Viking Ocean Cruises Floats Out Third Cruise Ship – Viking Sky
Viking Ocean Cruises marked a major construction milestone on March 23 at Fincantieri’s Ancona Shipyard when their third cruise ship, Viking Sky, was floated out. Viking Sky will be the third of six ocean cruise ships from Viking Cruises and is expected to go into service in early 2017. The cruise line is also expected to take delivery of their second ship, Viking Sea, tomorrow. The fast growing cruise line is planning on having six sister ships in service by 2020, with an ultimate goal of 10 ocean cruise ships in their fleet. cruisefever.net/0...
Port St. Maarten officials, who recently attended Seatrade Cruise Global Conference in Florida, said several cruise lines have expressed interest in homeporting and staying in port longer while on St. Maarten.
Seabourn Cruises is expected to homeport here in December while the Pullmantur Group will start in the 2016-2017 cruise season, according to a statement from Tourism and Economic Affairs Minister Irania Arrindell.
The Port officials said some investments would be needed in a homeporting cruise terminal to enhance the visitor experience and to retain this type of business long term.
The Seabourn Cruises clientele are high-end and many of them usually arrive at the homeport destination via private jet, said the Minister. “This will mean more business activity for our airport. Prior to boarding the cruise ship, homeport tourists stay in a hotel two days prior to their cruise and two days after they return. This would translate into additional economic activity for various businesses.”
The Pullmantur Group is “another significant boost” for the destination as it will bring more visitors and business to the country, she said. “It also serves part of the diversification of visitors to our island with respect to Latin American and European visitors.” https://www.thedailyheral...
Panama Canal announces expansion inauguration date - Sunday, June 26, 2016
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced that the Panama Canal Expansion will be officially inaugurated on Sunday, June 26, 2016. The announcement was made this morning during the inauguration ceremony of the Canal's state-of-the-art Scale Model Maneuvering Training Facility, which will provide additional hands-on experience to pilots and tugboat captains to operate in the Expanded Panama Canal.
The innovative 35.3-acre training facility features two lakes connected by a channel modeled after the Canal's Culebra Cut. The new facility features docking bays, replicas of the new and existing locks, gates, and chambers, all at a 1:25 scale.
The facility is equipped with a number of meticulously created scale model Panama Canal tugboats, as well as ships built in France at Port Revel, including bulk carriers modeled after the Nord Delphinus, and a container ship modeled after the Maersk Edinburgh. In addition, a liquid natural gas (LNG) ship will be delivered by September 2016.
The facility features wave and wind generators to provide a realistic, hands-on training experience for Canal pilots and tugboat captains to prepare them for the opening of the expanded waterway. It complements the training already provided at the Center of Simulation, Research and Maritime Development (SIDMAR) through immersive, 360-degree training simulations and courses.
The Expansion Program is currently 97 percent complete. Final testing will be conducting in the following weeks, leading up to the official inauguration of the Expanded Canal on June 26, 2016.
CMA CGM upgrades Ethiopian services with direct calls in Djibouti
CMA CGM develops its Ethiopian intermodal service by linking Djibouti to 6 inland key destinations (Addis Ababa, Mekele, Nefas Meewcha, Gibe, Shashemene and Jinga)
CMA CGM adds 2 strategic calls in Djibouti, the Ethiopian market gateway, on its MEX1 and REX2 services www.hellenicshipp...
Kochi Port gets ready to receive cars from Gujarat thru sea route
In line with the Shipping Ministry’s move to promote coastal shipping, Cochin Port Trust is toying with the idea of offering facilities for passenger car movement by Ro-Ro service.
Leading logistics players focussing on passenger car movement from Gujarat production units are in touch with the port management to use the facilities in Willingdon Island. These companies intend to move vehicles from Gujarat to dealers in Kerala using the coastal route to reduce the cost. At present, these vehicles are moved in non-standardised vehicles through highways. www.hellenicshipp...
Powerful Panama Canal tugs ready for the opening of the expanded waterway
Powerful Panama Canal tugs that attend other much larger ships, are ready for the opening of the expanded waterway, scheduled for the second quarter, reported the Panama Canal Authority (ACP).
The new locks will operate without locomotives, so it will be the tugs that will lead in the transit of ships in the new locks.
The total fleet of tugboats is 46 units to assist the transit of ships and four for dredging operations. The first group of 23 will operate regularly supporting ships passing through the canal, said the ACP.
Nine vessels are to be held in reserve for the inauguration of the works, so that “they are used to maintain and do remedial work required for the fleet to be available,” the ACP source said Saturday.
On October 9, 2914 the ACP completed the purchase of 14 tugs that will be used in the new locks. Since 2000, to date, the authority has invested about $372,872,424 in acquisition of these vessels for replacement and addition of equipment to the fleet, the source said.
The Vice President of Canal Operations, Esteban Saenz said proper maintenance has allowed all tugboats to serve until they reach double their normal life, making it vital to give them fair treatment, the ACP said in a statement.
The Authority has said it estimates that the expanded Canal will begin operating during the second quarter of 2016. Source: The Bulletin Panama
Shipping Herald: Dockers in Cyprus’s second city of Limassol went on strike Monday in protest at government privatization plans, effectively shutting down the island’s largest port.
Trade unions voted to stop work indefinitely until port employees receive cast-iron guarantees that their jobs will be secure under the government’s plans to hand over its operation to private firms.
The plans are part of a raft of reforms that the government pledged to carry out in return for a 10-billion-euro bailout by international creditors. The necessary legislation is due to be put before parliament on Thursday.
The dockers’ unions urged lawmakers to postpone the debate until their demands have been met.
Transport Minister Marios Demetriades said he was “surprised” by the strike action, which he called unnecessary, because employees have been assured their job rights will not be violated. “All those employed now will keep their rights… There is no reason to strike,” Demetriades told state radio CyBC.
The island has a smaller container terminal in Larnaca to the east but the one in Limassol is much the bigger and a key point of entry for imports to the island. [AFP]
Panama Canal announces draught restrictions because of El Nino
he Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has issued a ‘circular to shipping’ establishing certain temporary restrictions on vessel draught for all agents, owners and operators of the waterway.
This temporary and preventive action is taken due to the effects of El Nino, which results in the periodic warming of ocean waters in the tropical Pacific, the ACP said in a statement.
When this happens, El Nino changes the pattern of rainfall in many regions of the planet, with the consequent drought in the watershed of the canal, which has caused Madden and Gatun Lakes to be below their average levels for this time.
The circular states that the maximum allowed draught of 11.89 metres (39 feet) in tropical freshwater will be effective from 18 April 2016. The maximum authorised draught is defined by the deepest point of immersion specific to each vessel in Gatun Lake. These measures are applied to ensure the continued safe operation of the waterway.
Vessels with a greater draught to 11.89 metres before or on 21 March will not have to follow the draught restriction, subject to security considerations. Vessels loaded after 21 March must comply with the measure. www.seatrade-mari...
Listed Asian Terminals, Inc. (ATI) said container volume at the Batangas Container Terminal (BCT) jumped by a third last year on higher flow of commodities that support South Luzon industries. The terminal handled more than 130,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of international containers in 2015, up from the 98,000 TEUs reported a year before.
All Mexico’s Gulf Crude-Loading Ports Closed By Bad Weather
All Mexico’s crude loading ports on the Gulf Coast have been closed to shipping since early Sunday, the ministry of communications and transportation said.
Also closed Sunday were the petrochemicals port of Altamira and the products port of Tuxpan. One of the crude-loading ports, Pajaritos, is also the nation’s leading petrochemicals port.
The bad weather was caused by a seasonal cold front generating high winds and heavy seas in the region.
However, Salina Cruz, the only oil port on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, was operating normally. Salina Cruz supplies leading customers of state-owned Pemex in Asia, including India, Japan and South Korea.