News | Blog
|Posted by RCI fans on September 13, 2012 at 1:15 PM||comments (0)|
Royal Caribbean is partnering with Barbados Port and SMI Infrastructure Solutions to build a brand new state-of-the-art cruise terminal in Barbados that will cost over $300 million. The new facility will allow some of the world's biggest cruise ships to dock at the island.
George Hutson, Barbados Minister of International Transport and International Business, announced the two year project at the recent Barbados Port Inc.’s 50th anniversary staff awards ceremony.
“If we are going to remain relevant, if we are going to capitalize on the opportunities available from cruise tourism, we must renew our plant from the basic infrastructure currently existing to one which will accommodate and service the increasingly large cruise ships."
Barbados is hoping the new cruise terminal will attract more cruise ships to the island, which in turn will lead to increasing revenue generated by cruise passengers on the island.
The new terminal will be completed in two phases, the first phase will cost $300 million and will include two cruise piers, arrival and departure facilities, along with parking lots. The development will take involve reclaiming 15 acres of land from the sea, 100,000 square feet of which will be provided for commercial activity. Dredging is slated to begin in November.
Cruise tourism in Barbados has grown from 127,000 in 1985 to 726,543 last year. The best year ever for cruise passenger traffic to the island was 2004 when 812,863 people visited the island.
|Posted by RCI fans on July 17, 2012 at 5:35 PM||comments (0)|
A new TV show will air on Royal Caribbean's ships called "The Avid Cruiser Takes On...", which aims to showcase the various things you can do while at the many ports Royal Caribbean visits.
The series will be comprised of 10-minute shows that feature cruise destinations, primarily in Europe, and showoff what passengers can do in these ports. The show hopes it will "get people off the ships, and into the destinations".
You can view the episodes on Royal Caribbean ships and possibly on the company's sister cruise brands such as Azamara Club Cruises and Celebrity Cruises.
The first episode is about Copenhagen, Denmark. Destinations that will be highlighted in future episodes include
Le Havre, France
Var Provence, including Toulon, Sanary-sur-Mer, La Seyne-sur-Mer, and Saint-Tropez
Nice, Villefranche, Cannes, Antibes
Corner Brook, Newfoundland
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Sydney, Nova Scotia
Saint John, New Brunswick
|Posted by RCI fans on July 13, 2012 at 10:50 AM||comments (0)|
Royal Caribbean along with Carnival, Holland America and Princess cruises have informed the government of Panama that they want to invest $30 million to build a new cruise terminal on the Amador Causeway.
The proposal would be awarded for a period of 20 years, with the option to renew for another 20 years and would be built near the Balboa Yacht Club and storage tanks.
Panama would use a plan similar to that used in 1997 when they leased the port of Colon in 2000.
Representatives from the cruise companies visited the site in order to make technical recommendations for the specifications of the tender being prepared by the Panama Maritime Authority.
|Posted by RCI fans on July 8, 2012 at 10:00 AM||comments (0)|
Noticias de Cruceros reports that on the 6th July, the Liberty of the Seas almost collided with a small Italian fishing vessel, the Angelo II based in Civitavecchia, in waters near the port city of Latium on the western coast of Italy.
According to Noticias de Cruceros, the Royal Caribbean cruise ship was on a collision course with the Angela II, which had deployed its cables and fishing nets and was trawling for fish. The captain of the much smaller fishing boat radioed the Liberty of the Seas as it was bearing down on the boat, but the cruise ship neither responded nor altered course.
The captain of the Angela II had to cut all of its cables and nets and execute an emergency maneuver to avoid being run over by the Liberty of the Seas which passed 15 meters (less than 35 feet) away.
The captain notified the Italian Coast Guard which opened an administrative investigation, which could turn into a criminal investigation if the authorities conclude that the cruise ship ignored its radar and the cries from the fishing vessel via radio and refused to alter course.
The Angela II also alleges economic damages after its cables and nets sank.
The Noticias de Cruceros blog points out that giant cruise ships like the Liberty of the Seas are chock full of sophisticated technical equipment like radar, VHF, electronic charts, GPS, and many other systems. However the problem is that notwithstanding all of this technology, the bridge officers can make reckless decisions like intentionally sailing close to shore (a la' Costa Concordia) or ignoring cries for help (a la' Star Princess) or, in this case, not answering the radio or changing course to avoid a collision with a smaller fishing boat.
The blog concludes that while the cruise industry is considering improvements to its operating procedures, consideration must be given to re-evaluating the staffing of the bridge team and the training of the bridge officers to maintain a proper lookout.
Source: Cruise Law News
|Posted by RCI fans on July 4, 2012 at 1:20 PM||comments (0)|
A new peice of art work is now on display at Port Everglades cruise terminal.
Terminal 18, home to Royal Caribbean's Oasis and Allure of the Seas gained a new peice of art work called 'Cruising School' It was created by Washington D.C. sculptor Larry Kirkland and is made up of 300 painted aluminium fish suspended from a rotating oval bracket attached to the ceiling. The art work cost $605,000 and casts shadows on the terminal walls as they rotate.
The art work will be seen by the 12,000 guests that pass through the terminal every week.
|Posted by RCI fans on May 31, 2012 at 8:00 AM||comments (3)|
The pilot strikes in Norway which closed Oslo Fjord Port earlier this week has spread to ports along the west coast of the country including Tromsø and Alesund.
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has already been forced to alter the itinerary for Balmoral's Norwegian Fjords voyage, which departed Southampton yesterday (30 May).
Brilliance of the Seas, P&O's Adonia, MSC Magnifica and Holland America Line's ms Eurodam and ms Rotterdam are all due to dock in Tromsø or Alesund in the next week.
All the cruise lines have confirmed they are putting contingency plans in place should the strikes continue.
Balmoral's revised itinerary is as follows: Kiel Canal (May 31), Warnemunde (June 1), Copenhagen (June 2), Gothenburg (June 3), at sea (June 4), Zeebrugge (June 5) and Southampton (June 6).
A statement from Royal Caribbean said: "Today, Vision of the Seas is in Bergen, Norway, and Brilliance of the Seas is Flam, Norway. Both ships are expected to depart their ports of call today as scheduled. However, we are currently preparing contingency plans in the event the strike continues and either ship is unable to make their next scheduled port of calls in Norway."
Other ports affected by the strike are; Kristiansand, Stavanger, Bergen, Geiranger and a few others.
|Posted by RCI fans on May 30, 2012 at 5:05 PM||comments (0)|
Royal Caribbean has announced that Vision of the Seas will dock in Bergen, Norway and Brilliance of the Seas will dock in Flam, Norway as planned, despite a strike by port pilots in Oslo.
The strike is expected to spread across Norway by Thursday. This is due to unsuccessful talks about wages.
Royal Caribbean spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez issued a statement regarding the situation, "Both ships are expected to depart their ports of call today as scheduled. However, we are currently preparing contingency plans in the event the strike continues and either ship is unable to make their next scheduled port of calls in Norway."
Vision of the Seas is scheduled to call to Geiranger, Norway, on Thursday, May 31, then spend Friday, June 1, at sea and conclude its sailing in Oslo, Norway, on Saturday, June 2.
Brilliance of the Seas is scheduled to call to Bergen, Norway, on Thursday, May 31, spend Friday, June 1, at sea and conclude its sailing in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on Saturday, June 2.
Other cruise lines have not been so lucky. In a statement Fred Olsen Cruise Lines confirmed that the itinerary for Balmoral, which departed from Southampton May 30 on a "Norwegian Fjords" voyage, will be significantly altered due to the ongoing strikes in Norway. The line said it would "seek alternative berthing arrangements within other Northern European ports" for the ship, though it has not announced what they will be. Passengers will be advised as soon as the new ports are determined. The line's other ships are not affected by the strikes.
|Posted by RCI fans on May 28, 2012 at 10:45 AM||comments (0)|
A strike by state workers including Oslo Fjord port pilots have affected many cruise line itineraries. Three ships have been turned away from the Norwegian capital over the weekend, including Royal Caribbean's Vision of the Seas.
Oslo's 42 pilots have gone on strike, this meant that Emerald Princess was turned away on Friday, Star Clippers' Star Flyer cancelled its call on Saturday and Vision of the Seas was diverted to Gothernburg on Sunday.
Royal Caribbean released a statement on the situation: 'Vision of the Seas was unable to dock in Oslo on Sunday, May 27th, as originally planned. Because of this, it was necessary to modify Vision of the Seas' boarding and debarking process on Sunday. Vision of the Seas arrived in Gothenburg, Sweden, on Sunday, and guests were transported to and from Oslo via motor coach.'
Talks over wages are happening today (28th May) and if the dispute isn't resolved, it could have major consequences on the region. According to Cruise Industry News, if the dispute does not resolve by May 30th, the pilot strike could go nationwide, which would have a devastating impact on cruises to the Norwegian Fjords.
May is the beginning of the busy cruise season for Norway, so the stike could not have happened at a worser time.
As for us, we are infact cruising twice in the Norway region in June. A 7-night Norwegian Fjords cruise on Brilliance of the Seas on 2nd June and another 7-night Norway cruise on P&O's Oceana departing 17th June. If the strike does go ahead for the whole region, it could have serious impacts on our cruises.
|Posted by RCI fans on May 22, 2012 at 12:15 PM||comments (0)|
The port of Southampton's famous dock gates have been saved.
The Government have listed them as Grade II buildings, just days before they could have been knocked down to rubble.
When plans by Associated British Ports (ABP), owners and operators of the city’s docks, emerged last month to demolish the distinctive structures, there was a local outcry to save the long-standing landmark gates.
English Heritage campaigned to the Government to protect them. The iconic entrances at Dock Gate 8 and Dock Gate 10 have now been safeguarded for future generations and are officially listed as Grade II buildings.
Heritage watchdog the City of Southampton Society was so concerned over the planned destruction it submitted an application straight away once details of the proposed scheme were made public.
Arthur Jeffery, the society’s vice-chairman, said: “These are art deco style gates and the society feared that they could have gone the same way as the former Ocean Terminal in the Eastern Docks back in 1982.”
Southampton City Council also recommended the gates to be listed, describing them as “a rare and evocative survival of inter-war maritime port structures of clear special architectural and historical interest”.
ABP had wanted permission to demolish the gates and was making preparations for the work to be done at the end of this month.
The port operator argued that the gates, which have stood since the development of the Western Docks in the 1930s, were obstacles standing in the way of progress and demolition would allow bigger loads to enter the port, ease traffic delays and provide extra security facilities.
An ABP spokesman said: “We understand that the Southampton Dock Gates have been listed as Grade II structures. “ABP is of course happy to respect the decision and will take the existing infrastructure into account when planning any future developments.”
|Posted by RCI fans on May 17, 2012 at 12:30 PM||comments (0)|
Royal Caribbean has announced that it plans to homeport Enchantment of the Seas in Port Canaveral for 2013. The ship will do 3 and 4 night cruises to the Bahamas.
Enchantment of the Seas will begin sailing from Port Canaveral on April 25 2013. Enchantment will replace Monarch of the Seas, which is being transferred out of the fleet to join the Pullmantur brand, also owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.. Monarch’s last sailing from Port Canaveral is scheduled for March 29 2013.
Enchantment will join Freedom of the Seas in Port Canaveral and is scheduled to be upgraded in December, with added onboard amenities and other renovations.