Tuesday Briefing: Royal Caribbean’s New LNG Cruise Ships, Egencia’s Reorganization

fuel cell
Royal Caribbean's new Icon class of ships will be partly powered by fuel cells.

Royal Caribbean just made a major announcement this morning in the travel industry. Here’s what you need to know. 

Royal Caribbean’s New Cruise Ships

Royal Caribbean International has announced plans for its newest “Icon” class of ships, which will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and fuel cells in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

The line has signed a memorandum of understanding with shipbuilder Meyer Turku for the new class of vessel, to be delivered in the second quarters of 2022 and 2024. In the meantime, Royal Caribbean will begin testing full cell technology on an existing Oasis-class ship in 2017, with progressively larger fuel cell projects to roll out on new Quantum-class vessels being built over the next several years. 

Because the scheduled launch of the new ships is still several years away, many of the design elements are still in their early stages. The long lead time will help Meyer Turku adapt fuel cell technology for maritime use, the line said. The Icon ships will likely accommodate approximately 5,000 passengers, but details are yet to be finalized. 

Icon is the first new ship class announced by Royal Caribbean since Celebrity Cruises' new Edge class, which debuts in 2018. The company is also expanding its fleet with new Oasis- and Quantum-class ships for Royal Caribbean International.

LNG power is gaining increasing prominence in the cruise industry, with LNG-powered ships set to debut for Carnival Corp. brands AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line and P&O Cruises UK from 2019 - 2020

Egencia’s Big Reorganization

In business travel news, Egencia, the corporate travel division of Expedia, has announced a new global organization as part of the company’s strategy for 2017 and beyond. 

The company will create two new global organizations, the first of which is focused on serving clients and driving market share growth. That organization will comprise Egencia Sales and Account Management teams worldwide and will be led by Christophe Peymirat. Peymirat, who most recently led Egencia's European and Nordic businesses, will assume the newly created role of Chief Commercial Officer, Egencia Worldwide.

The second organization will be focused on scaling Egencia's business operations and also on the company’s supplier partnerships, to be led by Mark Hollyhead. Hollyhead, who has been leading Egencia's Americas business and who just completed the integration of Orbitz for Business, will become Chief Operating Officer, Egencia Worldwide.

Hurricane Matthew Flooding Continues in Southeast

Though Hurricane Matthew may be gone, its effects still linger in the southeastern U.S., with CNBC reporting that hundreds of people had to be evacuated by boat and helicopter from North Carolina Monday due to life-threatening flooding. That flooding is expected to persist in the state for several days, which received as much as 18 inches of rain from the storm. 11 people have died in North Carolina, and President Barack Obama has declared a state of emergency. 

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