After weeks of industry speculation, Disney Cruise Line officially announced acquisition of the partially-completed Global Dream, a 6,000-passenger ship, its largest ever.The ship had been languishing in a northern Germany shipyard, following Genting Hong Kong's financial woes. Disney also tapped Meyer-Werft to manage the completion of the ship's construction. The Disney vessel will become the industry's first cruise ship to be powered by green methanol. When the ship begins cruising in 2025, Disney will position it outside the United States.
Look for some enhancements in 2023 for American Duchess, American Queen Voyages' small, boutique ship on the Mississippi River. New AQV President Cindy D'Aoust wants to see elevated onboard services, a dedicated shore enrichment program specific to the vessel and re-imagined itineraries.
Several ships were christened this past week.Carnival Cruise Line's new LNG-powered Carnival Celebration was christened by Cassidy Gifford, daughter of Kathie Lee Gifford, at PortMiami on Sunday. Christened in Doha, Qatar, was MSC Cruises’ new flagship MSC World Europa.
Theresa Scalzitti, chief sales officer, Cruise Planners, christened Atlas Ocean Voyages new World Traveller at the Pia Glacier in Chilean Patagonia. In addition, world adventurer Karen Lundgren christened World Navigator at the region's Garibaldi Glacier.
Aurora Expeditions has launched its second purpose-built small ship, Sylvia Earle, which will embark on its inaugural voyage from Ushuaia, Argentina, to Antarctica on December 10, 2022.
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SeaDream Yacht Club plans a return to Scandinavia and northern Europe for 2025, while Oceania Cruises announced the addition of a rum and whiskey program across its fleet starting in 2023. Also, a snazzy, new, $125-million terminal for Royal Caribbean International opened in Galveston, TX.
Scenic Group USA has decided to extend its “Advance Pay Commission Program” through December 31, 2023. Originally announced on July 1, 2022, the program offers travel advisors a chance to receive early receipt of their commissions.
Dream Vacations and CruiseOne conducted their national conference on Norwegian Encore this past week, and cruise bookings are booming—up 23 percent from 2019 levels, which was a record year. In addition, cruise pricing for those bookings is up 6 percent from 2019. Travel Agent was aboard for the conference this past week and reported on a new Group App, In another story today, we look at new marketing tools and the organization's Franchise of the Year.