The Big Names Behind China’s First Cruise Ship – Other Cruise News: San Francisco – A New Cruise Terminal & A Year-Round Ship – All-Inclusive Cruising Spreads Further

          THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com

          by Kevin Griffin

     The Cruise Examiner for 30th July 2012

Last week came further news of China’s new 100,000-ton 2,000-berth cruise ship, tentatively to be named China Xiamen, and among the names involved is not only Royal Caribbean but also Stephen Payne’s PFJ Marine Consulting, Finland’s Deltamarin, the Xiamen International Cruise Co Ltd and the Xiamen Shipbuilding Industry Co Ltd, as well as a new Southeast China International Shipping Centre and Xiamen International Cruise Terminal at Dongdu. Xiamen, located between Shanghai and Hong Kong, has become Royal Caribbean’s fourth Chinese departure port after Shanghai, Tianjin and Hong Kong. Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean has been working its 1,800-berth Legend of the Seas and, this year, the 3,114-berth Voyager of the Seas in the China and Asia market. Elsewhere, San Francisco will soon see a revival of sorts with a new cruise terminal under way at Pier 27 and the arrival of the recently rebuilt (2011) 2,600-berth Grand Princess year-round for Princess Cruises. Finally, we have a look at new all-inclusive offers from Compagnie du Ponant and Fred Olsen Cruise Lines.

THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                       (See previous columns)

Australian Cruise Market Booms: Grew By A Third In 2011 – Other Cruise News: P&O Cruises’ New Fares, Cancellation Penalties & Final Payment Date – Will Venice Ban Larger Cruise Ships?

          THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com

          by Kevin Griffin

     The Cruise Examiner for 23rd July 2012

For the second year in a row, Australia has set another record, with 623,295 of its nationals and residents booking a cruise in 2011, a growth of one-third in a year and a tripling of the number taking a cruise over five years. We have the latest look at that market, which is now beginning to attract members of the largest classes of ship, including Voyager of the Seas and the Celebrity Solstice. In the UK, we look at P&O Cruises new “Vantage Fares” and “Getwaway Fares” and find that the idea originates with Carnival Cruise Lines in America. But in doing so, we also notice that, quietly last year, P&O increased its deposit requirement (and therefore penalties paid on cancelled cruises) by 50% as well as extending its final payment date from 56 days to 90. Finally, we look at the debate in Venice about whether large cruise ships should be allowed to sail past St Mark’s Square.

THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                       (See previous columns)

Compagnie du Ponant Is Sold To UK-Based Investors – Other Cruise News: Andrea To Reappear As Serenissima in 2013 – Comments On A Review Of Oceania’s Marina – Revised Details For Viking Ocean Ships

          THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com

          by Kevin Griffin

     The Cruise Examiner for 16th July 2012

With its new Ice Class ships, Compagnie du Ponant has recently also acquired a reputation as a polar operator

Earlier this month, CMA CGM and its parent company Merit Corporation announced the disposal of its former cruise arm, Compagnie du Ponant, to London-based private equity firm Bridgepoint Capital, well-known in the UK for its investment in the Prêt a Manger quality sandwich shops. With three new 10,944-ton 264-berth ships and its original 1,489-ton 60-berth Le Ponant, the sale by the indebted CMA CGM will hopefully free up Compagnie du Ponant to expand its operation further. Meanwhile, still on the small-ship side of things, Finnish-based newcomer Premier Cruises will re-introduce the 2,549-ton Andrea into service next April as the 96-berth Serenissima. We also have a look at a very interesting and enlightening cruise ship review of Oceania’s Marina by Frenchman Jacques Letard in the latest issue of Sea Lines, quarterly journal of the Ocean Liner Society. Finally, Viking Ocean have announced slight changes to their latest order for two new medium size upmarket cruise ships..
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THIS WEEK’S STORY
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On the Bridge On The Event Of The Return Of The Former Canadian Pacific Steamship Keewatin to Canada, June 23, 2012

Here we have Eric Conroy, project manager for s.s. Keewatin, in his role as Capt Rick and Kevin Griffin of The Cruise People Ltd on the day of her return to Port McNicoll. Kevin had been a waiter on sister ship s.s. Assiniboia and had been invalided off at Sault Ste Marie in late August 1965 with appendicitis. Some forty-seven years later, on his arrival at Port McNicoll, he met John Bell, the dishwasher at the time who had been promoted into his position as waiter. Both Eric and Kevin started their careers as 17-year-old waiters for Canadian Pacific Great Lakes Steamships and Kevin transferred out to Canadian Pacific BC Coast Steamships in 1966 to serve as chief night steward on the Alaska cruise ship t.e.v. Princess Patricia, summer work that helped put him through Western University in London, Ontario.

Here are some photos from that voyage:  Photo essay of the Keewatin‘s voyage from Mackinaw City to Port McNicoll.

For further information on cruising in the Great Lakes or to Alaska please feel free to call The Cruise People Ltd in London, England, on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk

How Cruise Sales Differ Across the Atlantic – Other Cruise News: P&O Celebrates 175 Years – Queen Elizabeth 2 to Become 300-Room Hotel in Dubai

          THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com

          by Kevin Griffin

     The Cruise Examiner for 9th July 2012

P&O Cruises’ seven-ship UK-based fleet sails out of Southampton last Tuesday

This week we look at cruise selling practices on the two sides of the Atlantic and how they differ, with attempts by cruise lines to stop cross-border sales and differing approaches to commission rebating on each side of the Atlantic. Meanwhile, last Tuesday, the whole of P&O Cruises’ UK-based fleet of seven ships called in the port of Southampton. Reviewed by Princess Anne on board THV Patricia, all seven sailed out again in single file with some 15,000 passengers on board. P&O Cruises Australia and DP World in Dubai, now owners of P&O Ferries, also share in this 175th Anniversary. And finally comes word, also from Dubai, that the Queen Elizabeth 2 is to be opened in eighteen months as a 300-room luxury hotel at Port Rashid.
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THIS WEEK’S STORY
                                                      (See previous columns)

Two Views of Canadian Pacific’s s.s. Keewatin Approaching Port McNicoll – Separated by About Ninety Years

The view on the right was taken on June 23, 2012, as the s.s. Keewatin approached Port McNicoll after an absense of forty-five years in Douglas, Michigan. The view on the left is a Notman Archives photo taken from a similar spot about forty-five years before that. Roughly ninety years separate the two photographs yet the deck looks the same, minus the passengers. The grain elevator and freight sheds ashore have meanwhile disappeared.

Here are some photos from this voyage:  Photo essay of the Keewatin‘s voyage from Mackinaw City to Port McNicoll.

To learn more about cruising in the Great Lakes feel free to call The Cruise People Ltd in London, England,  on 0230 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.

In The Wake of the s.s. Keewatin – Other Cruise News: Cruising The Great Lakes in 2012

          THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com

          by Kevin Griffin

     The Cruise Examiner for 2nd July 2012

On Saturday, June 23, at 1:30 pm, the 105-year-old former Canadian Pacific Great Lakes passenger liner s.s. Keewatin arrived back at Port McNicoll, her home port between 1912 and 1965, for the first time since she was towed away to Douglas, Michigan, for use as a floating maritime museum in 1967. Today, The Cruise Examiner publishes a photo essay taken during the last leg of her voyage from Mackinaw City to Port McNicoll. She sailed into Port McNicoll on a glorious summer Saturday, welcomed by a fleet of a thousand small craft.

The Cruise Examiner was invited onto the last leg and has recorded parts of the voyage for the future, especially two clips of the ship under way once more after not having moved for forty-five years. Here are some of the results of that voyage:  Photo essay of the Keewatin‘s voyage from Mackinaw City to Port McNicoll.

Although Canadian Pacific ships have not cruised the Great Lakes since 1965, there has been a recent revival in this destination and New York-based Travel Dynamics International still has some space available for 2012 on their 2,557-ton US-flag m.v. Yorktown.
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THIS WEEK’S STORY
                                                      (See previous columns)