CARNIVAL CORP. ordered two ships for two of its European brands, with an option for a third. The orders include a 92,700-ton vessel for Costa Cruises, with an option for a sister ship, both to be built by Italy’s Fincantieri shipyard; and a 68,500-ton ship for AIDA Cruises to be built by Germany’s Meyer Werft yard. The new ships would add more than 6,500 berths to Carnival Corp.’s fleet. CEO Micky Arison said that the order continues the company’s aggressive expansion strategy in the European market and cited the “incredible potential for growth” in Europe. The cost for each vessel will be approximately $530 million, Carnival said.
ROYAL CARIBBEAN confirmed that it will homeport the Legend of the Seas in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, beginning in December 2007. The cruise line had earlier stated plans to sail from the Dominican Republic but hadn’t specified a port city. The Legend will sail out of Santo Domingo through spring 2008 on alternating eight-day itineraries and call in Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Roseau, Dominica; St. George’s, Grenada; Margarita Island, Venezuela; Oranjestad, Aruba; Basseterre, St. Kitts; Point a Pitre, Guadeloupe; Fort de France, Martinique; Bridgetown, Barbados; and Castries, St. Lucia. Royal Caribbean said that since the itineraries do not include any U.S. ports they are “likely to be popular with international guests.”
NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE will homeport the Norwegian Spirit in New Orleans from November 2007 to April 2008, sailing a western Caribbean itinerary with calls in Belize City, Belize; Santo Tomas, Guatemala; and Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico. After spending a summer sailing out of New York, the Spirit will reposition to New Orleans on Nov. 18, replacing the Norwegian Sun, which will move to Hawaii for the winter. The New Orleans itineraries will be on sale in the next few weeks.
THE NORWEGIAN CROWN ran into a coral reef while sailing into Hamilton, Bermuda, on June 7 while being guided by a local pilot during heavy rain. No one on the ship was hurt. The Crown was freed at about 6:30 p.m. the same day, and while a full damage assessment was to be conducted by a team of divers, NCL said there appeared to be no damage to the ship. The coral reef likely did not fare as well: according to Dr. Thomas Sleeter, director of environmental protection for Bermuda, when a ship hits a coral reef, typically “it destroys it.” The Crown had sailed from Philadelphia on June 4 with 1,135 passengers and 537 crew onboard.
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