Europe

Royal Caribbean expecting big things from UK and Ireland

In:
13Jul2010

Azamara Cruises, a Royal Caribbean subsidiary and specialty cruise line has released its 2011-2012 brochure which features 57 new ports of call. There are lots of new itineraries and options to choose from, but Royal Caribbean seems to have high hopes from its cruise business in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Royal Caribbean Associate Vice President and General Manager for the UK & Ireland, Jo Rzymowska said: “The UK and Irish Market is demonstrating great affinity to the revamped boutique cruise experience and we’re looking to grow the volume of guests from this market sailing with Azamara Club Cruises throughout 2011.”

Royal Caribbean has already been sending lots of its ships to Europe and given the potential in growth that Rzymowska cited, more could be on the way.

Maritime lobby buying up European Union officials

In:
Category: 
12Jul2010

Fipra, a public relations consultant that actively lobbying on maritime issues in Europe, is busy plucking away European Union officials for their lobbying firm and that has some worried about transparency in the EU administration.  Malta's Joe Borg, the commissioner responsible for maritime affairs and fisheries until last year, has been hired by Fipra and the EU has allowed Borg to work there, citing no evidence of a possible conflict of interest.

Mr Borg is to join his old colleague John Richardson, a former director in the European Commission's "Directorate General Mare," the EU's maritime and fisheries department, who in September 2008 became Fipra's "maritime policy and diplomacy special advisor."

Thus far, a total so far of six of the 13 EU commissioners who retired earlier this year have now gone on to work for banks, lobbying firms, insurance companies and airlines.

This pertains to Royal Caribbean as John RIchardson announced to the EU commission that a client of his will be Royal Caribbean, the second largest cruise company in the world, and the EU reported back "It was considered at that point in time that his envisaged activities would not be incompatible with his former functions."  Making matters more interesting, Fipra's website says that Fipra's chairman, Peter Lehrell, "and his family have a special affection" for the company.

The concern by some is Fipra's close contact with Royal Caribbean and some of their members positions in the European Union could cause conflicts of interest.

Royal Caribbean offering late checkout in Europe

In:
08Jul2010

Royal Caribbean is testing out a new option on its European based ships.  For $35, you can opt for a "late departure".  Rather than hurry in the early morning to be off the ship, you can pay extra and stay onboard until the mid afternoon. If you opt into the program, you will be able to stay on the ship until 90 minutes prior to its next sailing.  The cost is $35 for adults and $17.50 for children.

Now available on all eight Royal Caribbean ships in Europe, the program allows passengers to stay aboard the vessels through lunchtime and into the afternoon on disembarkation day instead of a traditional early-morning departure. Passengers who sign up for the program can stay on their ship until 90 minutes prior to its next sailing.

Passengers who stay onboard later will have access to all the public areas on the ship as well as select restaurants but will need to be out of their stateroom by 9am.

Greece cuts red tape to lure back investors

In:
06Jul2010

The country of Greece is trying to lure back companies looking to invest in the country by cutting bureaucratic red tape that can stall investment plans in the past.  Greece, a country mired by debt, wants to make things easier on companies like Royal Caribbean.  

Earlier this year, Royal Caribbean had plans to use the port of Piraeus as a hub in Greece, but after repeated strikes by unions left thousands of passengers and cruise ships stranded at ports, Royal Caribbean said last week it was dropping plans to use Greece's Piraeus Port as a hub.

Greece is seeking foreign investors to help spur its economy, expected to shrink by about 4 percent this year as it implements a draconian austerity programme to deal with the country's debt crisis.  But it carries an unenviable reputation as one of the most difficult places to do business in the western world due to a web of regulations, restrictive laws and combative unions.

Royal Caribbean shows its commitment to Malaga and introduces the Adventure of the Seas

In:
03Jul2010

Adventure of the Seas has made its debut in the Spanish port of Malaga and the city couldn't be happier.  After a series of short cruises out of Barcelona earlier this spring, Adventure of the Seas has moved to Malaga, along with its 3000 passengers, becoming the largest cruise ship in the Mediterranean.  Officials expect about 72,000 passengers to pass through this summer.  

To commemorate the special occasion, a special ceremony was held in port that was attended by representatives of Royal Caribbean in Spain. Emmanuel Joly, the Director of Marketing and Sales of Royal Caribbean in Spain, highlighted the "commitment" of the company with Spain and the south and said "Proof of this is that we are the only shipping company that has a ship in Malaga the size of the Adventure of the Seas to sail and landed more than 3,000 passengers on each output having an important direct benefit to the region. "

Joly also highlighted the fact that the city of Malaga is a city "high prepared for tourism and interesting options that make it an interesting attraction for passengers from the cruise line" and that thanks to "Puerto de Atocha", the agreement signed between Royal Caribbean and Renfe, "is even closer to the center of Spain."

The Adventure of the Seas will be offering seven-night cruises from Malaga during the summer, with stops in Sardinia, Rome, Corsica and Palma De Mallorca. 

Want to see Europe? Try a cruise

In:
27Jun2010

Lots of Americans say that sooner or later, they are going to "see Europe" and hop on over "the pond" to see "the old world" but to be honest, Europe can be a little daunting if you aren't an experienced traveler but the Mercury News recommends trying a European cruise to get a sampling of Europe without the hassle of trying to figure all the details out yourself. 

Taking a cruise offers the chance to cover a lot of territory in Europe without the hassle of finding hotels, restaurants and transportation. It's the sampler approach to visiting Europe.

For fans of Royal Caribbean, seeing Europe is easy considering the cruise giant is increasing it's European fleet from eight to eleven ships next year, which will cover 27 countries and 78 ports.  If that isn't enough of Europe for you, Royal Caribbean also offers pre- and post-cruise tours for extended visits.

You can read a great report by the author's experience aboard Voyager of the Seas on her Mediterranean Cruise.

But we were more enthralled with Port Grimaud. The port is nicknamed the Venice of France because homes and business are built on canals, complete with boats and bridges. Kitschy jewelry and apparel shops line the canals, most of the restaurants feature outdoor seating, and boat tours show off the seaside town created by architect Francois Spoerry in the 1960s. A sandy beach is also the ideal spot to rest after a long week.

Southampton, England booming with cruise business

In:
22Jun2010

Southampton, England is called the cruise capital of the United Kingdom and for good reason.  The BBC is reporting that business here is booming with lots of cruise ships calling the port home as well as making stops here.  Royal Caribbean is no different, having Independence of the Seas and Vision of the Seas call this port home.  With steady business from Royal Caribbean and other cruise lines, the people of Southampton are reaping the benefits of having so many cruisers come through their city.

"Every cruise ship brings in the average of £1.2m per ship, so you're talking in terms of £350m benefit to the local economy."

It's no secret that Royal Caribbean has been favoring sending their ships from North America to Europe to help quench the demand for cruises that many Europeans have been seeking.  This seems to be just one of many popular ports in Europe that is benefiting from an upswing in Europeans' desire to go on a cruise vacation.

Pages