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New Lines: Every year new cruise line rumors swirl at industry trade shows. Last year, Cruise Industry News reported a major operator was considering entering the U.S. river marketplace. That happened this February with Viking announcing an expansion to the Mississippi. Other rumors, however, have not yet panned out including an operator starting service out of Sri Lanka. In addition, Sterling Cruise Line still hopes to get its Aruba-homeported operation going later this year.
Year-Round: Is Louis Group extending its season in the Mediterranean? Celestyal Cruises is its new cruise brand and could operate year-round as soon as winter 2015/2016.
Big News: Or maybe not? Among the announcements expected tomorrow, Holland America Line will debut its entertainment program and a show or two on the new Koningsdam. MSC Cruises USA has promised a “big announcement” during a Tuesday afternoon press conference. The rumors won’t stop that one of the MSC newbuilds is heading to homeport on the East Coast, could this be the confirmation? It would be coming more than two years out.
Royal: With the Ovation of the Seas (Quantum 3) coming in 2016, and Oasis 4 coming in 2018, Royal Caribbean International has not yet firmed up any additional ships. Will there be more Quantum-class newbuilds? Historically, the brand has ordered more than three ships in a class.
Expeditions: With the recent merger of Capitol Acquisition Corp. II and Lindblad Expeditions, the company has promised an expansion with new ships. Expect them to be small, expedition-style ships carrying no more than 300 passengers.
Back From NCL: In other stranger news, as reported last week former Norwegian Cruise Line boss Colin Veitch has basically appeared out of nowhere in the form of a lawsuit against Richard Branson and Virgin Group. Quite the talking point among industry professionals.