Various rumors and odd “news” as heard by the Cruise industry News editorial team at the 2013 Cruise Shipping Miami conference:
• New Cruise Line Alert: A new group has (supposedly) purchased a medium-sized cruise vessel with the intent of exploring a very new market. Others have tried, no one has succeeded.
• New Ship Design: Fincantieri unveiled a new ship design, with the engines located in the middle of the hull, leading to better weight distribution, improved fuel economy, and maybe a new look for the next generation of ships.
• Shorepower: Another port that is not on the West Coast is very close to the final sign off on a cold-ironing deal.
• Apartment Ships: Is another one finally close to being real? Or is it just another plan on paper?
• Port Commitments: Homeports and regions are putting up more money than ever in helping support cruise line marketing to drive demand.
• Green Ship: The new Royal Princess promises to be the most environmentally-friendly ship in the Princess fleet, according to Vice President of Newbuild Stuart Hawkins. Princess said that the ship has been designed to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. Some of the key areas of focus include the ship’s extremely efficient hull and propeller design, which requires the same energy as the line’s smaller ships to drive it; a distributed air conditioning system with a large number of fan coil units rather than a centralized system; usage of low energy lighting throughout the ship with an emphasis on LED; the addition of variable speed drives to the biggest electrical consumers such as ventilation fans; a tunnel washer in the laundry which will reduce water consumption; and the introduction of additional monitoring of the ship’s overall energy usage.
• Demand: According to industry numbers, only 100,000 more Americans may cruise in 2013 than in 2012. Meanwhile, all the buildup in Asia continues to be looked at carefully.
• Scrubbers: Cruise lines may be lining up to purchase scrubbers, at least according to major repair shipyards which are suddenly rushing to become experts on the installation of the exhaust-cleaning technology as the North American Emissions Control Area looms for 2015.