CRUISE LINES took possession of the Carnival Liberty, its
newest 110,000-ton, 2,974-passenger Conquest-class vessel and its
first Mediterranean-based ship, from the Fincantieri shipyard in
Monfalcone, Italy. On July 20, the megaship begins a season of
12-day cruises from Civitavecchia, a port town near Rome.
Oscar-winning actor Mira Sorvino will be the ships godmother.
LIBERTY looks just like its sisters, the recent Carnival
Valor and the Carnival Conquest, in its footprint, but it has one
mega addition: A 270-square-foot, LED movie screen installed above
the main pool area that will be used to broadcast movies, shows and
even video games. The concept was introduced on sister line
Princess Cruises (incidentally, Princess latest, the Crown
Princess, was last week taking shape at the Fincantieri shipyard
just across the pier from the Liberty). The ships design theme,
meanwhile, celebrates great artisans and their works and includes
references to metalworkers (wrought-ironesque accents in the
atrium), jazz greats, celebrities and boxing champs.
IT WAS A
RED-LETTER WEEK for the Papenburg, Germany-based Meyer
Werft shipyard. Celebrity Cruises said last week that its planning
to build its first post-Panamax cruise ship, a 117,000-ton,
2,850-passenger vessel that, if ordered, would be ready in the
second half of 2008. The line said July 12 it signed a
letter-of-intent with the Meyer Werft yard, which built Celebritys
earlier builds and, more recently, sister line Royal Caribbean
Internationals four Radiance-class ships. The company estimated the
all-in cost of the post-Panamax ship (a vessel that is too large to
fit through the Panama Canal) would be about $225,000 per berth, or
$641 million. Celebrity has an option for a second ship, which can
be exercised before March 15.
CORP., meanwhile, placed a firm order with Meyer Werft for
a third 65,500-ton cruise ship for its Aida Cruises brand. Aida is
marketed and sold exclusively in German-speaking markets. The new
ship is to be delivered in April 2008, between the first order
(scheduled for an April 2007 delivery) and the second (for delivery
in April 2009).
CRUISES upcoming 116,000-ton vessel, the Crown Princess,
will head to San Juan after finishing its inaugural summer season
in New York and will take the place of the slightly smaller Golden
Princess. The Golden will sail three western Caribbean cruises from
New Orleans in December 2006, marking Princess first call in that
port. The Crown will offer seven-day sailings to the southern
Caribbean from San Juan starting Oct. 27, 2006. Elsewhere in the
Caribbean, the Caribbean Princess, the Star Princess, the Sun
Princess and the Sea Princess will offer seasons from Fort
Lauderdale, and the Grand Princess will sail from Galveston, Texas.
The Coral Princess, meanwhile, offers one holiday sailing on Dec.
22, 2006, that includes calls in the eastern Caribbean and will
visit western Caribbean ports during its regular Panama Canal
cruises from Fort Lauderdale.
EMILY, which struck Cozumel, a popular western Caribbean
port call, may force cruise lines to alter several itineraries this
week. Carnival Cruise Lines sent two of its ships, the Carnival
Glory and the Elation, on eastern Caribbean routes and identified
possible changes for five other ships that departed this weekend:
the Sensation, the Carnival Conquest, the Ecstasy, the Carnival
Miracle and the Carnival Victory. Norwegian Cruise Line, meanwhile,
rerouted the Norwegian Sea; Royal Caribbean International notified
passengers on the Empress of the Seas that the ships schedule may
be changed depending on conditions in Cozumel and Costa