All articles by Blatha


Sailing against the wind

In the past, commanding a cruise ship has been a male role – but times are changing. Grace Allen discusses the rise of female cruise captains with Sea Cloud’s Captain Kathryn Whittaker, Captain Kate McCue of Celebrity and Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou, president of the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association.

Voyage of discovery

Strategic design consultants 20.20 masterminded the project that transformed the Mein Schiff I into TUI’s newest cruise ship, the Marella Explorer. Kevin Paintin, the fi rm’s client director, talks to Grace Allen about creating a strong brand identity with a sense of fun when dealing with the challenges of a refurbishment project.

The royal treatment

Royal Caribbean’s Oasis, Freedom and Voyager-class ships are undergoing a massive modernisation programme over the next few years. Elly Earls meets Kevin Douglas, vice-president of technical projects and new builds, to find out why planning will be fundamental to the success of its refurbishments.

The generation gain

As the average age of cruise passengers continues to fall, several operators are looking towards millennials as the next big cruise demographic. But with uptake still relatively slow, how big an emphasis should the industry be placing on attracting younger passengers, and what changes are required to snag millennials? Abi Millar talks to Uniworld CEO Ellen Bettridge to find out.

From trainee to trailblazer

As chairman of Carnival UK and a member of numerous maritime trade associations, David Dingle is one of the most influential figures in the European cruise sector. Greg Noone talks to the industry veteran about the challenges thrown up by Brexit, the importance of a close relationship with governments on both sides of the Channel, and opportunities for Carnival in China and India.

A legacy of success

Despite a bulging order book, it’s been a bittersweet summer for Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, as its influential former CEO, Corrado Antonini, died in July. Ross Davies takes a look at his legacy as the company looks to retain its market dominance.

Chemical reaction

With the International Maritime Organization’s ban on high-sulphur marine fuel set to come into force in 2020, ships that do not have the right equipment to strip these chemicals from their emissions will soon face problems. Neil Thompson speaks with Donald Brown, CLIA’s vice-president in charge of maritime policy, on how cruise lines should respond to these new legal restrictions and what the industry can do to prepare itself.

Green giants

In Autumn 2017, Bureau Veritas issued a new chapter in its rules providing a framework for electric and hybrid power solutions. Neil Gerrard talks to Andreas Ullrich, global market leader, passenger ships and ferries at Bureau Veritas, and John Carlton, a professor of marine engineering at City, University of London, about the extent to which the new notations are likely to encourage wider uptake of energy storage systems and thereby provide operational and environmental benefits.

Out in the cold

Cruise ships are navigating more far-flung waters than ever before, requiring operators to have the correct safeguards in place to protect the lives of their passengers. Ross Davies meets Conrad Combrink, senior vice-president of strategic development for expeditions and experiences at Silversea Cruises; Markus Aarnio, chairman of Foreship; and Jeff Morgan, Aviem CEO, to find out what measures need to be taken.

Princely cuisine

Pierre-Marie Leprince is one of the most distinguished chefs working in the cruise industry. After cutting his teeth at Maxim’s, in Paris, he went on to transform the kitchens at Princess Cruises, with his ‘designed for fresh’ scheme winning plaudits from London to Los Angeles. Andrea Valentino talks to Leprince about his typically French upbringing and how mixing the classics with more daring flavours can yield mouth-watering results.