CORP. signed a letter of intent to form a joint venture
with Orizonia Corp.'s Iberojet Cruceros brand. Under the agreement,
Iberojet Cruceros' existing two-ship fleet would transfer to the
new joint venture company, which would be 75% owned by Carnival
Corp. and 25% owned by Orizonia. Iberojet currently operates the
834-passenger Grand Voyager and the 1,196-passenger Grand Mistral;
the joint venture company, valued at $417 million, would grow the
fleet over the next several years. Pier Luigi Foschi, CEO of
Carnival's Costa Cruises unit, would serve as chairman of the joint
venture. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of
CEO MICKY ARISON called the Spanish market "one of the
fastest-growing segments of the European vacation industry."
Carnival's move comes on the heels of Royal Caribbean Cruises'
purchase of Spanish cruise line Pullmantur in November.
CARNIVAL DREAM AND CARNIVAL MAGIC will be the names of two
130,000-ton, 3,652-passenger Carnival Cruise Lines vessels on order
with Italy's Fincantieri shipyard. The Carnival Dream and the
Carnival Magic are scheduled to enter service in October 2009 and
June 2011, respectively, and will represent a new class of vessel
for Carnival. The line has two other ships on order with
Fincantieri: The 110,000-ton Carnival Freedom is slated to enter
service in Europe on March 5, and the 112,000-ton Carnival Splendor
is set to debut in July 2008.
CRUISE ASSOCIATION is the name of a new organization
formed by eight cruise lines to improve the economic opportunities
for communities and businesses in Alaska that are affected by the
cruise industry. The association said it intends to "work with the
public and business leaders to build a long-lasting and mutually
beneficial relationship." John Binkley, a former state senator and
gubernatorial candidate, will be president of the Anchorage-based
association. Binkley said the lines' focus on relations with Alaska
"sharpened" after Alaska voters passed a law last year that places
new taxes and regulations on the industry there.
CRUISES is making good on its pledge to become the first
major cruise line to offer agents commission on shore excursions
booked on its cruises. MSC will give agents 10% commission on
excursions booked at least three days prior to the cruise. MSC USA
President Rick Sasso originally promised to give agents 5%, but he
said that upon consideration 10% was the more appropriate amount
for the work that goes into booking a shore excursion.
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