Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines News

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ “Black Watch” began itineraries from Liverpool at the close of March.  Itineraries range from thirteen to eighteen days with destinations including Dublin and the Canary Islands.  “This year, the City of Liverpool will welcome our most iconic ship, Black Watch, to its shores, and we look forward to receiving the same warm reception from the people of Merseyside as her sister ship, Boudicca, has experienced over the past two years. With its stunning vistas and proud maritime heritage, there is something very special about cruising from Liverpool, and it is a tremendous benefit to be able to offer our guests the chance to set sail from the world-famous Pier Head” said Nathan Philpot, sales and marketing director for the line.

To begin, one has to know some things about Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.  They are a subsidiary of the Fred.Olsen Group, founded in 1848.  They are based in the UK, owned by the founding family of Norwegians.  The same company owns Timex and is involved in off shore oil drilling, air travel and tanker ships.  However they have over a century of heritage in passenger travel and are among the oldest companies still plying the trade as a cruise line.  They boast only four ships at present, all would be considered “classic” in their design.  In lay terms, this means most of these ships have fewer than 2,000 passengers and were built in the late 1980s through mid-1990s.  Well maintained and highly respected they carry names long known to the venerable line such as “Black Watch” and “Balmoral.”   So as one watches news and announcements from Fred.Olsen realize that this is a small and unique line.

Royal Caribbean Orders 5th Quantum

This morning Royal Caribbean went public with news that it will purchase a fifth unit of the Quantum class.  "It is such a pleasure to announce the order of another Quantum-class ship as we are welcoming Anthem of the Seas to North America," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.  "These ships have been received with excitement, and performed exceptionally well, across the globe.  We fully expect that momentum to continue as we add to this innovative class of ships."

"It is such a pleasure to announce the order of another Quantum-class ship as we are welcoming Anthem of the Seas to North America," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.  "These ships have been received with excitement, and performed exceptionally well, across the globe.  We fully expect that momentum to continue as we add to this innovative class of ships."

Royal Caribbean's press release alludes to the capacity increase the new ship would represent but also notes that the sale of existing ships is not taken into account.

The Cruise Industry Shifts Focus to West to the Far East, Down Under.

The odds are that you have heard of the Quantum class of ships from Royal Caribbean.  Those odds are increasingly better than those of actually cruising on one of the new ships.  That is because like much of the cruise industry, Royal Caribbean International is keenly focused on staking out territory within the fast growing Asian cruise market. 

Cunard News

Cunard continues to celebrate 175 years of service and paid special attention to Australia in recent week.  Two of the three “Queens” shared Sydney Harbor early in March as the Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2 crossed paths.  The ships departed amidst great fanfare for their respective itineraries that night.  Angus Struthers, Cunard’s marketing director, commented during a related press conference that Australia has passed German as the third largest source of passengers for the line.  Fittingly Cunard also paid homage to ANZAC (Australian and New Zealander)

casualties of the disastrous Gallipoli invasion from World War I aboard the Queen Elizabeth April 24th. 

 

Lindblad Expeditions

Capitol Acquisition Corp. II has taken over Lindblad Expeditions.  Capitol is classified as a public investment vehicle with publically traded shares.  What that means in practical terms is that the company functions as a tool to generate capital for business operations naturally produce a return for investors.  In this case the company choose a noted operator of “expedition” cruises, a growing and high-priced area of the cruise industry.  Lindblad’s destination for example include Antarctica and the Galapagos islands and command daily per diems of over $1,000.  Lindblad operates six vessels, all with a “National Geographic” prefix and charters an additional four.  CEO Sven-Olof Lindblad said that “The additional resources and strong balance sheet will allow us to meet increasing guest demand by expanding our fleet with new vessels and opportunistically seeking accretive strategic acquisitions.”

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