Titanic 2 Project Abandoned?

May 24, 2015

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During the first half of 2015, accumulated  evidence  strongly suggests that the Titanic 2 project has been abandoned.

In March 2015 Deltamarin* told an “Australian Broadcasting Corporation” journalist that work on the Titanic II project had been halted.

Also in March it was reported that no work had begun or been ordered in the Chinese shipyard identified as the likely site of construction with workers highly sceptical that the project would ever move beyond the proposal stage

On March 26, 2015, the Blue Star Line trademark was listed as “abandoned”.

As of May 2015 Blue Star Line had made no updates to its official web site or media pages in over one year.

(Wikipedia)

Malcolm Says: This comes as little surprise. Very few commentators actually expected Titanic 2 to ever be built.

Some commentators have suggested that the Titanic 2 project was just a hoax to raise Palmer’s media profile.  Well it certainly worked!

However Palmer did spend some real money on the project. *Naval architects, Deltamarin must have spent a year (or more) designing the ship and tank testing a model.

Since Palmer gave birth to the idea of a replica Titanic, he has a new ‘toy’.  Palmer has become heavily involved in politics. He has also been involved is some legal action and has even insulted the Chinese people, who’s shipyard was to build the Titanic 2. In addition business commentators suggest that Palmer is not quite as wealthy as he once was.

Maybe all the above has been a major distraction from his Titanic 2 project?

Maybe Palmer has now realised the complexity of the project, the high costs involved and the fact that there is no guarantee that the ship would even be profitable.

More about Titanic II HERE

Anthem v Britannia

May 24, 2015

The Mayflower Cruise Terminal’s £6m Refurbishment

May 23, 2015
(Rendering)

(Rendering)

Southampton’s Mayflower Cruise Terminal has reopened following a multi-million pound refurbishment that will enable it to cater for some of the largest cruise vessels afloat.

The terminal, which handles a significant proportion of the city’s cruise turnaround calls. It now features a remodelled open plan interior, with expanded security, check in and passenger reception areas. It will provide passengers with an enhanced experience at the start and finish of their holiday.

The increased number of cruise ships visiting Southampton, coupled with the rising capacity of new ships, means P&O Cruises, Cunard and other brands of the Carnival Group, are expecting passenger volume to increase by 25 per cent at Southampton over the next two years.

(Breaking Cruise News)

 

Harmony of the Seas

May 22, 2015
Harmony May 2015 (Image Courtesy of RCI)

Harmony, May 2015 (Image Courtesy of RCI/STX)

The construction of Royal Caribbean’s third Oasis-class cruise ship, ‘Harmony of the Seas’, is progressing nicely.

Her hull and superstructure are approximately t 80% complete and the last blocks will be installed in early June. She should be floated later that month.

Her inaugural cruise will be in June 2016.

Harmony will feature some of the Quantum Class’s innovations, such as the ‘Bionic Bar’ along with features such as the Royal Promenade, Studio-B, the Boardwalk and Central Park.

(RCI)

Oasis of the Seas Review: HERE

New Princess to be Based in Shanghai

May 21, 2015
(Image Courtesy of Princess)

(Image Courtesy of Princess)

The Carnival Corporation has announced that the new ship currently under construction for Princess Cruises will be based in China year-round when introduced in summer 2017.

Based in Shanghai, the ship will be the first year-round international luxury vessel designed and built specifically for Chinese guests.

The as-yet-unnamed ship is being built at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy and will carry approximately 3,600 guests on a variety of itineraries, to be announced at a later date.

Based on the design of its highly-acclaimed ships Royal Princess and Regal Princess, the new vessel will feature a number of new innovations customised for the growing number of Chinese cruise vacationers.

(Breaking Cruise News)

Malcolm says: a number of American cruise ship will soon be serving the Chinese market.  RCI’s Quantum of the Seas, is about to home port in Shanghai (Baoshan). I was at Tianji cruise terminal in November 2014, the terminal for Beijing. A large poster advertised the coming of Quantum to Asia was on display.

DSC_0121

Sapphire Princess Review: HERE

Anthem of the Seas Review

May 16, 2015

DSC_0078

At last, I have finished my review of RCI’s latest ship, ‘Anthem of the Seas’.

One of the biggest ships in the world inspired me to write one of the longest reviews in the world (well probably) – it’s around 6,000 words! Even then I only got to comment on a fraction of the public rooms and facilities.

I have tried to address some fundamental question, which many other reviews have ignored:

Does Dynamic Dining actually Work?

Kids look well served, but what does Anthem offer adults?

Have they retained their ‘wow’ factor?

How does Anthem compare to Oasis and the other megaships?

Does the ship feel like RCI or have they morphed into NCL?

It’s not a review for those who want a quick overview of the ship. It’s not all good either – there were bits that I really did not like. It will probably upset some RCI fans.

I hope that you find the time to read at least some of it and find it useful.

Malcolm

Anthem of the Seas review HERE

 

Thomson Cruises To Get Galaxy & Mercury

May 14, 2015
Celebrity  Mercury & Galaxy in Skagway, Alaska, May 1998.

Celebrity Mercury & Galaxy in Skagway, Alaska, May 1998.

TUI have recently stated that:  “Mein Schiff (My Ship) 1 and Mein Schiff 2 will be moved to Thomson Cruises in the next few years in order to continue the modernisation of the UK cruise operations.

Mein Schiff (My Ship) 1 is the former Celebrity Galaxy, 176,522 gt. 1,870 passengers. built 1996

Mein Schiff 2 is her sister ship, Celebrity Mercury, 77,713,gt. 1,886 passengers built in 1997.

TUI TO CREATE A SINGLE BRAND

TUI confirmed that it is to migrate to a single brand across all its markets, signalling the end of Thomson and First Choice, two of the best-known holiday brands in the UK.

Group chief executive Peter Long said the migration to the TUI brand would take place over several years to create ‘one power brand’.

He said the migration would start in TUI’s smaller markets, including France and Holland. The UK, TUI’s largest source market, will be the last of 31 countries to switch

Thomson is one of the UK’s largest brands, having been created 50 years ago this year. First Choice was originally launched as Owners Abroad in the 1970s, re-branding in the 1990s.

In addition to its two major holiday brands, TUI owns more than 70 other smaller brands in the UK, including Crystal, Hayes & Jarvis and Sovereign.

(TUI)

Malcolm says: ‘TUI Cruises’ does not have a great ‘ring’ about it, does it? I’ve cruised on Mercury and she was state-of-the-art and very spacious at the time. Mind you nearly twenty years have passed since she was built. Galaxy and Mercury are only mid-sized by modern standards.  This move will not exactly put Thomson/TUI at the cutting-edge of UK cruising.

Shrinking Ships

May 12, 2015
Not quite what I meant!

Not quite what I meant!

Have you noticed that when some ships get refitted, some public rooms disappear and additional cabins appear in the same location?

Now the cruise lines call this “an enhanced choice of accommodation”.

Well, it is only an advantage to the people who book those cabins. What about the hundreds of passengers who loose a public room or two. What about the fact that then ship will become more crowded with extra passengers from the extra cabins.

Adding more cabins is of course a method of making a ship more profitable. Even a handful of additional cabins, must generate a significant income, when viewed over a five year period. Let’s not forget those extra passengers (2+ per cabin) will also spend extra money on-board.

Losing public rooms is quite common on older/smaller ships. However even bigger/more modern ships can suffer from this unpleasant fate.

RCI’s ‘Freedom of the Seas’ (2006) had many new cabins added in her recent re-fit, including 19 in the space that was the ‘Crypt’ discotheque.

One loss of a public room which personally upset me, is the cinema on-board the ‘Thomson Celebration’

Now I do enjoy a dedicated cinema on-board a ship, but they are becoming increasingly rare. New ships just do not tend to have purpose built cinemas. It’s become too much of a luxury. It does not generate income.

Modern ships occasionally use the main Theatre for movies, have a big screen on deck or expect you to watch movies on you cabin TV – sometimes even pay-per-view.

(Thomson Spirit - Click to enlarge)

Thomson Spirit, with cinema (Click to enlarge)

(Thomson Celebration, 6 cabins replace cinema)

Thomson Celebration, 6 cabins replace the cinema.

Thomson Cruises are a prime example:

‘Spirit’ and ‘Celebration’ (ex Holland America Line) were identical ships. Both had charming dedicated cinemas. However in a recent refit, Celebration lost hers. It was replaced with six cabins (see deck plans above).

Fortunately Celebration’s sister ship, ‘Thomson spirit’ still retains her original cinema, but for how long?

Malcolm

Thomson Celebration Review HERE:

A Fourth Quantum-Class Ship for 2019

May 7, 2015

Royal Caribbean Cruises today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Meyer Werft in Germany to order a fourth Quantum-class ship for delivery in 2019.

RCI have a number of ship names registered for copyright reasons. They always register more names than they need, to confuse us, but it is very likely Quantum 4 will be called one of the names below:

Spectrum of the Seas
Joy of the Seas
Emblem of the Seas
Apex of the Seas
Pulse of the Seas
Passion of the Seas

Ocean Liners Exhibition

May 5, 2015

Did any readers get to see the ‘Liners’ exhibition, sponsored by ‘P&O’ which ran for quite a number of years at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, UK?

It was excellent.  Unfortunately it’s now gone.

The NMM now has very little about the great Ocean Liners now, which seem to be  a major oversight to me.

The good news is that I hear that there will be an ‘Ocean Liner’ exhibition headlining at the ‘Victoria and Albert’ Museum, London.

(The V&A)

(The V&A)

“Co-organised with the Peabody Essex Museum, Ocean Liners will be the V&A’s headline exhibition for spring 2018 and the first exhibition to fully assess the importance of the design of ocean liners. It will situate the ocean liner in a broad context, assessing its cultural significance by exploring all aspects of the design of liners from their maritime architecture and engineering to their interiors and on-board lifestyle.”

It sounds great, but the bad news is that you will have to wait until Spring 2018 to see it.

Malcolm

(Source V&A)


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