The Cruise industry briefing
Fincantieri hands over largest ever Italy-built cruise ship to MSC
17 November | Vessels
Switzerland-based MSC Cruises has taken delivery of a new cruise ship, dubbed MSC Seascape, from Italian shipbuilding company Fincantieri.
MSC Seascape is the 21st ship in the MSC Cruises fleet and the fourth cruise ship built by Fincantieri for the cruise company.
The new cruise ship is part of a €7bn investment package for ten ships.
Fincantieri will be responsible for constructing six more vessels for MSC’s luxury travel brand, Explora Journeys.
With various sustainable features, MSC Seascape is said to be the largest and most technologically advanced cruise ship built in Italy.
Joining the MSC Seaside, MSC Seaview and sister vessel MSC Seashore, MSC Seascape is the second Seaside EVO-class ship and has 13,000m² of outdoor space, 7,567ft² of dedicated space for kids and advanced amusement options.
The ship offers a wide range of outdoor bars and dining, swimming pools, and areas for relaxing and sunbathing.
It has 2,270 cabins with 12 different kinds of suites and staterooms that include balconies.
With a weight of 170,400 tons, the ship has a length of 339m, a 41m beam, and a height of 76m.
16 November | Ports
Japan reopens ports for international cruise ships
Japan has decided to lift the restrictions on international cruise ships docking at its ports after a ban of more than two years that was imposed during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The country banned the docking of international cruise ships in March 2020, after a huge cluster of coronavirus cases were reported on the Diamond Princess cruise ship the month before.
This caused all the passengers to quarantine in Yokohama, near Tokyo, and around 13 of the more than 700 infected passengers and crew died due to the infection.
The country will now start accepting cruises with international passengers that originated in international ports.
Additionally, the domestic cruise industry has also received permission to resume calls at international destinations.
The country’s transport ministry made the decision after cruise ship operators and port authorities’ associations adopted anti-virus guidelines.
A group of foreign-registered cruise companies, the Japan International Cruise Committee, has helped to set the guidelines that are to be taken if any passenger or crew member tests positive for Covid-19.
21 October | fuels
Wärtsilä, Carnival, GoodFuels team up on biofuel trials
Wärtsilä has collaborated with cruise operator Carnival’s Holland America Line and Netherlands-based GoodFuels to conduct ship trials using biofuel blends.
The tests have been conducted with 100% biofuel to assess the effect on overall engine performance and engine emissions, as well as a 70% diesel / 30% biofuel blend.
The trial was conducted on a Wärtsilä ZA40 engine fitted onboard Volendam, a Holland America Line ship.
It is claimed to be the first trial by Wärtsilä on a cruise ship running with 100% biofuel, with previous tests involving lower blends of biofuel.
Wärtsilä’s works included the preparation of the testing protocols and assessment of the fuel testing and lube oil testing results.
It is also involved in the supervision of tests and post-testing analyses such as engine inspections, performance evaluation, and measurements of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.
The biofuel trials are expected to help Carnival cut down carbon per available-lower-berth-day by 40% by 2030 and extend its alternative fuels strategy across its liquefied natural gas (LNG) programme and battery, fuel cell, and biofuel capabilities.
It will also enable the firm reach its 2030 target for 50% reduction in absolute air emissions of particulate matter and 2050 target for net carbon neutral operations.
31 october | Fuels
Royal Caribbean and World Fuel Services begin renewable diesel trial
Royal Caribbean Group has collaborated with World Fuel Services to sail its Navigator of the Seas ship using renewable diesel as part of a trial.
With this move, the group is claimed to become the first major cruise company to sail a cruise vessel out of a US port using renewable diesel for at least a portion of its fuel requirements.
The ship is part of the firm’s Royal Caribbean International cruise brand.
Said to contain less carbon than traditional marine fuels, sustainable fuel is produced using renewable raw materials.
On behalf of World Fuel Services, the Jankovich Company will supply the renewable diesel to the ship while it is at the Port of Los Angeles in California.
With plans to expand its usage to other ships across the fleet, the lower carbon fuel will be used to meet part of the Los Angeles-based ship’s fuel requirements.
Following the fuelling, Navigator of the Seas will set sail to Mexico.
28 September | Vessels
Viking takes delivery of new expedition ship, Viking Polaris
Switzerland-based Viking has taken delivery of its second purpose-built expedition ship, dubbed Viking Polaris, at Fincantieri’s VARD shipyard in Søviknes, Norway.
Last December, the company took delivery of its first expedition ship, named Viking Octantis, which is presently sailing in the Great Lakes.
The new expedition ship will cruise to Amsterdam and then on to South America.
The Polar Class Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris can each accommodate 378 guests in 189 staterooms.
Viking Polaris features a panoramic auditorium called Aula, an outdoor lounge area known as Finse Terrace, and an in-ship marina called Hangar.
The new ship also has a forward-viewing platform called Bow and 380ft² Science Lab that features wet and dry laboratory facilities for carrying out a range of research activities.
It also features an Expedition Central hub where the expedition team can consult with guests on their expedition activities.
Other features include The Nordic Spa, Explorers’ Lounge, Living Room, Nordic Balcony and Expedition Ship Suites, as well as a modern restaurant.
Transport Scotland has unveiled plans to spend £115m on two new ferries to strengthen the Clyde and Hebrides network. The funding will help Caledonian Maritime Assets expedite plans to replace the CalMac fleet.
Royal Caribbean International, part of Royal Caribbean Group, has opened a new £125m cruise terminal at the Port of Galveston in Texas, US. Allure of the Seas, an Oasis-class cruise ship, is the first cruise ship to be housed at the new terminal.
Royal Caribbean Group has agreed to take over the ultra-luxury expedition cruise ship Endeavor for $275m.
Carnival Australia’s Majestic Princess cruise ship has docked in Sydney, Australia, with Around 800 Covid-19-positive passengers on board.
Norwegian ship owner Torghatten Nord has received approval in principle from Lloyd’s Register for two hydrogen-fuelled ferries. Designed by Norwegian Ship Design, the two ferries will utilise at least 85% ‘green hydrogen’ based fuel.
US-based Princess Cruises has unveiled a next-generation ship, dubbed Sun Princess, which can accommodate more than 4,000 guests. Expected to enter service in early 2024, the 175,500t vessel is presently under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard.
Italy-based shipbuilder Fincantieri will build a further four ships for Viking, a Swiss cruise line, in a $1.7bn deal.
Holland Shipyards to build another two green ferries for SFK
Dutch shipbuilder Holland Shipyards Group has received a contract from Germany’s Schlepp- und Fährgesellschaft Kiel (SFK) for the construction of one hybrid ferry and one electric ferry.
MSC Cruises starts construction on second vessel in World Class series
MSC Cruises and Chantiers de l’Atlantique have commenced the construction of MSC’s second World Class ship. The new ship, named MSC World America, is expected to start operations in 2025.
Havila Voyages christens Havila Capella
The coastal cruise ship Havila Capella was christened by godmother Hege Sævik Rabben on 8 November outside Havila Voyages‘ head office in Fosnavåg, Norway.
Aurora Expeditions launches the Sylvia Earle
Australia’s Aurora Expeditions has launched its second purpose-built small ship, Sylvia Earle, which will embark on her inaugural voyage from Ushuaia, Argentina to Antarctica on 10 December 2022.
Fincantieri delivers new cruise ship with hydrogen fuel system to Viking
Italian shipbuilding company Fincantieri has delivered a new ocean cruise ship, dubbed Viking Neptune, to Swiss cruise line Viking. Viking took delivery of the vessel at the shipbuilder’s yard in Ancona, Italy.
MSC Cruises conducts naming ceremony for new ship in Qatar
Switzerland-based MSC Cruises has held the naming ceremony for its new cruise ship, MSC World Europa, at the new Grand Cruise terminal in Doha, Qatar.
Ambassador Cruise Line joins ABTA
British premium-value line Ambassador Cruise Line has joined the UK’s leading travel trade association, ABTA – formerly known as the Association of British Travel Agents.
Stena Line conducts naming ceremony for new E-Flexer vessel
Swedish firm Stena Line has named its new E-Flexer ferry in Gdynia, a port city on the Baltic coast of Poland. Named Stena Estelle, the new ship will operate between Gdynia and Karlskrona, Sweden.