Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.


Norwegian Cruise Line Cancels Israel Trips Through 2024

4 months ago

Norwegian Cruise Line has removed Israel from its itineraries through 2024 due to the country’s ongoing conflict with Hamas.

Israel represented 7% of Norwegian Cruise Line’s capacity in the fourth quarter and 4% of its capacity for the full year 2024 in the Middle East region.

Other cruise companies have also cancelled trips to Israel. Last week, Royal Caribbean said it removed Israel from its itineraries this year.


Ritz-Carlton Ultra-Luxury Cruise Brand Seeks up to $400 Million to Add Ships: Report

6 months ago

The Marriott-controlled ultra-luxury superyacht brand The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection would like to raise as much as $400 million to add two superyachts to its current three, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday.

The operator is backed by investors such as Oaktree Capital Management. Its first ship, the 298-guest Evrima, set sail in October 2022, with the Ilma debuting this year and a third vessel, Luminara, in the works for 2025.

Fares start around $3,100 per person per night for sailings starting at four-night itineraries in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Central America, and elsewhere. Onboard dining venues include Michelin-starred chefs. (See Bloomberg’s review of the Evrima for more.)

Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection Targets $400 Million Fundraise


IDEAS: Hurtigruten Norway Utilizes AI for Zero-Emission Cruise Ship

9 months ago

Hurtigruten Norway has unveiled the early concept designs for its first zero-emission ship, which is set to feature ‘numerous firsts and improved solutions that do not exist on cruise ships today.’

Credit: VARD Design

Initially announced by the Cruise Line in March 2022 as part of its ‘Sea Zero‘ project, the new designs showcase the vessels proposed retractable sails fitted with solar panels, which will be featured alongside an array of cutting-edge technologies, including contra-rotating propellers, multiple retractable thrusters, air lubrication systems, advanced hull coatings, and proactive hull cleaning.

Credit: VARD Design

Hurtigruten Norway predicts that advanced AI maneuvering capabilities will significantly reduce the size of the ship’s bridge and mimic that of an aircraft cockpit, with further AI technologies set to optimize docking operations by gathering real-time data for continuous operational improvement.

Credit: VARD Design

Guests are also set to play a key role in ensuring the green credentials of the vessel thanks to an on-board interactive app, where they will be able to monitor their water and energy consumption.

“When we initially announced the ‘Sea Zero’ project over a year ago, we were faced with the challenge of not knowing which technologies would be available to us in 2030. Our task was to pave the way for new innovations and enhance existing ones to align with our sustainability objectives. While some of these technologies have reached a relatively advanced stage, they still necessitate dedicated research and development to ensure successful implementation within the maritime context,” said Hedda Felin, CEO of Hurtigruten Norway.

“On the other hand, certain technologies are still in early development and require fundamental research and thorough testing. Following a rigorous feasibility study, we have pinpointed the most promising technologies for our groundbreaking future cruise ships. We are committed to delivering a ship that surpasses all others in terms of energy efficiency and sustainability within just a few years.”

The concept has now embarked on a two-year testing phase, where the proposed technologies will undergo further trials and development.

At the Skift IDEA Awards, we are looking for the organizations elevating the travel industry’s role as a force for good by affecting meaningful change, including the sustainability projects that are creating a positive impact for the planet.

If you have an exciting project to share, head to the Skift IDEA Awards today and start your submission. The final deadline for entries is June 20, 2023.


Accor to Launch Yacht-Style Cruise Brand Orient Express Silenseas

1 year ago

One of the hottest areas for hotel companies is the open sea. Accor, the Paris-based hotel giant, hopes to launch a yacht-style cruise line Orient Express Silenseas by 2026, according to a report in Bloomberg News on Wednesday.

Adding to the multi-modal mindset, the 722-foot-long vessel will be branded after a famous railway brand, Orient Express.

Bloomberg reports that the ship will ply the waters of the Mediterranean and Caribbean and host about 120 passengers.

The move follows a multi-year effort by Ritz Carlton to create a yacht-like cruise line, as well as Virgin Voyages‘ semi-elite approach to cruising.

Bloomberg News


Norwegian Cruise Line Posts a $1 Billion First-Quarter Loss

2 years ago

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd has reported a net loss of $1 billion for the first quarter of this year, as the Omicron variant hit sailings.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict also resulted in the cancellation or modification of 60 sailings, which included all voyages with calls to ports in Russia.

However, the result is an improvement on the same quarter in 2021, when it racked up losses of $1.4 billion. Revenue also increased to $521.9 million, compared to $3.1 million in 2021, as cruise voyages restarted.

Total cruise operating expense increased 266.1 percent in the 2022 first quarter, compared to 2021, due to the resumption of sailings but also higher payroll, fuel, and “direct variable costs of fully operating ships.” Inflation also affected food, fuel and logistics costs.

While as of May 7 its entire fleet was back up and running, it was operating at just 48 percent capacity in the first three months of 2022.

“Last week we reached the biggest milestone yet in our Great Cruise Comeback as Norwegian Spirit, the last ship in our fleet to resume sailing, welcomed guests on board in Papeete, Tahiti,” said Frank Del Rio, president and CEO. “The herculean effort to restart our fleet would not have been possible without the incredible fortitude of the entire Norwegian team and the unwavering support of our key partners and stakeholders around the world.”

Looking ahead, its advance ticket sales balance increased $418 million in the quarter to $2.2 billion as of March 31, 2022. This includes $0.6 billion of future cruise credits, or 27 percent of the total deposit balance.

Gross advance ticket sales were $1.1 billion during the quarter, the highest level since the start of the pandemic.

The cruise line has removed all calls to ports in Russia from its itineraries in 2023.