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Tuesday, 24 November 2020

MSC Gets Green Light for Japan Start

MSC Gets Green Light for Japan Start

MSC Balissima

MSC Cruises announced it has received a certificate of compliance from Japanese maritime classification society ClassNK for its health and safety protocol and will restart cruising in Japan in April 2021.

The certification now paves the way for the line to open sales in December to local residents for cruises homeporting in Japan and start to work with ports in the country to prepare for the forthcoming season, the company announced.

Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises’ CEO, said, “We are extremely pleased to have received this certification and are now confident that we will be able to restart our Japan operation serving the local market by April 2021.”

Junichi Hirata, ClassNK’s General Manager of Innovation and Sustainability Department, said, “This is the first important step of a longer-term plan for MSC Cruises to resume Japanese cruise operations in the first half of 2021, and we will now work closely with the line towards that goal.”

Hiroya Nakano, Director-General of City of Yokohama’s Port and Harbor Bureau, concurs and said, “It is great news that MSC Cruises has received this certificate of approval from ClassNK for its health and safety guidelines. The Port of Yokohama is committed to cooperating accordingly for the re-starting of international cruises in spring 2021.”

Health and safety operating protocols of port authorities in Japan and MSC Cruises will also follow guidelines established by JOPA, the Japan Oceangoing Passenger Ship Association.

The MSC Bellissima, which was launched in 2019, will be deployed to Japan, homeport in Yokohama to sail six- to nine-night cruises in April, May and June 2021. She is also scheduled to operate in the country during October and November 2021. 

Onorato added: “To be the first international cruise line in Japan to be awarded this key certification of compliance is a further testament to our robust and rigorous health and safety protocol which led the way for the entire global industry when in August we became the first major line to resume cruise operation in the Mediterranean.  

“We have now safely and responsibly carried more than 30,000 customers in the Mediterranean and can now look forward to offering the same for our guests who live in Japan.

 “Our industry-leading protocol, as well as the unique sets of data gathered through the operation of our two ships calling Italy, Greece and Malta during the past few months, is currently being reviewed by authorities in other regions where the Company’ other ships are scheduled to restart.

“We believe, therefore, that this certification – in a country where the industry was at the centre of much attention very early in the pandemic – and the confirmation by authorities in Italy through their latest ministerial decree that cruising can continue, will go a long way to demonstrate the trust that we have been able to build with the protocol’s effective measures and their rigorous application for the benefit of guests, crew and the communities we serve.” 



Top Block Placed on AIDAcosma

Top Block Placed on AIDAcosma

AIDAcosma in the Meyer Werft shipyard.


The new AIDAcosma is inching closer to completion as Meyer Werft placed the bridge block on the ship in the yard's covered building hall in Papenburg, Germany.

The 5,400 guest ship is a sister to the AIDAnova, and both are powered by LNG, with another AIDA newbuild due for delivery from the German yard in 2023.

The AIDAcosma is set for a spring 2021 delivery date from the shipbuilder. 

Her inaugural season has the ship sailing in the Baltic and to the Norwegian fjords next summer followed by a planned deployment to the Middle East for 2021-2022.


Liverpool's new cruise terminal delayed again

Liverpool's new cruise terminal delayed again
What Liverpool,s cruise terminal could look like.

Liverpool's new cruise terminal is set to be delayed by another year amid uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic.

The terminal has already been delayed but the council announced a new opening date of 2022 last October. Now, a recently released report indicates 2023 as the aim.

It comes months after a multi-storey car park which originally formed part of the larger plan for the terminal was shelved.

The council has come under renewed pressure from the Green Party to cancel the project in the wake of the pandemic.

They argue it clashes with the city's climate goals and is a risky investment given the suppressed demand in the travel industry.

The council has continuously said it is working to limit the polluting effects of the terminal and that the potential economic benefits are huge.

A report to the culture and tourism select committee said planning for construction continues.

The report said: "The construction planning for the new Liverpool Cruise Terminal continues. We await the Harbour Revision Order from the International Marine Organisation.

"Once we have this, works will commence on site. Completion date is anticipated for 2023 if all time-lines on the critical path are not compromised due to Covid."



Friday, 20 November 2020

PRINCESS EXTENDS SAILING SUSPENSION UNTIL END OF MARCH

PRINCESS EXTENDS SAILING SUSPENSION UNTIL END OF MARCH

Princess Cruises has extended its suspension of global sailings until the end of March.


All cruises through to 31 March 2021 have been cancelled, while itineraries from US ports longer than seven days have been put on hold until 1 November.

 

Princess said the move would allow time for “completing required activities” in line with recommendations made by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) restart framework published earlier this month.

 

The line has also extended its pause in operations for cruises departing in and out of Japan through to 25 June 2021 due to “uncertainty about when international travel restrictions might be lifted”.

 

Guests currently booked on these cancelled voyages will have the option to receive a refundable future cruise credit equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare and an additional non-refundable bonus credit equal to 25% of the cruise fare.

 

Customers can alternatively request a full refund for all monies paid on their booking. Requests must be received by 31 December 2020 or guests will be registered for the future cruise credit option.

 

Princess president Jan Swartz said: “We are focused on preparing our ships to meet the CDC health and safety requirements for our eventual return to service.

 

“We also appreciate the continued support we have received from our guests, partners and travel advisors, reinforcing for all of us why we do what we do.”

Thursday, 19 November 2020

Norwegian Cruise Line Launches Summer 2023 Itineraries

Norwegian Cruise Line Launches Summer 2023 Itineraries

Norwegian Bliss in the Azores.

Norwegian Cruise Line today announced its 2023 summer itinerary lineup.

The new itineraries include the brand’s first visit to beautiful Nessebar, Bulgaria on Norwegian Jade’s Extraordinary Journeys sailing through the Mediterranean and the Black Sea; the debut of Norwegian Bliss at the Royal Naval Dockyard during her seven-day roundtrip voyage to Bermuda from New York; Norwegian Jade’s first visit to Bodrum, Turkey and Paros, Greece during her seven-day roundtrip voyage from Athens (Piraeus), Greece; and more.

The company said this is the furthest in advance that it has ever launched its itineraries.

“Now is the time to break free from the hold 2020 has had on us, dream big and plan for the cruise vacation we’ve all been waiting for,” said Harry Sommer, Norwegian Cruise Line president and chief executive officer. “Our newest itineraries along with our incredible, limited-time Black Friday deal provides guests with the perfect opportunity to book, save and indulge in a cruise vacation of a lifetime. We can’t wait to return to the sea, but until we can do so, we are proud to be able to provide our guests with a bit of inspiration, entertainment and behind-the-scenes action with the launch of ‘EMBARK – The Series’.”

Summer 2023 notable itineraries include:

MEDITERRANEAN


  • The Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Gem and Norwegian Jade will sail a selection of five to 11-day cruises through the Mediterranean from May through October.
  • For the first time, Norwegian Cruise Line will visit the ancient city of Nessebar, Bulgaria during Norwegian Jade’s March 30 Extraordinary Journeys sailing. This nine-day roundtrip voyage from Athens (Piraeus), Greece through the Mediterranean and the Black Sea include a port rich itinerary with no sea days.
  • On her May 21 sailing, the Norwegian Jade will make her debut in Bodrum, Turkey and Paros, Greece as she embarks on a selection of seven-day Greek Isles roundtrip voyages from Athens (Piraeus), Greece, available through Oct. 15.
  • From May 6 through Oct. 13, the Norwegian Breakaway will offer port-intensive itineraries during her 10-day Greek Isles roundtrip cruises from Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy, visiting Santorini, Greece; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Italy; Cannes, France and more.

NORTHERN EUROPE
Sailing a series of Northern Europe cruises from May 8 through Oct. 17, Norwegian Getaway’s nine-day Baltic roundtrip voyages from Copenhagen, Denmark feature an overnight stay, a total of 36 hours in port, in St. Petersburg, Russia. The itinerary also includes calls to Warnemünde, Germany; Tallinn, Estonia; Stockholm, Sweden; and Helsinki.

BERMUDA
For the first time on her May 21 sailing, the Norwegian Bliss, will call to Norfolk, Virginia. The vessel will also make her debut at the Royal Naval Dockyard in Bermuda as she begins a series of five and seven-day roundtrip cruises sailing out of New York. The itineraries include two overnight stays at the Royal Naval Dockyard

ALASKA
Between April 22 and Oct. 15, Alaska will welcome four Norwegian Cruise Line ships: Norwegian Jewel, Norwegian Sun, Norwegian Encore and Norwegian Joy. The ships will sail a variety of five to nine-day voyages from Seattle; Vancouver, Canada; and Seward, Alaska, and every seven and nine-day itinerary.

BAHAMAS
Starting June 2 through Dec. 29, the Norwegian Sky will sail three and four-day roundtrip cruises from Miami, calling to Freeport, Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay.

THE CARIBBEAN
Cruising roundtrip from Miami, the Norwegian Escape and Norwegian Sky will offer a mix of five to nine-day sailings between Eastern and Western Caribbean. The various itineraries include calls to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Road Town (Tortola), British Virgin Islands; Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas; George Town, Cayman Islands; Roatan Island, Honduras; Cozumel, Mexico; Harvest Caye.

Norwegian Sky leaving the port of Miami

CANADA AND NEW ENGLAND
Beginning Aug. 27 through Oct. 29, the Norwegian Escape will homeport in New York City offering seven-day roundtrip cruises to Canada and New England making calls to Newport, Rhode Island; Portland and Bar Harbor, Maine; Saint John and Halifax, Canada. The Norwegian Pearl will sail a series of seven-day open-jaw cruises to and from Boston, and Quebec City, Canada from Aug. 25 through Oct. 13 with visits to Bar Harbor, Maine; Halifax, Sydney, Charlottetown and Saguenay, Canada.



'Positive Signs' as Holland America Moving Six Ships Toward U.S.

'Positive Signs' as Holland America Moving Six Ships Toward U.S.


Holland America Line is preparing for a gradual restart and is said to be moving six cruise ships toward the U.S. citing positive signs and a new conversation around the return to service.

The news came in a letter sent to crew from President Gus Antorcha, reported by Crew Center, and also obtained by Cruise Industry News.

"Following in-depth discussions with the CDC, other government agencies, and medical and science authorities, we have decided to start moving six Holland America Line ships toward U.S. waters over the next several weeks to begin completing the requirements for conditional sailing," Antorcha said in the letter sent to the crew.

The ships heading to U.S. waters are the Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Westerdam, Zuiderdam, and Noordam. Holland America did not specify port information but the line has traditionally had a strong presence in the winter from Port Everglades and Tampa, which would pull from a large drive-to market.

“While there is still much to be done, this is an important first step toward our goal of resuming cruise operation," the letter said.

"Holland America Line will continue to work with the CDC on our eventual return to guest cruise operations. We are fully aligned with the CDC on our top priorities for compliance, protecting the environment, and the health, safety, and well-being of our guests, the people in communities we touch, our crew, and shoreside employees."



Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Bahamas Paradise’s Grand Celebration Likely Getting Scrapped

Bahamas Paradise’s Grand Celebration Likely Getting Scrapped


Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s Grand Celebration is likely heading to the end of her cruise career as the ship is rumoured to have been sold for scrap and is currently sailing toward India, where the 1987-built vessel is expected to arrive in early January.

Company officials did not return a request for comment, while a separate Facebook post from the cruise operator reassuring guests they would return to service soon has since been removed.

The cruise line’s website has also been simplified recently, while its booking engine has been offline for at least three weeks.

“Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line is pleased to announce that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has lifted the no-sail order and provided new guidelines for cruises to resume sailing. Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line is now working to comply with all requirements to ensure a safe return for guests to Grand Bahama Island,” the company said, on its website, noting it will “be accepting reservations very soon.”

With the Grand Celebration presumably exiting the fleet, it leaves the company with the more modern Grand Classica under its banner, offering two-night cruises to the Bahamas from Palm Beach.

Royal Caribbean Sees 100,000 Sign Ups for Free Volunteer Cruises

Royal Caribbean Sees 100,000 Sign Ups for Free Volunteer Cruises

Independence of the Seas in Southampton UK.

Royal Caribbean International has over 100,000 form submissions for volunteers to take trial cruises as part of the CDC's new Conditional Framework to restart cruising in the United States.

Forms filled out required a person's name, phone number, email, Crown and Anchor Society number, and the number of people in a person's party, meaning the cruise line likely has upwards of 200,000 potential volunteers assuming each form submitted is for two people. 

The news came via Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley in a Facebook post.

The company launched the effort on Nov. 12 via Facebook after mentioning they were considering having volunteers on Nov. 4.

Potential volunteers can learn more about signing up here.


Sunday, 15 November 2020

Disney Delays Launch Dates of 2 Ships by 2 Years

Disney Delays Launch Dates of 2 Ships by 2 Years

Disney Wish postponed.

Disney Cruise Line will be postponing the launch of its sixth and seventh ships from 2022 and 2023 to 2024 and 2025, respectively.

This was announced by CEO Bob Chapek during the question and answer part of the Nov. 12 financial results conference call.

Chapek blamed the delay on having to go through and adapt to “quite thorough” latest CDC guidelines.

“They really entail some really high hurdles in terms of not only testing by the potential guests that we host on the ships but also a process that has to happen in order to certify our first sailings,” he said. “Those will necessarily result in delays beyond what we had hoped in terms of getting our ships back in service and making magic for our guests.”

Chapek also reminded that the launch of the Disney Wish, the cruise line’s fifth ship, was postponed from the end of 2021 to summer 2022.

Pandemic-related issues at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany were cited as the reason for the six-month delay back in mid-October when it was first announced.

Chapek added that the cruise line sees a “very, very strong demand” for its new cruise ships.

“We hope and expect that the world will back to normal by then, and anticipate having a fine time trying to fill up the demand of those ships. And we think there's going to be so much pent-up demand that we don't expect to have many issues given the love that our guests have for Disney Cruise Lines,” Chapek said.


Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Cruise Line Stocks Surge on Monday on Vaccine News

Cruise Line Stocks Surge on Monday on Vaccine News


Premarket on Monday, cruise line stocks surged up to the tune of between 20 to 30 per cent based on positive vaccine news.

Carnival Corporation was up 29.16 per cent; Royal Caribbean Group 21.05 per cent; Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings 25.81 per cent and Lindblad Expeditions 17.43 per cent in premarket trading. 

The positive momentum was driven by good news from clinical trials evaluating a COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech. With multiple news outlets reporting vaccine trials were seen as more than 90 per cent effective. Drugmakers may apply for emergency use as soon as later this month.



Tuesday, 10 November 2020

Fincantieri Starts Dry dock Work on Chinese-Built Cruise Ship

Fincantieri Starts Drydock Work on Chinese-Built Cruise Ship


Making a key milestone in the construction of the first megaship built in China, Fincantieri held the coin ceremony for its newbuild ship at Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co. Ltd (SWS), a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC). The ship is under construction for CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Limited, a joint venture between Carnival Corporation and CSSC.

Fincantieri also reported the hull erection of the ship is starting. 

The coin ceremony took place at the presence, among others, of the Consul General of Italy in Shanghai Michele Cecchi and the Deputy Mayor of Shanghai Wu Qing. The event was also attended by Lei Fanpei Chairman of CSSC, Fabrizio Ferri CEO of Fincantieri China, and Tian Yulong and Gao Dongsheng, respectively Chief Engineer and General Manager of the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

The new ship, which will be delivered in 2023, will accommodate about 4,250 passengers, in addition to 1,400 crew members. She will be the first cruise ship built in China for the Chinese market.


The joint venture set up by Fincantieri and CSSC Cruise Technology Development Co. Ltd (CCTD) grants a technology license of the ship model platform and provides a series of technical services to SWS, including project management activities, supply chain management and sales of fundamental systems and components, according to a press release.

During the China International Import Export (CIIE) 2020, Marine Interiors, subsidiary of Fincantieri and major international player in the design and construction of public and catering areas, as well as glass walls, also signed a contract with SWS for the supply of approx. 2,800 cabins for the ship. 

Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, stated: “The production is moving forward as planned. This is an excellent sign for the cruise industry in China and it confirms the strong commitment of Fincantieri, CSSC and the Carnival group in this very difficult moment we are living in. The different teams have worked remotely for months with great ability and flexibility, and today's milestone not only confirms our Group's management leadership, but it also demonstrates the determination of the entire sector in tackling the crisis.



Palfinger Completes First Cruise Dry dock Since Pandemic

Palfinger Completes First Cruise Drydock Since Pandemic


Palfinger Marine has completed its first major refurbishment jobs since the start of the pandemic, according to a press release.

The job involved servicing 18 lifeboats and 20 winches for the Allure of the Seas from Royal Caribbean International.

To complete the job, 11 technicians from Palfenger’s U.S. service office travelled to Naventia’s shipyard in Cádiz, Spain, where they joined five LSA- and seven refinishing technicians from Palfinger Spain. 

Palfinger’s Florida-based Operations Manager Josh Lozano has celebrated the resumption of major cruise operations at Palfinger.

“Slowly but surely, we were able to resume our work after the lockdown, starting with the first successful service job for the Allure of the Seas,” he said.

Together, the technicians working on the Allure refinished the canopies on 18 lifeboats – which can carry up to 370 people each – and inspected the boats and release gear. 

This work included “cleaning and maintaining the release hooks as well as inspecting the boats according to MSC.402 and other regulations required by class and flag,” the company stated. The jobs took 30 days to complete.

Lozano said that they have also been performing two cruise drydocking in Italy and Singapore, utilizing the company’s corresponding local offices. Additional planned inspections were performed by the company’s UK office.


NCLH CHIEF 'ENCOURAGED BY FUTURE DEMAND' AMID COVID CHALLENGES

NCLH CHIEF 'ENCOURAGED BY FUTURE DEMAND' AMID COVID CHALLENGES

Norwegian Jade currently in Naples.

Despite Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) facing “a long road of recovery ahead”, the group’s chief says he is “encouraged by continued demand” for future sailings from customers across its brands.



Friday, 6 November 2020

TUI Cancels Mein Schiff 6 Program in Greece

TUI Cancels Mein Schiff 6 Program in Greece


TUI Cruises will suspend the operations of the Mein Schiff 6 in Greece, following a new Greek lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

TUI said it will run one last cruise from Corfu, without port stops, and featuring all sea days, before suspending service for the rest of the month.

"The Greek government yesterday announced a corona-related lockdown that will take effect on Saturday, November 7," TUI said, in a statement.

"As a result of the short-term nature and on the basis of our hygiene and health concept, we have received a special permit to carry out the trip to Greece from November 8 to 14 as a blue trip without shore excursions. Unfortunately, with a heavy heart, we have to cancel the other planned cruises to Greece that start on November 14th, 21st and 28th."

The company was also forced to cancel its Germany-based program earlier this month, but still plans to cruise in the Canary Island in November



Dream Cruises Resumes Service in Singapore

Dream Cruises Resumes Service in Singapore


Dream Cruises has restarted its service in Singapore on Nov. 6, according to the cruise line.

The World Dream has set sail on her two- and three-night Super Seacation itinerary targeted at the Singaporean market.

The ship, which can carry 3,400 passengers, is operating at a reduced capacity of 50 per cent.

According to Dream Cruises, around 1,400 people are on the first resumed voyage.

“It is a great honour for us to continue our long and fruitful partnership with Singapore, which began in 1993, almost 30 years ago,” said Michael Goh, president, Dream Cruises. “We could not have done this alone, and I would like to acknowledge the great support we have received from the Singaporean authorities – and especially the Singapore Tourism Board for their trust and confidence in us.”

Among the experiences available onboard the World Dream’s Super Seacation sailing are theatre shows, virtual reality games, waterslides, and a zip-line suspended 18-decks above the ocean. Every voyage will end with an at-sea laser show, according to the press release.

“The resumption of cruise operations will also see Genting Cruise Lines reinforcing its commitment to reviving sea-faring opportunities in Singapore and cultivating local cruise talents through new employment prospects and educational partnerships that will provide more jobs for Singaporeans, during this difficult pandemic period,” stated the company.

It added that Genting Cruise Lines has completely reexamined its health, hygiene, and operating protocols over the past two months to “ensure the safest environment for everyone on board.”



Wednesday, 4 November 2020

P&O Cruises still planning Iona celebration in Southampton

P&O Cruises still planning Iona celebration in Southampton


P&O Cruises is still planning a celebration for when new ship Iona arrives in Southampton to begin her maiden sailings but said it would “judge the mood of the nation” first.

President Paul Ludlow said the new ship was looking “stunning” and would be “unlike anything ever seen before for the British market”.

He said: “It’s our intention to keep her in Europe when she comes to Southampton and we will absolutely celebrate her arrival into the UK. It will be such a feel-good moment that it would be remiss of us not to. But we will have to judge the mood of the nation.

“It’s difficult to predict the future at the moment, so until things are more certain, we will hold back with details of this event.”

Speaking as he launched the line’s summer 2022 programme, Ludlow said Iona’s sister ship was still on track for delivery in December 2022 and that steel-cutting for this vessel was due to take place in Germany before the end of this year.

He said bookings for the second half of 2021 were at the “upper end of historic levels”, those for spring 2022 had “surpassed the upper end of historic levels” and that summer 2022 pre-registrations were “akin to previous years”.


Ludlow said some bookings for 2022 were by customers whose 2020 cruises had been cancelled and who were redeeming their Future Cruise Credits.

“The majority of people took FCCs over a refund when their cruises were cancelled,” he said. “And of those who took an FCC, 50% have utilised it already. So that leaves 50% who are still waiting to utilise it. There were some who had bookings for 2020 and 2021, so they have been waiting to use the 2020 FCC in 2022.”

Ludlow also said that not all bookings were by loyal guests and that the “new to cruise market hasn’t completely gone away”.

“In the first, three or four months, new to cruise volumes actually exceeded my expectations,” he said. “That’s slowed down a little bit but even so, it’s exceeded my expectations as to how many new-to-cruise people wanted to book.”

Ludlow added: “For people taking their first cruise, the consideration period is lengthy. By the time they had invested all that time, [the pandemic] has not been enough for them to say ‘it’s no longer for me’.”

Cruise Lines Extend U.S. Sailing Suspension Until 2021

Cruise Lines Extend U.S. Sailing Suspension Until 2021


The trade association representing 95 per cent of the global ocean-going ships says its members will maintain the voluntary suspension of cruise ship operations in the U.S. through the end of the year.

Cruise Lines International Association members include brands of Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line, the three largest cruise ship groups. Each made their own separate announcements related to suspending U.S. cruises through the end of the year on Monday.

The voluntary suspension comes less than a week after the U.S. CDC issued framework guidance to resume cruise operations in earnest despite surging cases and recent warnings from government scientists that cruise ship travel exacerbates the spread of COVID-19. The CDC’s No Sail Order, which was first issued in March and later expanded multiple times, expired on October 31.

The framework requires cruise lines to “demonstrate adherence to testing, quarantine and isolation, and social distancing requirements to protect crew members while they build the laboratory capacity needed to test crew and future passengers.”

CLIA said today that extending the sailing suspension through the end of the year will give its members time to implement the extensive measures set out by the CDC and the guidance of outside public health experts.

The suspension has created unprecedented losses for cruise lines and beaten down cruise stocks. According to CLIA, the cruise industry generates over $53 billion in annual economic activity and supports 421,000 jobs in the United States. The cancellation of cruises since for nearly eight months has resulted in estimated losses of more than $25 billion in economic activity and over 164,000 American jobs.

The Association issued the following statement on behalf of its members:

“As we continue to plan for a gradual and highly-controlled return of cruise operations in the U.S., CLIA members are committed to implementing stringent measures to address COVID-19 safety, including 100% testing of passengers and crew, expanded onboard medical capabilities, and trial sailings, among many others. We share a common goal with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to protect public health, which has been affirmed and reaffirmed consistently throughout the industry’s response to the global pandemic. As we work to operationalize a path forward, our members have agreed to extend our existing suspension of U.S. operations through December 31. This action will provide additional time to align the industry’s extensive preparation of health protocols with the implementation requirements under the CDC’s Framework for Conditional Sailing and Initial Phase COVID-19 Testing Requirements for Protection of Crew. We recognize the devastating impact that the pandemic continues to have on the 421,000 Americans whose livelihoods are connected directly to cruise operations. We will work with urgency to advance a responsible return to cruising while maintaining a focus on effective, science-based measures to protect public health.”

CLIA’s statement added:

“In the nearly eight months that cruise operations in the U.S. have been suspended, CLIA members have been diligent in the planning and development of rigorous protocols in the interest of the health and safety of passengers, crew and the communities cruise lines serve. The public health protocols that CLIA members have agreed to adopt have been informed by the recommendations of world-class experts in public health and science, as well as the experiences of CLIA member lines who have resumed sailing in Europe and other parts of the world with approval from local and regional governments.”



P&O Restart by March 'Not Impossible'

P&O Restart by March 'Not Impossible'

P&O Iona

The likelihood of P&O Cruises returning to sailing by March is “not impossible”, according to boss Paul Ludlow.

The line’s president has said a decision on its restart of operations would be “informed by what is happening with the country at large”, speaking on Tuesday (3 November) ahead of England’s second national coronavirus lockdown later this week. 

The government was having to consider the national “macro environment” when working with UK cruise operators, he said - P&O’s operations are currently suspended until the end of February 2021.

“Do I think March is still realistic? I don’t think it’s impossible,” Ludlow told media during a briefing for its summer 2022 programme, which went on sale this week.

“We’re going to see what happens over the next few weeks. We could leave it [a decision on further extending the suspension] until the New Year but we have to think of our guests and agent partners.

 “From my perspective, if you have to move things further to the right [suspend further] I would want to make that decision this year.
“We are in regular contact directly with the government, and via Clia, and the dialogue remains very positive. I’m pleased with how talks are progressing.”

Discussing P&O’s eventual return to operations, Ludlow said Covid testing “will be key” to a successful resumption.

Although he added that he believed cruising could still operate safely without a vaccine with adapted onboard health and safety protocols in place.

He confirmed – as suggested by Clia’s recent pledge – that all P&O vessels would feature testing capabilities onboard.

“The type [of testing] is yet to be defined as the technology is moving so quickly but we are committed to being able to test all of our guests and crew.”

Upon the line’s restart, Ludlow predicted social distancing could be used “really effectively” with ship capacity capped “at about 85%” but said a lower threshold could be put in place.

“It depends upon which ship and where it’s going. The answer to how long we do that [limit capacity] and what level does somewhat depend on our testing capabilities and the prevalence of a vaccine. I think at this stage there are too many unknowns.”

Tuesday, 3 November 2020

Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean brands extend US cruise suspensions

Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean brands extend US cruise suspensions



The two largest US cruise combines will not sail again until the new year at the earliest.

The North American brands of Carnival Corporation and those of rival Royal Caribbean Group confirmed an extension of sailings until December 31 – joining Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, which confirmed an extension of its suspension of cruises across its three brands until the end of 2020.

The latest pause affects Carnival Cruise Line, Cunard North America, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Seabourn together with RCG lines Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara and Silversea.

Global ocean cruising has already been shut down since March due to the Covid-19 pandemic with many lines already cancelling cruises well into 2021.

The US last week cleared the way for the cruise ship to resume sailing in American waters from November 1, but have yet to confirm when paying passengers will be allowed on board.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s ‘Framework for Conditional Sailing Order’ will see cruise lines operate itineraries with no passengers on board to demonstrate the effectiveness of Covid-19 prevention measures and compliance with CDC measures.

Carnival Corporation chief executive Arnold Donald, confirming the extension of the pause in operations of its North American brands from December 1 until December 31, said: “Our highest responsibility and top priorities are always compliance, protecting the environment, and the health, safety and well-being of our guests, the people in communities we touch, our crew and shoreside employees.

“We continue to work with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and global government and public health authorities, as well as top medical and scientific experts around the globe, on a comprehensive plan for the eventual restart of cruising in North America.

“With their collective guidance, we have developed and continue to update our enhanced health and safety protocols that are in the best interest of our guests, crew and overall public health.

“Whenever we restart our cruise operations in the US, we certainly look forward to welcoming our guests onboard.”

The date for restarting cruise operations will be communicated by each respective brand and available on their websites, Carnival Corporation said.

“The company and its brands are also notifying crew members, travel professionals and other stakeholders,” the group added.

RCG said: “Our primary goal continues to be a healthy return to service for our guests, crew and the communities we visit.

“As we work with the CDC and others toward this shared goal, Royal Caribbean Group will be extending the suspension of sailings to include those departing on or before December 31, 2020, excluding sailings from Singapore.

“Celebrity Cruises has already suspended their full 2020-21 winter programme in Australia and Asia.

“Additionally, Azamara has suspended their 2020-21 winter sailings throughout Australia and New Zealand, South Africa and South America.

“We will be reaching out to our guests and travel partners to share further details and address any questions or concerns they may have.”

Welcoming the CDC’s pathway for return to service announced on Friday, RCG said: “While we are eager to welcome our guests back on board, we have a lot to do between now and then, and we’re committed to taking the time to do things right.

“This includes training our crew in new health and safety protocols and conducting a number of trial sailings to stress-test those protocols in real-world conditions.”

Sunday, 1 November 2020

COVID-19 Claimed These Cruise Brands

COVID-19 Claimed These Cruise Brands


Big thanks to https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/ 

With COVID-19 taking its toll on the industry and with some ships and brands still out of service, the lack of income has claimed a handful of smaller cruise brands since the global pandemic started.

Pullmantur Cruceros
June 22

Madrid-based Pullmantur Cruceros was the first cruise line to be claimed by the COVID-19 pandemic. A joint venture between the Royal Caribbean Group and Cruise Investment Holding, the brand filed for reorganization under the terms of Spanish insolvency laws on June 22.

At the time, Pullmantur’s board of directors claimed that the unprecedented impact of the pandemic made the action necessary. While the website of the Spanish cruise line is still online, two of its ships are being scrapped in Turkey. The third was withdrawn from DNV GL's database in August and is anchored off Greece, awaiting its fate.


Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV)
July 20

In the United Kingdom, Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) was placed into administration on July 20. On the same day, all future cruises were cancelled, including those of the sister-brand TransOcean Tours, which was also placed into administration in Germany.

In the weeks prior to the announcement, CMV was reportedly negotiating a rescue financing deal, which did not pan out. The Essex-based brand operated a fleet of six vessels, which were returned to its owners or auctioned off over the last weeks.


FTI
July 28

FTI Cruises was shut down by its owners on July 28. The one-ship cruise brand was part of the German-based FTI Group, which has other assets in the travel and hospitality sector.

Operating for FTI since 2012, the 420-guest Berlin used to offer cruises in the Caribbean, Europe and the Middle East. In September, the FTI Group sold the vessel to new owners, who plan to convert it into a private yacht. 

Blount Small Ship Adventures
August 24

Blount Small Ship Adventures ceased operations in late August. The US-based cruise line operated a fleet of two small 100-passenger coastal ships and was a subsidiary of the shipbuilder Blount Boats.

While a message on the cruise line’s website says it "hopes to be sailing again in 2021," all future cruises were cancelled, and its two vessels were spotted on Blount Boat’s website as available for sale.


Jalesh Cruises
October 9

Jalesh Cruises announced its shut down on October 9. The brand had started operations in 2019, operating the 1,590-guest Karnika. With ambitions to grow, Jalesh targeted the Indian source market, sailing around the country and also in the Middle East.

In a statement, it blamed the future uncertainty for the situation, citing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. "The owners of MV Karnika states that it is not in a position to start the operation as the ports in India has not given the date by which cruise ships can start its operations", Jalesh said.