OFFICIALS AT BANKRUPT
premium operator Renaissance
Cruises are "working quite hard to find a reorganization
opportunity" using the line's Tahiti-based vessels, R3 and R4.
Renaissance relinquished control of eight of its 10 ships days
after its September bankruptcy filing, but R3 and R4 are
contractually bound to operate in Tahiti under French government
loan programs which helped finance the ships' construction.
According to a statement on the company's Web site (www.renaissancecruises.com
) following federal
bankruptcy court proceedings last week, Renaissance officials are
"also working diligently with a variety of creditors in order to
assist them in the reconciliation of a variety of claims,
including, without limitation, passenger cruise deposit claims."
Passenger claims related to the bankruptcy total $110 million, a
Renaissance official said recently.
RENAISSANCE also will seek to break its lease
of office space at 350 East Las Olas Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale in
order to consolidate operations onto a single floor of the same
building under a new lease. "The new lease arrangement will save
the Debtors and their estates a substantial sum of money related to
the lease of their office space," according to the Web site
statement. Finally, the company is planning to auction "excess
personal property at the corporate office facilities" and will file
a motion to schedule an auction.
A PRINCESS CRUISES crewmember was arrested on
Oct. 10 for phoning a bomb threat to the staff of 2,600-passenger
Golden Princess from aboard the vessel. Officials at Princess
issued a statement on Oct. 12 saying that on Oct. 5 Golden Princess
"received a bomb threat that was quickly determined to be a hoax
called in by one of the ship's employees." The statement said
Princess officers "contacted appropriate law enforcement officials"
and "the suspect was taken into custody." Princess officials would
not comment on widespread press reports that identified the suspect
as Mark Bradley Huby, the ship's junior assistant cruise director.
Huby was locked in an unoccupied cabin for the rest of the cruise
after the threat and was arrested by the FBI on Oct. 10 in Fort
Lauderdale after the ship returned to the port, according to the
NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE will offer travel agents
a 20% commission on all new bookings through Dec. 31 for all
sailings through that date, company officials said. The move by
NCL, the fourth-largest cruise operator, matches identical offers
from other lines. Officials at P&O Princess Cruises, the
third-largest cruise operator, had not responded to telephone calls
seeking comment. "Agents know they can count on us to be there for
them -- not just through difficult times, but all the time," said
Colin Veitch, NCL's president and CEO said in a statement. "NCL is
a long-term supporter of travel agents." Carnival Cruise Lines
initiated the 20% commissions last Thursday, with other Carnival
Corp. brands quickly following. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., the
second-largest cruise supplier, also matched Carnival's offer Oct
ROYAL CARIBBEAN INT'L canceled the Oct. 14
sailing of the Nordic Empress after a storm that hit Bermuda Oct.
11 delayed the ship's return to Philadelphia from Bermuda.
Meanwhile, heavy winds tore Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian
Majesty from its moorings at the St. George harbor in Bermuda,
according to an NCL spokeswoman. The ship, which was carrying 2,000
passengers, drifted into open water before the crew stabilized the
vessel. No passengers were injured.