This Week in Cruise: More Princess Skagway Changes, Execs Named

Princess Cruises has adjusted more itineraries with planned port calls at Skagway, AK, given the White Pass and Yukon Route Railway’s decision to close the Railroad Dock’s forward berth; that's the primary location where Royal-class ships dock.

As we reported last week, the pier closure is a necessary safety measure, given the adjacent slope's rock-slide threat. Late Friday, Princess again updated Travel Agent, with this new information: 

  • Instead of calling at Skagway during the next two weeks, the August 2 and 10 sail dates for Royal Princess and the August 9 sailing for Majestic Princess will instead feature Icy Strait Point, AK.
  • In addition, the August 3 sailing of Majestic Princess and August 11 sailing of Discovery Princess will head for Sitka, AK, rather than Skagway.
  • Princess says to expect other updates soon on its remaining Alaska-season voyages.

Rodriguez and Anderson

On the cruise industry's leadership front, Atlas Ocean Voyages has chosen cruise industry veteran James Rodriguez as its new president and CEO. That move follows Alberto Aliberti's recent departure. Most recently, Rodriguez served as Oceania Cruises’ executive vice president of marketing and sales. He spent 19 years with Oceania and was a member of the brand’s founding team, plus previously worked for Crystal Cruises. We spoke with Rodriguez  about his priorites and vision.

Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, co-chairman of the A&K Travel Group, Cristina Levis, CEO of A&K Travel Group, and executives from shipbuilder Fincantieri welcomed the recently acquired Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity to Trieste, Italy, where the ships are being refurbished prior to sailing again in 2023. While there, Lefebvre announced the appointments of Jack Anderson as president of Crystal Cruises and Bernie Leypold as senior vice president of hotel operations. Both had the same roles prior to the former Crystal Cruises’ February 2022 shutdown. 

Sailing, Sailing 

The expedition cruise sector continues to grow. Seabourn’s first polar-class expedition ship, Seabourn Venture, sailed on its inaugural voyage to Norway’s Arctic Svalbard region, as reported in sister publication, Luxury Travel Advisor. In addition, Swan Hellenic’s new polar-class Vega sailed from Tromso, Norway, on a cultural expedition cruise to the Arctic.

Following a refurbishment by Jean-Philippe Nuel Studio, Ponant’s three-masted sailing yacht Le Ponant will begin sailing in the Mediterranean this month. Riviera River Cruises will offer a new Croatian yacht cruise in 2023. and Shipmate have released their "2022 Member Survey" results. More than 91 percent of travelers said they plan to take a cruise within the next year. Another 2.5 percent said they would not cruise within the next year and 6.1 percent were undecided. 

Travel advisors and guests who've had issues with Scenic Group's service over the past few months received an update from Glen Moroney, the group's founder and executive chairman.After a Ransomware attack in February, Scenic refused to pay the criminals and then rebuilt its systems from scratch. Scenic says that no guest information was compromised. Here’s Moroney’s complete update.

On the finance side, Royal Caribbean Group beat analyst predictions for its second quarter 2022 performance. While the cruise company still posted a loss, it had a positive quarterly cash flow for the first time since the industry’s 2020 shutdown. Enhancing its liquidity, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH), which has a $1 billion reserve commitment with funds managed by Apollo Global Management affiliates, extended that reserve agreement through March 31, 2023.

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