Crociere.co.uk : Website Development

You may have noticed a few changes around the blog, which now uses are new colours and logo, these changes have been put in place as the website has changed from what was orignially planned. Originally it was intended that the website would basically a white label cruise provider, However there has been no commercial partner forthcoming to develop this.

Furthermore the blog side of the website has grown significantly, with 1000’s of people have a look every month. it has also been something I have enjoyed doing, So it has been decided that going forth the blog should become a more important part of the website.

But I also have an aim that the website should be self supporting, I’m a student and the website costs money, not much, but it would be nice if it paid for itself. I would say it loses around -£150 a year, and if you include the cost of visiting trade shows and cruise ships perhaps -£600 a year. Not a huge amount, but still it could be a weekend away.

I hope to achieve this through developing cruise sales on Crociere.co.uk and we actually have a store where we recieve commision from sales, selling books and other ship related products. We will be looking at driving sales to improve revenue.

In the coming week you will notice the adverts will be removed from the website, This is part of an aim to make the blog look more professional. It is our target to get as many views in a week as we currently do in a month.

Also I want to develop our Facebook presence so people can engage with us, and over the last few days have been adding to our facebook page to show this.

Furthermore, starting next week we hope to have Guest Blogs as a regular feature, I think you will appreciate this and anyone is interested is welcome to submit thier articles for this.

If you have any suggestions, or want to produce a guest blog get in contact. Facebook, Twitter, Email and Comment!

Thanks Liam
Liam@Crociere.co.uk
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STX has a Reason to Smile: TUI Orders New Ships

It would appear that this hasn’t really been in the news much despite us knowing about this two days ago, probably as the ship will be built for the German market.

TUI Cruises has ordered a new 97,000GRT cruise ship to be built at STX Turku For delivery by March 2014. This ship will be joining Mein Schiff 1 & 2, and are the first new builds for the line. TUI Cruises is a joint venture between TUI AG and Royal Caribbean, the company was formed when TUI and Carnivals plans for a new German brand failed due to competition issues.

TUI AG own Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, who have the new Europa 2 under construction at STX France, and Thomson Cruises the mix of chartered ships serving the UK market. TUI AG is one of the worlds largest tourism companies.

The new ship is of a totally new design, however look similar to Royal Princess and the new Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway, however it is smaller. As the rest of the TUI Cruises fleet has rather boring names we are hoping that these future ships will get some exciting (no numerical) names!

While this ship is not iconic, it will be interesting to see how they are refined during the building process. STX will be very happy for the order, as they have struggled to get new orders, with the decline in shipbuilding due to the recession and the growth of Meyer Werft in the cruise industry

Thanks,
Liam
Liam@Crociere.co.uk
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Flashback to Vasco Da Gama

I need your help, My Grandparents only cruised once but we actually no very little about what they did on the cruise and where they went to, actually we aren’t even sure on the year!

The ship however was the Vasco Da Gama, built as the Infante Dom Henrique in Belgium in 1961, for service with Companhia Colonial de Navegacao of Portugal. The ship was 23,000GRT and carried 1018 passengers. The ship was built for service to the Portuguese colonies, until 1975. Sold in 1976 for service as a floating hotel in Sines, Portugal, as part of a wider economic development, which stalled, leading to the ship having very few visitors.

In 1988 the ship was purchased by Trans World Cruises, the ship was quickly refurbished and entered service on charter to German tour operator Neckerman, however engine problems and a collision caused the cancellation of the charter. This is when I believe that the ship was chartered to Ambassador Cruises, when my grandparents were onboard. They where doing an itinerary that included Egypt and Israel, but if you can shed anymore light onto the cruise please get in contact (Facebook, Twitter & Liam@crociere.co.uk).


Photo by L.M.Correia.

I have heard suggestions that Ambassador Cruises later became Festival Cruises (Covered in this Article). However it would be great if you knew more about the company.

When, as a child, I asked my Nan and Grandad if they would ever go on a cruise they always said not again, my Grandad was uneasy at seeing the warships in certain ports, and my Nan disliked a floating walkway that was attached to the ship at one port (Pictured). I have taken the opportunity to share some of their photos with you of what the cruise was like, Any of the pictures you click will get bigger! There are more pictures available on our Facebook.

Around 13 years later my Nan & Grandad saw the ship again, laid up following the collapse of Premier Cruises (Covered in this Article). This time the ship had a blue hull and was destined for the scrapyard, but still had the classic line that made her recognisable, my Nan said it was sad that the ship looked so empty sitting on an outer part of the Harbour.  

I think if my Nan & Grandad were still alive they would give cruising another chance, especially with the size of the Allure and Oasis of the Seas, However as fans of Walt Disney World I think perhaps they would be tempted in going on a Disney Cruise with the whole family.

The ship became the Seawind Crown in 1995 for Seawind Cruise Line, it was successful with these cruises and soon merged with Dolphin Cruise Line, acquiring Premier, and finally operating under Premier Cruise Line. During the ships final season it was chartered to Pullmantur. Following the collapse of Premier, Pullmantur tried to buy the vessel but ended up acquiring Oceanic, and quickly expanded in the Spanish cruise market, soon being acquired by Royal Caribbean. In 2004 the Seawind Crown was scrapped in China, thus ending an interesting career.

If you have anything to share, Facebook, Twitter, Email or Comment Below. It would be great to know more about my Grandparents cruise adventure.

Thanks & Regards,

Liam
Liam@Crociere.co.uk
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Links of Interest
http://lmcshipsandthesea.blogspot.com/search/label/VASCO%20DA%20GAMA%20%28Navio%20de%20passageiros%29
http://www.oceanlinermuseum.co.uk/Infante%20dom%20Henrique%20History.html

The Rise & Fall of: Festival Cruises

Continuing our series on ‘The Rise & Fall of’ we are looking at Festival Cruises, whose collapse is the most recent, declaring bankruptcy in 2004. If you used to work for Festival Cruises or had been on a Festival Cruise please comment below, send us an email (Liam@Crociere.co.uk) or contact us on Twitter & Facebook.

In 1992 George Poulides founded Festival Cruises, it started services in 1994 with The Azur, which had been acquired from Chandris Cruises, This was followed by Bolero and with continued success the company added Flamenco to the fleet in 1998.

In 1999 the company added Mistral, its first new build, at a cost of $240 million. The ship was built at the same yard as the Normandie & Queen Mary 2, Chantiers de l’Atlantique in St.-Nazaire, France.

The ship was built as part of a strategy to locate the company in the middle of the cruise market, just above Royal Caribbean, but below Celebrity, with a distinctly European flavour, the company was not allowed to operate in the United States under the Festival name, as it was deemed to be too similar to Carnival, so the company traded as First European in America.

Following on from Mistral, two slightly larger improved sister ships were ordered for delivery in 2001 & 2002, to be known as European Stars and European Vision. These ships features more balcony cabins, but, like Mistral were never going to win a beauty contest!

This would give the company three large new ships, in the growing European market. Upon delivery the older ships in the fleet were chartered out, making sure the brand had a solid identity, two further options for Mistral class ships were passed on, later being picked up by MSC Cruises, becoming MSC Lirica and MSC Opera (We have toured MSC Opera here)

In May 2000 P&O announced plans to acquire Festival Cruises for $600Million, who would join P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Swan Hellenic and Aida as a European brand. However two months later the merger plan was dropped, due to the low value of cruise shares at that time.

Also joining in 2002 was ‘the ship that sank the Andria Doria’ the former Stockholm, now named Caribe, this ship is regulary forgotten as operating for the Festival fleet, she sailed out of Havana. Now this ship operates for Classic International Cruises as Athena, and is one of the oldest operating cruise ships in the world. This could surely have only confused the Festival cruises product.

During 2003, an interesting concept was launched between Festival and Hilton, where there would be 25 ‘Hilton Suites’ on its new builds, these would feature butlers who had been trained by Hilton, and the suites would contain Hilton branded amenities. The idea being that the line could use a trusted brand to expand further into the America market.

In 2004, Festival Cruises ships were arrested, and the battle lines were drawn for a complex bankruptcy, drawn out over five months. During this time Royal Caribbean, who had lost out to Carnival for P&O Princess PLC, were linked to takeover the company. The ships were arrested as Alstom (owners of the shipyard) claimed Festival had broken its
contractual financial obligations.

The company made a series of announcements that operations would restart, but slowly, one by one its offices were closed and the ships auctioned off. The company even attempted to relaunch with just its new ships, Mistral, European Stars & European Vision. In July 2004 MSC acquired European Stars & European Vision, to join sister ships MSC Lirica and MSC Opera. European Stars is now MSC Sinfonia. European Vision now operating as MSC Armonia. Mistral was sold to a group of French investors, who have chartered her to Ibero cruceros now named Grand Mistral.

The company, like a lot of cruise industry failures, went too big too fast. If acquired by P&O it is likely the company would still be operating. Of most cruise lines which declare bankruptcy, I think this one has probably gotten the closest to success due to its modern ships, ironically it was paying for these modern ships that caused their collapse.

Did you used to work at Festival Cruises, do you have any memories of being on Festival?
Please get in touch; You can comment below, Use Facebook, Twitter or Email us.

If you liked this article you may like;
The Rise & Fall of : Premier Cruise Line 
The Rise & Fall of : Regency Cruises

Thanks,
Liam
Liam@Crociere.co.uk
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Links
Festivals Fuzzy Future – News article during bankruptcy
Postcards of the Festival Fleet
Festival & Hilton News Article
MSC Opera Visit
P&O + Festival Merger cancellation

For Sale. One Owner: Gaddafi

The cruise ship for Libya, known as Phoenicia, which is currently under construction in France is up for sale. This follows the default on payment for the second instalment of the payment plan.

Phoenicia is part of the Fantasia class, of which MSC have MSC Fantasia, MSC Spendida and MSC Divina. The similarity in the design has meant that MSC are seen as the lead bidder for the 140,000GT cruise vessel, the ship is currently due for delivery in December 2012. MSC Cruises head Pierfrancesco Vago has been quoted as saying the ship would make a suitable addition to the fleet, In addition Lloyds List reported that MSC FRANCE boss Erminio Eschena said his company was considering to buy the vessel.

When ordered, it was widely wondered why Libya’s GNMTC (General National Maritime Transport Company) has ordered one of the worlds largest cruise ships, who would cruise on Gaddafi’s cruise liner? And with 4000 passengers this would not have been a small operation, with Americans likely to stay away the ship would likely have been targeted to the Domestic and Southern european market. There was also a suggestion the ship would be chartered to MSC. At the time or ordering GNMTC were quoted as saying ‘We haven’t got any plans for the time being. We have just ordered it.’

As for the interior decoration of the vessel would also be similar to that of the others in the Fantasia class, which would mean that for a traditional cruise operator to take over changes in design could be small. 

Other possible bidders include TUI Cruises who have been continuously mentioned as requiring an additional cruise ship and P&O Austalia, as competition down under heats up. Perhaps even NCL, with their previous history of buying abandoned cruise ships will prevail? Who knows, but they will have to be quick for a December 2012 launch.

Personally I hope its MSC, as MSC Phoenicia sounds quite nice, and it would make a suitable addition for the rest of the fleet, with her three sister ships. Once MSC Divina is delivered next year MSC have no further ships on order.

Would you have cruised with Gaddafi? Facebook, Twitter, Comment & Email!

Thanks,
Liam
Liam@Crociere.co.uk
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Links
Tripoli Post – http://www.tripolipost.com/articledetail.asp?c=1&i=4681
GNMTC Press Release – http://www.gnmtc.com/default.php?pname=News&cat_id=1&art_id=81&la=1

Going Down?

There has been debate that people from the North, Birmingham and up wouldn’t like to go down South for a Cruise, namely out of Southampton. This has been one of the points for Liverpool’s cruise ambitions. I disagree, just like the way Manchester serves the international market in the North, an Northern cruise port could do the same.

Realistically Liverpool suffers from being on the wrong side of the country, however it is only a few hours more sailing time from Portugal and the Canaries as Southampton, and I believe (somewhere from memory) that Liverpool is 6 hours less sailing time to New York than Southampton. To the North Liverpool could serve Iceland, Ireland and Greenland, as well as the historic link with Canada.

While Fred Olsen has left Liverpool due to the ongoing problems with the cruise terminal, it is clear that the ships were sailing full and Fred Olsen were happy with the performance. Liverpool’s very own Ocean Countess, which has been undertaking a series of cruises operating out of the Langton Dock facility will be returning next year for more cruises. This small ship operates a successful cruise operation from the port.

I know that people will travel down to Southampton to embark on a cruise, however I think that further growth can be achieved by offering cruises from across the country, as more people will be introduced to cruising in the North, a relatively untapped market. The physical presence of cruise ships in the Tyne, Clyde and Mersey can encourage people to go on cruises. Realistically I think Liverpool can achieve around 15 cruises operating out of the port if approval is granted.

I have done the trip to Southampton (three times) by Train, It is a long journey, and expensive, the most recent occurrence being that I travelled at the undesired time, arriving at Southampton at 23.45 and coming home stopping at Manchester and getting a coach as trains to Liverpool had finished, yet the trains still cost me £80 return.

Liverpool has however commented that the view is great and our world heritage waterfront is much better than Southampton’s, That’s true, Southampton has a glamorous IKEA but it is also an amazingly efficient cruise port, with numerous cruise facilities. It would be stupid to knock Southampton’s cruise industry when it has been amazingly successful. However I genuinely feel Liverpool can offer a better cruise experience it just needs the time and Investment to make these cruise facilities. Liverpool could be like Avis ‘We try harder’, a reference to Avis being smaller than Hertz, but trying harder!

In America many cruise line operate out of numerous cities across the country, to appeal to the local markets, I believe the same will happen in the UK, and Southampton will lose market share but still grow, as other UK ports grow their operations. I believe Newcastle is likely to be the main concern, not Liverpool, as Newcastle is on the right side of the Country to cruise the Fjords and Continent.

Let me know what you think! Facebook, Twitter, Comment & Email

Thanks,
Liam
Liam@Crociere.co.uk
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MSC Orchestra Ship Visit

Yesterday I was in London (Southampton) to visit MSC Orchestra, If you have been reading this blog for a while you may remember I visited MSC Opera earlier this year. I was given the chance to visit the MSC Orchestra while docked in London (Southampton) as it repositioned from Northern Europe.

MSC Orchestra is one of the four Musica Class cruise ships, the Muscia class is MSC’s middle-sized ship, the larger being the Fantasia Class, and the smaller being the Lirica Class (Which Opera was part of). The picture below should be to scale. The pictures are from the excellent www.nauticalcities.com.

 

MSC Orchestra entered service in 2007, she was built in STX France, and was named as always with MSC ships by Sophia Lauren.

As always with ship visits it was in Southampton so I took the train down arriving at Southampton Ibis at 23.40 the night before, however unusually for this time the room wasn’t ready so I was offered free drinks from the bar untill it had been cleaned. I finally got into the room around 0.20, although I was happy to wait longer with free drinks. The Ibis, Etap and Novotel are all directly over the road from the station, so great if you just need an easy hotel room.

The following day I met with @Linerlovers and @BenMontgomeryCD, before going on board. It was nice to meet and have a quick chat without it fitting in twitters character requirements. Upon making our way to City Cruise Terminal it appeared that MSC Orchestra would be late due to bad weather, however MSC laid on snacks and drinks in the cruise terminal and we got a great view of the ship approaching the cruise terminal. It was nice to see some familiar faces from the MSC Opera visit (Yes, Black Card holders).

Once onboard we were led to the buffet area and fed. The plates are huge, so you can really just keep piling up, after all one of the most important things on a cruise is food! It was great to experience this restaurant as we had been to one of the main restaurants on MSC Opera, and it was nice to see what else was available.

Inside the ship has numerous bars and restaurants, as well as a larger casino. The main facilities are also spread across three main decks. The theatre onboard is of double height, with no posts blocking views, and the ship has a great waterfall in the Atrium and a cool glass piano. I really enjoyed the Casino, now I’m not a gambling man (Unless its thousands of pounds and a Mersey Ferry) and the Disco on the back of the ship has a great view and a cool feel. There was lots of open deck space around the pool, with an outdoor TV and a performance area, where you can take dances under the stars.

The tour was finished with drinks and a presentation about MSC Cruises and the other ships in the MSC fleet, This was great as we got to see more of what MSC provides on its Fantasia class ships – MSC Fantasia, MSC Spendidia and soon to be joined by MSC Divina. (Although we believe another Fantasia class ship will be joining soon more on that in our next blog) All the MSC Staff also took part in a question and answer session, as well as advising us of some upcoming offers such as All-Inclusive for £1, Which sounds like a great way of promoting the All-Inclusive packages.

It was a great day and you can notice the difference in size from MSC Opera, with more bars and facilities on board, hopefully the UK will get a Musica class sister soon (and maybe Liverpool as a departure point for some cruises…maybe…hopefully). So well done MSC staff for putting on a great day.

Twitter, Facebook, Comment & Email, Have you been on an MSC Cruise?

Thanks,
Liam
Liam@Crociere.co.uk
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Improving Yield & Reducing Costs at Carnival

This blog is a long one, and based on what I currently understand about Carnival Corporation & PLC, as well as economic principles which I learnt in sixth form and at Maersk Line during yield management. There is no doubt flaws, but I’m a student, so tell me what you think.

Carnival is an amazingly successful business, which has delivered strong earnings and growth, however its internal set up confuses me as an outsider and I just feel that there is an easier way to do business. I have used the three main headings: Intergrate, Outsource, Internationalise.

Aim

The aim of this report is to suggest possible options on how to improve clarity in how Carnival Corporation & PLC operates, as well as reduce costs and improve yield. Basically if I was Micky Arison I would do this…

Intergrate

As a legacy of being separate companies Carnival appears to operate semiautonomous divisions namely:
Holland America Line – Seabourn and Holland America
Princess Cruises – Princess Cruises
Costa Crociere – Costa Cruises, Aida Cruises, Ibero Cruises
Carnival UK – Princess Cruises UK, Cunard, P&O Cruises, P&O Australia
Carnival Cruise Lines – Carnival Cruises

I would dissolve all these separate divisions, instead splitting the company into managing its business in regions, with Carnival UK managing all Carnival brands in the UK. In Europe, Carnival Europe (Costa Crociere) dealing with all Carnival brands in Europe and so on. I believe this is how Royal Caribbean operate, but again don’t know.

My example for Intergrate would be at Carnival UK were Holland America Line and Carnival Cruise Lines have separate offices from P&O, Princess and Cunard who are based in Southampton. HAL and CCL are based in London, surely there is enough space, perhaps by moving some desks round to combine the offices in Southampton, releasing expensive office space in London.

Another example being Holland America and Princess who are both on America’s east coast, I would combine the offices, there would be duplicated jobs which could be removed, HR, Payroll, Purchasing. I would also centralise many departments under the corporate banner.

As part of this integration I would effectively stop each brand being responsible for several functions they previously managed (as they had been centralised), there is a problem of the brands then slowly losing focus. But by creating Brand Ambassadors who would manage the marketing, and lobby the centralised functions for their brand could keep the distinct brand image. The brand ambassadors would be like a board of directors whose sole aim is to improve their brand.

Outsource

I’ve called this section ‘Outsource’ but it doesn’t necessarily relate to outsourcing. Firstly my example is that Maersk Line moved a significant amount of functions to Liverpool in order to move out of London, there was two reasons for this, the wages in Liverpool are lower than that of London, and there is also a large talent pool to choose from. Secondly office rental prices are MUCH lower in Liverpool, saving significant amounts of money.

In addition Maersk Line also outsourced functions which could be performed overseas in cheap countries to them countries, by implementing strong communications links between the offices, it became just as easy to speak to someone in India than someone across the office. Maersk also used Six Sigma to sort supply chain problems, but without working in the industry this would be impossible to consider applications for passenger shipping, but small changes in business operation yielded great results.

An example of outsourcing in the container shipping industry meant that online bookings which were previously completed by staff in the UK was transferred to lower cost countries, jobs which involve basic data entry made sense to move overseas as the internet has made such possible, easily.

I would pause from moving ‘contact centres’ overseas as people hate phoning overseas call centres and it can ruin a person’s opinion of a brand, which is what Carnival is building.

Internationalise

Carnival have previously commented that Cunard is their sole international brand, I believe Holland America and Seabourn both can be ‘internationalised’ under these new plans, which these larger possible audiences and the new corporate structure Carnival could charge higher prices, as the market for the product is larger, improving yield, also both of these fleet operate worldwide itineraries meaning there is no need for redeployment.

Why Holland America? – Well I believe there is no European equivalent to Holland America, and with an aging population in Europe I believe Holland America would make a great fit in the European market if more people where aware of the product. Its closest rival in my mind being Celebrity Cruises seem to be doing well in Europe naming Celebrity Silhouette in Hamburg earlier this year.

Why Seabourn? Again, Like Holland America I believe that Seabourn could, through bet promotion as part of the Carnival family improve sales in Europe, Asia and Australia. Its new ships providing a great opportunity to go worldwide.

The theory behind ‘Internationalise’ is that of Kraft’s purchase of Cadbury, which then allowed Kraft’s brand of chocolate ‘Milka’ to piggy back into news agents and supermarkets on the back of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk.

Summary

I believe that Carnival is taking slow steps towards this model, as in the United Kingdom Carnival UK represents Princess Cruises, but this could just be a legacy of how the former P&O Princess used to operate. I expect Carnival already outsources a lot of functions already. 

I think the plan outlined above would work, and simplify the Carnival product line up, It would be great to hear from someone at Carnival on what they thought of my plans and suggestions.

Well I’m not sure how this one will go down, viewing figures for some blogs have confused me in the past week. The stuff i thought would be popular hasn’t been! (I’m not expecting this to be too popular) But Ship Visits always go down well!

Let me know what you think! Twitter, Facebook, Email & Comment. If you liked this Try: Cruise Line Brand Posistioning & Where Does Princess Fit?

Thanks,
Liam
Liam@Crociere.co.uk
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Queen Mary 2 Ship Visit

Way back when I was young and cute, I wrote to Cunard Line asking about the new Queen Mary 2. I used to write to loads of cruise lines and get quite a few free stuff, postcards, caps, etc. (Any of the photos you click on will get bigger 😀 )

On New Years Eve, Just before the ship was named on 8th January 2003, Cunard Line called and asked if I would like to go on board on the 10th January with any guests, and my Dad and Uncle both decided they wanted to come along so we booked into the Travel Inn to spend the night.

The night in the Travel Inn, which has a great bar overlooking the city on the 5th Floor, we met the Piano player from the QM2 and then some engineers from the Caronia, and had a great night talking about ships and shipping.

The next day we made our way down to the Mayflower Terminal and were bussed to the QEII Terminal where the Queen Mary 2 was waiting. As this was before the maiden voyage and this was the ship of the decade, there was a lot of people. We made our way around the ship with a relatively free roam. I do remember parts of the ship still not being finished however, and we got to see the winter gardens, a variety of cabins including the Queens Grill accommodation.

We were also visited the various dining rooms and restaurants on board including the Todd English with its great view over the stern and the pool area. I also enjoyed the promenade with its classic wooden ‘Steamer’ deck chairs, and I still want one for sitting out in the Garden! The Britannia Dining room was amazing, I have never seen anything like it.We missed the planetarium unfortunately.

We ended our tour in the Queens Room, enjoying some music and drinks, We had a window seat, and probably stayed on board a bit too long, but she is a wonderful ship, which draws a crowd where ever she goes. I still havent taken a cruise on her but its on the bucket list! QM2 With Lucy would be great too! As we were leaving the QEII Terminal the Orient Express was outside which in itself is an amazing sight.

She is calling into Liverpool next Thursday so no doubt I will pop down to see her again, she has an amazing imposing profile, just like her transatlantic predecessors. But just before I finish, Just for my friend Kim, here is a picture of me with the Homer Simpson, as discussed on the Tesco checkouts!

Have you been on the Queen Mary 2 on one of her ‘Voyages’? Tell us more, Facebook, Twitter, Comment & Email.

Thanks,
Liam
Liam@crociere.co.uk
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The Sepdecuplets : The 17 Ships of the Spirit & Vista Class

In 2000 Costa Atlantica debuted as the first of the Spirit Class. Built by Aker Yards the ship was not record-breaking in any way shape or form, or particularly innovative, but it did however allow for flexibility, being suitable to fit down the Panama canal and also had a significant amount of balconies.

The Vista Class, originally intended to be Holland America’s evolution of the Spirit Class, it soon became a standard across the Carnival Corporation & PLC Fleet, almost by accident. Following the success of the QM2, one of the Holland America Vista’s was transferred to Cunard to become the Queen Victoria. However during building it was decided that the Queen Victoria should incorporate more concepts from the QM2, so the ship was transferred to P&O Cruises as Arcadia. During recent refits Holland America & P&O Cruises made changes to its Vista Class ships by adding more balconies at the back, to improve the revenue from this ships.

For Cunard a new extended Vista class ship was planned, slightly longer but still able to fit down the Panama Canal. The ship emerged as the new Queen Victoria in December 2007. In October 2007 a new Queen Elizabeth was ordered as an ‘improved’ version of Queen Victoria, showcasing a new Sports deck, which gives her a ‘crown’ like profile at the front.

Nieuw Amerstdam and Eurodam are classed as Signature class ships, however they are in effect a slight change in design from there Vista class comrades with an additional deck. Finally Costa decided that they should take the best of the Spirit class and Vista class to create two hybrid ships, known as Costa Luminosa & Costa Deliziosa

It is unlikely any more of these class of ships will be built, as new ‘safe return to port’ legislation by SOLAS may mean that they will not fit the criteria and higher standards now required from new builds.

There can be problems with having such a large class of ships from an economic perspective, the next major change in the cruise product could mean these vessel, all 17 of them will require the same changes. Like the ship classes of the 1990’s have required Balconies to be retrofitted, not always the best option.

Also as the ships appear across various market segments, there can be a problem that people think that the product is degraded from the Luxury end. A common problem which is mentioned amongst shipping enthusiasts regarding Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria, as nothing more than a more expensive Arcadia. However most people , once the hull is a different colour and a different funnel is used have no idea.

The onboard product of these ships varies differently, from the Las Vegas style of Carnival, to the Ocean Liner Art Deco styling of Cunard, its is unlikely people will realise they are sister ships at all. For those who are interested the 17 Ships are at the bottom of this article.

Have you cruised on the Vista class, do you agree with this concept of using the same ship across brands? Facebook, Twitter, Email and Comment!

Thanks,
Liam
Liam@crociere.co.uk
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(The Picture of the Golden Retriever is from our CruiseHound section Click Here to Visit!)

SHIPS:
1- Costa Atlantica – Spirit Class
2- Carnival Spirit – Spirit Class
3- Carnival Pride – Spirit Class
4- Carnival Legend – Spirit Class
5- Costa Mediterranea – Spirit Class
6- Carnival Miracle – Spirit Class
7- Zuideram – Vista Class
8- Oosterdam – Vista Class
9- Westerdam – Vista Class
10- Noordam – Vista Class
11- Arcadia  – Vista Class
12- Queen Victoria – Enhanced Vista
13- Queen Elizabeth – Enhanced Vista
14- Eurodam – Signature Class
15- Nieuw Amsterdam – Signature Class
16- Costa Lumiosa – Hybrid Spirit/Vista
17- Costa Deliziosa – Hybrid Spirit/Vista