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Cruise Ship Pollution Taken to Task in Washington
Cruise lines have been at the forefront of enacting measures to curb cruise ship pollution and ameliorate any negative impact ships may have on the world's oceans. In effect, cruise line efforts have run concurrently with the all-too-recent global-wide endeavor to green the Earth. However, it appears that the cruise lines efforts are not enough.
Lawmakers in Washington are looking to crack down further on cruise ship pollution. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) is introducing the Clean Cruise Ship Act, which seeks to protect the world's oceans and the Great Lakes from pollution by raising current control standards. The act would create coastal zones where cruise ships would be prohibited from dumping waste and new standards for waste treatment. Alaska state legislators have already passed similar legislation that helps safeguard its local waters from cruise ship pollution.
Durbin, in introducing the legislation, cited the large size of today's cruise ships and the "500,000 gallons of sewage, 37,000 gallons of oily bilge water and more than 1.7 million gallons of wastewater from sinks, showers, laundry and galleys" they generate. Regulations governing the cruise ship industry, he said, were written in the 1970's when ships were relatively small compared to the ones plying the oceans today.
Durbin's bill would establish stronger standards and disallow ships from discharging byproducts such as sewage, gray water and bilge water within 12 miles of shore.
Durbin also cited reports from the EPA, which state that cruise ship pollution is a threat to human health and ocean environments. "A century ago President Theodore Roosevelt committed this nation to the critical goal of preserving our land," he said. "Today we have a similar responsibility to the seas that cover 70 percent of our planet."
Royal Caribbean Ups Fuel Supplement
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is increasing its fuel supplement for first and second guests in a stateroom to $8 per person, per day, but no more than $112 per person, per cruise, the line announced Tuesday. Additional stateroom guests will be charged $3 per person, per day, but no more than $42 per person, per cruise.
The announcement comes on the heels of similar announcements by Carnival Corp. and NCL Corp. this month. The former raised its fuel supplement to $7 per person, per day; NCL Corp. to $9 per person, per day. All said they were forced to raise the surcharge due to billowing fuel prices.
Royal Caribbean's adjusted fuel supplement will apply to all bookings made on or after May 1 aboard its three brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises. Visit www.royalcaribbean.com.
Holland America Boasts Biggest Europe Season Ever in 2009
Holland America Line will deploy six ships in Europe in 2009, visiting 166 ports, which include 16 maiden calls, on 70 different cruises. "North Americans are realizing that a cruise is the most cost-effective way to experience Europe,” said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs for Holland America.
Cruises will range from 10 to 50 days in length and will feature maiden calls including Hendaye (Biarritz), France; Oostende (Brugge), Belgium; Kiel, Germany; Scrabster, Scotland, United Kingdom; Kristiansund, Norway; Vaasa, Finland; Foynes, Ireland; Greencastle, Northern Ireland; Portland, England, United Kingdom; Santa Margherita, Italy; Bat’umi, Georgia; Victoria (Rabat), Gozo, Malta; Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom; Djúpivogur, Iceland; Palau, Sardinia, Italy; and Trapani, Sicily, Italy.
Cruise fares for the line's 2009 European sailings start at $1,699 per person. Visit www.hollandamerica.com.
New Regent Guest Communications Incorporate Agency Information
Regent Seven Seas Cruises is launching a new guest communications program, which will tie in specific information from client travel agencies. New print and online materials will be delivered to guests before and after a trip and incorporate the name and contact information of the guests’ agency of record.
“This comprehensive print and online program not only provides our guests with timely, personalized information, but also strengthens the ties between Regent Seven Seas and North America’s luxury cruise vacation retailers,” said Randall Soy, vice president of channel sales for Regent Seven Seas.
New print initiatives include bon voyage notes, welcome home notes, personalized travel planners, voyages to explore brochures and tactical direct mail pieces; while online, guests will receive e-postcards, promotional e-mails and guest e-mails from Regent reservations. Visit www.rssc.com.
NCL's Stuart Appointed Chief Product Officer
Andy Stuart has been named executive vice president and chief product officer for Norwegian Cruise Line as his role expands in leading NCL's new Freestyle 2.0 initiative and in overseeing the planning and developing of NCL's two new 4,200-passenger F3 ships, it's largest ships to date, scheduled to enter service in 2010. Stuart's previous title was executive vice president of sales, marketing and passenger services and NCL says a search is now underway to find a replacement.
Stuart's responsibilities as they relate to delivering the freestyle cruising product will now be more "broad based" NCl says, while his role as F3 Project Chief will include planning, coordination and oversight as they relate to design, building, commercial and market launch, product development and operational delivery.
Back in October, Stuart stood at Aker Yards in France, ceremoniously leading the building launch of the F3 ships, which will cost about 1.5 billion euros to build. An option to build a third F3 ship is still under negotiation.
Colin Veitch, NCL's president and CEO, calls the F3 series the line's most "innovative and important project in NCL's history," and that Stuart has the requisite skills to see the project through. Staurt has been with NCL since 1988, primarily in sales and marketing capacities. Visit www.ncl.com.
Carnival Splendor Offers Diverse Selection of Cuisine
Carnival Splendor, Carnival Cruise Lines' newest 3,006-passenger 'Fun Ship' debuting in July, will provide its guests an assortment of different cuisines set in various casual and more formal settings.
The ship's split-level dining room, the Golden Pearl and Black Pearl, will offer a mix of appetizers, Carnival classics and the popular broiled lobster tail, served once each voyage. For passengers seeking a more intimate and refined experience, Splendor's reservations-only supper club, The Pinnacle, will serve up an array of prime steaks and seafood.
On Lido Deck, Carnival will reprise the Indian tandoori station and Mongolian barbecue venue, in addition to other regulars such as pizza, hot dogs and hamburgers. Splendor will also feature rotisserie chicken served upstairs on Panorama Deck. Visit www.carnival.com.
Voyages of Discovery Offers Free Airfare and 10 Percent Savings
Voyages of Discovery is offering free to $199 airfares plus 10 percent off early bookings fares on its Baltic and Mediterranean sailings this summer.
It's 10- to 20-night sailings in Scandinavia, Russia, The Baltic, North Cape and the Mediterranean depart beginning May 7 through October 23, 2008. Fares start at $2,530 per person and include a two-night hotel stay in London or or Copenhagen. Visit www.voyagesofdiscovery.com.
Uniworld Launches 2009 Preseason Savings
Uniworld River Cruises' 2009 preseason super savings program offers savings up to $2,200 per couple on European river cruises.
The first option is for your clients pay in full at the time of booking, on or before June 15, 2008, which triggers the $2,200 per couple savings; a second option, which allows for $800 per couple savings, is for clients to book and deposit on or before June 15, 2008.
Hurtigruten Offers Unprecedented Savings to Antarctica
Hurtigruten is offering savings up to $3,600 per person on five distinct Antarctic expeditions in 2008 and 2009, with itineraries ranging from 13 to 22 days. Guests can also take advantage of Hurtigruten's roundtrip airfare from Miami or New York ranging from $849 to $1,049.
The discounts apply to all five of the line's Antarctica programs including a new 17-day itinerary aboard Hurtigruten's newest expedition ship, MS Fram. With the discount, fares range from $5,799 to $15,599 per person for January 22 and February 3, 2009, departures, a savings of $1,000 to $3,600 per person. Visit www.hurtigruten.us.