Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Queen of the Mississippi Launched

Here's something you don't see much anymore. Today's cruise ships have become so large their hulls are commonly built in drydocks, and when the hull is completed, the drydock is flooded and the hull is floated out. When ships were smaller, they were built on land in the shipyard, and when completed they were rolled on rails down into the water as you often see in classic newsreels of ships being launched.

American Cruise Lines' new Queen of the Mississippi is under construction at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Maryland. Because it is of a relatively small size, the hull has been constructed on land in two parts. They have been joined together and a couple of weeks ago (July 17), it was launched on rails. As we said, you don't see that much anymore, except in the video below.

The launch comes some nine weeks ahead of schedule. Two additional decks will be added to the superstructure. It is currently being outfitted with electrical wiring and plumbing. When complete it will have 75 staterooms.

The new sternwheeler is scheduled to enter service on the Mississippi in August 2012.

Carnival Corp Orders New Ships for Costa and AIDA brands

Cruise giant Carnival Corp has ordered three large new ships for their Costa and AIDA brands for delivery in in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

The newbuilds will be the largest for each of the brands.

The first to be delivered will be a 132,500-ton vessel scheduled for October 2014 for Costa, to be built by Fincantieri at their Marghera yard. It will carry 3,700 passengers (based on double occupancy).

The other two will be a pair of 125,000-ton ships to be built by Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for the AIDA brand. They will carry 3,250 passengers (double occupancy) and be delivered in March 2015 and March 2016.

Complete details will be in today's edition of Cruise News Daily.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Product Placement to the Max

Product manufacturers work hard to get their product placed in television shows and movies. This could be something as simple as having it in a scene, but if it gets used by the characters or, better yet, becomes pivotal to the plot, the manufacturer has hit the jackpot. But Carnival Cruise Lines had one of their ships used as the location (and necessary to the plot) of the upcoming third Chipmunk movie, and if the movie is a hit, they will have hit the trifecta.

The live action for the movie was filmed aboard Carnival Dream, and the computer animated characters were added in post-production. Throughout the film there is Carnival presence. Anyone who has sailed on Carnival will recognize signature Carnival elements in each scene, even the deck chairs (you see a lot of those when you consider the lead characters are only a few inches high), for example, are noticeably Carnival, if you've spent much time on Carnival.

The trailer for "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked!" was released today:

The trailer is now showing in theaters nationwide, and the film will open on December 16, 2011.