Ports

UAE possible next hub for Royal Caribbean

In:
06Oct2010

Royal Caribbean is considering a new hub in the United Arab Emirates.  Royal Caribbean Senior Vice President Michael Bayley hinted at the possibility of a new hub in the country.

During the maiden docking of Brilliance of the Seas in Dubai, Royal Caribbean revealed plans ready for a Dubai-Mumbai cruise starting in 2011 .  

Hamad Mohamed bin Mejren, Executive Director, Business Tourism at the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said that Brilliance of the Seas' seven night sailings would include Dubai to Muscat, Fujairah, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain.  These stops are among the most popular with tourists.

Dredging of St Thomas Harbor halts

In:
05Oct2010

West Indian Company Ltd. President and CEO Ed Thomas said it and Royal Caribbean were going to spend a combined $15-$20 million to dredge St. Thomas Harbor so that mega ships Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas could dock there but not anymore.

The cruise lines are not going to put up that money because they accomplished their goal,” he said. “Their ship is in St. Thomas. Certainly the West Indian Company is not going to put up money to do that kind of dredging because the ship is already in St. Thomas.

Problems started back on October 14, 2009 when Governor John deJongh Jr put the dredging project on hold after substantial public opposition.  Those opposed to the dredging plan were concerned about the part of the plan that called for dumping 162,000 cubic yards of material into an existing depression in Lindbergh Bay.  While searching for an alternative, Oasis of the Seas would have to dock in Crown Bay.

Despite the halt in the plan, deJongh was confident that the dredging project would be complete in time for Allure of the Seas' first stop in St Thomas on December 10, 2010 during the busy tourist season.  However, talks never progressed very far according to Thomas, talks collapsed in January.

The trend of cruise ships getting larger and larger means St. Thomas Harbor will eventually need to be dredged acrroding to Thomas and that the harbor is already due for maintenance dredging thanks to all of the debris kicked up by departing and arriving cruise thips over the last few years.

Royal Caribbean will boost Malaga Spain departures

In:
Category: 
04Oct2010

Royal Caribbean intends to increase the number of departures from Malaga, Spain next year after a very successful year in other Spanish ports.  Royal Caribbean is planning on having five of its ships sail from Malaga, as well as Palma de Mallorca and Barecelona.

Dominic Paul, Royal Caribbean's Managing Director for the United Kingdom and Ireland likes the decision to increase cruises from Malaga, "Barcelona has long been a popular homeport for Royal Caribbean International and we have enjoyed significant growth in the UK for take up of cruises offered from Malaga since 2009.  To continue to stimulate the British holidaymaker’s love affair with Spain, new for summer 2011 we have introduced cruises from Palma de Mallorca for the first time. The good news is that these cruises are also delivering pre- and post-cruise land stays – this is fantastic for the Spanish hoteliers and the Spanish tourist industry in general."

About 30,000 of Royal Caribbean guests departed from a Spanish port during the summer of 2010 and of those customers, 40% were from the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Royal Caribbean ships contribute to Bahamian economy

In:
01Oct2010

Last month Nassau, Bahamas completed extensive dredging and refurbishment of Nassau Harbor and businesses in downtown Nassau are reporting healthy business as a result.

Ships like Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas, which docks in Nassau every other Sunday, is responsible for increasing revenues in the city.

The Bahamas was amongst many countries which were seeking to have these ships call on their ports,” said Carla Stuart, director of Cruise Development in the Ministry of Tourism & Aviation. “By the end of December, the Oasis would have made 34 visits and brought at least 183,600 passengers for the year 2010. Head tax to be derived is estimated at $2.7 million while spend from the passengers of this vessel is estimated at $12 million. The ship will continue to call every other week.”

Thelma Miller of Vintage Island Handicraft, a Festival Place souvenir store, pointed out that the Oasis’ calls have been good for business on Sundays, which would otherwise be slow. Meanwhile, Senor Frog’s has also been happy with the business that the Oasis brings.
 
It does make a difference when the Oasis comes in,” said Chester Williamson, manager of Senor Frog’s. “I think the second week it came in with 3,000 people on board.”
 
Things will get better for Nassau after December when Oasis of the Seas' sister ship Allure of the Seas joins the Royal Caribbean fleet and will also make regular stops in Nassau.  this will allow for a stop each week by one of the mega-vessels.

Rhapsody of the Seas heads to Australia

In:
01Oct2010

Royal Caribbean's Rhapsody of the Seas is heading to Australia to start service for the summer season. Rhapsody of the Seas departed Hawaii on September 29 and is heading for Australia to begin her fourth season in the land down under.  

Rhapsody of the Seas will head right for Sydney habor, where she is due to arrive on October 16 and will also have the distinction of being the first international cruise ship to arrive in Australia this season.  Rhapsody of the Seas is expected to carry over 35,000 guests from around the world on her itineraries.

Rhapsody has become a favorite in Australia, after completing a record season in 2009-2010 of sailing with a full compliment of guests every voyage. . Home ported in Sydney, Rhapsody of the Seas will sail 17 cruises and visit a number of new destinations, including maiden calls at Newcastle, NSW, Champagne Bay in Vanuatu and Lautoka in Fiji. Rhapsody also returns to cruise the South Pacific islands of New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji.

Royal Caribbean Australia Commercial Manager Adam Armstrong thinks Rhapsody of the Seas is a perfect fit for Australia, "Australia has truly embraced Rhapsody of the Seas since her arrival in 2007.  Her seasons down under go from strength to strength, with more and more Australians stepping onboard to experience our ‘Royal’ treatment.”

Rhapsody's trip to Australia from Hawaii will coincide with two important geographic events during her 16-night cruise across the Pacific.  First, she will pass the equator of the Earth between Hawaii and Tahiti.  Afterwards, guests onboard will "lose a day" as she passes the International Dateline after sailing west from Raiatea in French Polynesia.

MagicMeets offers cruise for Disney lovers

In:
30Sep2010

If you're a fan of Disney and/or the Disney Parks, there's a Royal Caribbean cruise for you!

Magic Meets, a Disney fan gathering, is holding their annual event onboard Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas, which departs Bayonne, New Jersey for a 5 night cruise to Bermuda on July 16-21, 2011.

The cruise offers Disney fans from online communities a place to gather to share their interest in all things Disney.  Magic Meets has been running for a number of years with the event last year held for for the first time on a cruise, which was on Grandeur of the Seas this past July.

Prices start at $931 per person for an inside cabin (price includes taxes and fees).  You can book a cabin with MEI-Mouse Fan Travel.

Photo of the Day: Independence of the Seas in sunny Gibraltar

In:
29Sep2010

Photo by Lucy Smith

Legend of the Seas makes first visit to Seoul

In:
29Sep2010

Royal Caribbean's Legend of the Seas made her first visit ever to Seoul, South Korea, after being added as a port of call by Royal Caribbean.  Legend of the Seas will be largest ship to ever visit the the Incheon port on Tuesday.

Traditional plaque and memento exchanges to commemorate the maiden call took place at a VIP ceremony onboard the ship.
 
 “Seoul is a very vibrant city with many cultural, shopping and gastronomical attractions which is rising in popularity amongst tourists in recent years. We are pleased to add Seoul to our Korean destinations on top of Busan and Jeju Island, which will give our international guests more ways to discover this country,” said Kelvin Tan, Royal Caribbean’s Regional Director, Asia Pacific. “The port of Incheon has impressed us today on this occasion with its efficiency and strong support, which prompts me to say confidently that this port will be very important in Royal Caribbean’s future plans in Asia. Already, with our ship now sailing year round in the region and out of Busan, we hope to operate cruises from more Korean ports in the future and bring more of the world-renowned Royal Caribbean vacation experience to our Korean guests.”
 
Royal Caribbean has plans for Legend of the Seas to return to Incheon again 10 more times starting in July of next year.

Ukraine Transport Ministry agrees with Royal Caribbean on the development of the Yalta port

In:
22Sep2010

Ministry of Transport and Communications of Ukraine and the Yalta Sea Trade Port signed a protocol on cooperation with Royal Caribbean International on reconstruction and development of the port.

According to new agreement, Royal Caribbean intends to reconstruct the building of the Yalta Seaport and increase the berthing front, which will enable the port to four cruise ships simultaneously.
 
Royal Caribbean management also believes it possible to quickly equipment in Yalta's modern multifunctional dock.
 
Also in the plans - the construction of hotel and restaurant complex, which will focus not only on passenger cruise ships, but also to tourists visiting Yalta throughout the year.
 
Chief engineer and designer of the company Royal Caribbean International Scott Lage already started to read the potential of the Yalta port, and assured that from the moment he will have all the necessary information, the pace of development of investment projects to accelerate.
 
Signing of the Protocol is regarded as an increase in interest in cruises on the Black Sea, and the realization of major projects in this area directly affected and to develop itself as a tourist pearl of Yalta in Ukraine.
 
Earlier, Minister of Transport and Communications of Ukraine Konstantin Efimenko announced its intention to attract investors for the construction of the Yalta port yacht marina worth 2.2 billion USD.

Rio de Janeiro to receive more than 1.2 million cruise visitors

In:
21Sep2010

The The Brazilian Association of Representatives of shipping companies (of which Royal Caribbean is a member) estimates that the six destinations of the state of Rio in Brazil that are scheduled to receive ships (Rio de Janeiro, Buzios, Angra dos Reis, Jaguanum Island, Big Island and Cabo Frio) will receive a total of almost 1.210 million of visits in the 2010/2011 season, which begins in Brazil in October.

 
The city of Rio de Janeiro, which has a major port for berthing of the country, is receiving the greatest number of visits: 507 000. "The trip cruises are beneficial to cities, since a passenger can do more than one site visit, increasing the economic impact and, if good impression and is well treated, he returns to spend a longer period," explains the organization's president, Ricardo Amaral.

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