Cruise & Ferry Industries Feel the Heat
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Cruise & Ferry Industries Feel the Heat


The Prinsesse Ragnhild, a passenger ferry owned by Norway-based company Colour Line travelling from Kiel to Oslo with over 1,300 passengers and crew aboard, caught fire 17.6km off the Swedish coast last week. The incident came as the latest annual report from the UK-based Passenger Shipping Association (PSA) warned that fires on board were becoming a serious issue for the cruise and ferry industries. PSA director William Gibbons referred to recent incidents of fires on passenger ships and observed that an incident on the Carnival ship Ecstasy, when fire broke out in the laundry area, had been handled well. But he said the sinking of the Singapore-based Sun Vista, following an engine room fire, "leaves many unanswered questions". Mr Gibbons also commented on the continuing boom in the UK cruise market. He predicted that this year would see lower growth of about 10 per cent compared with 20 per cent in the past four years. Last year, 635,000 UK passengers went on cruises. However, Mr Gibbons saw 2000 being a "bumper year" as several large new ships come into service. Meanwhile, US-based cruise giant Carnival Cruise Lines has ordered its tenth ship from Finland's Kvaerner Masa Yards at a cost of about US$375 million (S$637.5 million). The Carnival Pride, at 84,000 gt and with a passenger capacity of 2,112, will be a sistership of the Carnival Spirit now being built at the same yard. The latest vessel is due for delivery in late 2001. The article: by David Hughes, Shipping Times


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