News: Celebrity Cruises partners with Regional Maritime University, Ghana

News: Celebrity Cruises partners with Regional Maritime University, Ghana

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Celebrity Cruises partners with Regional Maritime University, Ghana

Celebrity Cruises has signed a partnership with Regional Maritime University in Ghana.

For the first time in cruise industry history, female bridge officers will be openly recruited from a West African country through a new Celebrity Cadet Programme in partnership with RMU.

With the announcement, the brand is also excited to welcome the first official new crew member from the programme, RMU cadet Nicholine Tifuh Azirh, who will be joining the bridge team on-board Celebrity Equinox.

The partnership with RMU came about when Celebrity Cruises’ president Lisa Lutoff-Perlo met with students from the Mandela Washington Fellowship at Florida International University.

There, she met Azirh who shared her inspiring story of perseverance; Tifuh Azirh holds two degrees, yet following graduation she struggled to find opportunities in the maritime industry as an African female despite her academic performance, subsequent teaching at RMU, and cadet experience.

“After hearing Nicholine’s story, I met with our senior vice president of global marine operations, Patrik Dahlgren, to see what we needed to do in order to give her, and others, the opportunities they’ve earned.

“A year later, I’m so excited to share the news of our partnership with RMU and to welcome Nicholine on-board,” said Lutoff-Perlo.

“Nicholine isn’t just a new-hire, she symbolises hope for women around the world who dream of working in a very male-dominated industry; she’s the face of our industry-leading partnership; and she is an incredible example of Celebrity Cruises’ commitment to opening up the world.”

“The goal of our partnership with RMU is to inspire and disrupt the social norms that burden female officers in western African nations, such as Ghana,” said Dahlgren.

Tifuh Azirh is scheduled to join the Celebrity Equinox family on August 27th.

“Nicholine is our pioneer cadet and a pioneer for women in her country.

“Moving forward, we will continue to evaluate candidates and continue to push the envelope in developing a growth sector for marine officers in a part of the world that traditionally underserves female officers.”

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August 25, 2017 at 12:36PM

News: Collot steps up to lead Banyan Tree Seychelles

News: Collot steps up to lead Banyan Tree Seychelles

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Collot steps up to lead Banyan Tree Seychelles

Banyan Tree Seychelles has announced the appointment of Fabrice Collot to the role of general manager.

Collot will be responsible for the overall running, administration and service standards at Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts.

He joined the Banyan Tree group in 2007 and has served at Banyan Tree Al Areen Spa & Resort in Bahrain as executive assistant manager before being promoted to hotel manager one year before being transferred to the Angsana Riads Collection in Marrakech, Morocco.

Fabrice has amassed a wealth of expertise in government administration and the hospitality industry, with over 27 years of experience in senior management roles across four continents, from working in the French Consulate General in Jerusalem and the French Embassy in Ukraine, to opening his own French restaurant and bakery in two US locations.

Banyan Tree Seychelles is widely regarded as one of the most luxurious hotels in the Seychelles successfully balanced with ecological sensitivity. 

The resort’s 60 pool villas have been meticulously designed to blend seamlessly into the hilly terrain and lush tropical foliage down to one of the best beaches in the Indian Ocean. 

Each of the villas features contemporary Créole architecture and indigenous artefacts offering guests a unique sense of place.

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August 25, 2017 at 12:25PM

A$AP Ferg’s New Home-Town Anthem with Cam’ron, “Rubber Band Man”

A$AP Ferg’s New Home-Town Anthem with Cam’ron, “Rubber Band Man”

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Earlier this month, A$AP Ferg, a member of the Harlem rap collective
A$AP Mob, released the remix of “East Coast,” a throbbing panegyric to
New York City. The title of the song is somewhat misleading; listeners
might assume that the track will be another salvo in the decades-old
“war” between East and West Coast rappers. These days, though, rappers
from all over the country have set aside long-held regional beefs to
collaborate on the same song; “East Coast” is a nod to this
new era of amity. “I love the East,” Ferg raps. “But shout out to every
coast, brah / South to North and even West Coast, brah.”

The song includes verses by Rick Ross, French Montana, and Busta Rhymes,
but the most notable contribution is from Snoop Dogg, the archetypal
West Coast rapper. “Me and Ferg, we gon’ put in work / Bang on ya’ gang
culture, out of this world,” the forty-five-year-old raps. As Snoop and
Ferg trade lines as the song closes, any rivalry that may have signalled
animus in the past now brings to mind the sort of respectful competition
that one expects to see between worthy challengers. It’s as if there were
finally more than enough success in the rap world to go around.

VIDEO

The track that most resembles a home-town anthem on the new album,
“Still Striving,” would be “Rubber Band Man,” the second song, and
one of the strongest. On it, Ferg tag-teams with Cam’ron, of Dipset, the
predecessor of A$AP Mob. “Working with Killa Cam was crazy, because I
always looked up to him growing up in Harlem and we finally got a chance
to get a song in,” Ferg told me in an e-mail. The lyrics exude the kind
of casual swagger that only the best rappers are able to master: “Rubber
Band man got the pocket with the bankroll / Call me Stunna Man, diamonds
shining like the rainbow / Runnin’ this shit, you can call me Usain
Bolt.” Rap music today may be a more gentlemanly sport than it was two
decades ago, but the hustle lives on.

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August 25, 2017 at 12:10PM

News: The Trafalgar St. James London joins Curio Collection

News: The Trafalgar St. James London joins Curio Collection

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Overlooking the world-famous Trafalgar Square, The Trafalgar St. James London, Curio Collection by Hilton, has joined the exclusive collection of more than 35 hotels and resorts.

As the first Curio Collection by Hilton hotel in the UK, the hotel was hand-picked to be a part of the global, upper upscale collection of one-of-a-kind independent properties all celebrated for their individuality.

Nestled in the heart of Central London, on the south side of the world-famous Trafalgar Square, The Trafalgar St. James offers unrivalled proximity to some of the city’s most iconic attractions such as The National Gallery and Theatreland.

The hotel boasts 131 bedrooms and 15 exquisite suites; each space is artfully accentuated with Art Deco design notes, tactile furnishings and bold colour choices creating a sanctuary of style.

“The one-of-a-kind The Trafalgar St. James marks the consummate debut of Curio Collection by Hilton in the UK,” said Mark Nogal, global head, Curio Collection by Hilton.

“The remarkable hotel is an ideal addition to our expanding global collection of distinctive hotels and resorts, providing travellers, residents and Hilton Honors members the opportunity to discover Central London in a unique and memorable way.”

A destination in itself, the hotel offers everything from contemporary bedrooms to a stunning rooftop bar with unrivalled panoramic views over the city, all in the bustle of central London.

Opening this October, The Rooftop, formerly known as Vista, has been transformed into a year-round destination featuring a luxurious lounge and dining area, with a menu full of small plates and healthy eating options.

“The opening of The Trafalgar St. James signifies an exciting new chapter for the hotel, in one of the city’s most famous locations which is steeped in history and culture,” said Joanne Taylor-Stagg, general manager, The Trafalgar St. James.

“Whether guests visit us for an exceptional overnight stay in one of our beautifully styled rooms, or head to The Trafalgar Dining Rooms or The Rooftop for a special dining experience, we can guarantee a fabulous experience, premium hospitality and unforgettable views all around.”

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August 25, 2017 at 11:55AM

News: Oman Air signs codeshare agreement with Gulf Air

News: Oman Air signs codeshare agreement with Gulf Air

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Oman Air has launched a new codeshare agreement with Gulf Air, the Kingdom of Bahrain’s national carrier.

The deal will see the airlines’ combined frequencies between Bahrain and Muscat at six daily flights.

This new codeshare provides customers enhanced flight connectivity possibilities with Oman Air to various destinations across both carries networks.

Abdulrahman Al Busaidy, chief commercial officer, Oman Air, commented: “Oman Air is very happy with this code-share agreement with Gulf Air, which is a strategic and important partner for Oman Air.

“Through this code share, Oman Air offers its guests a combined frequency of six daily flights.

“The new Muscat International Airport is also due to open soon, which will give our Bahrain-based guests an exciting opportunity to connect to our global network through a world class facility.

“Our guests can also benefit from a range of destinations connected through this code-share by both the airlines, providing them with greater choice, convenience and a seamless travel experience.”

Oman Air currently serves up to 55 destinations worldwide.

The carrier operates direct international flights from Muscat to GCC region as well as Middle East & Africa region.

Ahmed Janahi, Gulf Air chief commercial officer, commented on the agreement: “This codeshare reflects Gulf Air’s consistent drive to offer our customers attractive options to fly to popular travel destinations.

“With this agreement we are not only increasing our flight frequencies to and from Muscat but also giving Muscat-based passengers an expanded range of connections with Gulf Air via Bahrain International Airport to various destinations across our network.

Bahrain’s national carrier currently serves 42 cities in 25 countries, spanning three continents – including Tbilisi, Georgia which was launched in June.

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August 25, 2017 at 11:45AM

News: MSC Seaview celebrates float out in Italy

News: MSC Seaview celebrates float out in Italy

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MSC Cruises and Fincantieri have celebrated the float out of MSC Seaview.

The ceremony took place at the Monfalcone shipyard in Italy, where the ship is being built.

MSC Seaview is the second of MSC Cruises’ Seaside generation of cruise ships, based on a highly-innovative prototype designed to bring guests closer to the sea than ever before, for warmer climates and the ultimate sun and sea cruise experience.

She is set to come into service in June 2018, just six months after MSC Seaside will first come into service in December 2017 with her grand voyage from Trieste, Italy to Miami, USA in December 2017.

MSC Seaview will sail her inaugural 2018 summer season in the Mediterranean, offering holidaymakers the chance to experience the jewels of this region like never before on a cruise ship.

Guests will discover seven different lively ports from four countries, all without unpacking a suitcase – Genoa, Naples, Messina, Valetta, Barcelona and Marseille.

Following this inaugural season, the ship will follow the sun to Brazil and the southern hemisphere for the winter 2018-2019 season, with an itinerary that includes Santos, Ilha Grande, Buzios, Porto Belo and Camboriu.

Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises executive chairman, commented: “The float out of MSC Seaview is another significant milestone in the expansion of our fleet.

“She is part of a ten year investment plan that will have already seen the delivery of six new ships by 2020.”

Vago added: “We are already the market leading cruise brand in the Mediterranean and Europe and the deployment of MSC Seaview in this key region will help us further push boundaries by bringing one of the most innovative cruise ships to an area that we are deeply committed to and is a cornerstone of our business.”

The float out is a key milestone in the construction of a cruise ship, as it is the moment when the vessel is first touched by water as her dry dock is flooded and the ship is moved to a wet dock for the final phase of her construction.

The exterior of the ship is now complete and work moves to complete interiors, fixtures and furnishings.

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August 25, 2017 at 11:38AM

News: British Airways calls on UK border force to improve services at Heathrow

News: British Airways calls on UK border force to improve services at Heathrow

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British Airways has called on the UK’s border force to tackle serious inefficiencies that are causing British citizens and visitors to endure long queues and frustrating delays when arriving at UK airports.

In a submission to the Home Office, the airline has raised concerns that families returning from holidays face long queues to pass through immigration.

The airline also stated that with Brexit just round the corner, more than ever, the UK needs to show that it’s an easy place to travel to.

When launching Terminal 5’s eGates in 2015, the Home Office said: “Automated technology, such as eGates, give border force the ability to process a higher number of low risk passengers more quickly and using less resource.

“This reduces queue times as well as freeing border force officers up to focus on other priority work such as cracking down on the smuggling of dangerous goods and identifying potential victims of trafficking.”

Yet, routinely at Terminal 5 only one third of the 29 state of the art eGates are open.

In addition, they are usually shut prematurely at 23:00 while customers are still making their way off flights causing massive queues and frustrating delays.

Ensuring as many of the eGates as possible are in use not only means faster passage for eligible travellers but it also eases waiting times for those customers not able to use the automated gates including those travelling with children under the age of 12.

Ragbhir Pattar, British Airways director of Heathrow, said: “We recognise some of the steps being taken by border force to improve the service they provide to travellers.

“However, more focus must be put on operating in the most efficient and flexible way and ensuring passengers’ needs are put first.

“It is a constant frustration to us and to our customers that after a long flight they have to stand in queues, sometimes for over an hour, just to get back into the country.

“And it is a dreadful welcome for visitors to the UK to be faced with a packed immigration hall and the prospect of a frustrating delay to the start of their holiday or business trip.

“It adds insult to injury when you’re stuck in a queue but can see numerous gates which just aren’t being used.

“We wholeheartedly support the essential role the border force has to protect the UK but more must be done to prevent these unnecessary delays.”

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August 25, 2017 at 11:27AM

Uber’s first deck – correct about GPS and data, less so on profit

Uber’s first deck – correct about GPS and data, less so on profit

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If there is such a thing as a sharing economy historian, then access to Uber‘s first pitch deck could be a 21st century equivalent of the Holy Grail.

Its former CEO and co-founder Garrett Camp has obliged and posted the 25-page document onto Medium, to mark nine years since Camp first approached the investment community with his idea for what was then known as UberCab.

The seeds of what has become a business valued at $50 billion, even after recent markdowns, are planted in the presentation, although there is a distinctly US focus to its initial roadmap. UberCab originally planned to have a fleet of energy-efficient vehicles and described itself as “the NetJets of cabs” offering a private chauffeur experience with authorised drivers serving a membership-based clientelle, starting in San Francisco and Manhattan.

That model has changed in the past nine years, but even in its pre-start-up stage UberCab recognised the potential of location-based services, facilitated by the emerging GPS technology embedded into smart phones. This was quite prescient at the time as the iPhone was only a few years old and other manufacturers and carriers were only just starting to work with GPS.

The deck reveals that, at the time, there was an app for iPhone, for Blackberry and for Symbian. Google’s Android, which went live in Sept 2008 doesn’t get a mention although the deck talks about a planned integration with Google Maps.

It also predicts that GPS tech will improve and that data will play a big role in helping to optimize the connection between drivers and passengers. It also tipped digital, cashless payments to become mainstream.

The final slide of the deck described what Uber Cabs wanted from the investors at the time – “buy three cars, develop an app, raise a few million, open a small office in San Francisco and appoint a general manager.”

Uber’s original vision has evolved and expanding over time. Most of what it said in the original deck has been delivered, although the jury is out on whether Uber has taken on one of UberCab’s operating principles and remained “profitable by design”.

 

 

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August 25, 2017 at 11:25AM

News: Avani Fares Maldives Resort to open in 2019

News: Avani Fares Maldives Resort to open in 2019

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Avani Hotels & Resorts has announced the development of its first resort in the Maldives.

Avani Fares Maldives Resort will be located on Fares Island in the Baa Atoll and is scheduled to open in quarter for of 2019.

Ideal for millennial minded travellers, this untouched, private 12.4 hectare island will provide a natural playground surrounded by a soft white sandy beach and every colour of blue imaginable.

This US$ 70-million resort development is a joint venture partnership between Minor Hotels and Cyprea Group.

Cyprea Group’s diversified Sri Lanka and Maldives business portfolio includes ownership and operation of Club Med Kani Maldives Resort located in North Male’ Atoll.

Alejandro Bernabe, group director Avani Hotels & Resorts said: “The Avani design philosophy is interestingly relaxed and contemporary and in tune with the environment of this development, using natural textures, colours and materials that reflect the location whilst incorporating advanced technology and modern conveniences.”

The new upscale Avani Fares Maldives Resort will comprise 200 guest rooms, including standard rooms and a selection of villas.

Every attention will be given to wellbeing.

On arrival guests will immediately be welcomed by an arresting view of the Indian Ocean from the open plan lobby.

This communal living space will blend reception, lounge, meeting space, all day restaurant and The Pantry, an Avani hallmark, will serve a mix of comfort food and artisanal deli snacks around the clock.

The resort’s secluded northern location is easily accessible and is 45 minutes by sea plane from Male and 30 minutes by speedboat from the newly opened domestic airport on Baa Atoll.

“The Maldives is the ultimate beach destination in the world and we are excited to deliver an alternative hospitality offering in the region.

“Avani is a true lifestyle brand.

“Imaginatively blending genuine hospitality and modernity with savvy design and contemporary style.

“The Avani experience is designed to satisfy important guests’ needs,” concluded Bernabe.

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August 25, 2017 at 11:18AM

News: Icelandair launches new route to Cleveland, Ohio

News: Icelandair launches new route to Cleveland, Ohio

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Icelandair launches new route to Cleveland, Ohio

Icelandair has launched a new gateway in the United States: Cleveland, Ohio.

The inaugural flight will take place in May 2018, and will begin with four flights a week.

Tickets will be available for purchase in the coming weeks.

The city will be Icelandair’s 19th gateway in North America.

Located on the shores of Lake Erie, Cleveland is known for art, basketball, and rock and roll.

With a population of 2.2 million inhabitants, the city has a vast industrial history and is home to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Sports enthusiasts will also recognise Cleveland’s basketball team, the Cavaliers, led by one of the brightest stars of the NBA, LeBron James.

“Cleveland is the perfect destination for our route network.

“We are happy to be the first carrier to provide service to Europe in eight years.

“This addition also strengthens our route network and bridges Europe and Cleveland together by providing direct service to Iceland in addition to quick and convenient connections to 30 destinations in Europe,” says Icelandair chief executive, Birkir Holm Gudnason.

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August 25, 2017 at 11:06AM