Travel Weeklys Cruise E-letter: May 9, 2006

EASYCRUISE signed a letter of intent with Neorion Holdings to build two cruise ships at Neorions two shipyards in Greece. Each ship would hold 500 passengers and would introduce the EasyCruise concept to the Greek islands and other parts of the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Florida, the Bahamas and Dubai. The deal includes an option for two additional ships. The line also named a CEO. EasyCruise Chairman Stelios Haji-Ioannou gave the nod to Gwyn Hughes, a former executive director of P&O Cruises who now runs his own strategy and communications consultancy firm.

THE CARNIVAL DESTINY will operate a new five-port, seven-day southern Caribbean itinerary beginning in January. The ship, which is homeported in San Juan, will stop in St. Lucia, Antigua, Dominica, Barbados and St. Thomas. Its current itinerary calls at St. Thomas, Dominica, Barbados and Aruba. Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen said the decision to eliminate Aruba from the itinerary is part of a fuel-saving initiative as well as a way to freshen up the ships itinerary, which has remained the same for five years. New itinerary options that enable Carnival to operate our ships more fuel-efficiently has become an increasingly important focus, Gulliksen said.

ITALIAN SHIPYARD FINCANTIERI will acquire 21% of share capital in German shipyard Lloyd Werft and an option to purchase a majority stake by the end of 2008, the company said last week. Bremer Investitions-Gesellschaft, a German state-owned business development company, will take a 13.16% stake in Lloyd Werft. Fincantieri said the agreement would advance its strategy to increase its presence in ship refitting and refurbishment services. Fincantieri also said that the strategic locations of shipyards in the North Sea and the Mediterranean will strengthen its position in an area where a significant part of the cruise and ferry fleets is operating.

PRINCESS AND CUNARD said theyre the first cruise lines to enable travel agents to create online group reservations. The system creates a group booking in three steps and displays pricing and group details. Jan Swartz, Princess senior vice president of customer service and sales, said that because group space fills quickly on popular sailings, agents have been telling the cruise line they would like to be able to handle group bookings online. The new system allows agents to work directly through the group department during office hours and directly through POLAR online whenever they wish, Schwartz said.  

Cruise E-Letter Editor:

Johanna Jainchill

Phone: (201) 902-7940

[email protected]

For promotional opportunities in the E-letters, contact [email protected].

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