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Friday, July 29, 2016

TUI Cruises christens Mein Schiff 5
TUI Cruises christens Mein Schiff 5

On July 15, TUI Cruises’ new Mein Schiff 5 was christened by Godmother Lena Meyer-Landrut. Lena Meyer-Landrut is a 25-year old German singer and songwriter.

Third in a series of six ships, the Mein Schiff 5 weighs in at 99 tons and costs approximately $625 million to build. The ship was built by Meyer Werft Turku, which is expected to deliver three more ships for TUI in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

The Mein Schiff 5 will spend the summer and fall in Europe before repositioning to the Caribbean for the winter season.

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Norwegian Cruise Line Unveils Hull Art for Norwegian Joy

Artist Tan Ping's stylized Phoenix flowing gracefully from bow to stern.
  Artist Tan Ping's stylized Phoenix flowing gracefully from bow to stern

Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that it has commissioned renowned Chinese artist Tan Ping to design the artwork to be featured on the hull of its soon to-be-unveiled Breakaway-Plus class vessel Norwegian Joy. Scheduled for release in Summer 2017, with home porting in Shanghai and Beijing, Norwegian Joy will be Norwegian Cruise Line's first ship that is purpose-built for the Chinese market to deliver on the promise that guests will enjoy 'First Class at Sea’ experiences, starting with her VIP accommodations. Tan Ping's distinctive artwork will serve to underscore Norwegian Cruise Line’s commitment to providing an unparalleled cruise experience for Chinese consumers. 

Artist Tan Ping, commissioned by Norwegian Cruise Line for the hull art of Norwegian Joy, launching in Summer 2017
Artist Tan Ping, commissioned by Norwegian Cruise Line for the hull art of Norwegian Joy, launching in Summer 2017

A painter, printmaker, and educator, Tan Ping straddles the worlds of both art and design. His abstract paintings and copper plate etchings are in the collections of such renowned museums as The National Art Museum of China; Portland Art Museum, USA; Ludwig Museum, Germany; and The Shanghai Art Museum. Tan Ping also enjoys the distinction of having led and directed a team of designers from Central Academy of Fine Arts to complete the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Image and Landscape Design Project.
His subject for Norwegian Joy is the phoenix, an iconic mythical bird believed to reign supreme over all birds of the world. It is a ubiquitous motif in Chinese art and can be found throughout the centuries in paintings, silk brocades, architectural flourishes, and more. 

Norwegian Joy featuring hull art by Chinese Artist Tan Ping
Norwegian Joy featuring hull art by Chinese Artist Tan Ping

"The Phoenix symbolizes beauty and good luck in Chinese culture, and Norwegian Joy will bridge across the West and the East and bring Chinese people’s best wish to the world and everyone in her path," said Tan Ping.
Tan Ping's stunning hull artwork promises to be the finishing touch on one of the most ambitious vessels in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet. Norwegian Joy will accommodate 3,850 guests with luxurious suites in the exclusive ship-within-a-ship complex, The Haven by Norwegian®, along with a brand new Concierge category of staterooms, plus a wide array of mini-suite, balcony, ocean view and interior staterooms, many with virtual balconies, to meet every guests’ needs. Dining options will feature the finest of both Chinese and Continental cuisine. When it comes to at-sea entertainment, guests aboard Norwegian Joy will be spoiled for choice with state-of-the-art Virtual Reality gaming at The Galaxy Pavilion, the world’s first two-level competitive racetrack at sea, an open-space park, two multi-story waterslides and plentiful options for duty-free shopping. 

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

60th Anniversary Of The Sinking of the Italian Liner - Andrea Doria.

Today marks the 60th Anniversary of the Sinking of the Andrea Doria -

The beautiful  Italian Liner - Andrea Doria.

On the night of July 25, 1956, at 11:10 PM,  the Italian ocean liner SS Andrea Doria was struck by the Swedish ship MS Stockholm in heavy fog off the coast of Nantucket. The ice-strengthened bow of the Stockholm T-boned the Andrea Doria and her sharp prow deeply penetrated the glorious liner. Taking on water almost immediately, the ship began to list and took 11 hours to roll on her side and sink under the waves.

Sleek Swedish America Liner - Stockholm
Sleek Swedish America Liner - Stockholm
Rescue ships, arrived including a small freighter - the Cape Ann and the grand liner - Ide de France helped to transfer passengers from the stricken liner. In total 1,660 people were saved before the Andrea Doria  finally capsized and sank the following morning at 10:09 AM. In total 51 passengers lost their life.

Andrea Doria - Italian Liner taking on water.
Controversy over who was at fault continued for the years that followed. Recent investigates have  determined that the Stockholm was at fault but the captain of the Andrea Doria - Captain Calamai carried the guilt from the accident and loss of life for years. Reports stated that he never went back to sea and he moved into the mountains of Italy to not be nears the sea. It was also reported that on his death bed - his last words were, "Are all of the passengers safe".

For a complete article on the Andrea Doria and her sinking >  Check out The Sinking of the Andrea Doria at

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15 Year Anniversary of the Sinking of the Sea ex. Gripsholm

Gripsholm as Regency Cruise's Regent Sea
Gripsholm as Regency Cruise's Regent Sea

This month marked the 15th year anniversary of the sinking of the Sea. The Sea is probably better known as Swedish America Lines’ Gripsholm or Regency Cruise's Regent Sea. The ship also sailed under additional names like the Navarino and Samantha.

When Regency Cruises went bankrupt the vessel was laid up in Tampa, Florida. New owners expected to convert the vessel into a casino ship sailing from New York. The ship was renamed the Sea. Work began on gutting the ship when New York City political officials decided to change the rules for gambling ships – making the operation from the Big Apple almost impossible. All work stopped immediately on the Sea and little was done to protect the outside elements from entering the ship. Laid up for years and ridden with mold and water damage, the ship could only be sold for scrap.

On the tow to Indian Breakers, the ship pulled off shore of the African Coast to avoid a storm. While riding out the storm, the ship was ransacked by locals taking anything they could.   It is believed that the opening of hull doors to remove the stolen articles compromised the seaworthiness of the hull. After resuming the voyage - on July 6th the vessel began to list to one side in rough seas. The tug captain was seeking the closest port to have the listing ship repaired but the Sea was denied entry into Algon Bay because of her threat of sinking.

On July 12, 2001, the Sea began to list further and then eventually rolled on her side and sank ending her 44 year career.

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Peaceboat to Build Eco-Friendly Ship By 2020

Paris, France – The design for the world’s “greenest” cruise ship has been finalized, and its maiden voyage in 2020.

Concept Drawing of Peaceboat's Eco-Friendly Ship
Concept Drawing of  Peaceboat's Eco-Friendly Ship - View #1

The plans for this whole-system, future-ready 55,000 ton cruise ship have been developed by a world-class team of over 30 engineers, scientists and thinkers from the fields of ship-building and cutting-edge eco-technology (including renewable energy, architecture, biophilia and waste management). The Ecoship Project is the brainchild of Peace Boat, a Japan-based NGO, which has been running educational voyages for peace and sustainability since 1983.

With a stunning hull form inspired by the whale, the vessel’s ecologically friendly features include 10 retractable solar-panelled sails and retractable wind generators, as well as a future-ready hybrid engine. Together with its projected cuts of CO2 emissions and impressive energy efficiency, Peace Boat’s Ecoship will be the flagship for green technology in passenger shipping, serving as a model for cruise operators worldwide.

The global shipping industry is one of the major contributors to GHG emissions. While the cruise industry represents only a tiny fraction of world shipping, it still comprises hundreds of large ships visiting pristine marine areas and must contribute to the agenda of solutions. Further, cruising is the most publicly visible interaction between modern shipping and the public and thus has the greatest potential to raise awareness and effect change across the industry as a whole.
Concept Drawing of  Peaceboat's Eco-Friendly Ship
Concept Drawing of  Peaceboat's Eco-Friendly Ship - View #2

“Peace Boat’s 2020 launch of the Ecoship offers a vision for a climate-friendly future and can lead the way towards a green cruising model that can also impact the wider shipping industry. The industry must adapt to the planet’s needs.” Explains Yoshioka Tatsuya, Founder and Director of Peace Boat.

“We are delighted to see wind propulsion being used on this innovative cruise ship design. The Ecoship will be a front runner in the design of lower impact cruise vessels and we will be working with the industry segment to help bring more wind propulsion solutions into the mix.” Said Gavin Allwright, Secretary of the International Windship Association (IWSA), “IWSA has recently welcomed Peace Boat onboard as one of our newest members, and we look forward to working together over the coming years, helping to spread the message of low carbon, sustainable shipping worldwide.”

The Ecoship will also embody sustainability efforts through its activities. It will sail for Peace Boat’s around the world educational voyages carrying 5000 people per year; host exhibitions of green technology in up to 80 ports annually; and serve as a floating sustainability laboratory able to contribute to research on the ocean, climate and green marine tech.
Concept Drawing of  Peaceboat's Eco-Friendly Ship
Concept Drawing of  Peaceboat's Eco-Friendly Ship - View #3

This awareness-building imperative is paramount for Peace Boat, which has Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and serves as an official messenger for projects including the UNISDR Resilient Cities Campaign. Peace Boat was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2008 and has sailed on over 80 voyages, carrying more than 50,000 people to over 180 ports.

For more information visit

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Monday, July 18, 2016

Hurtigruten Christens New Explorer Ship MS Spitsbergen North of the Arctic Circle

Hurtigruten's MS Spitsbergen was Christened in Svolvaer
Hurtigruten's MS Spitsbergen was Christened in Svolvaer.
On 7/7/2016, Hurtigruten christened their latest ship - the MS Spitsbergen. The christening event featured thousands of people in the town square at Svolvaer, a former fishing village and today one of the most spectacular adventure travel destinations in the world and truly one of the highlights of the Hurtigruten Norwegian coastal voyages.

“Adventure travel is one the fastest growing global tourism mega trends and Lofoten offers everything the new adventure traveller seeks: Spectacular scenery, authenticity, a unique history and atmosphere, and access to active nature-based experiences. Svolvaer in many respects mirrors the modern Hurtigruten, being a world leading provider of explorer cruises with activity, learning and sustainability in the core”, said Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam.

The new explorer ship is named MS Spitsbergen, after the largest island in the Svalbard Archipelago. This very northernmost part of Norway, next to the North Pole, is also where Hurtigruten founder Richard With first started explorer tourism in the Arctic in 1896.

Hurtigruten's MS Spitsbergen Torget Dining Room
Hurtigruten's MS Spitsbergen Torget Dining Room

The MS Spitsbergen was originally built in 2009 but was purchased by Hurtigruten just last year. Hurtigruten has performed an extensive upgrade to the vessel, modernizing her for her new role. The ship's decor is crisp and definitely Scandinavian in look and feel. The MS Spitsbergen is small compare to the mega ships today, but her size allows for her to reach the most remote and picturesque ports around the globe. Here are some quick stats:
  • Year built 2009
  • Shipyard Estaleiro Navais de Viana do Castelo (POR)
  • Passenger capacity 335
  • Beds 243
  • Car capacity 0
  • Gross tonnage 7,344
  • Length 100.54 m/ 362.7 feet
  • Beam 18 m / 59 Feet
  • Speed 17 knots

Polar pioneer, mountaineer godmother

Cecilie Skog was the godmother to smash the champagne bottle in the ship’s side and officially christen MS Spitsbergen. Skog is one of the most merited contemporary Norwegian explorers, with numerous impressive achievements including expeditions to the North Pole; the South Pole; Mount Everest; Antarctica; and Greenland. She has also climbed the ‘Seven Summits’ to stand on top of the highest mountain on each of the earth’s seven continents. 

Arctic adventure awaits

After a first season in Norway, MS Spitsbergen will alternate between the Norwegian coast and polar expeditions. Already from 2017, guests can sail with her to Greenland; to Iceland; to the Faroe and Shetland Islands, as well as to Arctic Canada. Amongst the many exceptional landings in Canada is L'Anse aux Meadows, a UNESCO World Heritage site where the first Vikings settlements were discovered in 1960.
“Archeological findings suggest this is the place where pioneer explorer Leiv Eriksson went ashore and named it Vinland. Coming here and to the other historic sites with MS Spitsbergen, more than a 1000 years later, resonates with our Viking spirit and Hurtigruten’s pioneering ambitions”, says Skjeldam.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Alternate Plans For The SS United States Should the Crystal Cruises Plans Not Materialize.

Having just experienced the 4th of July and keeping with the patriotic theme - How could I not mention the SS United States.

The plan below was proposed to bring the famous S/S United States to Brooklyn, New York as the Center of a waterfront development project including pedestrian walkways, shops, restaurants, hotels and more. The SS United States Conservancy chose Crystal Cruises Plan over the option below. Should Crystal Cruises decide not to pursue the conversion of the United States - the plan below may be back on the table. Only time will tell.

This article was reprinted from the

SS United States is Invited to Brooklyn

SS United States Revitalized in Brooklyn.
Proposal SS United States Revitalized in Brooklyn.
One of the most luxurious ocean liners ever built, the SS United States was and is to this day the fastest. She remains the holder of the Blue Riband for speediest transatlantic crossing—in 1952.
Yet “America’s Flagship” sits at a dingy Philadelphia pier, paint peeling off the hull, weeds sprouting in what were once well-appointed staterooms. Its nonprofit owner, the SS United States Conservancy, has tried for years to ensure its survival, but earlier this month the organization announced that despite progress toward finding a permanent home, the vessel would be sold to a metals recycler unless new donors or investors came forward. “The Conservancy has never been closer to saving the SS United States, nor so close to losing her,” read part of the statement.

The United States will not be consigned to the scrap heap if John Quadrozzi can help it. Mr. Quadrozzi, the owner of Gowanus Bay Terminal in south Red Hook, has the perfect Brooklyn pier to host the great ship, and he won’t even charge rent. Currently, the SS United States Conservancy pays $60,000 per month to the Philadelphia pier owner, and has struggled to pay the bills since purchasing the ship from Norwegian Cruise Line in 2011.

Mr. Quadrozzi and the Conservancy have been talking for more than a year about the United States coming to the Columbia Street Pier in Brooklyn, and they’re close to an agreement. “The SS United States Conservancy is intrigued with the prospect of the SS United States traveling to Gowanus and setting up home there,” Susan Gibbs, Conservancy president, told WaterWire.

Mr. Quadrozzi is getting down to brass tacks. “We need to raise two million dollars to tow the vessel to a dry dock, complete remediation and provide the basic mooring structure,” he said. “Once we get that together and bring her here, the ship is saved.”

“We already have a towing company selected,” he added. “We’re discussing a contract to lock in advantageous prices.”

As for which dry dock, he’s done his homework here, too. “She does fit into the Brooklyn Navy Yard,” he said. “But it’s going to come down to dollars and cents—the cost of moving the ship and the cost of the dry dock repairs.”

“We’re committed to making it work,” Mr. Quadrozzi told WaterWire. “I’m not saying we wouldn’t want to benefit from the value of the vessel, but we don’t want to add to the burden. We want the vessel to stop the bleeding and develop the next phase of getting the infrastructure done and attracting investors and developers.”

Mr. Quadrozzi is asking colleagues and business associates to consider the opportunities with him. “Oh yeah, every couple days I get somebody down here,” he said. “Some of the big developers are pretty intrigued. I’m not going to allow the kind of gentrifying elements that would affect our own industry, though.”

A big believer in the importance of the working waterfront, Mr. Quadrozzi is in the cement business. He owns 33 acres of underwater property and 13 acres of upland property at Gowanus Bay Terminal, where his bulk carrier MV Loujaine is now a repurposed floating cement silo. Gowanus Bay was once a busy hub of grain deliveries, part of New York’s Erie Canal barge system in the early 20th century. Mr. Quadrozzi dreams of a network of industries here that fuel each other–reuse of building materials, a waste-to-energy facility, a supplier of bio-diesel, etc. The United States, he says, will be “on the edge of industry,” its space possibly used to incubate industrial startups.

“It would be a big economic development project; it would create an enormous amount of jobs,” he said. “We want this to be the place where new business and new industry develops. It’s all going to be complementary to the industrial park that we are now expanding. We’re creating an industrial ecosystem. We want to bring the public to the terminal, and this could be a magnet unlike any other.”
“Once we get the vessel here, it’s all development,” he said. “It’ll really blossom like a flower.” The Columbia Street Pier is 1,300 feet long—a nice fit for the 990-foot-long United States—and edged by a public walkway with seating. Mr. Quadrozzi and Conservancy officials have talked about a café and catering hall on board, event space, opportunities for movie and photo shoots, and a museum that would, according to the Conservancy website, “reveal the ship’s secret features, detail the adventures of real people on the high seas, showcase the ship’s most colorful personalities, and explore the science and technology behind the world’s fastest ocean liner.”

“We’re charting a new course now,” declared Mr. Quadrozzi, who has started to fill in community stakeholders about the proposal. “Full steam ahead!”

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Cunard Line's Queen Mary 2 Remastered - Learn All About the Extensive Refit.

Cunard Line's Queen Mary 2 Remastered - Learn All About the Extensive Refit. Read all about the $132 Million dollar renovation to this great liner. Don't miss out on the extensive photos of her new elegant interiors and her new amenities catering just to the canine passengers.

Read All About Cunard Line's Queen Mary 2 Remastered.

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Monday, July 11, 2016

WATCH IT LIVE - The Christening of Regent Seven Seas Cruises Ultra-Luxury - Seven Seas Explorer.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises - New Seven Seas Explorer - Watch Her Christening Live.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises - New Seven Seas Explorer - Watch Her Christening Live.
Watch the christening of Regent Seven Seas - Seven Seas Explore. Marketed as one of the most luxurious ships afloat -  see the ceremony live online.

Seven Seas Explorer® is spaciously intimate, breathlessly elegant and perfectly staffed to offer Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ special brand of all-inclusive luxury. She will bring elegance and glamour to the world’s greatest destinations, offering exquisite dining options that rival those of the finest restaurants ashore and all-suite, all-balcony accommodations boasting the largest balconies at sea.

Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco will christen our beloved Seven Seas Explorer® on July 13, 2016. Watch the historic ceremony and grand celebration live from Monte Carlo at 3:00 pm (EST) on


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class Ships to Come to Miami With Announcement of New Miami Cruise Terminal.

Royal Caribbean's Proposed New Cruise Terminal in Miami Capable of Handling an Oasis Class Ship.
Royal Caribbean's Proposed New Cruise Terminal in Miami Capable of Handling an Oasis Class Ship.
Royal Caribbean Cruises today announced an agreement with Miami-Dade County to construct and operate a dramatic new cruise terminal at PortMiami, on land leased from the County. The new terminal will be a striking addition to PortMiami, and will serve as homeport to Royal Caribbean International ships, including a 5,400-passenger Oasis-class ship, the world’s largest and most innovative cruise ships. The agreement will come before the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners on July 6, 2016.           

“This new terminal is a symbol of our commitment to Miami, the city where our company first started almost 50 years ago. We can’t wait to bring an Oasis-class ship to PortMiami.” said Richard Fain - RCCL President.

Passenger Drop Off at Royal Caribbean's New Miami Cruise Terminal.
Passenger Drop Off at Royal Caribbean's New Miami Cruise Terminal.
“This public-private partnership will have an estimated economic impact of $500 million and generate approximately 4,000 jobs. Royal Caribbean has been an important part of our world-class community for almost 50 years, and this expansion will once again make PortMiami Royal Caribbean’s largest cruise port in the world. I thank them for their continued investment in and commitment to Miami-Dade.”said Carlos Gimenez, Miami-Dade County Mayor

Broadway Malyan has been selected as the firm to design the new terminal, after a global competition was held between five of the world's leading architectural firms. The firm was selected because of their creative thinking and cutting-edge design.

Royal Caribbean's Proposed New Miami Cruise Terminal at Night.
Royal Caribbean's Proposed New Miami Cruise Terminal at Night.
The 170,000-square-foot terminal is nicknamed the ‘Crown of Miami’ because of its distinct shape.  The design evokes the points of the symbolic headgear when viewed from the water; the ‘M’ of Miami when viewed from the east or western approaches; and a sense of waves rising or ships passing when viewed from the terminal side. At night, the terminal’s facade will be lit ensuring that the building makes a striking impression and providing a dynamic addition to the PortMiami landscape.

The new terminal will not be the only addition for Royal Caribbean in the coming year. The company has committed to add a 20,000-square-foot Innovation Lab to its corporate headquarters located at PortMiami. The Innovation Lab will continue to generate Royal Caribbean’s industry-leading, innovative vessels.

Interior of the Proposed Royal Caribbean Cruise Terminal in Miami
Interior of the Proposed Royal Caribbean Cruise Terminal in Miami
Currently, PortMiami welcomes approximately 750,000 Royal Caribbean passengers annually, representing about 15 percent of its overall passenger traffic. Once the new cruise terminal is completed, it is anticipated that Royal Caribbean will generate at least 1.8 million passengers at PortMiami – representing no less than 30 percent of the port’s projected passenger traffic.

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Friday, July 1, 2016

Remembering Home Lines Homeric on the 43rd Anniversary of Her Last Cruise

On July 1, 1973, Home Line's famous Homeric of 1931/1955 suffered an galley fire 90 miles off the coast of  Cape May, New Jersey. Earlier that day, the Homeric departed from Manhattan on what was to be a Caribbean Cruise.  Although the fire was quickly contained and extinguished, it did result in significant smoke damage throughout the ship.  The Homeric sailed to Genoa, Italy in hopes of having the ship repaired but the smoke damage would ultimately lead to the demise of the great liner. The cost involved in restoring the liner, combined with her age of 33 years made the repairs financially not possible.   The Homeric was sold to scrappers and on January 29, 1974, the ship arrived at Kaoshiung, Taiwan for scrapping. Meeting her in Kaoshiung was also another legendary liner, the Nieuw Amsterdam (1938) of Holland America Line.

Final Cruise Brochure for Home Line's Famous Homeric of 1955
Final Cruise Brochure for Home Line's Famous Homeric of 1955
The Homeric was originally built for Matson Line as their famous Mariposa of 1931. After sailing extensively in the Pacific between the West Coast and Hawaii, the Mariposa was laid up. In  1953, the Mariposa was purchased from Matson Line and in 1954 renamed Homeric for the famous Home Lines.

Under Home Lines ownership, the Homeric had an illustrious career sailing transatlantic from New York and/or Canada to Europe and eventually settling in on year-round cruises from New York to the Bahamas or the Caribbean.

Home Line Homeric as Depicted in a Home Lines Postcard.
Home Line Homeric as Depicted in a Home Lines Postcard.

 The Homeric was large for ships of the day offering passengers anything they could possibly need. At 18,563 tons and 632 feet long, the Homeric is dwarfed by ships like the Oasis of the Seas today. The Oasis Class ships are almost 11 times the size of the Homeric. The Homeric had a very loyal following with many current passengers frequently booking back-to-back weeks. The ship had an Italian flair, an all Italian crew providing attentive service, outstanding food and was meticulously clean. The Homeric had an extensive Lido deck and a party atmosphere. She was one of the pioneers in luxury Bahamas and Caribbean Cruises from New York.
Home Lines Homeric (1955) Aerial View Showing Deck Space and Lido Area

The Homeric was a fixture on the New York cruise circuit for 1.5 decades and one of my favorite liners. It is only right to remember the Homeric's great career on her anniversary.

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