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Archive for February, 2013

Norwegian Breakaway floats out from Meyer Werft building dock

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On February - 26 - 2013

Norwegian Breakaway, the largest ship ever constructed in Germany, was floated out of Meyer Werft’s covered building dock II this morning in Papenburg, Germany where the 146,600-ton ship has been under construction since September 2011. Beginning at approximately 7 am (Germany time), the massive 4,000 passenger ship with her signature hull artwork designed by pop icon Peter Max, departed building dock II as the first ship to depart bow first.

Norwegian Breakaway has an overall length of 324 meters, and is 39.70 meters wide. The ship’s float out represents a major milestone in the vessel’s construction as it denotes that the ship has now moved into the final phase of construction with delivery taking place in just 58 days.

“Norwegian Breakaway represents a significant achievement both for MEYER WERFT and Norwegian Cruise Line in terms of innovation and design,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Chief Executive Officer. “Celebrating her float out today brings us closer to her much-anticipated delivery on April 25 when she will make her debut in Europe before arriving in her homeport of New York City on May 7. We can’t wait.”

“This new vessel is a further milestone for us. Its construction complies with the latest safety standards, and the ship meets all valid environmental regulations. Beyond that Norwegian Breakaway includes a lot of unique design elements and technical innovations,” said Bernard Meyer, Managing Partner of MEYER WERFT.

Following the float out, tests were carried out in the harbor and the ship was berthed alongside the yard’s outfitting pier. On March 4, the first crew members will move into their staterooms on board, and begin to familiarize themselves with the ship, readying her for guests. Norwegian Breakaway’s conveyance down the river Ems towards the North Sea, where she will prove her seaworthiness, is scheduled for March 10 (weather permitting).

Reported by © www.expertcruiser.com – Your online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.

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Windstar Cruises acquires three Seabourn ships, doubles fleet

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On February - 19 - 2013

Windstar Cruises announced today that its owner, Xanterra Parks & Resorts®, has reached an agreement with Seabourn, a cruise company that operates six luxury cruise ships, to purchase three of their ships: Seabourn Pride, Seabourn Legend, and Seabourn Spirit. Under the project name Global Windstar, the expansion will double the size of  Windstar’s recently renovated, three luxury sailing yacht fleet, making the company the market leader in small-ship cruising with 300 or fewer passengers, with a total of 1,230 berths. The purchase on February 15, 2013, is one of several recent Xanterra Parks & Resorts® acquisitions, including VBT, an adventure travel company, and The Grand Hotel in Tusayan, AZ, adjoining the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

“Windstar Cruises has experienced four straight years of revenue growth. This expansion is the perfect way to build on the momentum following our recent fleet-wide renovation, providing us with the much needed capacity to match the accelerating demand for our intimate style of yacht cruising,” said Andy Todd, chief executive officer of  Xanterra Parks & Resorts, owner of Windstar Cruises. “Global Windstar enables us to extend our unique small-ship experience throughout the world.”

The delivery of the three 104 all-suite ships, which hold 208 passengers each, will take place over the next two years in the Mediterranean. The Seabourn Pride will be the first ship to enter into Windstar’s luxury fleet in April of 2014.  Following a Windstar branded renovation, which will give the ship a new name and casually elegant look, the Pride with set sail a month later in May 2014; voyages are expected to go on sale in May of this year. Windstar Cruises will take possession ofSeabourn Legend in April 2015 and Seabourn Spirit in May 2015. These two yachts are scheduled to start sailing in May of 2015 following their dry-dock period.

“Windstar is proud of its heritage in sailing, but what our guests are most enthusiastic about is our intimate, yacht style of cruising. This style is the core of our brand experience and the new ships are a perfect fit to build on that foundation,” added Hans Birkholz, chief executive officer of Windstar Cruises.

The fleet expansion will provide Windstar Cruises access to new destinations such as Asia and South America, in addition to the fifty countries the company already sails to. Known for visiting hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world, Windstar will continue to focus on the unique destinations that large ships cannot call on.  The opportunities of Global Windstar are already evident with the recent announcement of  Windstar’s return to Tahiti in May of 2014. Tahiti has been one of the top destinations requested by Windstar guests and travel partners.

Windstar’s shoreside operations will continue to run out of the company’s Seattle, WA headquarters. Additional details, including itineraries, onboard experiences, and renovation details will be released in the coming months. For the most up-to-date information, please visit WindstarCruises.com, Windstar’s Facebook page, and blog.

Reported by © www.expertcruiser.com – Your online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.

Carnival Triumph cruise from hell docks in Mobile

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On February - 14 - 2013

The Carnival Triumph, which was disabled after an engine room fire, finally docked Thursday night in Mobile, Alabama. Passengers endured five nightmarish days at sea that was marked by overflowing toilets, food shortages and foul odors. Clearly this wasn’t the vacation described in the glossy cruise brochures. Indeed, Carnival CEO Gerry Cahill apologized at a news conference and later on the public address system as passengers were disembarking. The company is compensating Triumph’s passengers with a full refund of the cruise fare, a future cruise credit to the amount paid for the voyage, all expenses for transportation, expenses and reimbursement of all shipboard purchases during the voyage (excluding casino charges, art and gift shop purchases) along with an additional $500 per passenger.

The company also stated that it would cancel 14 more voyages of the Triumph while it undergoes repairs. The affected sailings were from Feb. 11 to April 13. The company said guests booked on the later Triumph voyages will receive a full refund of their cruise fare as well as any other pre-paid non-refundable transportation costs. Guests will also receive a 25 percent discount on a future three- to five-day Carnival cruise or a 15 percent discount on a six- to seven-day cruise.

Reported by © www.expertcruiser.com – Your online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.

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Carnival Triumph adrift off Mexican coast after fire

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On February - 10 - 2013

The Carnival Triumph carrying over 3,000 people has lost propulsion in the Gulf of Mexico and will have to be towed to shore, the cruise line said in a statement. According to Carnival, there was a fire in the engine room of the Triumph yesterday morning as the ship sailed approximately 150 miles off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. The fire was extinguished without injuries but the ship lost propulsion and is now operating on emergency generator power. Another ship, the Carnival Elation, sailed out to the Triumph’s location to provide passengers with additional food and beverages.

The ship will be towed to Progreso, Mexico, where all 3,143 guests on board will be disembarked and flown home, the cruise line reported. The Carnival Triumph left port in Galveston, Texas on Thursday with over 3,000 passengers and 1,000 crew members. It was scheduled to return today.

Reported by © www.expertcruiser.com – Your online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.

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Princess Cruises puts Denali on sale

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On February - 5 - 2013

Princess Cruises has put the wonders of Alaska on sale with a new “Denali on Sale” cruise deal, offering fares as low as $99 per day for a cruisetour vacation plus up to $300 in air savings. The sale, which begins today, features special rates on land and sea vacations to the state’s most popular attractions – Denali National Park and Glacier Bay National Park.

Combining a 7-day Voyage of the Glaciers Alaska cruise with a land tour to the best of Alaska’s interior, Princess cruisetours begin at just $989 per person for a 10-day vacation. Travelers will enjoy accommodations at Princess’ own wilderness lodges and exclusive rail car service as they explore the Alaska wilderness to see the majesty of the Denali area, particularly Mt. McKinley, North America’s tallest peak. Those booking air transportation through Princess eZAir can also save up to $300 per couple off the price of their ticket.

Examples of Denali on Sale fares include:

• 10-night Fairbanks/Vancouver On Your Own cruisetour: $989 interior (was $1,370).
Air savings $200

• 11-night Anchorage/Vancouver On Your Own cruisetour: $1,149 interior (was $1,587).
Air savings $200

• 11-night Fairbanks/Vancouver On Your Own cruisetour: $1,099 interior (was $1,773).
Air savings $300

• 13-night Anchorage/Vancouver Off the Beaten Path cruisetour: $1,599 interior (was $1,965).
Air savings $200

• 15-night Fairbanks/Vancouver Off the Beaten Path cruisetour: $2,199 interior (was $2,526).
Air savings $300
All fares are per person based on double occupancy and include all applicable fees and taxes. Air savings are for two people.

Denali on Sale begins February 5, 2013, and runs for a limited time. Sale prices are available to residents of the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico.

Air savings available to passengers booking roundtrip Princess eZAir flights in conjunction with the cruisetour. Princess eZAir gives passengers easy and full control of their flights and the ability to seamlessly coordinate them with their cruise itinerary. Featuring real-time pricing and flight availability, immediate flight confirmation, competitive airfares, and next port protection in the event of flight delays, the program provides passengers and their travel agents the ease of a single booking source for both air and cruise reservations.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company’s website at www.princess.com.

Reported by © www.expertcruiser.com – Your online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.

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