Regent Seven Seas Cruises signed on with Italy’s Fincantieri shipyard for a new ship to be delivered in summer 2016. The future Seven Seas Explorer will carry up to 738 guests and will be the luxury line’s third all-suite, all-balcony ship. Weighing in at 54,000 gross-registered tons and with a contract price of approximately $450 million, the vessel is the largest in Regent's fleet and the most expensive luxury liner ever built. Financing for the project is being arranged by Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank with support from SACE, Italy’s export credit facility.
Architectural and interior design firms Tillberg Design AB, RTKL Associates and ICrave are designing the vessel, which will have 369 suites ranging from 300 square feet to 1,500 square feet, six open-seating gourmet restaurants, Regent’s nine-deck atrium, the two-story Explorer Theater, three boutiques and a Canyon Ranch SpaClub.
Oceania Cruises also made headlines with the announcement of its first ever Around the World in 180 Days cruise, a port-intensive 180-day voyage aboard the 684-guest Insignia, setting sail round-trip from Miami on Jan. 10, 2015. The voyage visits five continents, 44 countries and 89 ports of call and will include 11 overnight calls plus four two-night calls in Cape Town, South Africa; Yangon, Myanmar (Burma); Singapore, Singapore; and Shanghai, China.
Of the 89 ports visited on this cruise, 13 are new to Oceania Cruises, including Corinto, Nicaragua; El Guamache (Isla Margarita), Venezuela; Langkawi, Malaysia; Santa Marta, Colombia; and Xiamen, China. Click here to access the full itinerary.
Another big change to the cruise industry includes Carnival Cruise Lines' agreement to implement improvements to its pricing fare structure. The decision comes less than two weeks after the launch of its Carnival Conversations travel agent outreach program, and is altering its policies based on travel agent feedback gathered through the program. The line is currently working on creating a simplified fare structure that will make booking with Carnival easier for travel agents, and Carnival expects this new structure to be completed in fall 2013.
"We have received a tremendous amount of travel agent feedback indicating that our current fare and promotion structure is far too complicated and needs to change in order for travel agents to more easily book with us,” said Lynn Torrent, Carnival’s EVP of sales and guest services. “Travel agents are telling us that Carnival used to be the easiest cruise line to book with and now we’re the most difficult. Simply put, we want to be easy to book with again.”