Cruise News Briefs: March 6

A week full of cruise ship news and notes continued as the industry gathered together for an event in Florida. A look at some news briefs from around the globe:

**Hurtigruten’s MS Lofoten celebrated its 54th birthday on March 5. The ship operates cruises on the Norwegian Coast and to Svalbard. The vessel was declared “worthy of preservation” in 2001 by the Norwegian Director General of Historic Monuments.

**Virgin Voyages will take delivery of its first ship in early 2020. Ships two and three will follow in 15-month increments. 

**Royal Caribbean International is set to take delivery of the Symphony of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship, on March 22.

**Regent’s Jason Montague, president and CEO, is aboard the Seven Seas Voyager this week as the ship sails in New Zealand and Australia.

**Rough seas are wreaking havoc among a few Caribbean destinations this week, which are losing cruise calls due to sea conditions. Among the high-profile cancellations was the much anticipated inaugural call of the Viking Sky in St. Maarten.

**The Pacific Jewel, sailing for P&O Australia, will enter drydock on Wednesday for a 10-day refit.

**Another Viking ship, the Viking Sun, did make a big-time inaugural call earlier this week, with a first-time visit to Kota Kinabalu.

**Hurtigruten is now hooking into shorepower in Bergen with the MS Spitsbergen. Look for other vessels in the fleet to follow.

**Cruise and Maritime Voyages made its inaugural call to Darwin, Australia, with the Columbus, as part of the ship’s world cruise.

**The AIDAbella was in Port Klang on Sunday to close her 2018 Asia season on her way back to Europe. The ship heads back to Asia next winter alongside the AIDAvita.

**Terminal operators SCH has expanded their offering in the cruise world by establishing a new dedicated security services subsidiary, according to a statement. Viper Maritime Services (VMS) has been set up to increase the range of cruise ship services offered by other parts of the Independent Port Handling group (IPH), which includes SCH and valet car parking specialists Cruise and Passenger Services (CPS).

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