Air Seychelles records profitability in 2015

first_imgAir Seychelles has reported its fourth year of profitability in a row, with net profits of $2.1 million in 2015, on revenues of $105.4 million.Audited by KPMG, these financial statements also reflect growth in passenger traffic and strong cargo volumes. A total of 522,873 passengers travelled with the airline in 2015, 22% more than in 2014.Air Seychelles passenger carrying capacity, measured in Available Seat Kilometres (ASKs), increased by seven percent to 1.7 billion by the end of 2015. Despite this increase the airline’s seat load factor rose by six percentage points from 60% in 2014 to 66% in 2015.Cargo services continue to be a major area of growth for Air Seychelles, with the airline carrying 4,415 tonnes of freight, primarily driven by wide body operations on Johannesburg and Paris routes.Roy Kinnear, Chief Executive Officer of Air Seychelles, said, “We are proud to have been able to deliver on our mandate, which was to achieve strong growth, to become the region’s leading carrier and, most importantly, to do so as a commercially viable and profitable enterprise, while remaining one of the key drivers of economic growth in  Seychelles.”Joël Morgan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Transport and Chairman of Air Seychelles, said, “The profit is another wonderful result for our national airline and for the future of aviation in Seychelles and the Indian Ocean region. We will continue to consolidate Air Seychelles position by making investments that will allow the airline to continue on its current trajectory of further growth.”Of the total passengers carried, 30% were contributed by partner airlines, generating 41% of Air Seychelles’ passenger revenue, demonstrating the importance of growth through partnerships.Air Seychelles’ growth has created a significant number of new jobs for Seychellois nationals. During 2015, the airline increased its workforce by 128 new professionals. With the focus remaining on providing an excellent guest experience, the Ground Services department of Air Seychelles has employed 55 service professionals at Mahe International Airport.Air Seychelles continued to place much emphasis on personal development and succession planning, investing significantly in the development of its workforce and introducing a range of training programmes for its employees.Equally committed to its community, Air Seychelles was proud to make a significant contribution to Seychelles culture, health, children and other community programs, through more than 500 gifted tickets and free cargo transportation.last_img read more

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Mezcal Mexicos new revolution

first_imgMezcal is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from any type of agave plant native to Mexico. Once considered ‘cheap fire water,’ the agave-based alcohol has now become one of the country’s most popular liquors.Source: BBClast_img

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Economy Surprises With 163000 New Jobs in July

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bureau of Economic Analysis Investors Jobs Labor Department Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers Unemployment 2012-08-03 Mark Lieberman Economy Surprises With 163,000 New Jobs in July Share August 3, 2012 412 Views center_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing The nation added a surprising 163,000 jobs in July but the unemployment rate ticked up to 8.3 percent as the number of people working actually declined, the “”Labor Department””:http://www.dol.gov/ reported Friday.[IMAGE]At the same time, June’s paltry job gains ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô originally reported at 80,000 ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô were reduced to 64,000 while May’s job numbers edged up to 87,000 from 77,000.Economists expected payrolls to grow by 100,000 and the unemployment rate to remain at 8.2 percent.Average weekly hours remained 34.5 and average hourly earnings rose to $19.77 from $19.75, continuing pressure on household incomes.While the increase in the unemployment rate was disappointing, an alternative measure showed even more strain. The employment-population ratio which measures the number of people employed against the entire over-16 population, without qualifying definitions used to determine “”unemployment”” dropped to 58.4 percent. The inverse of the ratio ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô 41.6 percent ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô represents the share of the over-16 population without jobs. At the onset of the recession in December 2007, the employment-population ratio was 62.7 percent and when the recession officially ended in June 2009 it was 59.4.The other widely followed alternative measure of employment which includes discouraged workers and others “”marginally attached to the labor force”” rose to 15.0 percent in July from 14.9 percent in June.The average duration of unemployment fell to 38.8 weeks in July ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the lowest since April 2011 — from 39.9 in June.About 40.7 percent of those unemployed have been out of work for more than 27 weeks ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô long-term unemployed ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô down from 41.9 percent in June.However, the number of people unemployed for 5 to 14 weeks rose to 3,092,000 ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the highest level since last October, hinting at a new wave of unemployment.The increase in the unemployment rate ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô which has stubbornly remained above 8 percent for the 42 months ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the entire Obama administration ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô was the result of arithmetic, not any fundamental shift in the economy. [COLUMN_BREAK]The number of people unemployed edged up 45,000, Labor estimated, to 12,794,000 but the entire labor force ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô consisting of employed and unemployed individuals contracted by 150,000 as 195,000 fewer people reported themselves as employed. The numerator of equation ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô unemployed ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô went up while the denominator ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô employed plus unemployed ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô went down, so the resulting fraction or percentage increased.BLS uses two separate surveys ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the establishment survey which tracks jobs and the household survey which tracks employment ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô to develop the report released Friday. Jobs and employment are defined differently in the two surveys.Friday’s report contained a mixed bag of positive and negative signs. Within the establishment survey, the private sector added 172,000 jobs ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the strongest showing since February ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô led by 49,000 new professional business service sector jobs. But 14,100 of those jobs were temporary again suggesting employers don’t necessarily have confidence to make permanent additions to staff.The education and health sector which shed 6,000 jobs in June added 38,000 in July ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô half in the heal sector. Education and health had, until June, been a consistent source of new jobs, adding an average of 39,000 jobs per month from June 2011 through May of this year.The leisure and hospitality sector also added 27,000 jobs and the retail sector, which lost 3,200 jobs in June, added 6,700 in July. The retail and leisure and hospitality sector are the two lowest paying industry sectors. Virtually all the leisure and hospitality jobs in the food service sector reflecting summer staffing at restaurants.The reading for housing and real estate was also mixed. According to the report there were 1,000 feewr construction jobs in July than in June.Residential building jobs grew by 5,800 but the number of residential specialty trade contractor construction jobs fell 3,100. While financial sector jobs were up 1,000 in July, the number of real estate jobs (included in that sector) dropped and “”depositary credit intermediation”” jobs ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô underwriters ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô dropped by 1,100.The payroll report was also affected by a strike of utility workers in New York City. Jobs are only included in the payroll report if positions are paid during the week of the month including the 12th calendar day of the month. About 9,000 Con Edison workers were on strike in New York in July but have since returned to work, which will boost the August payroll report.The number of manufacturing jobs rose 25,000, the strongest gain since March led by 12,500 new auto jobs.Government remained a drag on payrolls, shedding 9,000 jobs in July with 6,000 jobs cut by state governments.last_img read more

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Economist HELOC Reset Fears Overblown

first_imgEconomist: HELOC Reset Fears Overblown As the mortgage market prepares for bubble-vintage home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) to come out of their draw period, multiple firms have issued warnings about the imminent wave of new HELOC problems. In a new blog post, however, CoreLogic deputy chief economist Sam Khater says the impact from HELOC loan resets will be more like a ripple.Looking back to the inflation of the housing bubble in the mid-2000s, Khater notes that the surge in mortgage debt leading up the crash came partly from a surge in borrowers taking out HELOCs as home prices ran up.Many of those lines were originated as 10-year interest-only loans, meaning millions of borrowers are due to for a possible payment shock as their HELOCs switch to fully amortizing loans at a time when the economy is still staggering to normalcy. Including the period from 2004–2006 when the majority of HELOCs were originated, an estimated $190 billion in loans are scheduled to reset in the coming years.While many market watchers—including financial regulators—are concerned about the risk of default, Khater says the fears of a HELOC-related mortgage crash are largely unfounded.”While the spike in defaults at the 10-year mark certainly is an issue for those borrowers experiencing the reset, from a macro perspective the impact will not be a wave, but small ripples,” he writes.To support his claim, he points to four major factors he says will mitigate the impact of HELOC payment shocks:The size of the reset pool is relatively small. Looking at the entire $9.9 trillion mortgage market, $190 billion is a fairly minor segment.Nearly one-quarter of HELOCs are in the first-lien position, meaning there’s no other associated debt.One of the major default triggers—negative equity—is improving. By CoreLogic’s numbers, the negative equity share for first liens with a home equity loan is 22 percent, well below the 36 percent underwater rate four years ago, and that number continues to improve. Adjusting for first-lien position and negative equity, the HELOC exposure shrinks from $190 billion to $31 billion, Khater says.The other trigger—unemployment—is also looking better. At the same time, the unemployment rate was below 6 percent as of the government’s October estimate, marking a vast improvement as payroll numbers see ongoing strength.Despite his optimism, Khater does note that HELOCs haven’t seen the same kind of regulation the rest of the mortgage market has adjusted to in the last year. Of note is the fact that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s ability-to-repay rule skipped over HELOCs in its restrictions on interest-only loans.”This begs the question, why didn’t policy makers include a provision for HELOCs given their role in driving up mortgage debt?” he writes. “A more sensible approach for HELOC products would be to provide incentives for fully amortizing loans that do not lead to payment shock down the road.” December 1, 2014 472 Views CoreLogic HELOCs Home Equity 2014-12-01 Tory Barringercenter_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Sharelast_img read more

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Research Shows That Borrowers are Seriously Undereducated in Homebuying

first_img Many borrowers are unaware of their homebuying power and are underestimating their mortgage eligibility, according to a recent study by Genworth Mortgage Insurance, a unit of Genworth Financial, Inc. The results showed that 66 percent of the 113 lending executives surveyed feel that many borrowers who are eligible for mortgages do not feel that they can realistically purchase a home.“Everything that private mortgage insurance stands for is about helping more borrowers become homeowners,” said Rohit Gupta, president and CEO of Genworth Mortgage Insurance. “Many qualified borrowers are uncertain about their own eligibility so it’s critical for our industry to be proactive about encouraging homebuyer education as a tool to help borrowers fully understand how the home buying process will work for them.”When questioned about the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) January 2015 balance sheet premium reductions, 65 percent of survey respondents noted that it will take between one to three years for the FHA to meet its required capital levels following its January premium reduction. In addition, 88 percent of those surveyed do not foresee a major impact to FHA indemnification levels as a result of the premium reductions, believing they will either remain flat or increase by one to five percent over the next 12 months.Senior executives displayed the most concern about government policy-related issues. Genworth found that 53 percent of senior executive respondents feel that their business will be impacted by the Private Mortgage Insurance Eligibility Requirements (PMIERS), while only 38 percent of non-senior executives expressed the same concern. Compared to 37 percent of the industry as whole, 44 percent of senior executives showed more concern about the revisions to the PMIERs by the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.In order to provide homebuyers with mortgage education tools, Genworth made its Homebuyer Education website more user-friendly. The new education course allows user to pace themselves and only have 12 registration fields, compared to the industry average of 19.“Our new Homebuyer Education website provides loan officers with a great, no-fee resource for helping borrowers with the home loan process whether mortgage insurance is needed or not,” said John Clifford, SVP of commercial operations at Genworth. “The more we can do to encourage them and their borrowers to prioritize homebuyer education, the easier it will be to achieve the goal of successful homeownership.” in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News Research Shows That Borrowers are Seriously Undereducated in Homebuying July 1, 2015 512 Views center_img Borrowers Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corp. Mortgage Eligibility 2015-07-01 Staff Writer Sharelast_img read more

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Clayton Holdings Acquires ValuAmerica

first_imgClayton Holdings Acquires ValuAmerica Share in Headlines, News, REO, Secondary Market, Technology October 9, 2015 498 Views center_img Provider of loan due diligence, surveillance, REO management, valuations, and consulting services to the mortgage and real estate industries, Clayton Holdings LLC, recently announced its newest acquisition: ValuAmerica, Inc., a Pittsburgh-based, national title agency, appraisal management company, and technology provider.ValuAmerica is a national title agency and a fully-compliant appraisal management company with coverage across all 3,143 counties in the U.S. The company’s award-winning technology platform, ValuNet xsp, helps mortgage lenders and their vendors streamline and manage their supply chains and operational workflows.“The acquisition of ValuAmerica significantly expands the scope of title and valuation services Clayton offers our mortgage clients and continues to show our commitment to being a complete solution provider to the mortgage and real estate industries,” said Joe D’Urso, president of Clayton. “In addition to a full range of title and closing services, we are able to offer a full suite of valuation products—from full appraisals and BPOs to enhanced automated valuation estimates (AVEs)—as well as flood, property and mortgage information.”Clayton noted that ValuAmerica will continue to operate under its current brand and at its current headquarters in Pittsburgh. ValuAmerica’s senior management team, which is led by Shawn Murphy, will remain on board and continue to provide the same level of quality products and service to its clients.No other terms of the transaction were announced.“Joining with Clayton and its parent, Radian, gives us the resources to further develop the technology, infrastructure and vendor networks required for today’s more competitive, compliance-focused environment,” Murphy said. “Our entire management team is pleased to join the Clayton family and excited to be a part of its future growth.” Acquisitions Clayton Holdings ValuAmerica 2015-10-09 Staff Writerlast_img read more

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May Brings Further Contraction for Fannie Maes Portfolio

first_img June 30, 2016 589 Views Share May Brings Further Contraction for Fannie Mae’s Portfolio Having fallen below its 2016 cap of $339.3 billion in March, Fannie Mae’s gross mortgage portfolio contracted further in both April and May, shrinking at an annual rate of 32.0 percent in May, according to Fannie Mae’s May 2016 Monthly Volume Summary.The 32 percent rate of contraction in May was more than double the rate of shrinkage in April (15.4 percent). With May’s contraction, the aggregate unpaid principal balance (UPB) of Fannie Mae’s gross mortgage portfolio was $317.65 billion at the end of the month—down by about $10.5 billion from April, according to Fannie Mae. The portfolio has declined at an annual rate of 18 percent over the first five months of 2016.According to the June 2016 Chartbook from Urban Institute, “(The GSEs) are shrinking their less liquid assets (mortgage loans and non-agency MBS) at close to the same pace that they are shrinking their entire portfolio.” For Fannie Mae, the gross mortgage portfolio shrank year-over-year at the rate of 19 percent in April, compared to a 13.5 percent shrinkage rate in less liquid assets, Fannie Mae reported.Fannie Mae’s total book of business, which includes the gross mortgage portfolio plus total Fannie Mae mortgage-backed securities and other guarantees minus Fannie Mae MBS in the portfolio, increased at a compound annualized rate of 0.1 percent in May up to a value of about $3.100 trillion, according to Fannie Mae.In January 2016, Fannie Mae’s gross mortgage portfolio experienced a rare expansion, increasing at an annual rate of 5 percent. With May’s contraction, the portfolio has now contracted in all but four months out of the last 70 months (since June 2010). The four months in which the portfolio expanded were January 2016, March 2015, January 2015, and December 2012. At the beginning of that stretch in June 2010, the amount of unpaid principal balance (UPB) of the loans in the portfolio was $818 billion.Fannie Mae’s serious delinquency rate, or the share of loans backed by Fannie Mae that were seriously delinquent, declined by two basis points from April to May down to 1.38 percent. Fannie Mae completed 6,552 loan modifications in May, down from 7,097 in April.Click here to view the complete Monthly Volume Summary for May.center_img in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Secondary Market Fannie Mae Gross Mortgage Portfolio Monthly Volume Summary 2016-06-30 Seth Welbornlast_img read more

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Speeding up the Underwriting Process

first_img in Daily Dose, News, Servicing Speeding up the Underwriting Process September 17, 2018 761 Views It has become more difficult to underwrite a loan, according to the results of a recent CoreLogic survey. According to CoreLogic, 55 percent of underwriters agree that it has become more difficult to underwrite a loan, and around 56 percent of underwriters said they typically need more than 30 days to complete the process, compared to 44 percent who say they can do so in less than 30 days.CoreLogic notes that the extended underwriting timeline may be a result of too many people involved in the underwriting process. Around 76 percent of underwriters said that between two and five people in their organization touch a loan file before it closes.Other factors, such as verifying income, also add additional time. CoreLogic says that it typically takes 44 percent of underwriters one to two days per loan file to verify income. Additionally, 69 percent of underwriters have to ask their applicants more than once for documentation, with 66 percent noting that they need to ask applicants more than two or three times. Direct access to applicant data will speed up the underwriting process by one to two days, according to respondents.Documentation is listed as the least efficient part of underwriters workflow (according to 23 percent of applicants), with income, verification, loan files, and communication also cited as reasons for inefficiency. More than 70 percent of underwriters said quick, online access to application status would make their job easier, and more than 80 percent said that a solution that automatically tracks and documents underwriting exceptions and decision rationale would help their workflow.In order to address these concerns, CoreLogic announced AutomatIQTM Borrower, phase one of a comprehensive new underwriting solution designed to help lenders streamline their current mortgage workflows by digitizing, standardizing, and automating borrower analysis and verification.”Despite some recent notable improvements in consumer-facing Point of Sale solutions, underwriters are essentially following the same manual processes that they’ve followed for years,” said Jay Kingsley, Executive for Credit Solutions at CoreLogic. “Based on our industry-leading data resources and analytics expertise, CoreLogic is uniquely positioned to deliver this comprehensive digital underwriting solution that lenders need.”center_img CoreLogic FinTech technology Underwriting 2018-09-17 Seth Welborn Sharelast_img read more

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Gauging Stability in Mortgage Lending

first_img Fitch Ratings has given a stable housing and mortgage outlook for the US in 2019. However, the ratings agency has said that slower home price appreciation, subdued mortgage lending growth, and U.S. policy and administrative changes at the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) are likely to present challenges.In this video that compared the U.S. housing market with 24 other global housing markets, Fitch said that relatively solid sector fundamentals and macroeconomic conditions that support a stable housing and mortgage market would keep the market stable despite other countries seeing much slower growth. Despite this, higher mortgage rates were causing price gains to moderate.Though limited housing supply fueled the price growth in some U.S. cities, affordability constraints would temper housing demand and help cool overheated markets. “We project U.S. home price growth will slow to 3 percent to 4 percent from 5 percent average in recent years,” Fitch said.Here’s how the U.S. housing market compares to other global markets: in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News January 21, 2019 723 Views Share FHFA Fitch Ratings homes HOUSING mortgage Outlook U.S. Housing Market 2019-01-21 Radhika Ojha Gauging Stability in Mortgage Lending Sharelast_img read more

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SP Adds Consolidated Analytics to TPR List

first_img Consolidated Analytics mortgage Quality Assurance REO S&P Servicing 2019-05-24 Radhika Ojha California-based mortgage services provider, Consolidated Analytics has been accepted to the Standard & Poor’s (S&P’s) list of approved third-party review (TPR) firms. The company said that the approval validated that Consolidated Analytics met S&P’s criteria for quality and independence of third-party reviews for U.S. residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS).The company will now appear in S&P’s Ratings Direct publication alongside other selected firms that meet S&P’s stringent assessment factors.“We never sacrifice quality,” said Arvin Wijay, CEO, Consolidated Analytics. “The S&P acceptance is a validation of the standards and best practices we have created across our entire organization. Standards that we’ve intentionally designed to exceed agency, market and client expectations for quality, independence, and transparency.”Prior to approval, S&P reviews and scrutinizes a range of processes, infrastructure, and business best practices such as compliance with underwriting guidelines, data integrity for loans, property valuation accuracy, regulatory compliance, and supporting technology capabilities. Once every 18 months, S&P updates its approved list of approved TPRs.“Trust and transparency are the key elements of a healthy RMBS market and we take our role as a third-party reviewer very seriously, knowing that each review has a ripple effect beyond a single loan file,” said Joe Andrea, President, Consolidated Analytics. “We appreciate the recognition from S&P, as it reflects the significant investment we’ve made in developing processes, tools, and technologies for next level due diligence.”Consolidated Analytics is now an accepted review firm on multiple rating agency lists. The company provides due diligence for capital market participants but also delivers additional risk management solutions to originators and servicers including collateral valuation, REO, and rental management, loan quality control and quality assurance, operational reviews, and technology and process advisory. S&P Adds Consolidated Analytics to TPR List Sharecenter_img in Headlines, News, Servicing May 24, 2019 406 Views last_img read more

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Weve had visits of people from the UK to our pil

first_img“We’ve had visits of people from the UK to our pilot farm, and they are very interested in these important, new cultivars.” Last year, Oranfrizer’s citrus exports to the UK rose by an impressive 55 percent. Grasso explains that the UK market was very good, while the Sicilian citrus season was highly positive from both a quality and volume perspective, which translated into solid prices. “This combination allowed us to increase sales and also to acquire new clients,” she notes.As for the 2019 season, having reached the half-way point Grasso says the expectation was worse than the reality, taking into consideration the unknowns of Brexit and an off-season in Sicily, which was compounded by flooding last October. “The bad weather affected the quality, the volume and the price of the fruit available for this season,” she states. “Nevertheless, supermarkets that we haven’t worked with before in the UK asked us to supply them. “All in all, considering the situation in the field, with Brexit and the exchange rate, I have to say that sales are good. Probably this season will be shorter than the last one; ending in April compared with May. But luckily, so far, the volume we are supplying to the UK is more or less the same as last year.”On the question of Brexit, Grasso says Oranfrizer is keen to continue supplying the UK, highlighting that within the European Union (EU) the UK is “one of the best” markets for the company.“But when the UK leaves the EU, the only certainty will be the quality of our fruit,” she acknowledges. “There is a lot of uncertainty about the exchange rate and whether there will be duties on products.“Everything depends on how the UK organises the market and how it coordinates its exit from the EU. If they manage it well, probably next season will be good. We have a good product that we can supply without a problem. The question is what will happen in the UK.” Oranfrizer marketing manager Salvo LaudaniBlood orange appeal Currently, blood orange is Oranfrizer’s best-selling citrus fruit in the UK. It’s also the firm’s leading export product overall and where Oranfrizer’s expertise lies. In the UK and other European nations, appreciation and demand is growing for the distinctive fruit on account of its high nutritional value, flavour, versatility of use and Italian origin. In particular, Laudani says scientific research indicates that Tarocco — which is the largest of the three main blood orange varieties (Tarocco, Moro and Sanguinello) — contains a higher of volume of Vitamin C than “all other varieties of oranges.”Blood oranges are a natural source of anthocyanin, too, which gives the fruit its characteristic red colour and makes it a good source of antioxidants. As for usage, Laudani suggests the fruit lends itself well to hot or cold, and sweet or sour dishes because of its balanced bitter-sweet taste. This delicate flavour also makes blood oranges the “perfect orange for eating,” rather than just squeezing.“In the last five to six years, we’ve developed a lot of recipes through our Orankitchen concept to suggest using the whole blood orange in the preparation of many dishes, from appetisers to desserts and cocktails,” Laudani comments, explaining that the information is sent to customers and shared with end users via supermarket tastings. “Untreated, you can use blood oranges in many, creative ways. The peel, which often goes to waste, can be used with chocolate or to add aroma to a dish of pasta.” Grasso points out that this balanced sweet-and-sour flavour is what distinguishes all Italian citrus (blood oranges, blonde oranges and mandarins) from sweet citrus grown in other countries.“Blood oranges and MandaRed mandarins also have a different look because they are pigmented, while Etna and Tacle mandarins have a different skin colour,” she adds. The microclimate of the Catania plain in Sicily, where Oranfrizer produces the majority of its citrus, is the cause of these peculiarities.“The presence of the [Etna] volcano affects the microclimate of the plain,” Grasso explains. “In winter, the daytime temperature is 20-22 degrees C, but at night the temperature goes down to 0-3 degrees C because of the volcano, which is 3,300 metres high. “This incredible temperature range, combined with the volcanic soil, stimulates the main characteristics of our citrus — the balance of the sugar and acidity, and the colour of the fruit. It produces an amazing red colour in the flesh and skin.” Oranfrizer grows and supplies PGI Sicilian blood oranges, PGI Syracuse lemons, Washington Navel oranges and Sicilian soft citrus cultivars Etna, Tacle, MandaRed and Mandalate. Oranfrizer is exhibiting at The London Produce Show and Conference on 5-7 June From the pages of Produce Business UKSicily’s leading citrus exporter Oranfrizer has garnered new retail business in the UK for its blood oranges and soft citrus mandarins on the back of a growing reputation for distinctive varieties, high quality and consistent supply. PBUK speaks with export manager Sara Grasso and marketing manager Salvo Laudani about Oranfrizer’s new varieties, the 2019 season, and future opportunities in the UK. Blood orangesHaving historically supplied Marks and Spencer (M&S) over the course of the last season, Oranfrizer has acquired additional supermarket customers in the UK with its new late-season cultivars of Tarocco blood oranges (also known as red-fleshed oranges). Grasso says Oranfrizer has selected Lempso and Ippolito as the best new Tarocco blood orange cultivars to send to the UK, out of the six it has developed — Nocellare, Ippolito, Lempso, Sciara, Meli and Sant’Alfio. “Lempso and Ippolito are proving very successful,” she explains. “We are supplying new supermarkets in the UK this year, as well as M&S, which continues to buy our fruit.” The new Tarocco cultivars guarantee extended availability and a continuity in supply from December to late May (during a good season), adds Laudani. “This provides an important six-month window during which to position the product on the market,” he says.Lempso and Ippolito offer high-quality characteristics too. “They are very well pigmented; not only in the flesh but also on the skin,” says Grasso. “Ippolito is delicious, with a very nice flavour. It’s very red both inside and outside.”Together with M&S, Oranfrizer has developed a new line of blood orange offerings for UK consumers, launching a ‘Red Blush’ brand for the Tarocco Lempso cultivar to highlight its distinctive red colouring. It was this, and other innovative supply efforts, that led to Oranfrizer winning the Special & Different Award from M&S in 2018.Oranfrizer export manager Sara GrassoMandarinsIn the past year, Oranfrizer has also introduced to more UK supermarkets its seedless, red-fleshed mandarin variety called MandaRed that the firm has supplied to M&S for years.“It’s a pigmented mandarin that is turning out to be very successful in the UK,” Grasso notes. “It’s the only pigmented mandarin in the world – there is not another mandarin like it! The sales are very good because the taste is very particular, and its presentation is really nice too. It’s available from the end of January until the middle of February.” Additionally, this season Oranfrizer has supplied a new Sicilian seedless mandarin called Etna to one UK supermarket.“We’ve never sold the Etna in the UK before, but this season we did something new and it has been very well appreciated by one UK supermarket chain in particular.”The UK outlook Established in 1962, Oranfrizer has supplied the UK retail market for the past two decades. During the past five to six years, however, the company’s presence has expanded, which Grasso attributes to the success of its Tarocco Ippolito and Tarocco Lempso blood orange clones, as well as its Tacle, MandaRed, Etna and Mandalate mandarin varieties. “The market has been much better and we have acquired new clients because the quality we have delivered has been stable and quite high,” she explains. “Now we have a good reputation in the UK as a reliable supplier from Sicily.”Added to that, Laudani says Oranfrizer is blazing a trail in terms of the varietal innovation of Sicilian citrus, which has caught the attention of UK buyers. “From what I’ve seen, the UK perhaps is the main market for new citrus varieties,” he reveals. “UK buyers are very interested in offering something different to the final consumer.“Oranfrizer is the leading company driving the revolution of the citrus sector in Sicily. The new cultivars of Tarocco are changing the face of our industry, and this is our goal. You might also be interested incenter_img March 12 , 2019 last_img read more

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earlybirdsrailRocky Mountaineer

first_imgearlybirdsrailRocky Mountaineer Four new destinations across new 2019 packages, and an Early Booking Bonus, constitute Rocky Mountaineer’s largest promotion of the year. Travellers can receive up to 1,000 AUD in added value, per couple, and be among the first to experience these new vacation packages in 2019. The Early Booking Bonus promotion is available on qualifying 2019 packages of eight days or more and your clients can apply the added value offer to additional hotel nights, sightseeing tours, Alaska cruises and more. The Early Booking Bonus offer is available until 31 August, 2018, and must be requested at the time of booking. The new 2019 packages include:● First Passage to the West Canmore Self-Drive: Canmore is an authentic mountain town 20 minutes from Banff, offering stunning views and a laid back atmosphere where guests can hike, explore caves, or discover unique restaurants and boutiques. The seven-day Canmore Self-Drive package features lodging at the newly-constructed Malcolm Hotel in Canmore, four days with a rental car to explore the region, and two days onboard Rocky Mountaineer.● First Passage to the West Kananaskis Self-Drive: Sprawling across a spectacular mountain landscape, and a 45-minute drive from Banff, Kananaskis is an ideal place to hike, mountain bike, ride horses, play golf, or relax in the Nordic Spa. The seven-day Kananaskis Self-Drive package includes two nights at Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge, four days exploring the area by rental car, and two days onboard Rocky Mountaineer.● First Passage to the West Sunshine Village Self-Drive: Located within Banff National Park, Sunshine Village sits at an elevation of 7,200 feet with panoramic views of the rugged mountain terrain. Known as a top hiking areas in Canada, Sunshine Village offers opportunities for nature walks, gondola rides, biking, and swimming in hot springs. The seven-day Sunshine Village Self-Drive package features two nights at Sunshine Mountain Lodge, four days with a rental car to explore the region, and two days onboard Rocky Mountaineer.● Journey through the Clouds Mountain Adventures: With rugged peaks as far as the eye can see, the Cariboo Mountains are stunning in every season. The 10-day Journey through the Clouds Mountain Adventures package features three nights at the CMH Cariboos Lodge, where guests arrive and depart via helicopter, two and a half days of guided heli-hiking, and two days on-board Rocky Mountaineer“With these new packages, our guests can combine a luxurious rail journey on board Rocky Mountaineer with outdoor activities to explore the very best Western Canada has to offer,” explained Deb Paulsen, vice president, guest experience. “We are excited to introduce our guests to even more of the Canadian Rockies with the addition of Canmore, Kananaskis, Sunshine Village and the Cariboo Mountains to our already incredible line up of available journeys.”Early Booking Bonus promotion T & Cs applyIMAGE: JTC Mountain Adventures CREDIT: Alpine Helicopters/Noel Rogerslast_img read more

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Joy DoddsMediterranean MusingsSevillaSevilleSpain

first_imgJoy DoddsMediterranean MusingsSevillaSevilleSpain Read all of JOY DODDS’ previous Mediterranean Musings – from Italy to Spain, and including gastronomic delights …IMAGE: View from Hotel Europa of narrow streets and wrought iron balconies, many enclosed.It would be so easy to spend a month exploring Andalucia, Spain’s southernmost Mediterranean region, taking in historic cities such as the capital Sevilla, Granada and Cordoba that were part of what the Muslim invaders referred to as Al-Andalus. History aside, there’s a wealth of scenic beauty from the snow-capped Sierra Nevada south-east of Granada to the little-known Costa de la Luz beaches along the Atlantic seaboard.Looking skywards at Hotel Europa’s decorative ironworkOur target was Sevilla, arriving by fast AVE train at Santa Justa Station after a fascinating 2½ hour rail journey from Madrid through Castilla-La Mancha. Heading for the historic district near the Rio Guadalquivir, an area of narrow cobbled alleys and small plazas called El Arenal, we chose the Hotel Europa near Plaza de San Francisco, located in an old building with fascinating wrought ironwork and a family-style environment – perfect!Within walking distance were all the city’s highlights including the Alcázar royal palace-fortress with its stunning arches and tiles in Patio de la Doncellas and the giant Catedral Giralda (originally a mosque) with its 90m-high minaret and Christian additions. The tomb of Christopher Columbus and the world’s largest altarpiece are two of many treasures found inside this Gothic masterpiece. Archivo de Indias (documenting Spain’s American empire) makes the city’s third World Heritage Site.Then there’s the Golden Tower (Torre del Oro), a 13th century Muslim watchtower and Plaza Salvador, a forum during Roman times with a few columns remaining.Sevilla street view with La Giralda cathedral tower in the distanceMore recent – 1758 in fact – is the very grand bullring, Plaza de Toros La Maestranza, a Baroque monument perched on the river bank which includes a bullfighting art collection While I am not in favour of the “sport”, many Spaniards are and bullfights are staged from Easter to October in Sevilla. Other sights include the Museo de Bellas Artes and many churches such as Iglesia de la Anunciación, Triana, Santa Ana and El Salvador, all within easy reach.Looking towards Plaza de Toros bullring on the Rio GuadalquivirSettled by the Romans. Sevilla oozes history, becoming an obvious target for the Muslim invaders, who made it their capital from 1040-to 1248. Christian monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella finally took back Spain in the 15th century, creating yet another chapter of history.But it is the colour and vitality of the people of Sevilla that impress just as much, especially at this time, before the famous century-old Feria de Abril which kicks off each year on April 15, one huge late-night party of song, dancing and cheerfulness.Sevilla is one of Spain’s bases of flamenco, which has its roots not only in Castilian culture, but also Arabic, Jewish and Gypsy. The rhythm, melody and dance are so passionate and powerful and, apart from many bars and restaurants, its identity, heritage and soul can be enjoyed in Sevilla at the Museum of Flamenco Dance.Inside El Real Alcazar – the royal palaces – including the Patio de las Doncellas with its majestic archesYear-round, don’t expect to eat at a restaurant before 8pm and do try as many varieties of tapas as you can – Iberian meats including black ham and pork loin, and seafood such as deep-fried baby squid, with masses of choice. One tapas restaurant, Albahaca, is located in a former gypsy cellar in an ancient courtyard. The city market, Mercado Lonja del Barranco, by the river at the Triana Bridge offers fresh produce and stunning cuisine.The city’s vibrant bars specialise in vino, cava and vermouth as well as live music and unforgettable flamenco, again late, often until 4am. I was tempted to enrol in a one-day course in flamenco dance technique and Spanish but reconsidered, thinking my age and hand-clapping skills may fall somewhat short.Time has flown amid this magical, vibrant city and it’s now time to explore another facet of Andalusia, its Mediterranean coast.last_img read more

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Azamara Club Cruises has finalised refurbishments

first_imgAzamara Club Cruises has finalised refurbishments to Azamara Quest following her recent Singapore dry dock, with new enhancements including the removal of the casino – replicating Azamara Pursuit’s “The Den” – a newly designed gift shop, and the addition of six new Ocean View staterooms.The casino has been transformed into a lively lounge, equipped with comfortable seating, a piano, light “live” music in the evening, and a long bar. “The Den” will also have a concierge desk staffed with destination-focused travel experts to help plan land excursions.Azamara Quest’s gift shop has been re-designed to provide guests with an immersive shopping experience, offering a variety of cosmetics, electronics, jewellery and perfumes.Six new Ocean View staterooms on deck four, port side raises guest capacity from 690 to 702 guests, and the ship’s toop ten suites and two specialty dining restaurants – Prime C and Aqualina – have also been revamped with new furniture. For a full list of 2019 Azamara Voyages CLICK HERE. Azamara Club CruisesAzamara Questcruiselast_img read more

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Nevada officials reach out to Dbacks on potential

first_img Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Comments   Share   Well we were all wrong. RB Ryan Williams from Va Tech is the pick, surprises everyone.less than a minute ago via Twittelator Favorite Retweet ReplyJay Feelyjayfeely @kentsomers Ryan Williams great pick..Top 15 talent! Cards stuck to their board. great job!!less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyDave RazzanoDaveRazzano Cardinals take RB Ryan Williams at 39. What say you, Beanie Wells?less than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet ReplyBob GlauberBobGlaubercenter_img Like idea of Ryan Williams in a #Cardinals uniform…dynamic, can catch and help out in blitz pickup…3 down back if healthy #NFLDRAFTless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyWesley BuntingWesBunting The Cardinals taking Ryan Williams in second round says plenty about Beanie Wells.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Replygregg rosenthalgreggrosenthal The Cardinals selecting running back Ryan Williams with their second round pick was a surprise to pretty much everyone. It was believed Arizona would look to grab a defender, and there were a few highly-regarded lineman and linebackers available. That said, surprise gave way to analysis, and the general consensus is things are looking up for the Cardinals at the running back position. The same, however, isn’t being said for Beanie Wells. Top Stories Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right awaylast_img read more

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0 Comments  

first_img 0 Comments   Share   Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Your browser does not support the audio element. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo LISTEN: Mike Sando, ESPN NFL Insider center_img Top Stories The Arizona Cardinals are undoubtedly still devising their plan to replace linebacker Daryl Washington, who will miss the entire 2014 season because of a drug suspension handed down Friday.They are big shoes to fill, no doubt. But one NFL insider thinks even though Washington’s absence will be an issue, the pressure is on another Cardinals unit this upcoming season.“I think the offense in Arizona is the most important thing,” ESPN’s Mike Sando told Doug and Wolf Monday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “It was much better in the second half of last year, I think quietly so. I think Carson Palmer was much better. “I think that is going to be even more important now — that Bruce Arians’ stamp on that side of the ball pays off and takes pressure off the defense so they don’t have to carry it every week like it felt like they did at times early in the year.”Sando’s assessment is statistically proven. In the first half of 2014, the Cardinals averaged 20 points and 314.5 yards per contest. Those numbers jumped up to 27.4 points and 378.3 yards per game after their Week 9 bye. Turnovers were also down substantially from 2.3 per game in the season’s first half to 1.6 per contest in Weeks 10-17.Sando believes that improvement was not an anomaly.“I kind of trust Bruce Arians to have the offense going,” he said. “They’re going to miss Daryl Washington. The defense may not be quite as good, certainly at that position, but that’s not the whole team, either and that’s not the whole part of their plan. “The offense, to me, has to take the next step, and it started to last year.” Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

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Derrick Hall satisfied with Dbacks buying and se

first_img Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Butler’s 41.3 gross average and 35.4 net average rank dead last among NFL punters.“You’re in some critical situations, and it’s not like you have a backup punter you can put in if a guy is having a rough day,” Keim said. “We’ll certainly talk about that today and see where it goes moving forward.” – / 25 Top Stories Most notably, Butler’s final punt of the day, which came with 7:26 left in the second quarter, fell short of where it needed to be. Leading 7-3, the Cardinals faced a 4th-and-15 at their own 20-yard line. Butler’s punt traveled 28 yards, out of bounds, allowing Washington to start a possession in Arizona territory at the 48-yard line. Eleven plays later, Washington got a field goal from Dustin Hopkins to pull to within a point at 7-6Steve Keim, the team’s general manager, isn’t exactly happy with what he’s seen.“Not satisfied at all,” Keim told Doug and Wolf Monday morning on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “Like any other position, there are expectations, and at that spot right now, we’re not living up to expectations.“It’s a results-based business, and if you’re not getting the job done, we’ll look and see if there’s someone who can.”Butler won the punting job in training camp, but struggled early in the season with ineffectiveness and injuries. He was actually waived in early October with an injury settlement and replaced by veteran Ryan Quigley. The punting game didn’t get much better with Quigley handling the job, and Butler was brought back in mid-November. Arizona Cardinals punter Drew Butler. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo The Arizona Cardinals got a much-needed win Sunday when they downed the Washington Redskins 31-23 at University of Phoenix Stadium.While getting back in the win column can do wonders for a lot of what has been ailing an underachieving team, it’s not a cure-all.One issue that has plagued the Cardinals all season was still present in their most recent triumph: punting.Drew Butler averaged just 39.7 yards on three punts Sunday, mostly failing to affect field position when the Cardinals saw drives stall.center_img Your browser does not support the audio element. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact LISTEN: Steve Keim, Cardinals general manager Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Comments   Share   last_img read more

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Derrick Hall satisfied with Dbacks buying and se

first_img Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Edgerrin James – 2006 – 4 years, $30 millionThe Cardinals were moving into a brand new stadium, and with money to burn landed one of the biggest stars available. With the Colts in 2005, James ran for 1,506 yards and 13 touchdowns while also catching 44 passes for 337 yards and one score, and adding him to an offense that already had Warner and receivers Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald seemed to be a great idea.“OK, it’s a risk,” James admitted at the time. “But hey, I’m a poker player. You can take it to the river. I’m not scared to make a change. I’m not scared to go out on a limb and try something different.”James’ first season in Arizona was OK, as he ran for 1,159 yards and six touchdowns. He was the first Cardinal to eclipse the 1,000-yard rushing mark since Adrian Murrell in 1998, and if nothing else, Edge heading to Arizona was a sign that the Cardinals were ready to compete for some of the NFL’s better and most sought after players.Emmitt Smith – 2003 – 2 years, $8 millionLet’s call it like it was: The Cardinals wanted some publicity and a boost in ticket sales, so they did what it took to sign a future Hall of Famer who just so happened to be a popular player with a former division rival. Mike Iupati – 2015 – 5 years, $40 millionThe Cardinals had won 11 games the previous season but were ravaged by injuries, including at the quarterback position. So, in an effort to help bolster the offensive line, the team went and signed Pro Bowl guard Mike Iupati away from the division rival San Francisco 49ers.“I really think that Arizona has a really good shot [at a Super Bowl],” Iupati told Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM shortly after joining the Cardinals. “I really think they have a really good team … they have a great organization and great coaches, so I’m excited.“There was a lot of teams [who made offers], but I didn’t think of Arizona until they really tried.”Iupati was coming off three straight trips to the Pro Bowl, and while he wasn’t seen as a great pass blocker, he was regarded as being excellent in the run game and the possible missing piece to a championship puzzle.In terms of the kind of impact Iupati made, while plenty more than just his play goes into it, the Cardinals did improve from 3.3 yards per carry in 2014 to 4.2. In 2015, QB Carson Palmer was protected well enough to start all 16 games and lead the Cardinals to the NFC Championship Game. Last season Arizona averaged 4.3 yards per run, though much of that can be attributed to how exceptional running back David Johnson played. Seth Joyner – 1994 – 5 years, $14 millionThere was a good amount of buzz surrounding the Cardinals in 1994 after they tabbed Buddy Ryan to be their head coach and general manager. A big name and even bigger personality, Ryan came to the Cardinals intent on upgrading their defense and turning the team into the kind of winner it had never been.The first part of that goal, anyway, was accomplished in year one in large part due to free agency. After inking former Philadelphia Eagle Clyde Simmons to a five-year, $14.5 million contract, the Cardinals were then able to lure in former Eagle linebacker Seth Joyner. The two shared the same agent, Jim Solano.“Clyde and I are pretty much best friends,” Joyner said at the time. “When we sat down early in the season, we pretty much knew what the situation was going to be, Clyde and I and Jim. We talked about different scenarios — Clyde and I being together, Clyde and I being separated. It was always a high priority for us to be together.”A Pro Bowler in 1993 after amassing 113 tackles, two sacks and one interception, Joyner was an impact player in Arizona with six sacks to go along with 38 tackles and three interceptions. He made the Pro Bowl in 1994, and amassed six sacks over the next two years with the Cardinals. Simmons, by the way, collected six sacks in 1994 and then 11 in 1995. Regardless, since signing with Arizona Iupati has been a quality player for the Cardinals, and at 29 likely still has many good years left in him. On March 9, the Arizona Cardinals will be able to start signing free agents.Comparable to last season, the team has significantly more apparent holes to fill, though guessing what positions they will seek to address and which players they would prefer to add is anyone’s guess.Except ours, because we’re not going to even attempt to try.Sorry if that disappoints you, but it’s not like we’re going to leave you with nothing.center_img Top Stories 0 Comments   Share   How does a trip down memory lane sound? Good? Excellent.In this edition of “The 5” we will look at five of the most notable free agent signings in Cardinals history, with the additions being chosen due to various factors, including name recognition, performance and overall impact.Kurt Warner – 2005 – 1 year, $4 millionOn This Day in 2005: A future member of the @ProFootballHOF came to the Valley, as @Kurt13Warner signed with your #AZCardinals! pic.twitter.com/BWLsjGBPPN— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) March 6, 2017The fanfare surrounding Warner signing with the Cardinals had more to do with what Warner used to be than what anyone thought he would do for his new team. The veteran was coming off a one-year stint with the New York Giants that saw him lose the starting job to Eli Manning, and was set to take the reigns in Arizona with Josh McCown as his backup.Warner’s first season in the desert was an uneven one, with the Cardinals winning just two of the 10 games he started and the QB passing for 2,713 yards with 11 touchdowns, nine interceptions and six lost fumbles.Despite that, Warner and the Cardinals decided to continue their relationship into the future, as he signed a three-year contract extension the following offseason. Though he had his issues in 2006, too, it’s safe to say things ultimately worked out for both sides, as he went on to lead the Cardinals to consecutive NFC West titles in 2008 and 2009 as well as Super Bowl XLIII. One of the greatest running backs of all time, Smith was 33 and coming off a season in which he failed to reach the 1,000-yard mark for the first time since 1990, his rookie year. His 3.8 yards per carry was also his lowest average since 1996, and his best days were clearly behind him.It’s why the Dallas Cowboys decided to cut the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. The Cardinals, however, were very willing to bring him into the fold.“I know what Emmitt has conveyed to me,” then Cardinals coach Dave McGinnis said. “He knows what he has left. He believes he can be a contributor. He will be a very valuable member of this organization, on and off the field.”The back’s first season in Arizona was a rough one, with him running for just 256 yards and two touchdowns in 10 games before suffering a broken shoulder blade against, coincidentally, the Dallas Cowboys. His second season with the Cardinals was better, with him notching 937 yards and nine touchdowns while also throwing his first career touchdown pass.While his on-field production was nothing to remember, Smith did bring some level of credibility to the organization, and his leadership cannot be discounted. Arizona Cardinals running back Edgerrin James puts on his helmet during the football team’s training camp, Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2006, in Flagstaff, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York) Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

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Go back to the enewsletter Guests will be invited

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterGuests will be invited to join Aqua Expeditions CEO and Founder, Francesco Galli Zugaro and celebrated Chefs, David Thompson and Pedro Miguel Schiaffino on a series of Mekong and Amazon River cruises in 2016.With the creation of Aqua Expeditions and building of three beautiful cruisers – Aqua Mekong, Aqua Amazon and Aria Amazon – Francesco Galli Zugaro, a modern-day adventure seeker, realised his dream of bringing the world to remote and untouched locations and providing an opportunity to interact with beautiful people – young and old. At the same time, guests are able to delve into the culture and history of local communities along the rivers’ paths and see amazing animal, bird, fish and plant life across breathtaking landscapes.In addition to the experiences available to guests on all Aqua Mekong cruises, Francesco will take guests on the hosted voyages on a bike riding adventure to local markets along the Mekong and kayaking on the gentle flows of the Amazon to spot the captivating local wildlife. Francesco will also share his vision which lead to Aqua Expeditions, over evening cocktails.Francesco Galli Zugaro Hosted Departures:Aqua Mekong7-Night Expedition Cruise: 26 August – 2 September 2016Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam to Siem Reap, CambodiaAqua Amazon7-Night Expedition Cruise: 19 – 26 November 2016Nauta (Iquitos), Peru to NautaDavid Thompson, who has been consulting Executive Chef on Aqua Mekong since the vessel’s inaugural cruise in October 2014, is well known in Australian-circles having run the acclaimed restaurants, Darley Street Thai and Sailor’s Thai in Sydney before moving onto open the Michelin-starred Nahm London then Nahm Bangkok. David has recently returned to Australia to open his newest restaurant, Long Chim in Perth.Pedro Miguel Schiaffino is consulting Executive Chef on Aqua Amazon and Aria Amazon. He is also Chef and Owner of Malabar, one of Lima’s most cutting edge and innovative restaurants, and founder of catering company, Schiaffino Gastronomika. Pedro has been listed in San Pellegrino World’s 100 Best Restaurants.On the hosted departures, David and Pedro will take guests on market tours to discover the locally grown and harvested ingredients so essential to the freshness of the dishes they serve on each of the vessels.  Guests will also join an on-board Master Class where David and Pedro will share their secrets of recipe planning, preparation and delivery and discuss the way in which the dynamic international food scene is transforming the way they design their latest visions of culinary creativity.David Thompson Hosted Departures:Aqua Mekong7-Night Expedition Cruise: 22-29 April 2016Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam to Phnom Penh, Cambodia7-Night Expedition Cruise: 13 – 20 May 2016Phnom Penh, Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), VietnamPedro Miguel Schiaffino Hosted Departures:Aqua Amazon4-Night Explorer Cruise: 29 March – 2 April 2016Nauta (Iquitos), Peru to Nauta7-Night Expedition Cruise: 26 November – 3 December 2016Nauta (Iquitos), Peru to NautaThe hosted cruises in 2016 are priced from USD3660 on Aqua Mekong and USD3330 on Aqua Amazon per person twin share for three nights.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

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Go back to the enewsletter MSC Cruises has confir

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterMSC Cruises has confirmed at its coin ceremony for MSC Meraviglia it intends to build a further two ships in the Meraviglia class. The two Meraviglia-Plus next-generation ships, as the new class of vessels is called, will feature increased tonnage and overall size, with a total of 2444 cabins and a maximum LSA of 8000. The two new units will now be due for delivery respectively in October 2019 and September 2020.Held at the STX France shipyard, the coin ceremony presented the opportunity to showcase the progress made on the work of MSC Meraviglia, which will come into service in June 2017.Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises Executive Chairman commented: “The two Meraviglia-Plus vessels will be even larger and longer as well as richer in features and amenities, thus confirming MSC Cruises as the industry’s boldest innovator when it comes to ship design and experiences we create for our guests.”At 331 metres long and with the addition of 200 more cabins, the two ships will feature a maximum capacity of nearly 6300 guests. They will also be able to call at a wide range of cruise ports around the world.In another MSC Cruises industry-first, the two Meraviglia-Plus ships will feature the first and only classic and contemporary fine art museum at sea.MSC Cruises also announced that MSC Meraviglia will be christened in Le Havre, France.Mr Vago added: “Standing here at the STX France shipyard for the coin ceremony for the 11th time is a reflection of how strong our ties are with France, which is where all the ships of our current fleet were built. This makes MSC Cruises, when it comes to export contracts, the number one foreign private investor in France – having invested over €8 billion over the period – and one of the leading overall investors.”“For this reason, I am proud to announce that MSC Meraviglia could not but be christened in France, in the beautiful UNESCO-listed port of Le Havre on 1 June 2017. From there, it will then set forth for its inaugural season to be spent in the Mediterranean, homeporting in another French port, Marseille.”The two new ships will be worth €1.6 billion, thus bringing MSC Cruises’ investment for the two Meraviglia plus the two Meraviglia-Plus ships to a total of €3 billion.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

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