P&O PRINCESS rejected the entreaties of her
latest suitor when the line spurned a hostile takeover bid from
Carnival Corp. in favor of an earlier proposal from Royal Caribbean
Cruises Ltd. The rejection Dec. 16 of the $4.61 billion bid set up
a battle between Carnival, cruising's largest operator, and RCCL,
the No. 2 supplier, for third-place operator P&O Princess. "Our
response to Carnival is based on two clear criteria," said Peter
Ratcliffe, P&O's chief executive, "value for our shareholders
and deliverability. The proposal falls short on both counts."
Carnival chairman Micky Arison and Howard Frank, vice chairman,
were to have taken their case directly to P&O Princess
shareholders in London on Monday. Carnival's offer follows last
month's announcement by Royal Caribbean and P&O Princess of a
$5.9 billion merger agreement.
TRAVEL AGENTS, acting as authorized
distributors, are ticketed to sell the bulk of SeaDream Yacht
Club's cruises, according to Larry Pimentel, CEO, chairman and
co-owner of the small-ship luxury operator. According to Pimentel,
SeaDream Yacht Club will sell its cruises through 250 such
authorized distributors, 85% of which will be retail outlets, while
the rest will be yacht brokers. SeaDream was formed last year by
Norwegian entrepreneur Atle Brynestad, who acquired the former Sea
Goddess I and II from Cunard Line Ltd.
THE WORLD OF RESIDENSEA, a 198-unit floating
resort and luxury condominium, will arrive on these shores -- at
Fort Lauderdale, to be exact -- on March 10 at the conclusion of
its inaugural Atlantic crossing. The ship, now under construction
in Norway, will be delivered Jan. 31, according to ResidenSea's
president Fredy Dellis. The ship, the first of its kind, has 110
fully equipped apartments offered for sale with 50-year leaseholds.
The World will embark on its maiden voyage from England on Feb. 25,
making stops in Hamburg and Lisbon en route to the U.S.
CARNIVAL CORP. signed a letter of intent with
Italy's Fincantieri for the construction of a $400 million,
1,968-passenger liner for its Cunard Line Ltd. unit. The ship,
which will serve the British passenger market, will be delivered in
January 2005, one year after Cunard's Queen Mary 2 makes her debut.
The as-yet-unnamed vessel will be based in Southampton and offer
"worldwide itineraries." Although the new ship will sail under the
Cunard Line banner, its creation will trace to Holland America
Line's building program. It turns out that the Carnival Corp.
sister brand is donating a vessel -- the Cunard liner -- previously
planned for delivery to HAL in January 2005. As a result, HAL will
delay the deliveries of the 1,848-passenger "Vista" series vessels
Zuiderdam and Oosterdam to November 2002 and June 2003,
CRYSTAL CRUISES upgraded its travel insurance
plan to allow passengers to cancel their cruise, for any reason, up
to three days prior to departure and receive a 90% cruise credit
valid for any sailing within 12 months. "Cruise Protection
Program-Plus," as the program is called, is valid for any Crystal
Harmony or Crystal Symphony sailing departing between April 1 and
Dec. 31. The new program is an enhancement of the luxury operator's
standard cruise insurance program covering trip interruptions and
cancellations. The upgrade costs an extra $200 for cruise fares
under $8,000 per person or 3% of the cruise fare for voyages over
$8,000 per person, according to company officials.
BILL SMITH, a longtime cruise industry figure
and president of Silversea Cruises since 1995, resigned his
position, effective Dec. 15, "to pursue personal interests,"
according to a company statement. Smith joined Silversea in March
1995 as senior vp and was named president that November. Smith
previously held executive positions at Costa Cruises, Commodore
Cruise Line and Sitmar Cruises. Company officials would not say if
Smith will be replaced.