MSC Cruises Partners Up with China’s CAISSA Touristic

first_imgzoom Switzerland-based cruise line MSC Cruises and China’s outbound tourism service provider CAISSA Touristic Group have entered into a strategic partnership, described by the two as “the longest-running and financially most significant” between a cruise line and a tour operator in the history of cruising in China.As part of the agreement, from May 2016, MSC Lirica will homeport in Shanghai to serve the Chinese home market.World Maritime News reported earlier in August of MSC’s plans to debut in China, with the newly-renovated MSC Lirica calling in Shanghai on May 1, 2016.The 65,000-GRT ship will make the company’s maiden call in China’s biggest megalopolis after a 60-day round-the-world Grand Voyage which departs on March 3, 2016 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.CAISSA Touristic’s President Chen Xiaobing emphasized the popularity of MSC Cruises’ European and South American routes with travellers from around the world and that it had recently been named number one cruise line in Europe.  “This partnership standouts from other traditional agreements between China-based tour agencies and cruise lines by the emphasis that will be placed on the training of the entire on-board staff to ensure that guests receive MSC Cruises’ best-in-class experience and service as well as the degree of the adaptation of the ship’s hardware and software (like facilities renovation, service design and operation, on-board commodities and more) to fit the customs and tastes of the Chinese guests that it is designed to serve,” Chen Xiaobing added.last_img read more

Sierra Leone children enjoy remarkable progress since end of war UN envoy

“The most striking impression of my visit to Sierra Leone is the remarkable transformation which has taken place in the country, in barely the space of a year-and-a-half since the ending of conflict,” the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Olara Otunnu, told the press at UN Headquarters in New York.He said the change was evident in the peace and security enjoyed throughout the country, the displaced persons returning to their homes, free and fair elections and the resurgence of commerce in various parts of the country among other things.Mr. Otunnu had been in Sierra Leone from 22 to 28 February to assess the impact of the country’s decade-long conflict on children and progress made since the end of the war. During his visit, the Special Representative met with President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, government officials and senior staff of the UN peacekeeping mission.Compared to his previous visits to Sierra Leone, Mr. Otunnu said many children were in smart uniforms attending school, and were better fed and clothed. To ensure that the gains made were consolidated and sustained, he urged the international community not to shift their attention from Sierra Leone.”It would be very unfortunate if precisely at a time when one is beginning to see tangible results, and when Sierra Leone is well-poised to really now consolidate on the peace and make this project sustainable, if the international community at this moment abandons Sierra Leone and the children of Sierra Leone,” he said. read more