Cruise trends 2014: Image rehab and new ships

A couple of eye-popping new ships, the ever-growing popularity of river cruising, and efforts to restore consumer confidence are among the headlines in cruise news as 2014 unfolds.

But don’t expect ships to keep getting bigger. Instead, look for theme park-style attractions and new offerings in dining and entertainment. Here are some details.

THE BIG PICTURE

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), which represents 95 percent of cruise capacity worldwide with 63 member cruise lines, forecasts 21.7 million guests will cruise this year, up from 21.3 million in 2013.

The Caribbean remains the world’s most popular cruise destination, included on 37 percent of global cruise itineraries, followed by a 19 percent share for the Mediterranean.

Cruise trends 2014: Image rehab and new ships Huff Post Travel

Cruise-line industry says it’s vastly improved safety since on-the-water disasters

After a bruising couple of years for the global cruise business, ship operators have emerged with a sharper focus on safety and reliability — and on setting travelers’ minds at ease.

Two years after the fatal grounding of the Costa Concordia in Italy, the industry has adopted new rules on emergency drills, ship operations and life jackets, and has introduced a “passenger bill of rights.” And Costa owner Carnival Corp., has announced massive investments in ship upgrades following the disabling fire aboard the Carnival Triumph a year ago.

“I first started cruising in 1965 and certainly I’ve not seen this level of attention and focus on safety,” said Douglas Ward, author of 2014 Berlitz Cruising and Cruise Ships. “I think all the cruise lines are definitely going in the right direction.”

Cruise-line industry says it’s vastly improved safety since on-the-water disasters Keysnet

Maritime disaster awaits unless steps are taken

It is not a wildly risky prediction to say that we have a maritime disaster somewhere in our future.

Cruise ships are getting ever larger and carrying ever larger numbers of passengers, more than could be comfortably or efficiently removed from the ship in the event of a fire or a sinking.

In January 2012, the U.S. Costa Concordia, with 4,252 people aboard, ran aground on a clearly visible island off the coast of Italy, with the loss of 32 lives. Because of delays in implementing safety procedures and language barriers among the crew and passengers, the ship was not abandoned in an orderly fashion, and the captain, rather than stick with his ship as law and tradition demand, left about an hour before most of his passengers.

Maritime disaster awaits unless steps are taken MDJ Online

Italy to divert cruise ships from historic Venice

A special commission on Tuesday approved a plan to divert cruise ships away from Venice’s historic center by 2016, but activists seeking to rid the city of the giant ships expressed reservations about the proposed new route.

The fatal sinking of the Costa Concordia in January 2012 ratcheted up pressure to divert the ships from the central Giudecca canal and St. Mark’s Basin. Currently, cruise ships pass within 300 meters (1,000 feet) of St. Mark’s Square, granting a stunning view to those aboard the ship but presenting a jarring sight against the backdrop of Venice’s Byzantine architecture.

Italy to divert cruise ships from historic Venice wral.com
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Venice Moves A Step Closer to Banning Cruise Ships

Venice has moved a step closer to banning cruise ships from the Giudecca Canal, according to an Italian newspaper.

Italian Environment Minister Andrea Orlando is proposing enacting emergency legislation — drafted after the Costa Concordia accident — which would ban ships of more than 500 tons coming within two nautical miles of landscapes of natural or cultural importance.

Orlando tells the newspaper Il Gazzettino he will put the proposals in front of a cross-party parliamentary committee next month (October).

The move is backed by Venice’s mayor Giorgio Orsini, who wants to see cruise passengers dock at a nearby town, Porto Marghera.

Venice Moves A Step Closer to Banning Cruise Ships

Venice bans cruise ships from Grand Canal

Venice may ban cruise ships from Grand Canal as tourist death prompts calls for ‘floating congestion zone’

  • Debate over large ships heightened by tourist death a fortnight ago
  • Campaigners say they hit the city’s fragile foundations
  • Passengers bring little economic benefit to the city, it was claimed

The eyesore of cruise ships on Venice’s famous skyline could soon become ancient history, as the behemoths are set to be banned from the city’s waterways.

The new proposals by Italy’s Environment Minister follow a crackdown on water traffic, after the death of a German tourist two weeks ago. Joachim Vogel, 50, a professor of criminal law, was crushed against a dock by a reversing vaporetto water bus as he took a tour with his family by gondola near the Rialto Bridge…

Venice may ban cruise ships from Grand Canal as tourist death prompts calls for ‘floating congestion zone’

Cruise ship scare in Venice

Carnival Sunshine comes ‘dangerously close’ to shore.

The head of Italy’s Senate committee on art and culture called on the government to limit cruise ships passing through the Venice lagoon after an alleged close call over the weekend reignited local fury and fears of a disaster like the Costa Concordia crash off Tuscany last year that killed 32 people. “After the tragedy of the Concordia, there is still a safety risk tied to the passage of large ships. Especially in Venice, there is an intolerable risk percentage. The government must apply (changes) immediately,” said Andrea Marcucci. On Saturday witnesses reported that the 100,000-ton Carnival Sunshine passed within 20 meters of the Riva Dei Sette Martiri waterfront, not far from St Mark’s Square.

Senators call for action after cruise Gazetta del Sud
Call for action after cruise ship scare in Venice UPI
UNESCO asks Italy to limit access of cruise ships to Venice after Costa Concordia disaster Daily Mail
Are Cruise Ships Damaging Venice? The Daily Beast

Despite tragedy, we still love cruising

The European cruise ship business grew by three percent in 2012 despite the eurozone crisis and the Costa Concordia liner disaster, a trade report said

“In the wake of European economic and financial uncertainties, European waters have become the new main streets for ports and cities to get down to business,” Manfredi Lefebvre d’Odivio, the chairman of Cruise Lines International Association Europe said in the report released in Brussels.

Despite tragedy, we still love cruising iol travel

Special report: Meetings at sea

Special report: Meetings at sea

DESPITE THE WELL-PUBLICISED partial sinking of the Costa Concordia early last year and a spate of norovirus outbreaks aboard cruise vessels, meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) cruising options are springing up globally, with reports that the sector is set to become a thriving growth market.

Research from Amadeus and the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), conducted after the Concordia incident, found that business cruising is gaining momentum, despite the negative press, with nearly two-thirds of 1,400 travel professionals familiar with MICE cruises reporting they are likely, or possibly likely, to book an onboard meeting or event in the next year, spurred on in part by the industry’s proactive use of social media.

Special report: Meetings at sea Business Travel