What’s on deck this week? Celebrated chefs to come onboard Holland America ships this summer, more cruise ship christenings and Costa presents a plan to remove the Costa Concordia wreckage [video below].
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Holland America Line to Host Five Celebrated Chefs During Summer Cruise Season
During Holland America Line’s summer cruise season, the Culinary Arts Center program presented by Food & Wine magazine will host five of the world’s most celebrated chefs who will showcase their expertise and share tips with guests. Chef Kevin Sbraga, Food Stylist Denise Vivaldo, Entrepreneur Sonia Hunt, Chef Angelo Sosa, and Chef Jonathon Sawyer will be aboard five of the line’s premium ships in July and August as part of the line’s robust Culinary Arts program that offers culinary enrichment opportunities for guests on more than 500 cruises annually.
During their cruises, the experts will perform complimentary cooking demonstrations in the Culinary Arts Center, the line’s state-of-the-art show kitchens aboard each ship. The interactive sessions include recipe handouts, food tastings and the opportunity for questions and answers and photos with the culinary celebrities.
MSC Set to Officially Christen Divina this weekend
The MSC Divina was officially delivered to MSC Cruises at the STX France shipyard earlier this week during the traditional flag ceremony. The 4,345 guest MSC Divina set sail this week from Saint-Nazaire, and is scheduled to reach reach the port of Marseille on Friday, May 25 for her official christening ceremony the next day. The highlight of the event will of course be the cutting of the ribbon and the naming of the ship by screen legend Sophia Loren.
New features to MSC Divina’s 30,000 square metres of public areas include the Garden Pool, an ‘infinity’ style pool with a chic and minimal design and its four ‘resounding sculptures’, to the Galaxy restaurant in the disco with its fabulous Mediterranean fusion cuisine and its chic décor, based around the theme of light.
InnerSea Discoveries/American Safari Cruises Inaugurates Two New Ships
InnerSea Discoveries/American Safari Cruises recently welcomed the 86-guest Safari Endeavor and 76-guest Wilderness Explorer (both former Cruise West ships) into their UN-CRUISE fleet (their combined fleet of upscale yachts and expedition vessels) at a ceremony in Seattle. CEO and Principal Dan Blanchard led a traditional maritime christening ceremony, and together with Tim Jacox, executive vice president of sales and marketing, unrolled a banner announcing the line as the UN-CRUISE.
The UN-CRUISE Adventures fleet includes three yachts currently offering Luxury Adventures and three expedition vessels offering Active Adventures. In 2013, the 88-guest Safari Legacy joins the fleet of yachts to offer Heritage Adventures. Destinations for un-cruises include Alaska, Hawaiian Islands, Mexico’s Sea of Cortés, Columbia and Snake Rivers and Washington and British Columbia.
According to Jacox, Un-Cruise Adventures are fully-focused on the luxury of experience: quality over quantity, wildlife over night life, and life changing encounters over fleeting entertainment. Un-Cruise Adventures are hands-on with ‘tools’ provided – kayak, snorkel, paddle board, explore by skiff, hike, beachcomb; view whales, bears, dolphins, eagles, sea turtles and other wildlife.
Costa Victoria Launches from Shanghai on Maiden Voyage
Costa Cruises held a launch ceremony this week for Costa Victoria at Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal. The launch of the 75,200-ton, 2,394-guest Costa Victoria cements Costa Cruises’ leadership position in China. Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal will be the homeport for Costa Victoria, which will provide 33 itineraries a year, making Costa Cruises the biggest international operator at the terminal. Renowned fashion designer Mary Ma, considered to be China’s first international supermodel and famed for promoting Chinese fashion on the global stage, served as the ship’s godmother.
Salvage Companies to Begin Removing the Costa Concordia Wreck
Costa recently presented their plan to remove the wreck of the Costa Concordia from the coast of Giglio Island. The contractors chosen to remove the wreck are Titan Salvage, part of the Crowley Group, an American-owned specialist marine salvage and wreck removal company and Micoperi, a well-known Italian marine contractor with a long history as a specialist in underwater construction and engineering.
The plan to refloat the hull in one piece gives top priority to minimizing environmental impact, protecting Giglio’s economy and tourism industry, and maximizing safety. Environmental protection will have top priority throughout the monumental salvage operation, the likes of which has not been attempted before anywhere in the world. Once removal is complete, the sea bottom will be cleaned and marine flora replanted.
Costa Concordia Salvage Video
Operations will be divided into four basic stages:
● After stabilizing the ship, a subsea platform will be built and caissons that can be
filled with water will be fixed to the side of the ship that is out of the water
● Two cranes fixed to the platform will pull the ship upright, helped by the caissons,
which will be filled with water
● When the ship is upright, caissons will also be fixed to the other side of the hull
● The caissons on both sides will then be emptied, after treating and purifying the water to protect the marine environment, and filled with air.
Once floated, the wreck will be towed to an Italian port and dealt with in accordance with the requirements of Italian authorities.