Cruises Archives - Kemplon Engineering

Monthly Maritime News Roundup: January, 2017

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

The year 2017 is off to a rollercoaster start, and Kemplon Engineering takes a look at some of January’s headlining news and issues in this edition of the Monthly Maritime News Roundup:


Image “Digital News Background” courtesy of hywards at

E-commerce behemoth Amazon has been coordinating freight shipments from Chinese merchants to its American warehouses – at least 150 containers’ worth since October, according to some reports. Could the new year make it a bigger player in the trillion-dollar business of the movement of goods worldwide, right up there with FedEx and UPS?

Last year, the thawing of relations between the United States and Cuba was big news. The year 2017 is expected to see the practical effects of that diplomatic coup, and January did not disappoint. Governor Rick Scott of Florida has called for state funding cutbacks on ports inking deals with the communist country, and the pressure has put agreements, such as those planned by Port Everglades and the Port of Palm Beach with the National Port Administration of Cuba, temporarily on ice. Still, a high-level Cuban delegation was welcomed at Port Everglades for a tour and business meetings. We shall have to wait and see how they will be moving forward given the unfavorable political reception.

The Philippines is one of the most popular sending countries for men and women working at sea (Royal Caribbean alone, for example, reportedly employs 11,000 Filipino crew members, with a five-year plan of hiring 30,000). It might seem surprising then, that the Asian country has homeported no major cruise ship – until now. The capital of Manila will finally play home to a cruise ship, Star Cruises’ flagship Superstar Virgo – 23 years after the cruise line first started recruiting Filipino talent.

The year is off with a rocky start for plans to curb shipping’s carbon emissions. The Environment Committee of the European Parliament has decided to include shipping within the EU’s Emissions Trading System by the year 2021 if the International Maritime Organization does not come to a carbon agreement by that time– a move criticized by the IMO as potentially detrimental to their own efforts, which will see developments later than the deadline, at 2023. IMO’s position has in turn been criticized by environmental groups under The Clean Shipping Coalition.

The concrete steps forward may be hazy, but the global need to curb emissions wherever it may be reduced is crystal clear. The effects are wide-ranging, from human and animal health hazards to navigational dangers. Consider, for example, the case of a Chinese cruise ship, unable to dock for two days due to limited visibility from heavy smog in Tianjin, earlier this month. Over two thousand people were on board at the time.

Hopefully, changes can be made so that such incidents can be avoided. Cruising, after all, seems to be a big hit with today’s current and emerging travelers. Many agents claim bookings are at least on par with that of the previous year. Furthermore, Cruise Lines International Association’s recently released Cruise Travel Report show a high preference for cruising by Millennial and Generation Y travelers. Optimism is also high for Carnival Corporation, which has come to an agreement with Italy’s famed Fincantieri for two new cruise ships – bringing Carnival’s planned ships scheduled for delivery within the next five years to a grand total of 19!

The end of the month, however, was dampened by a widely-criticized executive order from President Donald Trump, temporarily barring refugees and travelers from seven countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen) from entering the United States in the name of national security. The effects of the ban are extensive. Chaos interrupted in airports in the immediate aftermath, amid confusion on the coverage of the sudden order and specific points of how authorities are to execute it, and as lawyers and protesters took to the premises by the hundreds. Reports indicate the ban may have also affected international cruisers returning to the United States from jaunts abroad, and many prospective travelers both from the named countries and from other nations, have been urged to reconsider their plans of leaving the country for fear of not being allowed to return to the United States. Airlines and cruise lines are seeking clarification on the order, and will be reviewing their options.

Immigration isn’t the only thing that occupied President Trump this month. He had also formally withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal engaging 11 other countries in the Pacific Rim.

Shortly prior to the release these and other controversial orders, President Trump played host to fellow world leader, the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Theresa May, in Washington.   Among the goals of the visit are reportedly to reinforce the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom, and to come up with a trade deal that could somehow offset the possible negative economic impacts of Brexit.

Aside from the potential loss of business from the divisive move, Brexit is also foreseen as a problem logistically, due to customs delays. Disruption is expected at borders in the absence of a customs union deal with the EU, as staff would have to check products coming in from the EU as thoroughly as they have to check those from outside markets. By one estimate, for example, this translates to 300 million additional checks in the Port of Dover. Disruption could be enormous, according to observers, unless there are significant investments in hiring and training thousands of additional staff.

Is it really just the start of the year? To think, these are just a few of the major happenings in the ever-dynamic maritime industry! Check in with us again next month, for another issue of the Maritime News Roundup. Until then – we at Kemplon Engineering wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year, and we sincerely hope the months ahead bring good tidings to all.

If you found this article interesting, check out our blog for similar content on the many facets of the maritime industry. We strive to keep it up-to-date with the news of the day, and relevant to our marine and industrial customers. For more information on Kemplon Engineering and the services we are able to provide, explore our website and learn about welding and fabrication, precision machining, pipe fitting, laser cutting, and more. We have a wide range of experience, and a highly motivated team of experts eager to find solutions for your projects and ideas. You may also reach us at, or by phone at (877) 522-6526. We would love the opportunity to work with you!



For Further Reading:

Baker-Jordan., Skylar. “None of the US papers put Theresa May’s visit to the White House on their front page. It’s time to face our insignificance.” The Independent, 28 Jan 2017. Web. 03 Feb 2017.

“Carnival Orders Two New Cruise Ships.” The Maritime Executive, 19 Jan 2017. Web. 03 Feb 2017.

Faust, Chris Gray. “Executive Order on Travel Extends to Ports, May Affect Cruise Passengers.” Cruise Critic, 30 Jan 2017. Web. 03 Feb 2017.

Hawkes, Steve. “PORTS FACE CHECK HELL.” The Sun, 26 Jan 2017. Web. 03 Feb 2017.

Leposa, Adam. “Friday Briefing: Five Travel Trends to Watch in 2017.” Travel Agent Central, 27 Jan 2017. Web. 03 Feb 2017.

“Manila to Homeport its First Cruise Ship.” The Maritime Executive, 15 Jan 2017. Web. 03 Feb 2017.

“NGOs Criticize IMO for Opposing EU Carbon Plan.” The Maritime Executive, 11 Jan 2017. Web. 02 Feb 2017.

Shead, Sam. “Amazon has entered the trillion dollar ocean freight business.” Business Insider, 26 Jan 2017. Web. 02 Feb 2017.

Smith, David. “Trump withdraws from Trans-Pacific Partnership amid flurry of orders.” The Guardian, 23 Jan 2017. Web. 03 Feb 2017.

Walker, Jim. “RCCL to Hire 30,000 Filipino Crew Members Over Next Five Years.” Jim Walkers’s Cruise Law News, 27 Jan 2016. Web. 02 Feb 2017.

Whitefield, Mimi, Amy Sherman and Patricia Mazzezi. “Cuban delegation arrives amid threats by Gov. Scott to cut funding to ports that sign pacts.” Miami Herald, 26 Jan 2017. Web. 02 Feb 2017.

Ye, Josh. “Chinese cruise ship ‘stuck at sea for two days in smog’.” South China Morning Post, 04 Jan 2017. Web. 03 Feb 2017.

Zorthian, Julia. “Amazon Has Quietly Ventured Into the Ocean Freight Business.”, 27 Jan 2017. Web. 02 Feb 2017.


Disney Cruise Line Announces the Addition of Two New Ships

By | Marine News | No Comments

^ Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at

The Walt Disney Company, Disney Cruise Line has announced their agreement with the Meyer Werft shipyards in Germany to build two new ships to its fleet of family cruise ships. They are scheduled to launch in 2021 and 2023. The names, design details and itineraries for the new ships are not yet announced and are still in development.

Read More

Norwegian Cruise Line on Weekly TV Travel Series

By | Article, Marine News, Technology | No Comments

As the saying goes, it’s not just about the destination, it’s also about the journey – and this is truer than ever when it comes to modern-day cruising. Ship amenities and attractions often go above and beyond when it comes to wowing their passengers with onboard entertainment. The available options can be so expansive as to include Broadway-caliber shows, waterparks, casinos, spas, theme parties, and lectures – on top of shore excursions to breathtaking destinations. For an even more exciting twist on entertainment, however, some cruise lines are introducing innovative programs that blend shipboard fun to the modern-day phenomenon of reality TV – turning some of their guests into “celebrities” in the process.

Princess Cruises, for example, recently announced a singing contest in the pattern of NBC hit show “The Voice,” to be held on a number of sailings. “The Voice of the Ocean” will be making onboard stars out of talented passengers in a competition open to guests 16 years of age or older, for auditions, mentoring and live performances (see related article, “Princess Cruises Seeks “The Voice of the Ocean””). Read More

Costa Drops Calls in Turkey Amid Terrorist Scare

By | Article, Marine News, Technology | No Comments

Terrorist attacks on the US consulate and other parts of Turkey lead to dropped cruise calls.

Italy-based cruise line Costa Crociere is suspending its remaining stopovers in Turkey this 2015 – to Istanbul and Izmir – in favor of alternatives in Greece, Italy and Malta. The affected vessels are the Costa Deliziosa, the Costa neoClassica, and the Costa Pacifica. The announcement follows safety concerns stemming from an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul, and other terrorist activities against the country’s security forces that resulted in 11 injured and the deaths of 9 people in different parts of Turkey over the course of a single, tragic August day. Read More

‘Genies’ of Royal Caribbean

By | Article, Marine News, Technology | No Comments

High-end passengers get British butler-style service via Royal Caribbean’s “Royal Genies,” available for discerning travelers in the top suite categories.

 Royal Caribbean, as one of the cruise industry’s big innovators, always seems to have something fun and exciting up its sleeve. This time around, they are kicking it up a notch in the luxury department, with the introduction of the Royal Suite Class, targeting the high-end cruise market. Read More

$100,000 Cruise – Almost Sold Out?

By | Article, Marine News, Technology | No Comments

Have a $100,000 to spare? Why not follow in the footsteps of the stylish travelers who snapped up – and almost sold out – this upcoming, Regent Seven Seas world cruise

Regent Seven Seas’ 2017 World Cruise will be the line’s first in six years, and will be held on board the all-suite, Seven Seas Navigator. Prices start at over $100,000 per couple for the 128-day cruise around the world, departing from Miami in January, 2017. On the itinerary are an impressive 62 ports on 31 countries, across six continents. There will be 29 UNESCO World Heritage sites on the itinerary, and shore excursions to dreamy, diverse and must-see travel destinations like Petra in Jordan, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, and the Elephanta Caves of India. Read More

The First American Female Captain of A Mega Cruise Ship

By | Article, Technology | No Comments

^ Image: Celebrity Cruises, Inc. “Kate McCue Advances Women’s Leadership in Cruising as Celebrity Cruises Names Her the Industry’s First-Ever American Female Captain.”, 13 Jul 2015. Web. 26 Jul 2015.

Cheers to Kate McCue, the first American female captain of a mega cruise ship!

It’s an industry first worth celebrating, as an American woman takes command of a mega cruise ship. 37-year-old Kate McCue, a native of San Francisco, will soon be on the helm of Celebrity CruisesCelebrity Summit. The ship, a 91,000-ton vessel that can accommodate 2,158 passengers and almost 1,000 crew, sails from the East Coast to Bermuda. Read More