Aranui, the Polynesian luxury cargo/passenger company, looks set to add a second ship to its operations as early as 2022. Compagnie Polynesienne de Transport Maritime (CPTM), which operates the Aranui 5 in French Polynesia, has reportedly ordered the Aranui 6 from the Hunghai shipyard in Shidao, China. The newbuilding will have more of a focus on the company’s luxury cruise product than the 11,468gt/2015 built Aranui 5 and previous vessels, but will still have a small cargo operation. Passenger capacity will be in the 200-300 bracket, slightly more than the 254-guest Aranui 5.

Blue Star Line has contracted Deltamarin to continue with the design of the Titanic II. The contract covers activities and tasks for the design process, consultancy and project management services.

Deltamarin will provide Blue Star Line with outline design services including finalising and modifying the existing design to comply with the latest rules and regulations. These include the SOLAS 2020 requirements and the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI). The company will also further develop the design together with the selected yard and Blue Star Line, and handle the management of consultations with potential shipyards.

Celebrity Cruises’ 5,635gt/2019 built Celebrity Flora, the company’s new 100-passenger boutique cruise ship, purpose-built for the Galápagos Islands, was launched at the De Hoop shipyard in The Netherlands on 19th January. A few weeks later she was scheduled to be towed to Rotterdam for completion, prior to delivery in May 2019.

Photo: Celestyal Cruises

Shipwrecked Mariners Xmas

Celestyal Cruises has announced an extensive suite refurbishment programme for the 25,611gt/1980 built Celestyal Crystal’s 43 junior balcony suites and 16 suites. The project includes a thorough overhaul of the vessel’s suite soft furnishings, fixtures and carpeting. The renovations will be completed ahead of the 2019 spring/summer and new autumn/winter sailings. This work follows on from the suite refurbishment completed on the 37,773gt/1982 built Celestyal Olympia in 2017. A new Suite Concierge onboard service aboard the Celestyal Crystal (above) and the Celestyal Olympia, offered at no additional cost to guests booking select Suite category accommodations, is also being launched.

Cruise Belfast, the partnership between Belfast Harbour and Visit Belfast, has announced that 285,000 visitors aboard 151 cruise ships are due to call at Belfast Harbour in 2019, an increase of 31% on the 115 visits during the 2018 cruise season. July will be the busiest month with 32 ships calling, including SAGA Cruises’ Spirit of Discovery with other first-time callers to Belfast this year including the Disney Magic and CMV’s Vasco da Gama. In total 35 separate cruise lines will call at Belfast, the most frequent being CMV (15) and Princess Cruises (13). The first vessel is due on 12th March while the final visit of the season is scheduled for the end of October.

Photo: Nigel Lawrence

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has announced that it has sold the 6,752gt/1990-built Bremen (above) to a subsidiary of the Swiss river cruise ship owner Scylla AG. The ship will be transferred in May 2021, and then chartered out by Scylla under a new name. Scylla currently manages 31 river vessels carrying up to 220 passengers each. The Bremen will leave Hapag-Lloyd’s fleet just as the Hanseatic Spirit, the third newbuild, is delivered. Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has also revealed plans to exclusively use low-sulphur Marine Gas Oil (MGO) on all routes operated by the Hanseatic Nature, Hanseatic Inspiration and Bremen from July 2020. The same will apply to the Hanseatic Spirit when she arrives.

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