Various rumors and odd “news” as heard by the Cruise Industry News editorial team at the 2015 Cruise Shipping Miami conference on Wednesday.
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Singapore Cruise Centre (SCC): “We have 10 homeporting ships at Singapore Cruise Centre, the largest number in Southeast Asia,” said Christina Siaw, CEO of SCC, talking to Cruise Industry News. “We have a diverse mix of mass market and luxury ships. The Legend of the Seas and Costa Victoria have chosen (us) for homeporting.”
Big Moves in Asia: A MOU signed between Carnival Corp. and China Merchants Group in January includes a potential joint venture in a port development in Shenzhen. Located in mainland China, Shenzhen is a port city key to the manufacturing industry, and also the closest major city to Hong Kong. This would open up more sourcing opportunities as it would not require Chinese nationals to go across the border into Hong Kong.
AIDA: With the European market nearing record capacity levels once again, the debut of the second AIDAprima-class newbuild from Mitsubishi in 2016 could see a further footprint for AIDA in Asia. Could they base this new ship in China?
Ovation: Royal Caribbean International has announced 2016 deployment in Europe, Alaska and the Caribbean. While the new Harmony of the Seas (Oasis 3) has listed cruises, the Ovation of the Seas (Quantum 3) does not, which underlines the fact she is most likely heading for Asia.
Sleep In: Show organizers have quietly opened the exhibition halls at 10 a.m. this year, one hour later than usual, and most likely to accommodate an active night-life scene on South Beach. At the end of the day, the show now closes at 5 p.m. as opposed to 6 p.m.
Down Under: Australia continues to be booming, with cruise ships packing Down Under ports again for 2015/2016. Ports and governments are responding quickly to alleviate congestion, and plans are still underway to build a cruise facility in the Gold Coast area.
ECA Hangover: Canada/New England traffic, especially to Atlantic Canada, continues to be in a sophomore slump as statistics show regional traffic down slightly from 2014 to 2015, continuing a bigger drop from 2013 to 2014.
St. Thomas: WICO has dropped plans to build a new facility in St. Thomas, which comes as a surprise as Caribbean capacity is expected to continue to grow with more megaships being delivered. Could another pier expansion at another major cruise island be coming before WICO can get its own construction started?