China's South Korea travel restriction is 'no question, our biggest challenge,' Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings' Harry Sommer told Seatrade Cruise News recently aboard the company's newly delivered China ship, Norwegian Joy.

Bob Hawke, former prime minister of Australia and honorary president of Le Cercle Polaire, will be a guest speaker on board Ponant’s Le Boréal as she sails to the Antarctic Peninsula in November.

Fincantieri and the French state signed the heads of terms (letter of intent) for the Italian shipbuilder to take a 48% stake in STX France.

After a long, drawn-out process, the French government announced it has reached a preliminary deal for Italy's Fincantieri to acquire a 48% stake in shipbuilder STX France.

Underscoring the importance of the Caribbean, Carnival Corp. has appointed veteran executive Marie McKenzie to a newly created role as vp global ports and Caribbean government relations.

China’s politically motivated suspension of permission for its people to cruise to Korea has cast a shadow over the expansion plans for the main Korean cruise port of Jeju, described by John Tercek, vp new business development, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., as 'the number one cruise port in Asia.'

Itinerary options for short cruises from China are limited and pose the immediate challenge for cruise lines cancelling calls to South Korean ports following a political spat between the two countries.

Royal Caribbean is replacing South Korean destinations like Busan and Jeju with ports in Japan on its China cruises, Reuters reports from Beijing/Shanghai.

As part of its new multi-year agreement with the Bahamas, Royal Caribbean International plans to work with the government to develop a hospitality training program that could lead to a job at sea.

Political tensions over South Korea's missile-defense plans have led to Beijing reportedly urging Chinese travel agents to halt sales of trips to Korea. This raises concerns for cruise lines since most itineraries from China visit South Korean ports.

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