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THOMSON SPIRIT for the first time in Odessa sea port Print E-mail
Tourism news
Friday, 12 June 2015 16:31

Thomson_spiritOn June 12, the cruise liner Thomson Spirit (193 m, Maltese flag) called at Odessa sea port with 1232 passenger on board. The vessel came from Nessebar, Bulgaria and will leave to Mykonos. Also a maiden call was organized on the board of the vessel with the participation of Regional Council, Port Authority, Customs and Guard services, with a long hope for stabilization of touristic destination.


Passenger’s impressions:

- We were waiting for this visit to Odessa for a long time, as our friends visited your city previous year, so we knew what our route is going to be from the very beginning. Everything is even more beautiful we imagined. We are astonished by the architecture, we couldn’t even think that this city is so European-like. Now, this place will be definitely in our TOP-10 list.

- My father was born in Ukraine, in Kiev. I was in Kyiv and in Odessa in 1978, that is why it was so interesting for me to see the way the city changed during such a long period of time. I was so glad to see the same places, but in absolutely another sight, the city transformed incredibly since USSR. It is so clean, green, and this architecture! Of course I want to  thank your authorities for their efforts to keep buildings in good condition.

- Very European city, we couldn’t believe that we are in Ukraine, we thought it would be absolutely another. It was the first time we have chosen cruise as a type of travelling, and we enjoy our first experience. But the only minus is that we would like to stay here for a longer time. We are in love with your cuisine, and we can not but say how green and clean the city is! And your people are just amazing. Very hospitable and beautiful city, we want to return here!

Oceania Cruises Cancels Egypt Calls Print E-mail
Tourism news
Monday, 08 June 2015 09:18

oceania-riviera-1Oceania Cruises canceled two ports of call in Egypt on an upcoming cruise onboard Oceania Riviera. 

According to Oceania's senior director public relations, Jason Lasecki, the well-being and safety of their crew and guests was first priority for Oceania Cruises. He added they had been monitoring the geopolitical situation in Egypt and had decided, out of an abundance of caution, to replace upcoming calls at Port Said and Alexandra, June 8 and June 9, with visits in Cypus (Limassol) and Turkey (Alanya). 

Egypt remained locked in a prolonged process of political transition after the long-serving leaderHosni Mubarak resigned in February 2011. Currently, the country is divided between Islamist and secular groups. The military is Egypt's chief decision-maker and political broker.

Earlier in May, Oceania and its sister line Regent Seven Seas Cruises canceled port calls in Tunisia, included in the same itinerary. No other line has calls in Egypt for the remainder of 2016 summer season.



The cruise yacht called at Odessa sea port Print E-mail
Tourism news
Friday, 29 May 2015 14:56

Today, on May 29 the Greek cruise yacht VARIETY VOYAGER called at Odessa sea port (66m, Malta flag). On 10 o’clock the ship with 38 passengers on board moored at the berth No.15 of the passenDSC_0258ger terminal. The previous port of call was Sochi, Russia.

 On 23:00, if the weather conditions are good, the vessel is to depart to Sulina (Romania)


Odessa met tourists unfortunately with clouds, but it compensated this drawback with Odessa-style hospitality.


NB. M/v VARIETY VOYAGER was built in 2012. The vessel represents itself a yacht, created especially for luxury class cruising, and also for extreme one. It belongs to Greek company –“the major cruise company with small crafts”, the fleet consists of 15 yachts. «Variety Cruises» offer the passengers exclusive and individual “yachting”, as an alternative to cruises on huge ocean liners.

The cruise liner with 20-years experience of visiting South Palmira called at Odessa sea port Print E-mail
Tourism news
Tuesday, 26 May 2015 08:09

DSCN0066-0On May, 245 on 7:15 in the morning, the workers of Odessa passenger terminal met first mooring from the mariners of the liner WIND STAR (134m, Bahamas flag)

 The m/v came from Turkish port Bartin. On 17:00 the vessel left to Constanta, according to the agency company, Vladimir Basyuk. The vessel carried 205 passengers on board, mainly the citizens of the USA and Great Britain, “plus” hawk who is regarded to be a symbol of the vessel. 147 people from the crew serviced them.

The sightseeing tour over Odessa city was planned for passengers, and also a visit to the Opera House and Ballet for the performances “Chopiniana” and “Carmen Suite”.

Interesting facts. The liner was built in Germany in 1988 for the cruise company Seabourn cruises and was named primary SEABOURN PRIDE. In May 2014 the vessel entered the fleet of the cruise company Windstar cruises with a current name.

According to the information of the chief pilot-operator of the Vessel Traffic Control, Yuriy Stuliy, for the first time this vessel called at Odessa 20 years ago. Then, in 1995, the legendary pilot V.K.Richter passed the vessel to the harbor. Since that time, the vessel visited Odessa constantly, and even 3 times previous year.

Prospects for East Med cruising under the spotlight at 3rd Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum Print E-mail
Tourism news
Monday, 25 May 2015 08:11

Sea tourism in Greece and Turkey is set for a significant upturn over the next two seasons as the region’s ports andposidonia2015 destinations stand to benefit from an anticipated redeployment of cruise capacity back to the Eastern Mediterranean.

Discussions on the positive impact on Greece’s and the region’s economies from more robust cruising and yachting sectors will take centre stage at next week’s 3rd Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum, to be held from May 26–27 at the Megaron Athens International Conference Centre.

‘As geopolitical tensions hopefully subside and their impact is waning, shore excursion yields of the culturally and historically rich and diverse Eastern Mediterranean are set to soar with the cruise giants eyeing a higher penetration of destinations across a region which boasts the highest port density in the world,’ said Theodore Vokos, executive director, Posidonia Exhibitions S.A., the organiser of the event.

‘For Greece in particular, the financial contribution of Sea Tourism, spearheaded by the cruise sector, can be as high as €1bn annually according to study made by the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping. Sea Tourism has the potential to create 40,000 new direct and indirect jobs in the foreseeable future, most of them to cater for the needs of cruise tourism, as in 2015 Greece expects more than 5 million cruise passenger calls.,’ he added.

According to Alexandros Lamnides, general manager of Greek Tourism Confederation, one of the event’s longstanding supporters, ‘2015 will be the year we will be investing more than ever in our people, including our employees, owners of small businesses, or merchants, all of whom can only gain when tourism performs well. This is the year we want to highlight Greece's best-kept secrets by working in close partnerships with local communities to safeguard our truly unique tourism product.’

Kerry Anastassiadis, ceo Celestyal Cruises and member of the CLIA Europe executive committee, which will hold a meeting during the event, said: ‘The cruise industry in Greece has experienced continuous growth in recent years, ranking third in passenger numbers throughout Europe, and in 2015 is expected to give the Greek tourism industry a significant boost.’

He added, ‘Celestyal Cruises is the only home-porting Greek cruise line, with 627 calls to the ports of Greece. We believe that for Greece to attract more international cruise operators, it is of extreme importance that the cruise industry is made a strategic priority,  benefitting the Greek economy as the cruise industry generates revenue for local economies and stimulates the shipping industry. ‘

A key stakeholder on the issue of homeporting is MedCruise, the association representing port members from 20 different countries of the Mediterranean and Adjoining Seas. MedCruise secretary general, Thanos Pallis, said: ‘Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum is a key networking and relationship building event for cruise ports, cruise lines and destinations as it reinforces collaboration that ultimately increases the value of the region’s port services. 



Royal Caribbean Orders Fourth Quantum-class Cruise Ship Print E-mail
Tourism news
Tuesday, 19 May 2015 14:35

940420p516EDNmainQuantum-RINA-Award-940x443Royal Caribbean Cruises has announced that it has entered into an agreement with Meyer Werft in Germany to order a fourth Quantum-class ship for delivery in 2019.

The Quantum-class was first introduced with the delivery of the 168,666 gross ton Quantum of the Seas in November 2014, followed by the Anthem of the Seas in April 2015. A third ship, Ovation of the Seas, is under construction at Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany. Ovation of the Seas will be delivered in Spring 2016.

The Quantum ships have been called the world’s ‘smartest’ cruise ships, with accommodations for 4,180 guests at double occupancy and 2,090 staterooms.

“Today’s announcement is a reflection of the success of the first two Quantum-class ships,” said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “We have received a remarkable response from travel agent partners and travelers, and are thrilled that we’ll be able to deliver another revolutionary ship with our partners at Meyer Werft.”

“The fourth Quantum class vessel will be a trailblazer in smart-ship design and vacation innovation,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “Royal Caribbean Internation

Princess Cruises to Base Next New Cruise Ship in Shanghai, China Print E-mail
Tourism news
Friday, 15 May 2015 09:28

Following an emerging trend for major cruise lines, Princess Cruises has decided to based its next new ship in China.regal-main Under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy and yet to be named, the line's third Royal-class vessel will be home-ported year-round in Shanghai from summer 2017.

According to Princess, it will be the first full-time international cruise ship designed and built specifically for the Chinese market. Although based on the design of Royal Princess and Regal Princess, the new ship is planned to introduce some innovations tailored for cruisers from China.

It will also offer the Princess Class experience designed specifically for the Chinese market that the company introduced during its first local season last year on Sapphire Princess. Princess Class includes customized cultural, culinary and entertainment programs such as the World Leaders Dinner, Ultimate Balcony Dining, an ocean-view hot pot dinner, ballroom dancing, and expanded duty-free shopping.

“Deploying our next new ship in China underscores our strong commitment to growing the China cruise market and providing discerning travelers with amazing vacation experiences at sea,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises.

“And as this ship is still in the design phase we are looking forward to creating other new and exciting venues and experiences catering to the Chinese vacationer, which we will reveal in the coming months,” Swartz added.

Princess ships began cruising from China last year, with Sapphire Princess, which returns for its second four-month season on June 4. Itineraries for the new ship are expected to be released later this year.

MSC Cruises' First Next Generation Ship Named "MSC Meraviglia" Print E-mail
Tourism news
Tuesday, 12 May 2015 08:13

MSCCCCMSC Cruises, the world's largest privately-owned cruise company, marked a key milestone in its $5.4 billion growth plan today as the first steel for its new Vista generation of megaships was cut at STX France, during a ceremony in Saint-Nazaire.

At the steel-cutting ceremony, MSC Cruises Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago told assembled press and dignitaries that the cutting-edge 4,500 guest (double occupancy), 167,600-GRT ship — due to be delivered in May 2017 and open for bookings fromJune 2015 — will be named MSC Meraviglia. She will spend her first summer sailing the western Mediterranean, and will be the first to have three homeports: Genoa, Marseille and Barcelona.

"MSC Meraviglia will be the biggest and most innovative cruise ship ever built by a global European-based cruise line," saidPierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises Executive Chairman. "We chose a name that denotes the sense of awe and wonderment felt when you experience the ship's stunning features, which only an MSC cruise, with its unique Mediterranean-style, can deliver. MSC Meraviglia brings together the industry knowhow of MSC Cruises, a young, bold company built upon 300 years of seafaring tradition and the expertise of one of the most advanced shipyards in the world. Today, building started on a true maritime marvel."

Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises Chief Executive Officer said: "This steel-cutting event marks a decisive milestone in the company's development plan, one that will see MSC Cruises double its capacity by 2022 through up to seven new ships and a $5.4 billioninvestment plan."

He added: "MSC Meraviglia will be one of the greenest and safest ships in the industry, as well as one of the most technologically advanced. We are thrilled that in just a few weeks guests can start booking this truly remarkable ship, which will bring cruise travellers to the most exciting destinations around the world in outstanding comfort and style."

MSC Meraviglia is the first of two identical ships on order from STX France, the second of which will be entered in to service in 2019. In addition, MSC Cruises has options for two further Vista project ships to be delivered by 2022.

The Vista project is the result of a lengthy development process under STX's ECORIZON® program to createmsc-meraviglia cleaner, smarter, more efficient ships. They will be water emission free, and their hulls and propulsion systems will be optimized for extreme energy efficiency. Scrubber technology will neutralize fumes and CO2 emissions in accordance with the latest international maritime regulations. In addition, the ship is fully compliant with the Safe return to Port requirement.

MSC Cruises, which has grown by 800% in terms of onboard capacity since 2004, carried 1.67 million guests in 2014 and generated a turnover of $1.6 billion. For 2015, MSC Cruises is forecasting an additional 10% growth.


MSC Cruises Cancels Sailings in Egypt and Ukraine Print E-mail
Tourism news
Thursday, 07 May 2015 13:39

MSC Cruises has dropped the remainder of its 2015 calls in Ukraine and Ecancellgypt and has also begun to cancel stops in Egypt in 2016.

The line announced that it would replace the canceled port calls with alternatives in the Mediterranean, citing ongoing political unrest in the two countries.

MSC Sinfonia, MSC Opera, MSC Fantasia and MSC Musica will, from autumn 2015 to winter 2016, incorporate Bulgaria, the Greek islands of Rhodes and Crete, Cyprus and Israel into their sailings.

Rhodes, Greece and Heraklion, Crete replace Alexandria, Egypt on three departures on MSC Opera (September 28, October 10 and October 22, 2015) and six departures on MSC Fantasia (December 17 2015, January 8, January 30, February 21, March 14 and March 25 2016).

Burgas, Bulgaria replaces Odessa, Ukraine on two departures onboard MSC Sinfonia (September 17 and October 11, 2015).

In addition, Egyptian port calls have been removed from MSC Sinfonia's and MSC Musica's autumn repositioning cruises when the ships leave Europe in October and November and head for their winter home ports in Durban, South Africa and Dubai, UAE respectively. MSC Sinfonia will instead visit Heraklion, Crete and Eilat, Israel, and MSC Musica will call at Heraklion.

Several cruise lines -- both ocean and river -- have canceled calls in Egypt, Ukraine and Russia this year and next. In March, Seabourn announced cancellations in Safaga, Sharm el-Sheikh and Sohkna, while river cruise line Uniworld announced it would resume Nile River cruises on its River Tosca ship. Between March and October of 2014, eight ocean cruise lines cut Black Sea itineraries, and a number of river cruise lines have stopped sailing Russian rivers in 2015 and 2016 in recent months, citing "ongoing uncertainty" in the region.

Carnival’s Amber Cove to Open in October Print E-mail
Tourism news
Wednesday, 29 April 2015 09:03

amber_coveCarnival Corp. will open its $85 million Amber Cove cruise center in the Dominican Republic in October, giving its passengers access to a purpose-built facility with a welcome center, craft marketplace, eateries and bars, a swimming pool, and transportation hub.

Located near the historic town of Puerto Plata, the arrival of the Carnival Victory on Oct. 6 will mark the return of regularly scheduled cruise ship calls on the Amber Coast in nearly 30 years.

The new port also will anchor new central Caribbean itineraries — along with Grand Turk Cruise Center, only 100 miles to the north — and likely will figure into new itineraries that feature potential stops in Cuba, the company said in a news release.Six Carnival Corp. brands will call on Amber Cove, which is near a filming location for parts of the original “Jurassic Park” movie. The facility will feature a two-berth port able to accommodate the largest cruise vessels operating today.

Carnival Corp. has monitored construction progress by using drones for the first time. The facility, a joint project between Carnival Corp. and the Rannik family of Grupo B&R, is expected to host more than 250,000 cruise passengers in its first year. It will provide approximately 430 local jobs.

“There are several markets that are becoming increasingly important to the cruise industry, but today the Caribbean is the single largest share of our business,” said Giora Israel, senior vice president of global port and destination development for Carnival Corp.

Amber Cove creates a new destination in the Caribbean, which is important since more than 60 percent of cruisers are repeat passengers and might be attracted to sail again to new places.

“The construction of the cruise port at Amber Cove has been an incredible project for our entire country, as well as the Caribbean region as a whole,” said Francisco Javier, tourism director of the Dominican Republic. “Carnival Corporation’s investment in Amber Cove has already proven beneficial to the economy, and we expect the investment to have a positive long-lasting economic impact.” 

So far, 13 Carnival Corp. ships from six brands will make 57 calls between October 2015 and April 2016, accounting for more than 155,000 guests during this period.

Following the Carnival Victory’s inaugural visit, other ships scheduling calls to Amber Cove include Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 on Nov. 22, P&O Cruises’ (UK) Azura on Dec. 5, AIDA Cruises’ AIDAvita on Dec. 11, Costa Cruises’ Costa Deliziosa on Dec. 31 and Holland America Line’s Eurodam on Jan. 19.

The Amber Cove port is located on the Dominican Republic’s North Coast just outside Puerto Plata, which was discovered by Christopher Columbus in the 1490s and was recently named by Travel + Leisure magazine as one of the “Best Places to Travel in 2015.”


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