Last updated 4:59 p.m. Seatrade, the cruise industry's annual convention, took place in Miami this week and is typically a good time of year to hear from cruise lines about what's going to be new and different in the future. Cruise Critic was there, reporting from the veritable "front" (also known as the Miami Convention Center) and both editor Carolyn Spencer Brown and associate editor Melissa Baldwin were dispatching reports. Read more....
Battle of the Booths: Ports Strut Their Stuff at Seatrade
Aside from press conferences and informational seminars, one of the biggest components of this week's convention is the exhibition floor, where nearly 1,000 companies and tourist boards set up booths to present their latest and greatest to cruise line execs and members of the media. Get a glimpse into the wild world of Seatrade with some of our favorites. Read more....
Cruise West Announces New Routes, Big Plans for 2007
Small-ship line Cruise West had a big presence at this week's Seatrade Cruise Shipping Convention in Miami, announcing brand-new itineraries for 2007 and trickling out additional details on the recent acquisition of Clipper's Nantucket Clipper and Yorktown Clipper. The biggest breakthrough itinerary-wise? Two brand-new itineraries in Asia for 2007. Read more....
Seatrade Tackles Small-Ship Cruising
In "State of the Industry: Beyond the Big Four," the folks at Seatrade aimed to offer a panel of small-ship cruise lines to talk about the unique challenges they face as Davids versus Goliaths. Participants, which included representatives from Clipper Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Crystal, SeaDream, Oceania and American Cruise Lines. Read more....
Port on the Rise: Ilhabela
Ilhabela, a Brazilian island offering nature at its best (92 percent of the island is preserved area), is rapidly growing as a port of call on South America itineraries and world cruises -- welcoming 45,000 passengers during the 2005/2006 season, and expecting 80,000 for 2006/2007. Cruise lines calling at Ilhabela this year include Costa, MSC and Island Cruises; activities range from biking and off-roading to fishing and diving.
American Cruise Lines Plans Two New-Builds
At Seatrade, cruise lines often use the gathering of industry honchos and media to make big announcements and in this case American Cruise Lines, a Guilford, Connecticut-based U.S.-flagged small-ship line, made a biggie -- it will be building two new ships, carrying 130 passengers and featuring more luxury amenities than it has in the past. Read more....
Big-Ship Squeeze: Who Wins? Who Loses?
In "Patterns of Deployment," a Seatrade panel discussion that attempted to focus on the question of where will ships be sailing five years from now, another message came across much stronger: What happens when a 6,000-passenger ship docks in port? That's a question panelists representing lines such as Princess, Holland America, Oceania, Royal Caribbean and Fred Olsen wrestled with in front of a full house. Read more....
NCL's Seatrade Announcements Surprisingly Low-Key
Norwegian Cruise Line, whose President Colin Veitch has created an art form out of divulging meaty news bits at the cruise line's annual Seatrade press conference, was remarkably low-key today but still offered some interesting tips and hints about the future. These include tidbits about Norwegian Pearl, the line's upcoming newbuild, and information about ship deployments for the coming year. Read more....
MSC Places Fifth New Ship Order
MSC Cruises announced today that it has signed a contract for yet another new-build, bringing MSC's total number of vessels on order to five (with an option for a sixth). With seven ships sailing currently, this fifth new order will bring the fleet total to 12 by 2009. MSC's CEO Richard Sasso tells us that this commitment to shipbuilding makes MSC the "fastest growing cruise line in the world." Read more....
U.S. Coast Guard Addresses Avian Flu, Port Security
In the coming months, The U.S. Coast Guard will be beefing up training programs for port inspectors. The Coast Guard is also working with DHS agencies and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop contingency plans in case of an influenza pandemic; details are under review, but common cruise scenarios are being taken into account (because the incubation of avian flu is 48 - 96 hours, for instance, extra considerations will need to be taken for passengers visiting affected areas within a few days of disembarkation).
Cruising's Titans of Industry Face Off at Seatrade
Today's opening event at Seatrade -- "The State of the Industry" -- focused exclusively on the "Big Four" (the fleets of Carnival Corporation, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean/Celebrity and MSC Cruises; luxury lines will have their say later today, in a separate session). Audience members and panelists discussed matters both mundane (fuel prices) and intriguing (just how big is too big, ship-wise?). Read more....
Royal Caribbean's Goldstein Sleeps on Job...
...or at least he hopes to! Royal Caribbean's Adam Goldstein, in the first cruise line announcement of the Seatrade convention, told an assembled throng at a South Beach club called BED (a restaurant/bar where patrons sit on futon-like beds and chow down on amazingly good food) that the line planned to upgrade its -- yes -- bedding. Read more....
Top photo appears courtesy of St. Maarten Harbour Holding.
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Seatrade 2006: What's in Cruising's Future?
March 16, 2006