News Briefs, Week of March 21, 2016

Celebrity chef deals on menu at Seatrade


Several lines are adding to their culinary relationships in deals that were announced at Seatrade Cruise Global. Seabourn said it will expand its partnership with chef Thomas Keller by adding the Grill by Thomas Keller on all of its ships, starting with the Seabourn Sojourn in May. Carnival Cruise Line debuted a Guy's Pig & Anchor Bar-Be-Que Smokehouse on the Carnival Magic, an extension of its partnership with Guy Fieri. MSC Cruises, meanwhile, unveiled a deal with Hawaiian fusion master Roy Yamaguchi, who will create a pan-Asian restaurant for the MSC Seaside.

Senate panel agrees on FAA funding bill
The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation agreed to a bipartisan bill last week that would fund the FAA through September 2017. The bill includes new consumer protections for airline passengers, but it does not address a controversial proposal by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to privatize the U.S. air traffic control network. The next step for the legislation is consideration on the Senate floor, which is expected next month. In the meantime, the Senate is expected this week to take up a short-term FAA funding extension bill passed on March 14.

Company debuts with transgender river sail
Transgender Vacations launched last week in Miami with the creation of a transgender river cruise on the Danube, scheduled for Oct. 23 to 31. The Transgender and Friends European River Cruise is a seven-night charter sailing from Passau, Germany, to Budapest on the 176-passenger Belvedere. The onboard program will showcase lectures by and workshops with transgender leaders. Stops include Melk, Durnstein and Vienna in Austria and Bratislava in Slovakia.

SeaWorld to end orca shows at all its parks
SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment said it will end its orca shows and shut down its orca breeding program at all three of its U.S. parks by 2019. Rather than using them as show performers, SeaWorld plans to place the creatures in exhibits that highlight rescue and rehabilitation efforts. SeaWorld previously said it would phase out orca shows at its San Diego park in 2016 and will instead debut an orca experience in 2017 that will be feature a more natural setting for interaction. That plan has been extended to the San Antonio and Orlando parks.

Bermuda's Caroline Bay to include Ritz resort
A Ritz-Carlton Reserve resort will be part of the Caroline Bay development on Bermuda's West End. The property, on the island's Little Sound, will have 79 guestrooms and will also include 173 luxury residences. Caroline Bay is scheduled to open in 2018.

Celebrity to expand Galapagos Xpedition
Celebrity Cruises will expand its Celebrity Xpedition brand in the Galapagos islands by acquiring Ocean Adventures. Ocean Adventures has two vessels: the 48-passenger Eclipse and the 16-guest catamaran Athala II. Celebrity Xpedition has sailed in the Galapagos since 2004; it operates a single ship, the Xpedition.

Sandals opens books on overwater suites
Reservations are being taken for Sandals' first overwater suites, which are to open Nov. 15 at Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Sandals said they are the first in the Caribbean. Karisma Hotels & Resorts is slated to open its overwater villas at El Dorado Maroma on Mexico's Riveria Maya in September.

Friends & Colleagues
Lynn Torrent, Carnival Cruise Line's executive vice president for sales and guest services, will be leaving the company at the end of August. She is responsible for global sales, reservations, guest services and port embarkation. Torrent, a 15-year Carnival Corp. veteran, joined Carnival Cruise Line in 2008, a year after former president Gerry Cahill was elevated to the top job at the company. She had been president and CEO of Costa Cruises' North American operations. Torrent had worked prior to that as a vice president of marketing services for Carnival Corp. • • • CLIA has named Cindy D'Aoust as its new president and CEO. D'Aoust had been serving as acting CEO and president of the organization since mid-2015. Prior to joining CLIA in December 2014, D'Aoust had been the chief operating officer at Meeting Professionals International, overseeing global operations, marketing and member services. • • • CroisiEurope has added Sara Hamilton-Moran to its sales team as the Northeast U.S. sales manager, responsible for New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Hamilton-Moran had served for three years as the business development manager for Pleasant Holidays, managing sales in New York and New Jersey for the company's four brands, including the luxury division Journese, Air by Pleasant and their cruise division. Prior to that, she was the business development manager for Norwegian Cruise Line for nine years. • • • Benchmark Hospitality International has appointed Thomas Faust as its vice president, sales. Faust joined Benchmark from Omni Hotels & Resorts, where he was vice president, sales. Faust had previously served as the vice president, sales and marketing, for the Anatole Hotel in Dallas and held various positions in sales, marketing and operations for Starwood Hotels within the Sheraton brand. • • • The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group hired Camilla Chiam as the vice president of public relations and communications for Asia Pacific. Chiam comes from Pontiac Land Group and Patina Hotels & Resorts, where she served as head of group corporate communications. Prior to that, she was the director of public relations at Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts.

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