Various news, rumors and notes as heard by the Cruise Industry News editorial team on Wednesday in Ft. Lauderdale.
** EMC has debuted its innovative SpeedNet solution for onboard connectivity, drastically speeding up page load times. Look for a number of cruise lines to roll it out before year's end. EMC purchased MTN in 2015, a leading provider of connectivity services to the cruise industry.
** Turkish passenger sourcing is picking up significantly for Celestyal Cruises, as CEO Kyriakos Anastassiadis told Cruise Industry News the line expects to carry 40,000 Turkish passengers this year, up from just 3,000 in 2013.
** During yesterday's State of the Industry discussion, Pierfrancesco Vago noted MSC Cruises will have a year-round ship based out of Havana in 2017. This is MSC's first public clarification of this, and was reported by Cruise Industry News earlier this year.
** Matthias Rieger, CEO of Hamburg Cruise Center, is looking forward to the port's 827th anniversary party scheduled for this spring. "This is a huge event in all of Germany," Rieger told Cruise Industry News. "The Hamburg population is into cruise ships. People are celebrating on shore and having private parties (to see the ships). The enthusiasm of the people is outstanding" Other news include the debut of shorepower this summer, with the port set to hook up to AIDA ship. Before that, as part of the port anniversary, the AIDAprima will be christened.
** Le Havre is expecting a record 2016 with 128 calls and 285,000 passengers, and 10 inaugural ship calls.
** Norwegian Cruise Line will introduce the Norwegian Joy in China at a rate "below" Quantum-class vessels in the market.
** Pullmantur has issued the following statement to Cruise Industry News following news of the closing of the line's Brazilian office:
The change in the commercial organization of Pullmantur Cruceros in Brazil is part of a reformulation of our presence in the country in order to be much more efficient and effective.
We are highly committed to this market, because of that we are working hard to ensure that thousands of Brazilians travel with us in any of the routes we operate. In addition, they will enjoy a renewed product, in which we have the best ‘All Inclusive’ of the industry; a wonderful gastronomy and an excursion proposition better than eve: we have multiplied by 5 our offer.
In any case these changes will not have a negative impact on the service we provide to our customers. In fact, we are working to reinforce our customer service even more for our next cruise season that will start in September 2016.
** Holland America Line has debuted the "Dive-In" food truck in Ft. Lauderdale, serving their signature hamburgers, hot dogs and fries for free to cruise ship, cargo and other vessel crew members at Seafarers' House at Port Everglades. The event kicked off several days of fundraising for the local maritime charity with the “Dive-In” food truck.
** Previously not for sale, tour operators in Brazil are now offering 11-night cruises on the Norwegian Getaway as she repositions from Miami to Rio, and then from Rio to Miami, on her Rio Olympic charter. The cruises are 11 nights at sea.