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Meyer extends Royal Caribbean options date
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced it has received an extension on its options to purchase a fifth and sixth ship within its new Radiance class.

The extension was provided by Meyer Werft, Papenburg, Germany, builder of the Radiance-class ships. The options have been extended to June 27, 2001. The option for the fifth Radiance-class ship was to have expired Monday of this week, while the option for the sixth ship would have expired upon delivery of the first Radiance-class ship, in March 2001.

The extension provides Royal Caribbean more time to consider the purchase of the two additional ships, which are scheduled to be delivered in 2005 and 2006.

The Radiance-class ships will be operated by the Royal Caribbean International brand. The first ship, Radiance of the Seas, is scheduled to enter service April 7, 2001. The second Radiance-class ship, Brilliance of the Seas, is scheduled for delivery in July 2002. The third and fourth Radiance-class ships are scheduled for delivery in 2003 and 2004, respectively.

NYK inks Crystal newbuild order
Crystal Cruises says its parent company, NYK, has now signed a contract with Chantiers de l'Atlantique for the construction of a new luxury ship. The contract signing comes just five weeks after the formal Letter of Intent and establishes a June 2003 delivery date, almost six months ahead of original plans, enabling the vessel to be operational for the 2003 summer season.

The yet-unnamed 68,000-ton, 1,080-guest ship will increase the line's capacity by almost 60%.

The lead architect will be Robert Tillberg of Tillberg Design.

IACS won't readmit Polish Register
During an International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) meeting in London December 6-8, the Council members granted the Polish Register of Shipping's request for a hearing, to reconsider the decision, taken in June of this year, to terminate the Polish Register's status as an IACS member.

Having reconsidered its initial findings and all fresh information provided by the Polish Register of Shipping (PRS) following the June decision, the IACS Council found no grounds for reversing the decision made previously.

The PRS says the IACS Council "failed to agree that termination of the Polish Register of Shipping’s membership last June was unjust and not merited by the circumstances surrounding the loss of bulkcarrier MV Leader L in March. "

PRS says an IACS Council panel - comprised of representatives from American Bureau of Shipping, China Classification Society, Class NK, Germanischer Lloyd and the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping - met last Friday, 8 December, at the UK Chamber of Shipping to hear statements made by PRS management representatives including Dr Jan Jankowski, Director General of the Polish Register.

Permanent Secretary of IACS Robin Bradley acted as moderator during the proceedings, which were conducted in the presence of J E Davis as IACS’ appointed independent observer. Even though the Council of IACS was not fully represented at the hearing, with BV, DNV, KR, LR, and RINA being notable absentees, "that part of the hearing attended by PRS was properly and fairly conducted," states Dr Jankowski.

The panel confirmed that the written appeal requested by IACS Council, made by PRS and submitted in September, had been fully considered as part of its hearing, as well as PRS’ Full Report on its investigation into the loss of bulkcarrier ‘Leader L’ which was not completed when the Council met last May.

"These had answered in detail the range of specific criticisms stated by IACS as reasons for terminating the register’s membership, and after the hearing we were optimistic about our reinstatement," reports Jankowski.

"We have to express our bitter disappointment on the latest IACS decision to confirm expulsion of PRS from theassociation," he commented. "We had supposed that the object of the hearing would be safety, management and technical issues, and included PRS proposals for the improvement of safety standards and supervision procedures as part of our verbal presentation."

"The supervision system modifications recommended were a direct outcome of our investigation into the loss of Leader L, and seemed to be well-received by the panel," claims Jankowski, "leaving us with the strong impression that our supposition was correct."

"We appear to have been mistaken, and now have to conclude that our safety-related proposals were ignored. This leads us to the belief that factors other than safety and technical principles are driving IACS and the policies which dictate its administration and decisions," Jankowski says. "We are also astonished that different standards are apparently being applied by IACS in assessing the activities of its member classification societies."

The Polish Register has reaffirmed its determination to be an active, responsible and successful classification society, with the aim of continuing and expanding its contribution to the improvement of maritime safety.

"IACS decision will not prevent us from developing our activities in this sector," says Jankowski. "We are keen to share with the broader maritime community our knowledge, technical capabilities and long-standing experience, to develop those opportunities which exist for a small, cost-effective organization such as PRS."

The management of PRS still believes that the collective capabilities and contribution of an organization such as IACS are the best way forward for maritime safety, but says it "realizes that a small society - even though known to be technically competent and quality standard certified - is exposed to the ‘pressures’ and commercial considerations of larger organizations."


CP Ships to cooperate with FastShip

CP Ships has signed an agreement with FastShip to assume commercial and marketing management for FastShip's TransAtlantic services.

London-based CP Ships says it will establish a FastShip management team that will:

  • Provide dedicated sales and customer service and joint back-office activities in the US and Europe
  • Manage the inland transportation network, including rail, truck and short sea, between FastShip's dedicated terminal in Cherbourg, France and the rest of Europe
  • Manage the container and chassis fleet in North America and Europe, which will allow for pooling opportunities between FastShip and CP Ships

CP Ships is also taking a small equity position in FastShip.

"We see FastShip as a complement to our existing range of TransAtlantic
services. By including FastShip as another strong brand among our service offerings we will be able to provide a competitive advantage to customers who require high-speed transport that is less costly than air freight," commented Ray Miles, CEO of CP Ships.

CP Ships, the container shipping business of Canadian Pacific Limited, operates a fleet of 85 ships and will move nearly two million TEU this year.

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