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.
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,
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
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.
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