Families of 'Duck Boat' Sinking Victims Sue Tour Operator
The families of four of the 17 people killed when a World War Two-style tourist "duck boat" sank on a Missouri lake during a storm this month have sued the tour operator, saying it recklessly allowed the vessel out in dangerous weather.On Sunday, relatives of Ervin Coleman, 76, and 2-year-old Maxwell Ly, his great-nephew, both of Indianapolis, sued tour operator Ripley Entertainment Inc, which operates under the name Ride the Ducks, and vessel manufacturer Amphibious Vehicle Manufacturing LLC…
Federal Charges for Captain of Deadly Missouri Duck Boat
The captain of the World War Two-style tourist "duck boat" that sank on a Missouri lake during a storm in July killing 17 people was charged on Thursday with misconduct, negligence and inattention to duty by a federal grand jury, prosecutors said.Kenneth Scott McKee, 51, of Verona, Missouri, was charged in a 17-count indictment, one count for each of the passengers who died when the vessel sank on July 19.McKee was captain of the vessel operated by Ripley Entertainment Inc, which ran duck boat tours in Branson…
Mir Causes Anxiety In South Pacific
From Conny Martin's standpoint, the vast empty expanse of the Pacific Ocean where flaming chunks of Russia's Mir space station may find their watery grave does not feel empty at all. Martin is one of 2,800 people living on Chile's Easter Island, a triangle of volcanic rock marooned in the ocean, 3,200 km (2,000 miles) from the nearest big population centers in South America or Tahiti -- and potentially in Mir's flightpath. "As we are the most affected ones, we get the least information of all of you," the tour operator said. "It's business as usual here and we're just hoping that nothing will land on us. What can we do? We can't move out of the way," she said, uneasy at the thought of 130 tons of red-hot space junk crashing down from above later this week.
New Deliveries, Consolidation Drive Cruise Industry
As the world's two major cruise lines, Carnival and Royal Caribbean International, wage a continual battle to increase market share and draw additional passengers, the real war is waged in the board rooms of these and all other major cruise companies to increase revenue per passenger and decrease discounting. A record number of new ships and a sluggish North American economy prompting fare cutting, and cruise lines are fighting to maintain buoyant bottom lines. A recent report from Lazard Frères helps to shed some light on the economic strength of the cruise majors. While Lazard Frères is revising its fourth quarter EPS estimate for Carnival Corp.
Carnival To Sell Airtours Stake
Shares in Britain's largest package tour operator Airtours Plc fell by as much as eight percent on Monday after Carnival Corp said it would sell its 25 percent stake in the company. The stake was worth around 358 million pounds ($514.8 million) at Friday's closing price of 292 pence. Carnival said the strategic reasons for its minority stake in Airtours were "no longer compelling". Airtours said it had agreed to release Carnival from the share lock-up agreement between them. "On the basis that they wanted to pursue their strategy in cruising, we were happy to release them," group chief executive Tim Byrne said. Up to 123.3 million shares will be placed with international institutional investors, with the book expected to close on Thursday.
Kuoni/INTRAV Deal Finalized
Swiss-based Kuoni Travel Holding Ltd. finalized its $115-million acquisition of INTRAV, the U.S. luxury tour operator, and its subsidiary, Clipper Cruise Line, which are based in St. Louis. Effective immediately, Ian Coghlan will become CEO of both companies, replacing Paul H. Duynhouwer, who has acquired a majority stake in Clipper's two U.S.-flag ships, Nantucket Clipper and Yorktown Clipper. In addition, Duynhouwer will be the majority owner and CEO of New World Ship Management, LLC, formed to operate all four Clipper ships, including the two U.S.-flag ships, as well as Bahamian-registered Clipper Adventurer and Clipper Odyssey. Coghlan was educated in the U.K. and joined Kuoni in 1985 in the finance department.
NTSB Cites Failure to Repair Hull in Sinking
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued an Advisory stating that the probable cause of the sinking of a tour boat in the Everglades on December 30, 2002 was flooding through a hull breach that resulted from a grounding some weeks earlier. The tour operator neglected to identify and repair the damage and inappropriately relied on bilge pumps to keep the vessel afloat. (HK Law).
Cruise Ship Passengers Evacuated after Blaze on Board
Almost 200 passengers and crew on a cruise along the Danube river had to be evacuated from their vessel on Monday when a blaze broke out on board, the Austrian fire service said. The passengers, who were on a trip with German river-cruise line A-Rosa from Linz to Budapest, were taken off and moved to a nearby ship after the blaze started close to the village of Schoenbuehel-Aggsbach in Lower Austria, a fire brigade spokesman said. No-one was hurt. Twelve fire trucks and several boats with around 150 fire fighters fought the blaze before bringing it under control after two hours. Five ship crew members who tried to extinguish the fire were treated for smoke inhalation in hospital, a spokesman for the Red Cross said.
Carnival Reports Third Quarter Earnings
for its third quarter ended August 31, 2001, compared to net income of $396.2 million on revenues of $1.23 billion for the same quarter in 2000. same period in 2000. increase in the company's net income from its Costa Cruises subsidiary. results. in Airtours, a European tour operator. Seabourn luxury brands. other.
Hawaiian Tour Operator Orders Willard Aluminum RIB
Willard Marine, a 56-year-old builder of composite and aluminum boats, is supplying a seven-meter Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RIB) for Na Pali Coast Hanalei Tours in Hawaii. The aluminum-hull boat, which is being customized to meet the requirements specified by the tour operator, will be used for snorkeling and exploring sea caves, secluded beaches and ancient Hawaiian sites on the North Shore of Oahu. Na Pali Coast Hanalei Tours has been providing personalized tours of the region since 1974. The tour company is owned and operated by a local Hawaiian family. Willard Marine’s range of passenger boats includes fiberglass and aluminum-hull craft up to 54 ft. in length, including water taxis, cruise-ship harbor boats and tour boats.
World’s 1st LNG Hybrid Barge Christened "Hummel"
The world’s first LNG hybrid barge of Becker Marine Systems was christened with the name "Hummel" on October 18, 2014, at Grasbrook Quay in HafenCity Hamburg. The godmother of the inaugural event for the floating LNG power plant for environmentally friendly energy supply of cruise ships was Dr. Monika Griefahn, Chief Sustainability Officer at AIDA Cruises. The co-founder of Greenpeace Germany and former Minister of Environment of Lower Saxony has been involved in sustainability and environmental protection for more than 30 years.
Royal Caribbean to Purchase Pullmantur
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced its agreement to purchase Pullmantur S.A., a Madrid-based cruise and tour operator. Royal Caribbean expects the acquisition to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2006, subject to regulatory approvals. Pullmantur, formed in 1971, is the largest cruise operator in Spain. It has two primary business interests: cruises and tour operations. Its cruise division consists of five ships operating in Europe and Latin America. Its tour operations sells travel packages to Spanish guests - including hotel and flights - primarily to Caribbean resorts, and sells travel packages to Europe aimed at Latin American customers. Pullmantur also has a small air business that operates three aircraft in support of its cruise and tour.
Executive Changes in Costa Crociere S.p.A.
Iberocruceros was created in September 2007 as a joint venture between Costa Cruises (which owns 75% of the company) and the leading Spanish tour operator Orizonia Corporación (with a 25% stake). Mr. Martini will be reporting to the Iberocruceros Board of Directors, chaired by Costa Crociere S.p.A. Chairman & CEO Pier Luigi Foschi. Iberocruceros’ General Manager Alfredo Serrano, Sales & Marketing Director Carlo Schiavon and Finance Manager Roberto Alberti will all be reporting to Mario Martini. Mr. Martini will also continue to represent the Costa Group in industry associations. 62-year-old Martini, who was born in Camogli (Genoa - Italy)…
Designer-built Adventure Cruise
The 2016 Polar Code has its first luxury-adventure cruise adherents for the long, new ice-free seasons in the high latitudes. Likewise, many designs winning over owners and explorers target exotic Asia-Pacific destinations. Competition is fierce among “designer-shipyards” seeking to build their designs, but their creations could face fewer hurdles to construction than the designs of independents without a yard. Concepts bound for the slipway have something else in common: new davits for large numbers of water craft.
Ultrapetrol Sets IPO of 12.5m Shares
Ultrapetrol Ltd., a Bahamas-based shipping company, is scheduled to go public next week with an initial public offering of 12.5 million shares. Shares are expected to price between $13 and $15 per share and trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol "ULTR." Assuming shares price in the middle of that range, the company expects to raise net proceeds of about $160.2 million. The company plans to use most of the proceeds to repay debt, although Ultrapetrol said it earmarked $20 million to help fund construction of two platform supply vessels being built in Brazil. It plans to use another $17.3 million for general corporate purposes. Ultrapetrol operates four business segments: river, offshore supply, ocean and passenger.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Finalizes Pullmantur Purchase
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has completed its purchase of Madrid-based cruise and tour operator Pullmantur S.A. Closing documents were signed today in Madrid. In August, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. signed an agreement with Pullmantur’s shareholders to buy all the company’s capital stock. Last month, the company received regulatory approval for the acquisition.
Fitch Affirms Carnival's A-Ratings
Fitch Ratings affirmed Carnival Corp.'s issuer default rating, bank credit facility and senior unsecured debt at an investment grade of "A-," due to its strong liquidity position. The rating service also affirmed the Miami-based company's short-term debt at "F2," which indicates a relatively low credit risk. Fitch said possible negative influences include cyclical softness in Caribbean demand, Carnival's shareholder-friendly capital allocation decisions, a potential consumer-driven economic slowdown, and volatile fuel prices. Fitch said that the company's recent joint venture agreements with European tour operator TUI AG and Spanish travel company Iberojet, as well as its proposed sale of the Windstar Cruises brand, are unlikely to affect its ratings.
Scenic Tours Orders Three Ships
Australian-owned tour operator Scenic Tours has announced the formation of its European operations company Scenic Tours Europe AG that will be based in Zug, Switzerland. It is a venture that will mean that it is the only 100 percent Australian-owned river cruising company in Europe. To kick off the operations, three luxury river cruise ships will be delivered into the hands of the new company in 2008/09. The AUD$78 million order for the ms Scenic Sapphire, Scenic Emerald and Scenic Diamond will be the highest standard river cruise ships ever built in Europe.
Spain Approves Acquistion of Iberocruceros
The Spanish Antitrust Authority has granted official approval to the acquisition of sole control by Costa Crociere S.p.A. of Iberocruceros, a brand operating in the Spanish market. The operation was first announced on May 29 this year following the signing of an agreement between Costa Crociere S.p.A. and the leading Spanish tour operator Orizonia. Now, following the go-ahead from the antitrust authority, the deal is to be completed during July 2009. Iberocruceros was established in 2007 as a joint venture between the Costa Crociere Group, which owned 75% of the company, and Orizonia, which had a 25% stake. Through its acquisition of the remaining 25% of the capital, Costa Crociere S.p.A. now is the only shareholder of Iberocruceros.
Canada Investigating Leviathan II Sinking
Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) continues its investigation into the sinking of passenger vessel which killed at least five near Tofino, British Columbia, Sunday. Of the 24 passengers and three crew aboard the whale-watching tour boat Leviathan II at the time of the sinking, 21 people were rescued, five have died and one remains missing. Leviathan II is a three-deck cruiser operated by Jamie's Whaling Station and Adventure Centres. The boat, which has capacity for up to 46 people…
First Cruise Vessel Calls at DCT Gdansk
The new Polish container terminal operator DCT Gdansk has handled its first cruise ship, Thomson Cruises’ 33,930 grt Thomson Spirit berthing on September 11. The vessel had 1,235 passengers on board, most of whom were from the U.K. According to Fred Kamperman, DCT Gdansk’s General Manager, both Thomson Cruises’ port agent, Morska Agencja Gdynia and the tour operator Baltic Gateway group were satisfied with the service rendered both to the vessel and passengers by DCT Gdańsk terminal. Thomson Spirit made a smooth approach to the deepwater berth and did not require tugs, either on arrival or departure. Kamperman noted that this was the first occasion that a cruise ship had called DCT Gdansk.
On the occasion of Metal Craft Marine’s 25th anniversary, Maritime Reporter & Engineering News ventured north, to the boat builder’s Kingston, Ontario headquarters, to discover the secret to its success. Metal Craft Marine is well regarded in maritime circles for designing and building high performance craft outfitted for the most demanding work conditions. While the company is diverse in its work scope and capability, its history lies in high-performance jet boats and its current core competency lies in the construction of tough fire boats and military boats for worldwide use.
Power to the People
Passenger ferry and tour boat market segment has suddenly been revitalized and is on the verge of becoming hot. It is no secret: new vessel construction for the passenger vessel industry came to a virtual standstill in conjunction with the troubled economy. For many operators, just keeping the shingle hung, skilled crew at hand and something afloat at the other end of the mooring line has required the most scrupulous cost controls and strategy. With the results of the past election now set and several years of waiting and seeing under their belts…