REGENT: Radisson Seven Seas Cruises renamed itself Regent
Seven Seas Cruises with the wave of Carlson Cos. CEO Marilyn
Carlson Nelsons wand last week in New York. Carlson is merging two
upscale businesses, the cruise line and Regent International
hotels, under the name Regent. Mark Conroy, who has publicly talked
about a name-change for the cruise line for years, was named
president of Regents land and sea operations, a change from his
prior position as CEO of the cruise line. The entire Regent fleet
will undergo an upgrade.
CRUISES will expand its fleet with the addition of the
680-passenger vessel the Minerva II, which currently is U.K.-based
Swan Hellenics only ship. The ship, to be called Royal Princess,
will enter service for Princess in April 2007 and sail Black Sea
and Mediterranean itineraries. As for Swan Hellenics future, a
press release said, no replacement vessel has been identified at
this stage, but the Company is continuing to pursue all
alternatives for the continued operation of the brand.
CELEBRITY CRUISES released clarifications of their
policies on hospitality desks after Travelocity in early March
announced a plan to staff desks for its clients on several
sailings. The lines emphasized that the Travelocity program is no
different than what any other travel agency can do, and that all
onboard group leaders have to sign contracts stating they will not
solicit sales from other guests. Earlier, Holland America Line
released a statement and took Travelocity to task for releasing
program details without HALs approval.
TRAVELOCITY issued a response saying it was
working with the cruise lines to better understand the concerns
that have been expressed about the program.
INDUSTRY was again in the national spotlight last week as
the House Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and
International Relations held hearings on cruise ship safety. Six
witnesses testified that they were victims or relatives of victims
of crimes that took place on cruise ship sailings. Its not clear
yet what the Houses next step might be. Christopher Shays
(R-Conn.), the chairman of the subcommittee, during the hearing
urged the cruise lines to be more cooperative with relatives of
people who have disappeared from ships. Otherwise, he said, we will
be more vigorous in pursuing this investigation.