News Briefs, Week of July 7, 2015

Silversea orders 596-passenger ship


Silversea Cruises ordered a 596-passenger ship from the Fincantieri shipyard, with an expected delivery in spring 2017, to be called Silver Muse. The 40,000-gross-ton ship will be Silversea's largest ship and the ninth in its fleet. Silversea's most recent newbuild, the 540-passenger Silver Spirit, was delivered in December 2009.

DOJ probes possible airline collusion
The Department of Justice is investigating possible collusion between major airlines to limit available seats, keeping airfares high, according to an Associated Press report. The report said the probe was focused on whether airlines illegally signaled to each other how quickly they would add new flights, routes and extra seats.

Norwegian will not renew Nickelodeon
Norwegian Cruise Line will not renew its three-year-old partnership with Nickelodeon when it expires this year. Characters such as SpongeBob Square Pants and Dora the Explorer take part in meet-and-greets, a poolside show and a Nickelodeon-themed breakfast. Norwegian said it would continue to make investments "to further elevate our family programming" on its ships.

Aman opens second Caribbean resort
Aman Resorts is slated to open its second Caribbean property later this year in the Dominican Republic. Amanera will join Turks and Caicos' Amanera. Sited on the Playa Grande golf course, the 2,000-acre resort will be Aman's first golf-integrated property and will have 25 oceanview casitas, 13 with private 32-foot pools. The resort will have an open-air bar and lounge, a spa, library, restaurant, swimming pool, and children's club.

JetBlue rolls out bag fee and bundled fares
JetBlue implemented a new fare structure and began charging a $20 fee for the first checked bag to customers purchasing its least expensive fare. The four new fare options are Blue, Blue Plus, Blue Flex and Mint, JetBlue's premium cabin. Blue Plus fares include a checked bag; Blue Flex and Mint fares include two. Blue Flex allows changes or cancellations with no charge and expedited security screening.

Hilton to open first Canopy in Iceland
Hilton's first hotel under its Canopy by Hilton brand will open in Reykjavik, Iceland, early next year. The 115-room Canopy Reykjavik City Centre will have a rooftop bar and restaurant. The property will be developed and managed by Icelandair Hotels, which also operates the Hilton Reykjavik Nordica. Hilton announced the Canopy brand last fall.

Mandalay Bay redo hits home stretch
The Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas began the final phase of a $100 million renovation, in which all 3,211 guestrooms will be updated with new design schemes, modernized in-room work areas and murals framing the beds. Mandalay Bay opened on the Las Vegas Strip in 1999.

United invests in Cali. biofuel company
United Airlines invested $30 million in California-based Fulcrum BioEnergy, which makes biofuel from household trash. The funding will allow Fucrum to produce as many as 180 million gallons of biofuel a year, which  United will have rights to acquire half of for the next decade.

Friends & Colleagues
The Walt Disney Co. named Christine McCarthy to serve as CFO. Previously, McCarthy served as the company's treasurer, a job she held for the past 15 years. McCarthy succeeds Jay Rasulo, who resigned as CFO in early June. Recently, Disney said that Rasulo will be staying on at Disney as an adviser to CEO Bob Iger. Additionally, Kevin Mayer has been named chief strategy officer. Mayer was previously executive vice president of corporate strategy and business development at Disney. • • • Alexandre de Brouwer was named general manager of the Hyatt Ziva Cancun, which will open in November following an $85 million expansion and renovation of the former Dreams Cancun. De Brouwer previously was general manager of the Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta. Prior to that, he served as general manager of Dreams Cancun. • • • Azamara Club Cruises has hired Michael Pawlus to be its director of strategic itinerary and destination planning. Pawlus has more than 25 years of experience in the cruise industry. He joins Azamara from Silversea Cruises, where he served as director of strategic itinerary planning. Pawlus also held positions at Seabourn, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection and the Delta Queen Steamboat Co. • • • Dennis Hernandez, a hospitality sales veteran with 30 years of experience, has been named director of sales and marketing for the newly renovated Embassy Row Hotel, a Destination Hotel, in Washington. Hernandez joins the Embassy Row Hotel after serving as chief marketing officer of the Pure Marketing Agency. He previously served as director of sales and marketing for the Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs, Calif.; the Standard, Downtown L.A.; and the Huntley Hotel in Santa Monica, Calif. • • • Melia Hotels International named Paloma Castanon director of group sales, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Castanon was formerly senior sales manager with Velas Resorts. Preceding that post, she held various titles within Melia from 2005 to 2012.

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