Travel Weekly's Cruise E-letter: April 17, 2007

THE PRIDE OF HAWAII will be renamed the Norwegian Jade, reflagged and redeployed to Europe in 2008, NCL Corp. said. The company said that its 2006 losses were caused by downward pricing pressure in the Hawaii market following the addition of the Pride of Hawaii to the fleet last summer, combined with an increase in foreign-flag competition in the market. The company said the withdrawal would be temporary. "We take this action with regret, but sure in the knowledge that a temporary retrenchment is the right thing to do for the good of the business and the good of Hawaii in the long run," CEO Colin Veitch said.

THE NORWEGIAN JADE will be reflagged into the Bahamas registry during a wetdock in Honolulu, where the ship will be fitted with a casino and new hull artwork. It will sail 12-, 13- and 14-day eastern and western Mediterranean cruises, sailing from Barcelona, Istanbul and Athens; it will then reposition to Southampton, England, for a series of cruises to the Mediterranean, North Cape, Western Europe and the British Isles. The ship will offer a series of sailings designed specifically for the U.K. market, NCL said. The Jade will be joined in Europe by the Norwegian Gem, which will sail western Mediterranean cruises from Barcelona, and the Norwegian Jewel, which will sail in the Baltic region from Dover, England.

CARNIVAL CORP. COO Howard Frank discussed the cruise conglomerate's international growth plans during the company's annual shareholder meeting Monday in Southampton. Carnival plans to grow its international business to about 40% of its total business, from the current 30%, by 2010, Frank said. "While North America is our largest market, we have intensified our efforts at growing our European business, both through strategic alliances with existing travel companies ... as well as an aggressive newbuilding program." U.K. Carnival has about $11 billion in newbuilds on the books for its brands: Eight ships will go to North American cruise brands, and 12 vessels will go to Europe-based brands and elsewhere.

FRED. OLSEN CRUISE LINES is planning to lengthen the Norwegian Crown by about 100 feet when it takes possession of the ship in September. The vessel is currently operated by Norwegian Cruise Line. Fred. Olsen said it would lengthen the ship at Blohm + Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, by adding a section that would increase the ship's public areas and add about 350 berths. The newly expanded vessel will be renamed the Balmoral and be inaugurated in January in Dover.

CLARIFICATION: 2008 will mark the second year that Royal Caribbean will homeport in Norfolk, Va., but the first year that the Grandeur of the Seas will sail from Norfolk. The Grandeur will replace the Empress of the Seas, which sails from Norfolk this year.

Cruise E-Letter Editor: Johanna Jainchill

Phone: (201) 902-2065

[email protected]

For promotional opportunities in the E-letters, contact [email protected].


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