Large claims, lower returns hit Skuld

Protection and indemnity (P&I) club Skuld saw its net result deteriorate to USD13.5 million last year, from USD29million in 2013.
The Oslo-based member of the International Group of P&I Clubs said the fall was due to a combination of reduced investment returns and high claims in its charterers’ P&I
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Viking Officially Launches Ocean Cruises

By Kathryn Stone 2015-05-18 12:57:05

The Viking Star, the first ocean ship from river cruise giant Viking, officially launched Sunday following a ceremony attended by almost 20,000 in the vessel’s homeport of Bergen. The vessel’s launch marks the first new cruise ship line debut in over a decade. The 930 passenger, 47,800 ton Star Princess is the first that will operate under the newly formed Viking Ocean Cruises.

“We have always believed that cruising should be about connecting you to your destination – not just taking you to places on a map.” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises. “With our new ocean cruises, we have created a new kind of vessel that is smaller in size and smarter in design, offering an alternative to today’s mega liners.”

Viking River Cruises currently operates over 60 ships, including over a dozen new vessels. With the new ocean division of Viking Cruises the company is seeking to further penetrate the nearly $39.6 billion annual-revenue cruise industry. The vessel will most likely compete with other high-end lines, which also offer smaller-sized ships.

According to statements given to Cruise Critic, Viking Ocean Cruises has plans to launch a minimum of nine additional ships of the same design and scale in the coming years. Currently, the company has two other vessels under construction the Viking Sea and the Viking Sky, which are set to be delivered in early 2017.

The Viking Star embarked on her maiden voyage from Istanbul to Venice on April 15. Like her sister ships she will sail itineraries in Scandinavia, the Baltic and the Mediterranean.

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Polar code adopted, sensitive sea area designated and work progressed on ballast water, energy-efficiency and air pollution implementation at IMO environment meeting

The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) met for its 68th session from 11 to 15 May 2015.   The MEPC adopted the environmental requirements of the Polar Code and associated MARPOL amendments to make the Code mandatory; adopted amendments to MARPOL related to tanks for oil residues; designated an…

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600 Maritime Jobs Lost Amid Low Oil Prices

By MarEx 2015-05-18 11:45:50

The Rolls-Royce marine unit is the latest group announcing job cuts amid increasing pressure of low oil prices.

The British engineering group said it would cut 600 jobs in its Norwegian-focused marine business in response to the lower oil price, a move it said would have a “broadly neutral” impact on 2015 profits. The company said that from 2016, the job cuts in marine would help generate 25 million pounds ($39 million) of benefits.

Employing 6,000 people, the unit builds propulsion systems, winches and anchors for ships, and depends on oil and gas-related customers for about 60 percent of its business. “The effect of low oil prices means we have to continue to look for further efficiencies,” Rolls-Royce Marine president Mikael Makinen said in a statement on Monday.

Between June 2014 and January of this year the price of Brent oil collapsed from $115 a barrel to $45 a barrel as supply swamped the global market. It was trading at around $67 a barrel on Monday, well below its 2011-14 average of around $108.

Earlier this year A.P Moller-Maersk announced it would cut 200 jobs in its Maersk Oil Unit and Royal Dutch Shell said that it would see a reduction of at least 250 employees in its UK North Sea operations. Additionally, BP, Chevron and Conoco Phillips have all seen jobs slashed amid falling oil prices.

Half of the 600 jobs Rolls-Royce job cuts would be in Norway, where the Marine unit’s main manufacturing facilities are located, with the other half at the company’s other global locations, Rolls-Royce said.

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Pirates Attack Tanker off Malaysia

By Kathryn Stone 2015-05-18 10:51:09

The Malaysian-flagged tanker Oriental Glory was attacked by a group of 30 pirates on May 15, marking the seventh incident of fuel siphoning in Asia this year.

The roughly 3,000 dwt vessel had departed Labuan and was en route to Tanjung Manis when six fishing boats surrounded the tanker in an area of off Bruit Island in Malaysia. The armed men then forced the vessel to another location further south and siphoned approximately 2,500 tons of bunker fuel from the ship. After robbing the crew of personal effects, the pirates left the vessel.

All members of the crew are safe and have been transported to Tanjung Manis to aid in the piracy investigation.

This is the third piracy attack on Oriental Glory in under a year. In July of 2014 a team of 25 armed men carried out another fuel siphoning attack and in November the captain of the Oriental Glory managed to foil another incident.

The news comes as the anti-piracy organization ReCAAP has noted a strong increase in piracy for the first quarter of 2015, with severe incidents including fuel siphoning topping the list of organization’s concerns. The lower portion of the South China Sea, where the attack on the Oriental Glory took place, is a known hotspot for pirate activity.

ReCAAP has urged ships to be on heightened alert when traveling near the area and, Monday of last week Rear Admiral Lai Chung Han, Chief of Navy for Singapore, announced that his country, Malaysia and Indonesia are in discussions to heighten patrol efforts in the areas of the South China Sea most affected by piracy.

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