that include designing and then riding a personal roller coaster; soaring to new heights over mountains and oceans; or living on the edge and walking along a cliff or on top of a ten-story building. Continuing the adrenaline pumping recreation activities on the ship, Norwegian Joy will also feature two multi-story waterslides. Not for the faint of heart, the high-speed Double Aqua Loop free fall slide includes two exhilarating loops, one that extends out over the side of the ship and second see-through loop that stretches down to the deck below, sure to offer a wet and wild ride. The tandem Aqua Racer slide allows guests to race side-by-side on inner tubes for more than 360 feet as they twist and turn to the finish line. The top deck will also feature a tranquil open space park, where guests can enjoy a partially covered serene setting designed for relaxation. Offering greenery, a soothing pool and chaise lounges, it’s the perfect spot to meditate in the fresh air, gaze out to the open sea or practice tai chi and yoga. No vacation experience is complete without shopping, and Norwegian Joy will feature an upscale shopping venue, the largest in Norwegian’s fleet, complete with everything from exceptional duty-free shops to high-end international brands. The shops will offer renowned global luxury brands, in fashion, jewelry and electronics. Of course, Norwegian Joy will also offer bow to stern Wi-Fi connectivity, the fastest in the Norwegian fleet, so that guests can share their exciting First Class at Sea cruise experiences and stay in touch with family and friends during their cruise. Norwegian Joy fuses a western cruise vacation with the comforts and preferences that Chinese guests expect, plus the freedom and flexibility synonymous with Norwegian Cruise Line, for a fabulous combination of culture and cuisine and a true east meets west experience.
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New Culinary Experiences to Debut on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 Remastered
lready renowned and acclaimed for creating some of the finest cuisine served in the most glamourous surroundings at sea, Cunard continued its legacy with newly-announced dining options and a host of enhancements to each of the liner’s existing restaurants during Queen Mary 2’s major refit. Queen Mary 2 Remastered will see the creation of the entirely new Carinthia Lounge that will serve alternative breakfast and lunchtime offerings together with bespoke premium coffees; the addition of The Verandah restaurant evoking memories of the famous Grill on the original Queen Mary; a completely transformed
Kings Court Buffet; new Queens and Princess Grill menus and completely refurbished restaurants for guests staying in the suites and a new Smokehouse alternative dining concept; and refreshed menus in the existing Britannia Restaurant and Golden Lion pub. “At Cunard, we pride ourselves in delivering a culinary experience that continuously exceeds guest expectations and illustrates Cunard’s utmost attention to detail,” said Richard Meadows, president, Cunard North America. “We are pleased to debut refreshed culinary offerings on Queen Mary 2 Remastered, which we have created to appeal to the most discerning guests while revitalizing classic dishes and creating new ones.”
Overnight Adventures with Azamara Club Cruises
zamara Club Cruises recently unveiled its new Overnight Adventures program allowing guests to enjoy unique, immersive two and three-day land excursions while sailing across international seas. The introduction of the Overnight Adventures program is designed to expand on-land opportunities by providing cruise enthusiasts with bucket-list worthy experiences. “Our new Overnight Adventures program will provide an enhanced, onshore service for our guests who want to elevate their travel experiences within the destination during their voyage,” said Larry Pimentel, president and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises.
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MSC Cruises Showing Faith in South America
ecent announcements surrounding South America cruising have seemingly signaled a massive retreat, with lines like Holland America and Princess decreasing capacity and Pullmantur pulling out altogether. Yet MSC Cruises, which is heavily invested in Brazil and Argentina with established offices and a high-profile presence, recently increased its commitment and capacity there by adding an extra ship for the 2017-18 season—33 percent more than the 2016-17 season. MSC Preziosa, MSC Magnifica, MSC Musica and MSC Poesia are booked for the November 2017 to March 2018 season, sailing from Santos, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires. “South America is a strategic market for MSC,” said Roberto Fusaro, president of MSC Cruises South America. He noted that the decrease for the 201617 season was not due to any shortcomings in South America, but MSC’s uprising in other markets. “In 2016 we needed to establish a presence in China and to consolidate in Cuba.” “Since we don’t have more ships, we saw an opportunity to take capacity from South America without affecting our market share, as
all competitors are downsizing or even leaving the market,” he continued. “But in 2017, as our new ships start to come in, we will resume our growth in the region.” Brazil’s economy has declined sharply since the years when 22 cruise ships operated in the region, and lines have consistently talked about the high costs, regulatory and infrastructure challenges. Fusaro also addressed the operational and regulatory issues, telling they need to be addressed, but citing that they were partially offset because “the appreciation for our product is huge.” There is plenty to appreciate with destination products ranging from Cape Horn’s mystical glaciers to the heights of the Andes and spectacular locales like the charming Montevideo and romantic Buenos Aires. In 2016-17, MSC Preziosa will cover the northern Brazil area with seven-night roundtrips from Santos to Buzios, Ilheus, Salvador de Bahia and Ilha Grande (Angra dos Reis). Ten departures are planned from December to early March. Also sailing from Santos on weeklong cruises, MSC Musica will visit Uruguay and Argentina, with calls at Punta del Este, Buenos Aires and Montevideo. There are 10 departures
between December and March. Cruising round-trip Buenos Aires, MSC Orchestra will visit Punta del Este, Ilha Grande, Rio de Janeiro, Buzios and Ilhabela. This ninenight itinerary is available on six dates in 2017, from January to March. For the 2017-18 austral summer, MSC Preziosa returns to Santos for the same itinerary as the prior season, with nine departures from December to March. From Santos, MSC Magnifica will sail a seven-night round-trip to Punta del Este and Montevideo on December 17, 2017. An eightnight round-trip on December 30 adds Buenos Aires. Then the ship settles into weeklong round-trips to Montevideo and Punta del Este, with six departures in January and February 2018. From Rio de Janeiro, MSC Musica will sail eight-night round-trips to Buenos Aires, Punta del Este and Ilhabela. Five departures are available from early December to midFebruary. Based in Buenos Aires, MSC Poesia, has four departures of eight-night cruises to Ilha Grande, Rio de Janeiro, Ilhabela and Punta del Este. Nine-night round-trips, offered on four dates, add Cabo Frio and Ilha Grande. MSC Poesia’s sailings stretch from late November through March. Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise | 49
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Puerto Rico to Showcase Improvements at the 2016 FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show
uerto Rico last hosted the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show in October 2011, and this year’s event will help the island showcase its achievements over the past half-decade: the expansion of its tourism infrastructure and efforts to diversify its attractions in order to remain competitive within the Caribbean—the world’s most important region for the cruise industry. During the past five years, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company and its partners have heavily invested in initiatives to boost passenger satisfaction with product development and service as the two key pillars. Recent passenger reviews and scores from various cruise lines are quite encouraging and reflect significant increases over previous years. Infrastructure is key to retain and affirm Puerto Rico’s unique position as a leading Caribbean homeport (33% of traffic) and transit port (67% of traffic). Ongoing and future public-private investment in the cruise piers, the Convention Center District and the San Juan Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport will help continue the industry’s unprecedented growth in Puerto Rico. Specifically, initiatives include: •U pdating and remodeling Piers 4 and PanAm in San Juan in order to increase the port’s capacity and allow larger capacity cruises to berth for both transit and homeport visits. The Puerto Rico Ports Authority is currently conducting feasibility studies in order to assess the infrastructure needs to meet the growing demand. Accommodating larger ships is one of the region’s challenges and Puerto Rico is moving swiftly to boost capacity and ensure world-class facilities are available for the cruise passenger. • Th e construction of the District Live! at the Convention Center District, which will add 76,000 square feet of vibrant entertainment options to the area. It will feature a theatre with capacity for 8,000, 18 shops and food concessions, and a multiplex cinema. Construction is slated to start summer 2016 and expected to be completed by late 2017, with a $55 million investment. Currently, 50 | Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise
the District, which is quite convenient to the homeport piers, has three hotels: the Sheraton Puerto Rico (503 rooms), the Hyatt Place (149 rooms) and the Hyatt House (126 rooms), with further hotel developments planned. •A $205 million infrastructure investment at the San Juan Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport is already helping improve the passenger experience at the Caribbean’s busiest air terminal. Improvements will be finalized by summer 2016. Passenger traffic at the airport is expected to reach 9.3 million during 2016, an 18% increase from 2011. Today, San Juan is served from more cities in the United States than any other location in the Caribbean and is the main US-Caribbean hub. New air service during this year includes National Airlines serving San Juan from Islip (Long Island) and Air Canada adding nonstop service from Montreal, as well as Iberia reopening its MadridSan Juan route. Recent additions such as Norwegian Airlines’ winter service from Copenhagen, London, Oslo and Stockholm have significantly boosted European tourism to Puerto Rico. Norwegian will increase capacity on their London flights for the Winter Season 2016-2017. Hotel infrastructure is another recent success story for Puerto Rico. In order to expand accommodation choices for “preand-post packages,” there are several facilities currently in construction, such as: • Th e “Rebirth of Isla Verde Beach” development project. Isla Verde is one of the major tourism areas in the metropolitan region, located near the International Airport. This project aims to revitalize the area by renovating and repurposing several areas, including the development of two additional entertainment-oriented zones and an array of new gastronomic offerings. • The development of a new Courtyard by Marriott hotel at the Convention Center District, further boosting hotel capacity for pre and post guests. • Th e acquisition, remodeling and re-launching of the former Ambassador Plaza Hotel in the Condado District.
•C omplete financing and construction of three new luxury hotels. In order to accommodate the growing number of visitors to San Juan, new products and attractions are being devised. Some of these include: • The opening of an information/interactive site, Casita Rums at the Plaza Dársena in Old San Juan, will allow passengers to experience Puerto Rico’s renowned world-class rums. It will offer a unique combination of rum tasting and history tour, conveniently located right beside the transit piers. • Th e recent inauguration of the El Monstruo zipline at the Toro Verde Adventure Park in Orocovis. Certified as the longest zipline in the world by Guinness World Records in February, this ride is a must for adventure seekers. • Th e new Vivo Beach Club—a unique private club located in six acres of beachfront property in the Isla Verde district will help expand the shore excursion product in San Juan. This luxury property was opened in February 2016 and offers access to Isla Verde’s Blue Flag Beach. Plus, it will feature 3 full service restaurants, an onsite microbrewery, and an open-air stage that will host local and international acts. The club is just 20 minutes away from the piers and certain to become a favorite of cruise passengers visiting the Island. Investment in infrastructure and new attractions is complemented with service initiatives. During 2015, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company enlisted the Aquila Center for Cruise Excellence to train and certify the island’s largest tour operators. Two tour operators, Rico Sun Tours (RST) and United Tour Guides (UTG), received the ACE Tour Operator Designation, bestowed after an extensive quality-assurance process and ensuring commitment to excellence on tour delivery, service and operations. Dozens of local guides have also been trained by Aquila and received the prestigious Aquila Tour Guide Excellence International Certification. Puerto Rico was the first destination to engage in fully certifying both tour operators and guides, a move that has been well-received by industry executives.
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Rico Sun Tours (RST) and United Tour Guides (UTG) Receive ACE Tour Operator Designation
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Tortola Pier Park: The Gateway to an Ideal Caribbean Getaway in the BVI
he British Virgin Islands (BVI) is becoming a burgeoning hot spot for cruise ship travelers. While it has always lured visitors to its shores for great sailing and relaxation, it is now rising to the forefront of cruise line itineraries’ must-see destinations. The maze of islands and cays offers clear blue waters and breathtaking beaches in a climate that is ideal year-round and perfectly positioned between two alluring seas with mountainous topography on both sides. Coveted by many for its unabashed beauty and secluded tranquility, those who have an affinity for the BVI cherish the destination’s diverse tourism product, which offers a mix of land and sea activities, historical and cultural outings, and notable landmarks. For reasons such as these, the travelers’ curiosity continues to peak leading major cruise lines to show a rising interest in port development across the region. Key tourism leaders are also taking heed. 52 | Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise
At the forefront of one of the largest and most recent Caribbean port developments is the BVI Government and their Ports Authority, who revitalized their capitol port in the center of Road Town with the development of Tortola Pier Park, a multimillion-dollar retail and event space built along the waterfront edge. Tortola Pier Park is exceptional and unrivaled. It is a multifaceted structure designed with the splendor and grandeur one would expect to find in the BVI—elegant arched walkways hover above brick layered paths with old world colonial architecture refined to meet the islands’ modern day tempo. A muted blend of colors segues into picturesque scenes of the surrounding harbor. Luxury yachts of varying size moor at bay as small and large vessels posture by impressive cruise ships berthed nearby. Within two years of its ground breaking, Tortola Pier Park has morphed to become a mixed-use space housing 11 buildings and 18 kiosks replete with shopping, restaurants, various services centers (medical, banking
rentals, and telecommunication), offices and outdoor entertainment/event areas. “Tortola Pier Park is formed with the elements and features that are very important to cruise ship guests. From the moment visitors disembark they are welcomed by a host of greeters and tourism ambassadors who are stationed at the park. We take great pride in our destination and have developed a culture among our tenants and employees who are groomed to deliver the best experience for all who come ashore,” said Dona Regis, CEO of Tortola Pier Park. “We have multilingual greeters who are ready to interpret and assist visitors where needed, and we place a lot of effort into curating an entertainment and cultural experience with activities that can be enjoyed by all age groups. When you add the shopping and dining, it becomes a very balanced environment for the entire family.” Sixty-plus businesses are carefully arranged to blend with elements and details that identify an era that is bygone, yet preserved. There are artisan and internationally branded
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jewelry stores located in between designer boutiques, and independent retailers with custom made fashions. The shopping village is home to stores selling footwear, men’s & women’s fashion, swimwear, electronics & technology, health and beauty supplies, sunglasses, optical eyewear, and food and beverages. A wide array of locally made products is also available at Tortola Pier Park, including natural wellness and aromatherapy goods, pottery and coral works, and artwork. Although the BVI has been favored by many travelers, the development of Tortola Pier Park was timely. “It was important to upgrade the infrastructure of our port to meet the demands of the cruise industry,” continued Regis. “While the BVI is blessed with a lot of natural resources, it was pivotal for the destination to embrace the opportunity to grow and build a pier that could accommodate the larger cruise ships in conjunction with developing a facility that could create different opportunities for the population and boost the economy.”
Through the development of the pier and shopping center, there is great potential for increased calls to the BVI. “These islands are unique and there are opportunities for the BVI to meet passenger demands, in terms of fulfilling an ideal getaway,” said Regis. “We recognize the varied interests held by travelers who want a mix of organized tours and the freedom to explore on their own. One of the many highlights of the BVI is the level of safety and comfort that is felt within the environment, which transcends to the natural friendliness of the people.” From an economic standpoint, 15-year berthing agreements have been secured with Norwegian Cruise Line and Disney Cruise Line, both committing to bring cruise guests to the destination over that time. As a result, the BVI will be able to expect a minimum of 425,000 passengers per year, which exceeds the previous annual number of travelers of 350,000. “By year end, 650,000 passengers will have visited the BVI which reflects over 100% growth,” Regis added. The Ports Authority is expecting to make
other berthing agreements with a number of major cruise lines that will position the BVI for an even greater increase in visitors. “In going forward, the plan is to create a sustainable impact, and continue to keep everything fresh by staying ahead of the trends,” said Regis. “We always want to ensure that we’re on the right path to provide the ultimate shopping, dining and entertainment experience for our guests. We want to establish ourselves regionally as a model of what a cruise port should exemplify and maintain a stellar reputation in responding to the needs of the industry, and our community.” Tortola Pier Park is on course to produce additional value-added features for visitors who wish to connect with their network while traveling. Free Wifi, a crew club, on-site medical and banking services will be made available. These bonuses, coupled with the ease of crafting an ideal getaway within one group of islands, and you have the solution to what is increasingly heralded as a favorable voyage for American and international travelers. Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise | 53
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Carnival Corporation’s David Candib, Tom Spina and Jose Negron Present Orfila Salazar, Dominican Republic’s Cruise Director, with the FCCA’s Donation to the Integración Juvenil School in Puerta Plata
Puerto Plata: Resurgence of the Dominican Republic’s First Tourism Destination
ffectionately called La Novia del Atlántico, or “The Bride of the Atlantic,” Puerto Plata has historically been a welcoming city, with rich culture and a stark contrast of green mountains against azure skies and bright sands. The Dominican Republic’s historic first tourism destination is currently seeing its best moments in recent years thanks to new tourism investments and an influx of arrivals looking to explore the province’s classically attractive offerings. Located on the country’s north coast, Puerto Plata is famous for possessing a variety of distinctive offerings between the towns in its province. The town of Cabarete is a renowned water sport destination famous the world over, popular with locals and international watersport professionals because of its laidback atmosphere catering to those who enjoy living a surfer’s island dream. Sosua offers its refreshing beaches and vibrant nightlife, while Puerto Plata’s main town of San Felipe highlights culture and its historical essence where visitors can find 54 | Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise
local artisanal crafts, museums and an array of exquisite gastronomy reaping the benefits of fresh food in a coastal city. Puerto Plata’s Gregorio Luperón International Airport received more than 392,000 visitors in 2015, an increase of more than 11.5 percent over the previous year, ranking it in the top three Dominican airports in arrivals and demonstrating that this destination remains one of the most sought-after destinations in the country. Also in the past year, Puerto Plata celebrated a milestone in its tourism industry. With the opening of the Amber Cove cruise port in October, the destination opened a new door through which visitors are able to enjoy the beautiful region. Located in the Bay of Maimón, the Amber Cove cruise port—a multimilliondollar investment by Carnival Corporation that can harbor 8,000 cruise passengers and 2,000 crewmembers daily—expects to welcome 350,000 cruise passengers from Carnival’s eight brands this year, who will experience the project’s three architectural styles—Victorian, Colonial and Fortaleza— along with cobblestoned plazas, retail and
food and beverage offerings and a host of shore excursion offerings. Plus, in April Amber Cove received the much-discussed Fathom, Carnival Corporation’s “voluntourism” brand dedicated to performing several days of social impact activities within the region. This latest addition to Puerto Plata’s tourism pipeline represents a strategic move to bolster the growth of the north and central region. Other destinations nearby—such as Sosua, Cabarete, Maimón and Santiago— have benefited from the port’s opening. To date, more than 56 ships have arrived, representing an estimated 166,600 cruise passengers and 59,000 crewmembers. Since its operation, Amber Cove Cruise Center has generated hundreds of direct and indirect job opportunities, unifying the public and private sector, where the Tourism Cluster of Puerto Plata and the Chamber of Commerce work together toward the same goal. In a joint effort between President Danilo Medina, Minister of Tourism Francisco Javier García, tourism authorities and talented locals, Puerto Plata is once again ready to showcase its natural wonders to the world.
By land or by sea.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC HAS IT ALL
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Antigua and Barbuda: A Cruise Paradise Still Expanding
ntigua and Barbuda is a twin-island paradise that has been a long-favored stomping ground for cruise passengers. Approximately 700,000 visitors graced our shores in 2015 alone, and that figure is expected to grow this year. Setting a target of one million cruise passengers by year 2020, the Government is moving full-steam ahead to embark on new developments to boost the overall appeal of the product and successfully lure more cruise ships to the destination. HISTORY Antigua and Barbuda sits on the outer arc of the Caribbean necklace, where it inherited the title of being ‘The Heart of the Caribbean.’ During the 17th century, it was a cultivation hub for sugar plantations, owing to the generally favorable climatic conditions and strategic geographical position. As the country phased out its sugar industry during 56 | Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise
the early 20th Century, those favorable conditions were recognized by travelers, and the destination quickly became a Caribbean sweetheart for tourists. PORT OF CALL – ST JOHN’S Most of the major cruise ships dock in St John’s City which is the capital city of the destination. Entering the St John’s harbor, passengers are treated to a scenic journey of undulating landscape, hidden bays, beautiful hillside homes, and jagged cliffs crowned by forts that once protected our shores. As the short journey to the dock concludes, the city’s skyline unveils an array of brightly-colored roofs, and the distinctive twin-towers of the St John’s Cathedral—an Anglican church originally built in the 1700s. This church is also a popular photo-op for visitors. Passengers disembark at the Heritage Quay Pier or Nevis Street Pier (depending on the number of cruise ships in port) and are literally on the doorsteps of two wonderful duty-free shopping centers—Heritage Quay,
and Redcliffe Quay. Heritage Quay offers a more modern shopping experience, from renowned jewelry stores to small clothing and souvenir shops, while historical Redcliffe Quay provides shopping in a more rustic setting with the Georgian-style buildings, local arts and crafts shops, coffee shops and restaurants. Going beyond the cruise ship zone, the touristic atmosphere gradually subsides, transitioning into the central business district. Places like the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda and the St. John’s Anglican Cathedral are among the most notable places to visit in the city. Veering right down Market Street, you encounter picturesque architecture, quaint shops, and our friendly locals. This journey culminates at the local marketplace—relatively dormant during week days, but bursting with a vibrant atmosphere of buyers and sellers on weekends. While approaching the local market, drop by and say hello to the Father of the Nation, Sir Vere Cornwall Bird, as his monument sits majestically at the market square.
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BEYOND THE CITY Within the environs of the Local Market, you can find the West Bus Station Terminal and Taxi Center, if you plan to seek adventure beyond the city. Beach Exploration is probably the easiest adventure here, as it is no secret that our destination has a high concentration of stunning beaches. In fact, you will often hear the locals boast “our islands have 365 beautiful beaches, one for every day of the year!” Some of our top beaches that are in close proximity to the St. John’s cruise facilities are Fort James, which is only one mile away, Runaway Beach, Dickenson Bay and Deep Bay. Other favorites on the outskirts of St. John’s include Ffryes Beach, Valley Church Beach, Darkwood Beach, Long Bay and Half Moon Bay. Although the beaches may be considered the star attraction of the destination, the beach is just the beginning… For our history lovers, take a journey through the past by visiting one of the fine sites of Antigua and Barbuda National Parks. Although the colonial period ended years ago, the remnants of the past still remain, some of which are beautifully restored to almost new. Nelson’s Dockyard is a one such historic masterpiece and the most visited historical
site in Antigua and Barbuda. Once serving as a hub for the British Naval ships during the sugar trade, the harbor’s use is no less active today. Many sailors and yachtsmen from around the globe take advantage of its safe anchorage. The site is also on the verge of earning a major status this year, as it will be recognized as a World UNESCO Heritage. Shirley Heights Lookout is a ‘must do’ while here, offering an impressive view of Nelson’s Dockyard and the destination’s most iconic scenery. Rich biodiversity makes room for a good eco-adventure, from the winding roads through picturesque Fig Tree Drive to a mesmerizing kayak tour around our offshore islands. Barbuda is an eco-paradise. With a population of only 1,500 across 62 square miles, this makes the island largely pristine. It is home to magnificent caves, the largest frigate bird sanctuary in the Western hemisphere, and the famed pink sands. Explore the 17-mile beach at Low Bay, where nature is the only neighbor. NEW PORT DEVELOPMENT AND URBAN RENEWAL As the Government looks towards positioning Antigua and Barbuda as a premiere cruise
destination in the Caribbean, plans are already afoot to upgrade and expand current infrastructure and boost the overall experience for our cruise visitors. At the beginning of May 2016, the extension of the Heritage Quay Pier commenced, where an extra 500 feet of berthing space will be added to the existing facility. This will allow for the expansion of the harbor. Similarly, a series of urban renewal developments will take place in the downtown St. John’s area, running concurrently with the port redevelopment. This will include a new transportation hub, which will feature a dispatch line center for taxis and tour operators. Another exciting project planned for this year will be Fort James Public Park and Recreation Development. This project will transform the landscape of the existing park to include an amphitheater, high-end bars and restaurants, a water park, a marina and more. Further plans will include a docking facility for water taxis (which will be a new addition to the destination) and restoration works at the Fort. All these developments are slated to be completed by October 31st of this year in preparation to welcome the arrival of Anthem of the Seas in December 2016.
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DESTINATIONS & PORTS : THE CARIBBEAN & LATIN AMERICA ::::
Trinidad and Tobago: The Atypical Caribbean
AUTION: Dispel all thoughts of the “typical Caribbean” when you think of Trinidad and Tobago. Located towards the southern end of the Caribbean archipelago, the dual island nation of Trinidad and Tobago enjoys the best of both worlds: exotic Caribbean island vibes, incredible biodiversity thanks to the islands’ close proximity to the South American mainland and an ideal location just outside of the hurricane belt. The islands have two ports of entry for cruise ships – one in Trinidad and the other in Tobago. Regardless of the entry port, Trinidad and Tobago offers visitors an abundance of unforgettable adventures and memorable experiences that break the mold of the Caribbean stereotype.
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TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO On arrival at the Port of Port of Spain, the picturesque quayside, featuring pretty pastels and gingerbread-style lattice-work facades by Trinidad-born, world-renowned designer Brian Mac Farlane, is the perfect spot for visitors to take their first selfie on the island. This should only take a few seconds to maximize the day’s adventures. In this slice of paradise, visitors can choose from exploring the historical and cultural richness of the island, indulging in some retail therapy and sumptuous multiethnic cuisine or going on an eco-adventure in the lush, tropical rainforests. Trinidad’s more laidback little sister, Tobago, may be a mere 300km2, but there is so much to see and do on the pristine island that it’s easy to understand why visitors are always so reluctant to leave.
Although you may only be visiting one of these two uniquely different islands, both boast a variety of colorful, indigenous and cultural treasures that can be experienced through our cuisine, festivals, beaches, watersports, soft adventure, birding, diving, fashion, great city shopping and so much more. FOOD One of the best by-products of Trinidad and Tobago’s multi-cultural heritage is its cuisine. Visitors can enjoy an inexpensive, delicious trip around the world without ever leaving the islands. Traditional and new dishes based on the island’s African, Chinese, East Indian, Middle-eastern and European cuisines are fused with indigenous Caribbean herbs and spices. New fusion dishes have also developed,
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like the famous “bake and fish” sandwich, doubles (fried bread dough filled with curried chickpeas and topped with pickled vegetables and chutneys), curried crab and dumplings, fruit chows (a ceviche-styled preparation of semi-ripened fruit) and an array of desserts to satisfy the sweet tooth. Try the rum-soaked fruit cake, homemade coconut ice-cream, tamarind ball, and guava cheese. BIRDING Also known as the “Land of the Hummingbird,” Trinidad and Tobago is home to over 400 species of beautiful birds, including 17 species of the mesmerizing hummingbird. Fantastic excursions for bird watchers include trips to Caroni Bird Sanctuary, Yerette, Asa Wright Nature Centre and the Pointe-a-Pierre Wild Fowl Trust. In Tobago it won’t take the casual bird watcher very long to spot a beautiful bird. Some of the over 200 species of birds to look out for are the white-tailed Sabrewinged humming bird, blue crowned mot mot, rufous-tailed jacamar, yellow-legged thrush. These and lots more vibrantly-hued birds can be spotted at the Grafton Caledonia Bird and Wild Life Sanctuary, Adventure Farm and Nature Reserve, Cuffie River Nature Retreat, Main Ridge Forest Reserve and Little Tobago island.
BEACHES Inclusive of a scenic drive through the hills of Santa Cruz, the Maracas Bay located on the North Coast in Trinidad will wow anyone who is an avid lover of sun-bathing, frolicking with the waves or simply lounging on the beach enjoying Trinidad’s unique and indigenous bake & shark. It’s just the thing to wash down with a cold beverage from our many food huts. Most of Tobago’s beaches are untouched and natural, featuring golden or white coral sands and clear waters. The most popular ones are Store Bay and Pigeon Point on the island’s south-west coast. Other stunning beaches to visit are Englishman’s Bay, Castara Bay, No Man’s Land and Pirate’s Bay. Legend has it that swimming in Nylon Pool—a clear, mysterious, sand bar in the middle of the sea—would make one look young forever, and the relationships of couples who kiss in the water would last for eternity. Unbelievable? It’s worth a shot! DIVING Boasting the largest known brain coral in the world, hundreds of colorful tropical fish species and other sea creatures including star fish, sea horses, stingrays, reef sharks and manta rays, Tobago has over 15 fantastic dive sites for beginner, intermediate and expert divers ranging in depth from 18 - 120 feet.
SHOPPING From handcrafted souvenirs, leather sandals and handbags to clothes and fine fabrics at bargain prices, the downtown area of the capital city of Port of Spain is arguably the shopping capital of the English-speaking Caribbean. Discount hunters can haggle their way to the best deals at the shops on Frederick Street, Henry Street and Queen Street. For designer boutiques and high-end stores head to the Falls at West Mall, Ellerslie Plaza and Trincity Mall. FASHION Trinidad’s burgeoning fashion industry is inspired by the vibrant colors of the Caribbean—aquamarine seas, verdant forests, glowing sunsets and somber twilights and yearround warm temperatures. Choose from chic designer swimwear and elegant resort wear, ideal for cruising in tropical weather, street wear or formal one-of-a-kind pieces that are perfect for making a grand entrance to the Captain’s dinner. Iconic, award-winning design houses include Meiling, Claudia Pegus, Peter Elias, Zadd and Eastman, Heather Jones and The Cloth. There has also been a surge in young designers and labels currently making waves in the industry, including Anya Ayoung Chee, the winner of the ninth season of Project Runway, Rhion Romany and House of Jaipur.
SOFT ADVENTURE Adventure seekers will have tons of opportunities for thrilling adventures hiking through the rainforest en route to spectacular cave systems, waterfalls, gorges and streams. Hiking through the forest is also a great way to see many of Trinidad’s endemic mammal, reptilian and amphibian species. Popular hiking destinations include Gasparee Caves, Bush Bush Island, Paria Falls, Rio Seco Falls and Three Pools. During the period March to September, the majestic leatherback turtle returns to the beaches on Trinidad’s north-eastern coasts to lay their eggs. Special tours are arranged at night for visitors to witness this mesmerizing event. Tobago’s Main Ridge Rainforest is the oldest forest reserve in the western hemisphere. Comprising two thirds of Tobago’s land area, Main Ridge provides ample opportunities for explorers of different ages and abilities to discover and enjoy nature’s bounty through the forest’s hiking and biking trails. Plan to visit the cascading Argyle waterfall, Tobago’s tallest waterfall. Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise | 61
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characterized by plummeting walls, crevices and caverns. Numerous offshore reefs and island coves combined with crystal-clear turquoise waters afford beachgoers the luxury of privacy and beauty. For underwater views of Roatán’s coral reefs and ocean life without taking the plunge, visitors can explore the endless sea through glass bottom boat tours.
Discover the Island of Roatán
he colors of a reef rich with life, a landscape with a turquoise blue horizon and mountains covered with tropical jungle, those are the signs to let you know you have arrived on the island of Roatan, Honduras. Located 30 miles off the Caribbean coast of Honduras, Roatán is the largest and most developed of the Bay Islands. This tropical paradise boasts pristine white sand beaches, swaying palm trees, aquamarine waters and some of the most spectacular coral reef systems in the Americas. Completely surrounded by the world’s second largest barrier reef, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, it is no wonder Roatán has been one of the most popular cruise destinations for the past seven years in a row. The island offers a myriad of underwater adventures for snorkel and dive enthusiasts, as well as dolphin encounters, horseback rides, fishing, zip-line canopy tours, botanical gardens, seaplane tours, golf and enriching culture.
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Temperatures are characteristically warm year-round. The average high and low temperatures during the rainy season, June through November, are 88°F and 81°F. During the dry season, December to May, temperatures range between 85°F and 78°F. CULTURE AND LANGUAGE Centuries of pirate raids, immigration, deportation and conquesthave left a fascinating cultural and racial mix of British, Spanish, African, and Native American influence. Today, Islanders on Roatán speak predominantly English with a strong island accent. Like the rest of the Bay Islands, Roatán’s authentic island culture still manifests itself in its people, their language and the architecture of their towns. SCUBA DIVING AND SNORKELING The dive industry has grown tremendously on Roatán due to the quality of its coral reefs. Both the northern reef and southern fringing reef boast around 40 dive sites each,
ISLAND ACTIVITIES AND POPULAR SITES With the increased arrival of cruise ship passengers to tour the island, Roatán’s menu of activities has expanded exponentially. Zip-line canopy tours take visitors on a heart-pounding adventure through jungle treetops. Explore more of Roatán’s ecological wonders on a stroll through Carambola Botanical Gardens, showcasing 40 acres of tropical flora and scenic mountain vistas. Travelers can also get up close and personal with vibrant macaws and capuchin monkeys at Gumbalimba Park. Other activities from an ever-expanding list of things to do on Roatán include: horseback riding, sailing, windsurfing and kite boarding lessons, butterfly and iguana farms, seaplane tours, kayaking, fishing, golfing, spa excursions, an 18-hole PGA Golf Course or simply soaking up the sun on one of the many pristine beaches. Cultural excursions include a visit to the Garifuna village at Punta Gorda. And island tours are perhaps the most common activity sought for by visitors. The island’s geography is so beautiful and diverse that nobody who visits the island wants to leave without getting to know its entirety. SHOPPING, DINING AND ENTERTAINMENT Roatán’s West End is known for its quaint shops and authentic island eateries. Hundreds of souvenir stores and gift shops are available on Roatan. You can find the nicest keepsakes of the island. Visitors can shop for handcrafted specialties, such as woodcarvings, textiles, woven hammocks, embroidery, ceramics and more. Many local restaurants and beach bars offer Caribbean food, including the soughtafter lobster, king crab and traditional island stews made with coconut milk. Local beer is one of the most common beverages, and the most popular drinks available are rum and traditional cocktails like the Monkey Lala. For more Information, please visit www. Honduras.Travel or call 305-461-0600-01
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Del Rio Praises New Cuban Policy, Looks Forward to Future Operations
rank Del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, praised an April 22 advisement that the government of the Republic of Cuba authorized entry and exit of Cuban citizens into and out of the country as passengers or crew of cruise ships independent of their migratory status, allowing Cuban-born residents and citizens residing abroad, including the United States, to enter and exit Cuba via cruise vessels. “I am extremely pleased with the announcement that all Americans, regardless of their place of birth, will be able to travel to Cuba aboard cruise
ships,” said Del Rio, who was born in Cuba and immigrated to the United States in 1961. “Our Oceania Cruises brand continues discussions with Cuban officials seeking approval to commence cruises to Cuba later this year.” “I am encouraged to see that the governments of both Cuba and the United States continue to institute constructive resolutions to issues across a wide spectrum, including the lifting of remaining restrictions on travel for American citizens,” he continued. “I am very much looking forward to sailing to Cuba soon aboard one of our ships in the company of many fellow Cuban Americans and other fellow Americans who wish to share in the excitement and passion that cruising to Cuba brings.”
Carnival Extends Stays in Cozumel to Provide Exciting New Shore Excursions
arnival Cruise Line has extended the length of time its ships spend in Cozumel, Mexico, on more than 750 voyages, providing guests with even more opportunities to experience and explore one of the Caribbean’s most diverse vacation destinations. The additional time in port has enabled Carnival’s shore excursion experts to partner with local tour operators to create one-of-akind excursion offerings that allow guests to fully immerse themselves in Mexican culture and participate in truly unique landside experiences. On “Cozumel Plus” itineraries, guests now have access to a variety of new excursions, many taking place on Mexico’s mainland, with unforgettable tours like swimming with whale sharks, visiting centuries-old ruins and swimming in hidden caverns complementing nearly 50 existing tours already available. Cozumel Plus tours are up to eight 64 | Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise
hours in duration and include everything from extended, day-long tours visiting ancient Mayan ruins, including Chichen Itza—one of the Seven Wonders of the World dating back to 750 A.D.—to snorkeling the exquisite turquoise waters of Xel-Ha, a magnificent group of lagoons connected by a series of bridges. On other excursions, guests can explore Mexico’s famed “secret river,” subterranean caverns connected by underground waterways with stunning natural rock formations that are millions of years old or participate in a seasonal excursion of swimming in open waters with whale sharks, gentle sea creatures measuring up to 40 feet in length and weighing up to 47,000 pounds. Of course, the additional time in port provides guests with more time to check out Cozumel’s legendary white-sand beaches, excellent fishing, snorkeling and water sports, and unique shopping and dining opportunities. Cruises visiting Cozumel dock at Puerta Maya, Carnival’s modern three-berth facility
in Cozumel, which offers easy access to the various tours via an on-site transportation center and includes a variety of retail shops, boutiques and restaurants, enhancing guests’ on-shore experience. “With magnificent beaches and interesting landmarks and historical sites, Cozumel is the Caribbean’s premier cruising region, and our ‘Cozumel Plus’ itineraries provide our guests with a seemingly endless variety of new ways to explore this fascinating destination,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “These new itineraries provide our guests with the opportunity to create wonderful vacation memories and our travel agent partners an exciting cruise option to market to their clients.”
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Port Canaveral Celebrates Appearance of Carnival Magic
Carnival Cruise Line and the Canaveral Port Authority hosted a special event to celebrate the arrival of the Space Coast’s newest ship, the 130,000-ton Carnival Magic, and mark the official grand opening of the ship’s new Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse designed by Food Network star Guy Fieri. Carnival Magic is the newest Carnival ship to sail from Port Canaveral, joining Carnival Victory and Carnival Valor on year-round departures from the Space Coast, as well as Carnival Sunshine’s seasonal sailings. Together, these four ships will carry more than 650,000 guests annually from Port Canaveral.
Canaveral Port Authority to Renovate Cruise Terminal 10 to Handle 5,000 Passengers and Homeport Norwegian Epic
Carlos Torres de Navarra, Vice President, Commercial Port Operations for Carnival Cruise Line Presents Port of New Orleans CEO Gary LaGrange with Donation to Music Charities
New Orleans Celebrates Arrival of Newest Cruise Ship, Carnival Triumph To celebrate the arrival of New Orleans’ newest cruise ship, Carnival Triumph, Carnival Cruise Line and the Port of New Orleans recently hosted an entertaining charity event with representatives from four local music organizations competing for $35,000 in donations to music charities. Carnival Triumph represents a 34 percent capacity increase on the line’s four- and fiveday cruise program from New Orleans. Together with Carnival Dream, which operates yearround seven-day voyages, Carnival is expected to carry 450,000 passengers annually from the renovated Erato Street Terminal, representing the largest ever capacity commitment by a cruise line in New Orleans. Carnival is the only cruise line to operate year-round from New Orleans and offers the widest variety of cruise durations and itinerary choices from the Big Easy, visiting tropical destinations in Mexico, the Caribbean and The Bahamas. “Carnival Triumph’s arrival demonstrates Carnival Cruise Line’s continued commitment to Louisiana and the Port of New Orleans to grow its business here and offer guests a new and expanded option on its four- and five-day cruise program,” said Gary LaGrange, president and CEO, Port of New Orleans. “We are elated to welcome this exciting ship which features a number of Carnival’s most popular new enhancements to New Orleans and look forward to continuing our long-standing partnership with Carnival.” 66 | Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise
The Canaveral Port Authority Board recently approved plans to renovate Cruise Terminal 10. The improvements include increasing capacity to handle 5,000 cruise guests; new passenger entry and embarkation sections; expanded luggage area; improved security, customs, and border protection; two new mobile gangways; and a pier strengthening to accommodate the larger ships. Scheduled for completion this November, the renovated terminal will homeport Norwegian Epic.
PortMiami Eyes Accelerating $38 Million Investment to Berth MSC Seaside
County commissioners were recently asked to accelerate $38 million to improve PortMiami’s Terminal F for berthing MSC Cruises’ MSC Seaside starting in winter 2017. Deputy Mayor Jack Osterholt said the increase in passengers generated by the MSC Seaside will generate $3.5 million more revenue and help attract other megaships. “At present, a large order book of cruise ships exists with multiple vessels requiring terminal capacities greater than those of the port,” he said. “These new vessels will, at full capacity, carry 6,000 or more passengers while the port’s largest existing terminals were designed and built for passenger loads up to 4,500.” The port is also trying to design and procure boarding bridges for the terminal to handle ships with even more capacity than the Seaside, he said. “Together, these improvements will enable the port to attract these larger 6,000 passenger vessels to both fully offset the $38 million investment in the improvements and to produce annual net positive income to the port above the $38 million investment.”
THE POWER OF A PREMIER CRUISE PORT There are so many reasons to choose Port Everglades. Our modern, efficiently operated terminals make transit a breeze. We’re just two miles from FLL international airport, and minutes from world-famous beaches. Plus, we’re fully scalable. We can accommodate any size ship or passenger volume, moving passengers from curb to ship in just 15 minutes. Year-round berthing available. Discover how Port Everglades propels your business forward in powerful new ways. Visit porteverglades.net or call 800-421-0188.
WELCOME TO SEATRADE CRUISE GLOBAL’S FORT LAUDERDALE DEBUT!
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CLIA North West & Canada and CLIA Alaska Celebrate 2016 Cruise Season in Vancouver
CLIA North West & Canada Celebrates 30th Anniversary
Cruise Lines International Association – North West & Canada (CLIA-NWC) celebrates its 30th anniversary this upcoming July. The nonprofit association represents the interests of 12 major cruise lines that operate in the Pacific Northwest and Canada, and it is one of 15 regional offices that make up the global CLIA. CLIA-NWC began as the Vancouver Cruise Ship Terminal Users Association, which officially formed on July 16, 1986. The cruise lines formally established the association to undertake passenger screening operations at Canada Place—a responsibility that, under Canadian law, falls to the ship. Since that time, the role of the association has grown along with its capacity to operate security screening of the growing number of cruise passengers arriving at and departing in Vancouver. At the special April celebration reception for the 2016 cruise season in Vancouver, Paul Goodwin, Chairman of CLIA-NWC, recalled a conversation held at the Port of Vancouver in the early 80s, in which port operators expressed concern that 2,500 cruise guests would arrive in one day. “The port wasn’t sure they could do it,” he said. “Today, 16,000 guests can be turned in a single day.” “CLIA-NWC actually represents a success story of the cruise industry in Vancouver,” said Greg Wirtz, President of CLIA-NWC. “While CLIA-NWC represents the lines’ interests throughout Canada and the Pacific Northwest, we work closely with other cruise and tourism associations on many issues that overlap regions.”
“We have a very symbiotic relationship and assist each other in areas such as government relations, security and operations and draw on each other’s expertise as needs arise,” he continued. A year after its incorporation, the original association was renamed to the North West Cruiseship Association to more accurately reflect the role of the collective entity, whose interests extended from Washington State to Alaska and from British Columbia to Hawaii. When its reach broadened to the Atlantic and St. Lawrence areas in 2010, it officially became the North West & Canada Cruise Association (NWCCA). NWCCA joined CLIA in 2013, and it continues to represent its members’ regional interests as part of a global and increasingly unified cruise industry.
Celebrating the start of the 2016 cruise season in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, CLIA North West & Canada and CLIA Alaska hosted a special reception semi-annual event with their member line representatives. Held at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel on April 19, nearly 90 guests attended. Greg Wirtz, President CLIA-NWC, and Paul Goodwin, Board Chair, welcomed Lynne Platt, US Consul General for British Columbia and the Yukon, and guests, as well as representatives from regional ports, tourism associations, business partners and community organizations. Robin Silvester, CEO of Port of Vancouver, who co-sponsored the reception, described the success of Vancouver as a cruise homeport for over thirty years as a testament to the collaboration of those in the room. He noted that the port’s recent recognition as a “Best Destination Experience” by Cruise Insight Magazine speaks to the combined efforts of all of the port’s tourism partners. “We could only build these successes with the partners themselves,” he said. John Binkley, President of CLIA Alaska, agreed. “We all depend on each other to deliver a good quality product at a reasonable price to be competitive in a worldwide market,” he said. “999,600 visitors came to Alaska on cruise ships in 2015. This year, we will surpass a million.”
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Artist Rendering of $100 Million Project for 30-Acre San Pedro Public Market
Port of Los Angeles Plans $100 Million Revitalization AT THE PORT OF LOS ANGELES, plans are moving forward for a $100 million revitalization of the Ports O’ Call Village. The 30-acre plan includes dining, retail, and open space that will reenergize the area, along with improving ocean-side access for both locals and tourists. The new project will be called the San Pedro Public Market, expected for completion by 2020. The first phase of the San Pedro Public Market will include 16 acres of restaurants, shopping, fresh markets, and boutique- style office space, as well as more than half a mile of waterfront promenade.
The San Pedro Public Market will also feature ample outdoor space, including an open-air amphitheater for live entertainment, interactive family-friendly attractions, and year-round events. The San Pedro Public Market is one piece of a broader L.A. waterfront investment plan. The Port of Los Angeles has already invested $600 million in public access projects like the Harbor Blvd. Parkway Promenade, Downtown Harbor, and the USS Iowa. It expects to invest another $400 million in public access over the next 10 years.
U.S. Coast Guard Relaxes Rules for Vessels Arriving from Cuba IN THE WAKE OF President Barack Obama’s historymaking visit, the US took yet another step toward normalizing relations with Cuba by removing Conditions of Entry on vessels arriving to the US that had visited Cuba in their last five port calls. After a comprehensive assessment, the US Coast Guard removed Cuba from the list of countries deemed to have insufficient security in their ports. Based on port assessments conducted in February 2016, Cuba’s ports have been deemed to meet the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code requirements established by the International Maritime Organization. As a result of the change, US cruise ships, cargo ships, ferries, and other vessels are able to travel back and forth to Cuba without being subject to mandatory boarding or inspection by the Coast Guard. While random inspections will still take place, the change is expected to make sea travel between the US and Cuba much faster and easier.
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For fly-in convenience, culture, non-stop entertainment, or simply relaxing in the warm Southern California sunshine, nothing beats a cruise vacation out of the Port of Los Angeles. Our world-renowned home-ported cruise lines offer exceptional accommodations and itineraries to suit any passenger preference. And when your clients are back on land, there’s no limit to the fun they can have in greater LA – one of the world’s most popular vacation destinations. So book them on a one-of-a-kind experience that they’ll truly love. Follow us on
For more information, visit www.portoflosangeles.org or www.lawaterfront.org
DESTINATIONS & PORTS : EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA ::::
New Record for Europe’s Cruise Market: 6.6 Million Europeans Cruised in 2015
he annual passenger figures published in March by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) showed that 6.6 million Europeans cruised in 2015, an all-time record. Representing a three percent year-over-year increase, an impressive 200,000 more passengers cruised, compared to the previous year. These figures reconfirm the great shape Europe’s cruise industry. Since 2008, the European cruise market has grown by a staggering 49 percent, despite the fact that Europe has gone through one of the worst economic crises in its history during this period. The fact that the number of Europeans going on cruise holidays has continued to increase during this period not only proves that cruising is an amazing holiday option, providing great value for money and an excellent alternative to land-based holidays, it also shows the cruise industry’s remarkable resilience to economic downturns. 72 | Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise
Plus, although cruising remains Europe’s fastest-growing form of holiday, the cruise industry’s future prospects in Europe remain extremely bright. Cruising is still a young industry, representing a small percentage of overall holidays taken in Europe. With penetration rates still low, particularly when compared to mature markets like the United States, the industry’s scope to keep growing in Europe is huge. The Mediterranean continues to be Europeans’ preferred cruise destination, and 52 percent of the Europeans who cruised in 2015 selected a cruise itinerary within this region. The Caribbean remains the second most popular destination, accounting for 25 percent of the European cruise passengers. And the remaining 23 percent chose a cruise holiday within Northern Europe, including the Baltic Sea. Looking at the different European markets, Germany has continued its
position as Europe’s first cruise market, with 1.81 million passengers—a 2.4 percent increase compared to 2014. As far as the world cruise market and passengers, Germany ranks second in the world, behind the United States. After a year of negative growth, the UK cruise market has experienced a strong 8.8 percent increase, thanks to an increase in the number of cruise ships based in the country’s ports. In 2015, 1.79 million British passengers took a cruise. Despite a 3.9 percent decrease, Italy remains the third-largest European cruise market, with 810,000 Italians who cruised in 2015. France has grown by 3.6 percent, consolidating itself as Europe’s fourth-largest source market, with 615,000 French passengers cruising in 2015. After three consecutive years of decline, fueled by the country’s economic difficulties, Spain’s cruise market has grown by 2.8 percent, with 466,000 Spanish passengers cruising.
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TOP 10 “MUST-DO” EUROPEAN EXCURSIONS 1. CIVITAVECCHIA, ITALY Romantic Rome is about an hour away from Civitavecchia, where the cruise ships dock. The main attractions are easily reached in a day. Visit the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, and make sure you throw a coin in to the Trevi Fountain, which is said to ensure your return to this beautiful city! The Vatican and Sistine Chapel are also fabulous places to see, but to do this properly, you would need another day. A compromise would be to go into St Peter’s Square, where you can see the famous Vatican balcony… and maybe even the Pope! 2. ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA Excursions are almost essential here. If you fancy going ashore independently, then you need to have obtained a Russian visa before travel. A wealth of opportunities to discover this Russian city are available, regardless of cruise line you have chosen to travel with. The renowned Hermitage Museum is well worth a visit, but don’t go expecting to see it all… it’s huge! Also worth visiting are the Tsars palaces, where you can see a bit of the life of the Russian dynasties. Most tours include a stop outside the colorful Church of Spilled Blood, and a local craft market. 3. LIVORNO, ITALY When your ship docks in Livorno, you have a choice of excursions to either Florence or Pisa. Florence is quite a long journey, so be prepared, but it does include the famous galleries, museums and sights. Pisa is a closer option and includes the Leaning Tower and surrounding buildings. This is a more leisurely excursion, and although there isn’t as much to see in Pisa, the parkland around the towers is beautiful, with a market for buying souvenirs nearby.
5. GIBRALTAR, BRITISH OVERSEAS TERRITORY This is a compact area to visit many exciting places. The highlights are going up The Rock (maybe by cable car) for fabulous views, spending some time with the mischievous Barbary Apes and the extraordinary St Michael’s Caves. Opting to take a tour is best. Why? Everything gets very busy with long lines early on, especially if a number of cruise ships are in the port. 6. FLAM, NORWAY Flam is a small town in a Norwegian fjord. A great opportunity is to take the steep railway for fabulous views of the surrounding Norwegian countryside and a stop at a great waterfall. The train departs from right by where the ships dock, and offers a commentary during the journey. 7. OLDEN, NORWAY Another port of call in the Norwegian fjords. There is an awe-inspiring excursion to the Briksdal Glacier. Once there, you can either walk to the glacier, or if mobility is limited, other methods of transportation is available. The sheer size of the glacier is unbelievable and not to be missed. Followed by a warming drink of hot chocolate on your return to your coach.
8. PIRAEUS, GREECE A must is an excursion to Athens. The commercial port of Piraeus holds very little in the way of sight-seeing. A guided tour of the Acropolis and Parthenon lets you visit and experience those sites you have seen so much in pictures. But it is something else to get the site in perspective with the city of Athens. Viewing an Olympic stadium from the top of the hill is just one. 9. VILLEFRANCHE, FRANCE A pretty little town on the French Riviera so close to many other beautiful places, you will be spoiled with wonderful choices. A day in the principality of Monaco with a visit to the Castle, the palace and Casino is one. Maybe a walk or drive around the Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit. An excursion in the opposite direction will take you to the classy Riviera destinations of Nice, Cannes and Antibes. 10. DUBROVNIK, CROATIA A city tour is the recommended excursion on a first visit. The length of your transfer will depend on where your ship is docked. Take a walk on the cobbled streets within and around the ancient walls which run a complete circle around the city. See the remains of the destruction of the former Yugoslavia, and how the Croatians have made the best at recovering from this battle. The evidence remains.
4. CADIZ, SPAIN You will find options available to Seville. There is usually a fully guided tour, or the option of a shuttle Seville. The tour takes you around the beautiful historic sights, but if you fancy doing a more independent tour, then the shuttle is ideal. This drops off and picks up close to the Cathedral.
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DESTINATIONS & PORTS : EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA ::::
AIDAdiva Kicks Off Cruise Season in Rostock-Warnemünde AIDAdiva kicked off the cruise season in Rostock-Warnemünde on April 28. The 252-meter-long and 32.2-meter-wide ship arrived from Göteborg with some 2,300 guests on board rounding out its 13-day cruise from Tenerife to Rostock-Warnemünde. Yet that same evening, more guests embarked on AIDAdiva for a four-day cruise to Oslo and Copenhagen. With 41 arrivals this year, Rostock-based tourism company AIDA Cruises is once again the strongest cruising partner and one of the city’s most important economic drivers. “In our 20th anniversary year, we have again increased our range of travel options in the Baltic Sea and Northern Europe,” said Felix Eichhorn, president of AIDA Cruises. “AIDA and Rostock have been fostering a close partnership for many years. Thanks to our commitment, which we have continued to expand, the city has become one of the most important cruise destinations in the Baltic region.” This season Rostock-Warnemünde will welcome AIDAdiva 16 times between April 28 and August 28, offering trips like a 10-day Baltic cruises bound for St. Petersburg, Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallinn, Copenhagen, and Danzig.
Plus, AIDAmar will be setting sail 25 times from RostockWarnemünde. Her season began on May 7 and includes trips to the most beautiful Baltic cities. AIDAmar’s season will end in Warnemünde on October 15 with a real highlight: a transatlantic cruise to New York via Hamburg, Norway, Greenland, and Canada.
This ultimate shore experience is sure to become the highlight of your cruising experience. Start dreaming of the adventures to be found.
FIND YOUR TRAVEL ADVENTURE INSPIRATION:
DESTINATIONS & PORTS : AUSTRALASIA ::::
CRUISE TOURISM CONTINUES TO ADD VALUE TO THE AUSTRALIAN ECONOMY
he Australian cruising success story continues. The biggest summer cruise season ever came to a close with over 38 FCCA/CLIA member cruise line ships visiting Australia. This included an unprecedented eight ships making their maiden visits to Australia during the season. Across the country an impressive 40 maiden port calls were made by cruise lines. These included a range of cities and regional towns from Lizard Island, Gladstone and Port Douglas in the north to Burnie and Hobart in the south, helping spread the economic benefits of cruising across the country. This record season comes on the back of Australia reaching the 1 million passenger mark in 2014 and achieving the highest market penetration rate in the world. It is expected that Australia’s growth story will continue. CLIA recently announced that the value of cruising in Australia continues to surge. Swelling cruise passenger numbers and an increase in homeported ships helped drive the industry’s economic contribution to a record $3.6 billion in 2014-15, according to a 76 | Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise
new report, Contribution of Cruise Tourism to the Australian Economy in 2014-15. Commissioned by CLIA Australasia and prepared by Business Research & Economic Advisors (BREA), the independent report reveals that the economic value of cruising has risen an impressive 11.6 percent since 2013, when CLIA’s first economic report recorded an industry contribution of $3.2 billion. The report also provides a valuable insight into the industry’s growth and future, capturing both the impressive growth of the cruise industry and the shifting structure of the industry as capacity constraints at Australia’s major port destinations begin to have an impact, along with highlighting the benefits that cruising delivers to regional communities and economies. The number of calls by homeported ships increased by 8.3 percent in the 2014-15 financial year, compared to the previous year, helping to boost cruise line expenditures by 11 percent. Also fueling growth was a 10.3 percent rise in passenger capacity on homeported ships and an 8.8 percent increase in capacity on visiting ships, reflecting the increasing size of cruise ships in local waters. In the executive summary of the report, however, CLIA notes that capacity
constraints remain a barrier to future growth, particularly in Sydney. During 2014-15, passenger and crew visit days grew by 8.8 percent across the country. However, New South Wales (NSW) experienced only 0.4 percent growth, compared to almost 56 percent in Western Australia, 27.4 percent in Victoria and 16.4 percent in Queensland. NSW’s share of the overall economic contribution slipped from 73 per cent in 2013 to 68 per cent in 2014-15. Capacity constraints have also limited the number of visiting international ships, prompting a 10 percent decline in international passenger visit days in 201415. This represents a lost opportunity to the Australian economy of close to $7 million, according to the summary. The report also found that overall passenger expenditure grew by 12.5 percent, to $814 million in 2014-15, driven by the increase in passenger days, as well as a 3.4 percent rise in average passenger spend per day to $384. In addition, international passengers spent an average of $700 a day in a homeport, compared to $181 in a transit port, while domestic passengers spent an average $483 a day in a homeport and $151 in a transit port.
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P&O CRUISES EMBARKS ON BIGGEST-EVER WESTERN AUSTRALIA SEASON
estern Australia’s economy is getting a multi-million-dollar injection because of P&O Cruises’ biggest-ever season of cruising from Fremantle. On April 14, Pacific Eden launched three months of sailings during a series of 16 cruises expected to generate more than $20 million for the state in passenger and crew spending, supplies and port charges. During its season Pacific Eden will carry more than 25,000 passengers and make 34 calls to Western Australian ports on itineraries featuring the state’s coastline, as well as nearby Asian ports. This year’s season is markedly bigger than P&O’s previous record, created last year when Pacific Jewel was based in Fremantle for two months for a season of seven roundtrip
cruises from the port. “Pacific Eden’s Western Australia season not only gives the state’s holidaymakers the ability to enjoy a cruise from their doorstep, it also opens up more opportunities for interstate fly-cruise passengers, which helps build the valuable pre and post-cruise tourism market,” said Simon Cheng, vice president of sales and marketing for P&O Cruises, after telling that about 25 percent of Pacific Eden’s guests out of Fremantle would be interstate travelers, bringing valuable tourist dollars to the State. “Not only does Western Australia offer a range of exciting regional cruise ports, its proximity to the exotic islands of Indonesia and Asia make it a great starting point to explore some of the region’s more remote destinations by sea,” he continued. Plus, Pacific Eden will also carry hundreds of thousands of tons of local goods
and produce during its WA season, injecting more dollars into the local community. “Each cruise requires significant quantities of food and beverage, and during the Fremantle season more than 230,000kgs of local fresh fruit and vegetables, 5000kgs of cheese, 50,000 liters of milk and 25,000 eggs will be consumed by guests,” said Cheng. “Western Australia produces some of the best wine in the country, and in 2015 P&O Cruises purchased more than 8,300 bottles of premium local Western Australian wine for our fleet,” he continued. “Following the recent fleet expansion, we expect this number to grow by up to 30 percent in 2016.” Pacific Eden will return to Fremantle in 2017 for an encore season featuring the cruise line’s first sailings through the Kimberley region.
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Royal Caribbean Going Big in Hong Kong with Largest-Ever Homeported Ship and Voyager of the Seas’ Extended Season and Upgrades
oya l Caribbean International enjoyed great success by deploying the iconic Voyager of the Seas in Hong Kong last year, with over 55,000 travelers signing up for 17 cruises. In response to the overwhelming market excitement, the company now plans to go one step further by also basing their newest cruise ship, Ovation of the Seas, in Hong Kong this November. This will be the first time that Royal Caribbean will have two ships deployed in Hong Kong. Voyager of the Seas’ homeport season business in Hong Kong in 2015 was absolutely outstanding, with over 55,000 travelers signing up for 17 cruises. In the summer, the visit of Quantum of the Seas®, the newest and technologically advanced ship of the Royal Caribbean, became the talk of the town. “We are so confident in the Hong Kong cruise market we decided to extend the homeport season of Voyager of the Seas from three months to over four months, and in addition bring our newest ship, Ovation of the Seas, here by the end of this year,” said Dr. Zinan Liu, president, North APAC & China of Royal Caribbean International. “Having two ships here will enable us to increase our program in Hong Kong from 20 to 30 sailings. This means we could be welcoming over 78 | Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise
100,000 vacationers this year, which is about a 65% increase compared to last year.” Ovation of the Seas is the third addition to the Quantum-class ships. At 168,666 tons with 2,090 staterooms for up to 4,180 guests, she will be the largest cruise liner ever to be based in Hong Kong. She features Quantumclass amenities, including the North Star™ capsule, which soars above the ship to deliver incomparable 360º ocean views, a thrilling skydiving experience with RipCord by iFLY® and onboard bumper cars. In addition, Ovation of the Seas offers attractions catered to help Chinese guests feel at home. In a unique collaboration with China’s Forbidden City Imperial Palace Museum, the ship will offer displays of historical relics from the Forbidden City and feature invited experts to hold talks about the Imperial Palace in Beijing. There is also a giant 33-foot “Mama and Baby” art installation, depicting a mother panda and her cub, reaching out to one another as a symbol of good luck. Pandas are considered national treasures in China. Not to be easily outmatched by her new competition, Voyager of the Seas is striving to raise the bar even higher in terms of excellence to meet the demands of local guests. Hong Kong vacationers crave sumptuous dining experiences and fast Internet speeds. So now Voyager of the Seas will offer both.
For the first-time-ever, Royal Caribbean is partnering on board with the awardwinning Cantonese culinary experts, Xin Dau Ji, to provide over 20 exquisite signature dishes, including fried scallops, fish fillets with corn, steamed chicken in Lotus leaves, pan-fried fresh shrimp and more. “Hong Kong vacationers expect the very best at this level of cruising which is why we have invited Xin Dau Ji to answer their culinary desires, especially their craving for truly authentic Chinese cuisine,” said Balwin Yeung, director of sales and marketing of Royal Caribbean Cruises Hong Kong Ltd. “Both Royal Caribbean and Xin Dau Ji are noted for their innovative approaches and share the same target group of customers in middle-class families. With these values in common and a similar customer base we should be perfect partners, in achieving a win-win collaboration.” In another breakthrough, Royal Caribbean has announced its collaboration with the popular young boy band, C AllStar. It will be the first theme-cruise of Royal Caribbean’s new Hong Kong homeport season. The inspiring story of the young band represents the spirit of diligence and perseverance of Hong Kongers, which also symbolizes Royal Caribbean International’s determination to stay in Hong Kong and their vision to “Cruise Extraordinary.”
DESTINATIONS & PORTS : AUSTRALASIA ::::
Princess’ 2017 Japan Deployments Up 27 Percent
Princess Cruises will undergo its longest Japan cruise season in 2017, with 39 departures from Tokyo and Kobe carrying 75,000 guests—a 27-percent increase over 2016. The voyages are designed to offer opportunities to explore the wonders of UNESCO World Heritage sites and to participate in some of Japan’s largest and most celebrated cultural festivals. “We’ve been recognized as the top cruise line in Asia offering the best itineraries and our 2017 Japan voyages more than live up to this accolade, offering our longest season yet,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. “We visit the top-rated ports, provide local cultural entertainment and culinary experiences onboard and offer bi-lingual service to make it easy and memorable for our guests to explore all that Japan offers.” The 39 voyages on Japanese-built Diamond Princess range from five to 17 nights, with 31 destinations in six countries, including maiden port calls to Tsuruga, Japan, gateway to Tojinbo Cliffs and Eiheiji Temple, along with visits to South Korea, Taiwan, Russia, Hong Kong and Vietnam, and special events.
US and China to Promote Air Travel and Tourism
A new memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between Airlines for America and the China Air Transport Association to bolster air transport development and promote air travel and tourism between the United States and China. The MOU creates a platform for the associations to further engage on issues impacting their member airlines and the global aviation community, including market access for U.S. carriers.
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:::: MEMBERS & TRAVEL AGENTS
CLIA Releases Second Quarterly Travel Agent Cruise Industry Outlook Report
he Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) released the second Travel Agent Cruise Industry Outlook Report of 2016. In it, the economic trends are positively impacting cruise travel, travelers are cruising closer to home, and demand of river cruises continues. The report, which was conducted in February, is the second in an ongoing quarterly research study from CLIA, designed to forecast trends in the cruise industry among the travel agent community. “Travel agents truly are the experts when it comes to identifying and forecasting cruise travel trends,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO of CLIA. “Through the ongoing Travel Agent Cruise Industry Outlook, we are able to tap into the knowledge and expertise of agents to identify the most current trends impacting the cruise industry.” ECONOMIC TRENDS IMPACTING THE CRUISE INDUSTRY According to the report, more than half of travel agents (53 percent) stated that lower airfares have had a positive impact on cruise sales, with cruise travelers finding it more affordable to travel to and from cruise ports. Similarly, 30 percent of agents stated that favorable currency exchange rates are making cruising more attractive for customers interested in international cruise vacations.
most significant ones are stateroom comfort and dining options, followed by entertainment options and stateroom categories. These vary by the market segment. ABOUT THE TRAVEL AGENT CRUISE INDUSTRY OUTLOOK The CLIA Travel Agent Cruise Industry Outlook is a quarterly study conducted by CLIA. The data and research are compiled based on online survey responses from the CLIA Travel Agent Research Panel, which consists of 700 travel agents from North America. “This survey proves the vital importance of travel agents to the cruise industry,” noted D’Aoust. “Travel agents are able to direct clients to destinations and categories of cruising that best suit their individual vacation dreams. The ‘return on experience’ of a vacation means something different to each customer, which is why the one-on-one interactions between agents and their clients are so important in identifying the right cruise for each traveler.”
CRUISING CLOSER TO HOME While international cruise itineraries remain in demand, the report found Americans are currently planning cruise vacations close to home. The anticipated growth is strong in destinations that are near or within the United States. Almost three-quarters of agents (73 percent) have seen an uptick in bookings to Alaska, and nearly half (48 percent) are experiencing an increase in cruise demand for the Caribbean, Bermuda and Mexico cruises. Additionally, about a third of agents are reporting an increased interest in cruises to Hawaii (36 percent) and the Panama Canal (33 percent), as well as Canada and New England (30 percent). THE RISE OF THE RIVER River cruises continue to offer the most potential for growth this year, according to more than 60 percent of travel agents. At the same time, “very large” or “big ships” are also expected to experience growth, according to nearly 60 percent of agents. Agents are also optimistic about the desire in ocean liner cruises, with more than 40 percent of respondents anticipating increases in demand. CONTINUED GROWTH AND IMPORTANT FACTORS The health of the cruise industry remains robust, and 23 percent of cruise clients are first-time cruisers. Although cruise customers are focused on value, other crucial factors that drive purchasing decisions include itineraries and promotions. When it comes to amenities that cruise customers feel are important, the two Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise | 83
MEMBERS & TRAVEL AGENTS ::::
accommodating the world’s largest cruise ships. A number of cruise lines already booked the pier for the 4th quarter of 2017.
Park, featuring shops and restaurants, are examples of the destination’s commitment to enhancing passengers’ experience.
Successful 2015-2016 Cruise Season at Cartagena de Indias Cruise Ship Terminal
$25 Million to Develop El Salvador’s Marine Coastal Area
New Attractions and Increased Cruise Capacity for Costa Maya
After successfully opening “Maya, Adventure Park,” voted as The Best New Caribbean Attraction by Porthole Magazine, Costa Maya is already working on new attractions and experiences for this winter. Along with a 30-percent increase of the terminal and a doubled transportation fleet, there will be a new, upscale beach facility, an exclusive area for groups and private celebrations, three museums, the largest art gallery in the Caribbean and two new attractions at the Adventure Park.
Sonora Tourism Board Promotes Puerto Peñasco Homeport and Sea of Cortez Route
The Sonora Tourism Board along with the state of Sinaloa will participate in this year’s Cruise3Sixty in Vancouver as part of a joint effort to promote the Sea of Cortez Route. Travel agents will be given a taste of the Sea of Cortez ports and destinations in the trade show, as well as during a destination workshop where they will receive valuable information about the ports and myriad onshore activities and tours available at each destination.
The Cruise Ship Terminal welcomed 324.300 cruise passengers in the 2015-2016 season, with 199 calls from more than 30 lines, representing an 11 percent increase compared to 2014-2015. In addition, nine ships made its inaugural call this season: Costa Luminosa, Aidamar, Star Pride, Star Breeze, Pearl Mist, Zenith, Caribbean Princess, Nieuw Amsterdam and Expedition. Cartagena de Indias is filled with pristine beaches, historical cobble-stone towns, exciting nightlife and adventure, making passengers experience remarkable and memorable.
Tours, Construction Enhance Banana Coast Guest Experience Curacao’s New Mega Pier Scheduled to Open in 2017
Curaçao Ports Authority (CPA) and Royal BAM Group (BAM), a major constructionservices company based in the Netherlands, recently signed a contract for the construction of mega pier II. The new mega pier will be located next to the first mega pier, 84 | Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise
Banana Coast, Honduras, completed its second successful cruise season with more inaugural calls, including Holland America Line’s ms Veendam, enabling their guests to experience the authenticity of Trujillo. New excursions from Banana Coast Tours, such as an exciting nature hike on a Colonial-era road to a secluded waterfall, and Trujillo’s new five-block pedestrian corridor from Central
The government of El Salvador is investing $25 million to develop its marine coastal area over the next four years. The project includes creating tourist products nearby the maritime ports, allowing tourists to enjoy their stay in Salvadoran land and make the most of their time, thereby contributing to the creation of an adequate destination for the reception of cruise ships and offering quality service to passengers.
Chukka Jungle Adventure Falls at Good Hope Estate
Chukka expanded its Good Hope Estate park with the addition of its newly themed Jungle Adventure Falls. The stunning 45ft cascading waterfall with 300ft slide, multiple pools and rope bridges will be included in the existing Ultimate Thrill Seekers Pass. The new Jungle Adventure Falls offers splashfilled fun for the entire family in the best of nature. To learn more about Chukka active adventure, culture and leisure tours, visit www.chukka.com.
:::: MEMBERS & TRAVEL AGENTS
cruise industry, restructure the hospitality industry in Martinique, and maintain a close relationship with the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association and its members.
JAX Cruises Go from Fascinating to Elated
Carnival Elation is now offering year-round cruises out of JAXPORT’s North Jacksonville cruise terminal. Elation is a newer ship than the previous home-ported ship, Carnival Fascination, and offers four-day cruises to Freeport and Nassau in the Bahamas and five-day voyages to Nassau and the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay. To book your getaway, visit JAXPORT.com/cruise.
PPI Group Serves as Official Media Host of Seatrade Cruise Global
Ecuador: A Magical Destination
Bermello Ajamil & Partners to Develop Port of New Orleans’ New Cruise Terminal
A new 120,000-square-foot cruise terminal facility for the Port of New Orleans to support modern, high capacity cruise vessels is expected to be completed in 2017. Manning Architects, in association with Bermello Ajamil & Partners, was engaged by the Port for the master planning and design of a new cruise terminal facility. The terminal will include a single berth accommodating a 4,500-passenger cruise vessel, and the design focuses on maximizing passenger flow and public spaces while reflecting the surrounding area.
New Chairman of the Martinique Tourism Authority
Martinique has a new local government, and Karine Mousseau, member of the new territorial assembly of Martinique, was named at the head of the tourism authority. A teacher of economics, Ms. Mousseau wishes to continue action in favor of the
Travel around Ecuador’s four stunning worlds: in the Andes, the world’s most beautiful train, majestic volcanoes and landscapes; the Amazon region wraps you in mystery and history; in Galapagos Islands, World Natural Heritage, encounter nature at its best; and in the Pacific Coast, spectacular beaches and exquisite cuisine wait for you.
PPI Group—the industry leader in custom publishing, video production, and port shopping programs—was the official media host of Seatrade Cruise Global 2016 in March, where its Broadcast Operations Division was on-hand to capture the show through exclusive executive interviews and event footage. For more, visit PPIGroup.com
Costamed Hospital Opens in Tulum
Aquila Center for Cruise Excellence Is Ready to Help You Increase Guest Satisfaction
Costamed Hospital opened in Tulum, Mexico during the month of April. With the new hospital in Tulum, the Costamed group is expanding with exceptional infrastructure and medical personnel to cover the medical needs of policyholders throughout the entire Riviera Maya area, with locations in Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Mahahual and Tulum.
Aquila’s Center for Cruise Excellence welcomed Claudine Pohl to the team last August. Claudine speaks Spanish, French and English, so she can discuss training solutions in your language. Aquila also is getting results from a survey of Tour Operators and destinations/ports worldwide. The initial results show the top training challenges are “Funding” and “Finding the time.” And one of the top benefits is “Increased guest satisfaction.” Let us help! ¡Dejanos ayudarte! Contact Claudine@CruiseExcellence.com.
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DALE OWEN GILLINGS (Jamaica) BARTENDER, AZAMARA CLUB CRUISES My name is Dale Owen Gillings, and I am a Bartender for Azamara Club Cruises. Originally from Montego Bay, Jamaica, I have been a bartender at various hotels in Jamaica. I joined the team at Azamara because they are part of Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., which is a big, established company that offers job security. I love working in the cruise industry because it is the best way to travel the globe. You can also learn a lot about different cultures working for a cruise line. Plus, it offers stable employment and a good way to work and save money. I’d recommend becoming a crewmember on a ship like ours, because you meet many interesting people of different nationalities—both the crew and passengers.
DEBORAH WILSON WHITE (Nicaragua) FACILITIES ASSISTANT CLEANING SPECIALIST, ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL My name is Deborah Wilson White, and I am originally from Nicaragua. I was previously a teacher, but wanted a better future for my children and greater job stability for myself, so I joined Royal Caribbean International. This job has allowed me to meet new people and travel to new destinations. I also get to see and experience diversity in my co-workers at the many destinations we visit. To be honest, I love working on a cruise ship because of the money and the chance to travel for work and to see exotic places. I never thought I would see so many of the places I studied in my geography classes! I am constantly learning about different cultures, people, ways of working, food and lifestyles. When I am asked what my favorite destination is, I can’t pick just one. My communication skills have also improved, which is always important if an opportunity to grow within the company comes my way. I am very happy to be part of this cruise line and look forward to continuing to be a part of its success.
JUAN FRANCO (Argentina) CRUISENEXT MANAGER, NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE My name is Juan Franco, and I come from Argentina. I am currently a CruiseNext Manager onboard. I started my career with Marriott and made the life-changing decision to join Norwegian Cruise Line’s family in February 2007. When I joined Norwegian, I didn’t have many expectations, but I suddenly found myself meeting guests from all over the world and making new friends and discovering new places. I started working in finance, but then my passion of being with guests and my sales experience allowed me to be part of the amazing sales and CruiseNext team. I am very proud to be part of the team that makes the guests come back to cruise with Norwegian. Being a crewmember is not easy. You have to work hard, but it gives the opportunity to see breathtaking sceneries, historical landmarks and incredible memories that last a lifetime. If you love to travel and meet people, this is the best way to do it. After almost nine years with Norwegian, I can say that I am very successful in my professional career and also in my personal life because I can help and support my family with my job. 86 | Second Quarter 2016 | Travel & Cruise
FACES IN THE INDUSTRY ::::
DAVID NICHOLAS SHERMAN (Jamaica) WAITER, NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE My name is David, and I’m from Montego Bay, Jamaica. I worked in a Montego Bay Hotel and also in Virginia (USA) before joining the cruise industry in 1980 to visit and learn about different countries while earning a living. There is no better destination than Jamaica, my favorite port and my home. I enjoy the cruises that call in Jamaica so that I’m able to see my family more often. I am passionate about meeting different people—my fellow crew members and guests alike. This is what interested me and has kept me onboard for so many years. I joined Norwegian Cruise Line because I believe it is the number one cruise line in the world. This company helped not only me, but also helped me develop my children into the wonderful adults they are today. Although I may not have achieved the very highest position in the company, I now have a doctor, an accountant, a businessman, all thanks to Norwegian and many prayers along the way. What a journey it has been. Sooner or later I will retire and spend quality time with my grandkids and family. If given a time machine, I will still chose the life I have, as it has indeed been an experience!
NICOLE ADRIENNE COWIE (Trinidad) PURSER, HOLLAND AMERICA LINE I was born and raised in Trinidad. My mother tongue is English, but I speak both Spanish and French. I am currently the Purser on Ms Westerdam. Before joining the cruising industry, I worked in various areas of customer service. I started my career working for three years at the Hilton Trinidad. Then I went to work for the telecommunications company in Trinidad for three years. At that time, I got the opportunity to jump from a land-based job and join the seafarer workforce. I joined the cruising community because I wanted an adventure. I wanted to see the world, meet new people, learn about different cultures first-hand and be independent. Life at sea can be very trying, but I love it. I tried to go back to working on land, and every time I looked out to the ocean, I felt a pain in my heart. The funny thing was that my family knew that I was meant for a life at sea before I did. My favorite destination is difficult to say, but I will try to break it down. In the United States, I love the three S’s: San Diego, San Francisco and, of course, Seattle. I love the food, people, shopping and historical sites. In Europe, I love Italy and Venice for the chance to go on long walks and discover new and rare items, to be able to have a cup of espresso and just relax, the architecture, the food and of course the shopping. Becoming a crewmember for any cruise line is something that I would recommend to anyone who asks me what they should do after school. I believe that this is one of the few industries that prepare people for almost anything they could face in life. When I joined the cruising industry, most of my friends thought I would have returned home after one contract, but here I am 12 years later still going strong. I joined the Holland America team because when I went online to view the site, I got hooked. I clicked on every link and spent about four hours on the site before sending my resume. It was my destiny to work here because about a week or two later, I got an email asking for more information about myself, and the rest is history.
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FLY LIKE A SUPERHERO julie h, Florida
Toro Verde Nature Adventure Park, Orocovis
Flamenco Beach, Culebra
Old San Juan
P U E R T O R I C O AWA AITS! With so many world class attractions to explore and enjoy, your days and nights will be filled with unforgettable experiences: • Breathtaking beaches perfect for relaxing or enjoying your favorite water sport, including Flamenco in Culebra, one of the most award-winning in the world • Historic and unique Old San Juan, with structures that are UNESCO World Heritage Sites • Our 3 bioluminescent bays: permanent bioluminescent ecosystems with year-round brightness that are some of most accessible in the world • El Yunque, the only tropical rainforest in the United States Forest System • Toro Verde, nature adventure park with the tallest and longest ziplines in the world • Over 20 golf courses with breathtaking views • A vibrant and music-filled nightlife • World famous local cuisine that will enchant your taste buds Come to Puerto Rico and live your own five star vacation story.
VISIT SEEPUERTORICO.COM AND BOOK YOUR VACATION TODAY.
See Puerto Rico