Holland America Line’s Nieuw Statendam, the second Pinnacle Class ship in the fleet has successfully completed two sets of sea trials.
Nieuw Statendam left Marghera, Italy, August 10 and performed the first set of sea trials over two days before going into dry dock at Fincantieri’s Trieste shipyard, where the trial’s data was reviewed and standard hull maintenance was performed. The ship sailed its second sea trials Aug. 18, making its way back to Marghera Aug. 22 where the finishing touches will be completed.
During the sea trials, Nieuw Statendam underwent a series of performance tests on the ship’s systems, machinery and engines. The shipyard’s team of nautical officers, naval architects and builders tested the ship’s maneuvering characteristics and safety systems.
Due for delivery Dec. 1, 2018, Nieuw Statendam will cruise the Caribbean in winter and then move to northern Europe, Iceland and the Mediterranean in summer during its inaugural year. The 2,666-guest, 99,500-ton ship will be similar to sister Koningsdam but will have exclusive public spaces and its own style created by leading hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany and designer and architect Bjørn Storbraaten.
Holland America Line’s first ship to be called Statendam sailed in 1898, and this will be the sixth ship in the company’s history to carry the name. In combining the Dutch word for “new” with the classic “Statendam,” Holland America Line celebrates the company’s past, present and future.
Princess Cruises has announced it will be offering the cruise line’s largest hosted slot tournament with the highest cash and prizes ever offered through a partnership with Scientific Games Corporation. The MONOPOLY Cruise for Cash promotion will be available on hundreds of cruises throughout 2018, culminating in a $200,000 slot tournament onboard Regal Princess departing Dec. 9, 2018.
Princess Cruises guests have two ways to qualify for a chance to win a seat in the final slot tournament:
Winner’s Wheel Promotion – Open to everyone who plays in Princess casinos. For every 100 points earned in gaming, each guest earns one e-ticket. Guests are then automatically entered into the raffle for a chance to spin the Winner’s Wheel. A total of three winners will be selected on each cruise to spin the wheel for a prize, with a chance to win a seat on the Dec. 9 cruise, among other cash and prizes, including a lucky sevens $777 Princess Cruises MONOPOLY-themed gift card.
Cruises with Qualifying Tournaments – Qualifying slot tournaments are available now to all guests sailing aboard Princess cruise ships with the MONOPOLY Millionaire slot machines, which include Crown Princess, Caribbean Princess, Emerald Princess, Island Princess, Ruby Princess, Royal Princess, Regal Princess, Star Princess and Grand Princess. Winners will receive a seat certificate for the Dec. 9 grand finale event aboard Regal Princess.
The final tournament onboard Regal Princess, which has the largest slot floor throughout the fleet, departs Ft. Lauderdale on Dec. 9 for a seven-day, Eastern Caribbean cruise. Stops include Princess Cays, St. Maarten and St. Thomas. In addition to the MONOPOLY Cruise for Cash tournament, guests have other chances to ‘win big,’ including the popular Paradise Lotto and MONOPOLY scratch tickets.
Carnival Cruise Line – which carries more active and retired military personnel than any other cruise operator – last night partnered with Operation Homefront to honor the brave men and women of the Armed Forces to host “Humor for Heroes” at Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego featuring stand-up comedy performances, BBQ, fun activities and more.
Featured comedians included “Workaholics” star Adam Devine, who last year performed several shows overseas for the USO, as well as two comedians from Carnival’s Punchliner Comedy Clubs, keeping the crowd of 500 service members and families laughing throughout the show.
In recognition of its long standing partnership with Operation Homefront, Carnival Cruise Line donated $25,000 to help the organization fulfill its mission of building strong, stable and secure military families.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (NYSE: RCL) and Manfredi Lefebvre D’Ovidio today announced an agreement for RCL to acquire a stake in privately-owned Silversea Cruises, bringing together two companies with bold, long-term visions for the cruise industry. .
Under the agreement, Royal Caribbean will acquire a 66.7% equity stake in Silversea Cruises based on an enterprise value of approximately $2 billion. The purchase price of the equity being acquired is approximately $1 billion. RCL plans to finance the purchase through debt. In addition, Lefebvre will qualify for an estimated contingent consideration of approximately 472,000 RCL shares, payable upon achievement of certain 2019-2020 performance metrics.
The strategic rationale for the partnership includes:
Driving long-term capacity growth in the burgeoning luxury and expedition markets at a much larger scale than what Silversea would achieve independently;
Diversifying Royal Caribbean’s portfolio and increasing its expedition offerings by adding a premiere ultra-luxury brand;
Leveraging the global footprint of the combined companies to generate demand and increase vacation and destination options for the guests of both companies;
Realizing significant synergies related to global market access, supply chain, purchasing power and other economies of scale.
Lefebvre said he is confident that the significant investment stake he is retaining will sizably increase its value through the growth this long-term partnership will enable.
Lefebvre and Fain also confirmed that Silversea’s CEO Roberto Martinoli will continue in his role, working with the existing Silversea management team.
Silversea, with its intimate, all-suite ships, full spectrum of global cruise offerings sailing to more than 1000 global destinations, and unique luxury expedition vessels, adds a pioneering ultra-luxury brand to RCL’s industry-leading brand lineup. RCL’s largest brand, Royal Caribbean International, is a contemporary brand focused on adventure-seeking families, Celebrity Cruises is a premium brand providing a modern luxury experience to discerning global travelers, and Azamara Club Cruises is a destination immersive brand offering luxury voyages to unique ports. The company also operates the regional TUI Cruises and Pullmantur brands as part of long-term joint ventures.
The closing is expected to be completed later in the year, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
Regarding 2018, Royal Caribbean reconfirmed its latest adjusted EPS guidance of $8.70 to $8.90 per share. This updated guidance does not include any potential impact from the transaction, although RCL does not expect the transaction to materially impact near-term adjusted earnings per share.
Operationally, the company’s forecast for the third and fourth quarters has remained unchanged, but increases in the market price of fuel and the strength of the dollar are expected to cost the company roughly 25 cents per share. Fortunately, strong close-in demand for core products and better than expected performance below the line is expected to drive improved results for the second quarter. These improved results are expected to completely offset the impact of the FX and fuel headwinds in the second half of the year, which allows the company to maintain its guidance for 2018.
Holland America has launched a completely revamped website at HollandAmerica.com centered around a new online booking process, easy navigation, bold images that capture the cruise experience and detailed information for both consumers and travel professionals.
The focal point of the homepage is a new cruise search toolbar that allows visitors to easily select where they want to cruise, the port of departure, dates and cruise length. The homepage also features a top navigational menu that provides quick access to Holland America Line’s cruising destinations, onboard experiences, cruise fare offers and information for guests who already are booked.
Planning a Holland America Line Cruise is Easy
Once a user selects where, when and how long they want to cruise, the resulting cruise itineraries are displayed on a new page with the option of using additional, deeper filters that include ship, specific ports of call, a more precise region, and Land First or Cruise First for Alaska Land+Sea Journeys.
Once a cruise itinerary is selected, a new page displays the itinerary, stateroom options, ship details and activities on that particular cruise. The Itinerary tab shows the day-to-day route with an interactive map that breaks the cruise down by day and follows the journey showing ports and points of interest. Web users may opt for a traditional list view as well.
The Rooms tab compares accommodations and pricing, giving guests the ability to select their preferred location (forward, midship or aft). The cruise fare then displays, showing alternative cruising dates for rate comparison. The Ships tab provides history and insight about the ship, while Activities showcases all of the experiences on board, including Explorations Central, America’s Test Kitchen, Lincoln Center Stage, B.B. King’s Blues Club, BBC Earth performances and more.
When all cruise selections have been finalized, the booking can be reserved through an easy check-out process and assigned to a travel professional if the user chooses.
Additional Homepage Features Give Access to the Holland America Line Experience
Scrolling down the homepage, additional features include current promotions, select spotlight cruises and, initially for several weeks, a highlight video of the new website narrated by HAL President Orlando Ashford. Quick links go directly to the pages that provide information about Holland America Line’s noteworthy service and classic-style of cruising, details about the more than 470 ports of call on the cruise line’s carefully crafted itineraries, the onboard culinary experience, and enrichment activities and entertainment. EXC Tours can be searched by port and tour type.
The development of the site experience will continue in the months to come to build out a robust site with information, visuals, interaction and easy booking tools.
Currently, Holland America Line’s website can be explored in English, German, Spanish and Dutch.
Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship, Carnival Horizon, was officially named by godmother Queen Latifah in a ceremony in New York yesterday that showcased the talented young artists from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital whose artwork adorns the Dreamscape, a three-deck-high LED sculpture in the ship’s atrium.
Following the ceremony, Latifah squared off against Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl champion Jake Elliott in Lip Sync Battle: Horizon modeled after the Paramount Network TV series and rolling out across the Carnival fleet.
Latifah rocked the house with the Weather Girls classic “It’s Raining Men,” while Elliott performed Whitesnake’s arena anthem “Here I Go Again,” all performed with back-up dancers from Carnival Horizon’s Playlist Productions to a full house in the Liquid Lounge.
The big winner was St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital which received a $100,000 donation from Carnival representing monies raised from various fundraisers, both onboard and ashore. The funds continue the line’s ongoing support of St. Jude with more than $16 million raised in the fight against childhood cancer since the partnership began in 2010.
As the newest ship in the fleet, Carnival Horizon introduces several innovations, including the first-ever Dr. Seuss water park, a new teppanyaki venue, and Smokehouse Brewhouse, a unique dining concept that combines real deal BBQ favorites created by Food Network star and longtime partner Guy Fieri, along with four craft beers brewed on board by brewmaster Colin Presby.
The second in the line’s Vista-class series, Carnival Horizon also includes features like the bike-ride-in-the-sky attraction called SkyRide, an IMAX Theatre, a Havana section with its own Cuban-themed bar and pool, and Family Harbor with extra-roomy staterooms and the Family Harbor Lounge.
Carnival Horizon kicks off a summer schedule from New York with a four-day cruise to Bermuda departing later today. The ship will operate four-day Bermuda and eight-day Caribbean departures from New York through September then reposition to Miami for year-round six- and eight-day Caribbean cruises beginning later that month.
3,002-Passenger Carnival Sunshine to be Largest Cruise Ship Ever to Call in Havana When It Introduces Cuba Service From Charleston Next Year
Carnival Cruise Line has expanded its cruises to Cuba with the addition of 23 three- to five-day sailings to Havana in 2019-20 aboard five different ships departing from four convenient East Coast homeports – Carnival Sunshine from Charleston, Carnival Triumph from Fort Lauderdale, Carnival Paradise from Tampa and Carnival Victory and Carnival Sensation from Miami.
The 3,002-passenger, 102,853-ton Carnival Sunshine will be the largest cruise ship to ever call in Havana while offering the first-ever cruise to Cuba from the Port of Charleston.
These new sailings complement previously announced voyages aboard Carnival Paradise and Carnival Sensation.
The new Cuba sailings include:
Carnival Sunshine (Charleston): a four-day cruise with a day-long call in Havana departing Nov. 21, 2019, along with eight five-day cruises featuring Havana and Freeport departing Jan. 6, Feb. 3 and 17, March 2, 16 and 30 and April 13, and 27, 2020.
Carnival Triumph (Fort Lauderdale): eight five-day cruises featuring an overnight call in Havana and a day-long call in Nassau departing Dec. 14, 2019, and Jan. 11, Feb. 8 and 22, March 7 and 21, and April 4 and 18, 2020; and a five-day cruise featuring an overnight call in Havana and a visit to the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay departing Jan. 20, 2020.
Carnival Victory (Miami): a three-day voyage with a day-long call in Havana departing Nov. 22, 2019.
Carnival Sensation (Miami): a four-day cruise featuring an overnight call in Havana and an extended visit to Nassau departing March 19, 2020, along with two five-day sailings with an overnight call in Havana and visits to Freeport and Nassau departing Feb. 15 and 29, 2020.
Carnival Paradise (Tampa): a five-day voyage departing Nov. 18, 2019, with an overnight call in Havana and a stop at Key West.
Guests sailing on Carnival’s Cuba cruises can select from nearly 20 different shore excursion experiences that showcase the island’s vibrant culture, majestic beauty and centuries-old architectural landmarks. A variety of Cuban-themed activities and entertainment, Havana-inspired deck parties, trivia contests and salsa lessons, are also offered. There’s also an onboard Cuba expert who discusses the country’s rich history and culture.
The visits to Havana comply with regulations of the U.S. Department of Treasury that permit travel operators to transport approved travelers to Cuba to engage in activities as defined by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Foreign Assets Control. Carnival’s shore excursions meet all U.S. government regulations and provide a convenient means for complying with the people-to-people requirements of cruises to Cuba.
Norwegian Cruise Line debuted the highly-anticipated Norwegian Bliss, the sixteenth ship of the young and modern fleet, in New York City on Thursday, May 3. Amidst a sea of excitement and celebration, her arrival into the U.S. marks the beginning of a month-long inaugural celebration with her next stops in Miami, Los Angeles and lastly Seattle, where she will officially be christened on May 30.
Norwegian Bliss kicked off her two-day inaugural preview in New York City with brand partners, key media and industry representatives on Friday, May 4. Among the guests were Norwegian Bliss’ Godfather, Elvis Duran and the cast from the Z100 morning show who broadcasted live from the ship enlightening guests on all the experiences the ship has to offer. Throughout the day, guests were able to explore the ship, sample the cruise line’s newest culinary innovations, and experience all the amenities, including the longest go-kart race track at sea, the newly designed water slides, and an open-air laser tag arena. Additionally, Elvis Duran brought on indie-pop band, AJR, to give a special performance on board Norwegian Bliss. Later in the day, president and chief executive officer, Andy Stuart, presented Elvis Duran with a six-foot long model of Norwegian Bliss.
On the evening of May 4, following the Norwegian Cruise Line original musical theater show – ¡HAVANA! – Grammy-award winning singer, Albita, performed an exclusive show for guests in the Bliss Theater. One deck below, guests were kicking up their boots and enjoying country tunes by Camille Rae and her band at Q, the new Texas Smokehouse Barbecue restaurant on Norwegian Bliss.
Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio, two of the original members of The Four Seasons, which the Tony award-winning musical Jersey Boys is based on, made a special appearance at an intimate cocktail reception in the expansive Horizon Lounge in The Haven, home to the most luxurious, well-appointed and spacious accommodations, complete with a private lounge, courtyard and observation area. Following the event, they enjoyed the Norwegian Bliss premier of Jersey Boys in Bliss Theater.
“Norwegian has been committed to providing our guests with the finest entertainment at sea and we have elevated this commitment by introducing Jersey Boys and ¡HAVANA! on board Norwegian Bliss,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “It has been such an honor to have icons in the music and theater world partner with and join us on this inaugural tour.”
Norwegian Bliss departed the Big Apple yesterday morning and is cruising down to Miami for her next stop on her inaugural U.S. tour. During her preview cruise out of PortMiami, May 8 to 10, special guests will include the hull artist, Wyland, Godfather, Elvis Duran and members of The Morning Show, and celebrity car guru and host of Discovery Channel’s The Auto Firm, Alex Vega, who outfitted two of the Norwegian Bliss go-carts for the largest race track at sea.
Following her stop in Miami she will cruise to Los Angeles, California, and be the largest cruise ship to cross through the Panama Canal. Preview events will take place from May 25 to 27, before making her voyage to Seattle, Washington arriving on May 30 for her official christening ceremony and then embarking on a three-day exhibition cruise.
Beginning June 2, Norwegian Bliss will cruise seven-day voyages to Alaska from Seattle with featured calls in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria, British Columbia. She will then cruise select voyages to the Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles and for her fall/winter season, she will sail to the Eastern Caribbean from Miami. In 2019, she will return to New York City and sail seven-day voyages to the Bahamas and Florida, the Southern and Western Caribbean.
Just over 40 years ago (May 1977), a new television show premiered, set aboard a cruise ship, featuring stories of romance, hijinks and adventure on the high seas that involved characters portrayed by Hollywood’s biggest stars of the day. The opening theme song lyrics invited viewers to “come aboard, we’re expecting you…” Today, “The Love Boat” remains a beloved part of the fabric and culture of television and the ensemble cast along with ocean-going co-star Princess Cruises will be honored by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, superintendent of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, will honor Princess Cruises and the original cast of “The Love Boat;” Gavin MacLeod (Captain Stubing), Jill Whelan (Vicki), Ted Lange (Isaac), Bernie Kopell (Doc), Lauren Tewes (Julie) and Fred Grandy (Gopher) during a ceremony on Thursday, May 10, 2018 in front of the Dolby Theatre on the famed Hollywood Boulevard.
“What an unexpected thrill for our cast to be honored with Princess Cruises on Hollywood Boulevard,” said Gavin MacLeod, aka Captain Merrill Stubing and 30-year brand ambassador for Princess Cruises. “’The Love Boat’ offered us many opportunities to see the world, create lifelong friendships and of course introduce the joys of cruising. People still approach me and say that the show gave them something to dream about – falling in love, finding happiness all while sparking the desire to travel. Now more than 40 years later, cruising is a vacation option for everyone and the growth of the industry just proves that dreams really do come true,” added MacLeod.
It began in the mid-70s when television producer Douglas S. Cramer, who had created the popular television series “Love, American Style,” decided to transplant his popular comedy vignette series from its studio setting to the environs of a modern cruise ship. The resulting television show, “The Love Boat” has been widely credited with introducing millions of viewers to the concept of a contemporary cruise vacation and the dramatic growth of the industry, which continues to expand globally today.
“We’re proud to welcome the original cast of ‘The Love Boat’ and Princess Cruises as Friends of the Walk of Fame recognizing their contribution to the history of television and support for the preservation of the Walk of Fame,” said Leron Gubler, president and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
After the 1977 pilot show, which was shot aboard the line’s original Sun Princess in Mexico, Cramer teamed up with top television producer Aaron Spelling and “The Love Boat” went on to enjoy phenomenal success, continuing for 10 seasons until 1987 as one of the highest-rated, prime-time television shows in the country. Princess Cruises soon became a household name as the primary setting and co-star of the popular series, and continues to be known as the “Love Boat” cruise line today. Pacific Princess and Island Princess were the two original ships but as the show grew in popularity “The Love Boat” was filmed aboard many Princess ships at exotic destinations around the globe.
“The Hollywood Historic Trust is pleased to welcome our newest Friends of the Walk of Fame,” said Donelle Dadigan, co-chair of the Hollywood Historic Trust, the organization that works to maintain the world-famous walk. Ms. Dadigan is also chair of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce for 2018.
Like no other show in television history, “The Love Boat” featured more than 1,000 celebrity guest stars including Tom Hanks, Florence Henderson, Charo, Debbie Reynolds, Milton Berle, Mickey Rooney, Ethel Merman and Ginger Rogers, to name a few. The original “Love Boat” series is currently in worldwide syndication, having been translated into more than 29 different languages, and is viewed by millions of fans in more than 93 countries. Fans can watch episodes on MeTV, Memorable Entertainment Television, America’s #1 all classic television network.
Norwegian Cruise Line is offering guests a bonus onboard credit of up to $1,000* on select cruises from now until May 17th. The free onboard credit is combinable with the line’s Free at Sea promotion, giving guests up to $3,700 in value on their next cruise.
May value offers include:
FREE AT SEA – EXTENDED: Guests can take advantage of Norwegian’s Free at Seapromotion, now extended through May 17. This signature value-added promotion provides guests who book a new three-day or longer cruise their choice of up to five free offers that feature onboard amenities†, including free unlimited open bar, $50 credit per stateroom that can be applied towards shore excursions in each port, a free specialty dining package, 250-minute internet package, or Norwegian’s Friends & Family Sail Free offer which allows the third and fourth guests to sail complimentary on select cruises.
The number of offers available is based on the stateroom category selected.
o Reserve an inside cabin or Norwegian’s studio staterooms – designed specifically with the solo traveler in mind – and receive one free offer.
o Book an ocean view, balcony or mini-suite category stateroom and choose up to two free offers.
o Guests in search of the ultimate luxurious experience with spacious accommodations and butler service aboard Norwegian will enjoy all five freeamenities†, when booking an exclusive suite in The Haven by Norwegian®.
FREE AT SEA ALL-INCLUSIVE – EXTENDED: Now through May 17, guests who reserve a new three, four or five-day Bahamas or Cuba voyage on Norwegian Sun or Norwegian Sky can take advantage of Norwegian’s Free at Sea All-Inclusive** promotion, in addition to the already included complimentary unlimited open bar. With this incredible offer, guests will choose up to five onboard amenities including a $50 specialty dining credit per stateroom, $50 credit per stateroom that can be applied towards shore excursions in each port, 100-minute Internet package, a photo package with ten free images, or Norwegian’s Friends & Family Sail Free offer that allows the third and fourth guests to sail complimentary on select cruises.
FREE AT SEA HAWAII – EXTENDED: Guests looking to explore the beauty and majesty of Hawaii can take advantage of Norwegian’s Free at Sea Hawaii offer, now extended through May 17. For those who book a new cruise vacation aboard Pride of America, the only ship to sail a seven-day inter-island itinerary roundtrip from Honolulu all year, have the freedom to choose from five offers†*, including a free one-night pre-cruise hotel stay with an option to select reduced airfare starting at $399 from select gateways, a free specialty dining package, free pre-paid service charges for the first and second guest in the stateroom, free $50 credit per stateroom that can be applied towards shore excursions in each port, or Norwegian’s Friends & Family Sail Free offer, allowing the third and fourth guests in each stateroom to sail for free on many 2018/2019 sail dates. Guests who book a suite aboard Pride of America will enjoy all five offers.
All offers are subject to availability at the time of reservation. Additional terms and conditions may apply. To learn more or to book a cruise aboard a Norwegian ship, contact your travel professional, call Norwegian at 866-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visitwww.ncl.com.
The fine print:
*Offer not applicable to Sail Away Categories (categories IX, OX, BX or MX). Onboard credit offer is per stateroom, in U.S. Dollars and will be applied to 1st and 2nd guest on the reservation.
**Offer only applicable to the first and second guest and not applicable to Sail Away Categories (categories IX, OX, BX or MX).
†All sailings 3 nights or longer. Offer is not applicable to categories IX, OX, BX, MX (Sail Away Categories).Norwegian Sky, Norwegian Joy, Pride of America, and Norwegian Sun’s all-inclusive sailings from Port Canaveral are not eligible for this offer. Friends & Family sail free applicable only on select sail dates. Guests are responsible for the service charges on Specialty Dining Package, Unlimited Beverage Package, and/ or the Soda Package, with pricing based on number of cruise nights. Number of meals for specialty dining package based on length of itinerary. $50 USD per port shore excursion credit is per stateroom and is applicable for each port; it is not transferable to other ports.Overnight stays count as one port, except Bermuda sailings which can receive up to 3 individual days of shore excursion credit. Wifi package offers one login per stateroom. On Norwegian Breakaway, stateroom receives an internet package of 250 minutes or 1000 MB of data.
†*Pride of America offer available for bookings for cruises through April 27, 2019. Offer is not applicable to categories IX, OX, BX (Sail Away Categories). Cruises must be booked more than 30 days prior sailing, when selecting hotel option; if choosing hotel option with air option cruises must be made more than 60 days prior to sailing. Offer valid for Waikiki Marriott Resort-city view room. In the event that the hotel scheduled to be used in package is unavailable, for any reason, Norwegian Cruise Line reserves the right to substitute the hotel included in package. One night pre-hotel offer is available on reservations with 4 guests or less.