Tuesday, 4 August 2020
Covid cases on ships show how complex the restart can be
Monday, 3 August 2020
MSC Readying Two Ships for Cruising; Unveils Health Plan
MSC Grandiosa is ready to resume sailings.
Thanks to https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/ for the article.
After restarting in June, some Hurtigruten crew test positive for Covid-19
The Roald Amundsen, the Hurtigruten ship launched last year. The crew on the ship have tested positive for Covid-19.
Crystal Cruises cancels all 2020 sailings
Crystal Cruises has cancelled all its cruises up to the end of the year.
The suspension affects sailings onboard ocean ships Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, as well as on its yacht Crystal Esprit.
Sailings onboard river ships Crystal Bach, Crystal Debussy, Crystal Mahler and Crystal Ravel are also cancelled through to the end of 2020.
In June, Crystal set out plans to return to sailing in the autumn.
The cruise line said: “Like all travel enthusiasts, we are eagerly anticipating the day we can return to sailing the world again and welcome our guests back aboard. Unfortunately, the constantly changing variables related to Covid-19, coupled with differing restrictions for international travel, continue to determine when and where this can happen.
“The uncertainty surrounding this global health crisis hinders the ability for all cruise lines to operate.
“We extend our deepest apologies for this situation that is beyond our control and is a great frustration to all of us. Everyone at Crystal, along with the officers and crew of our ships fleetwide, are extremely disappointed that we were compelled to take this action as we were looking forward to exploring together.
“What is certain is Crystal’s commitment to the safety and well-being of our guests and crew above all else. While we are looking forward to welcoming our valued guests back aboard again as soon as possible, we will not do so until it is deemed safe by governing health authorities.”
Crystal encouraged its affected passengers to contact their travel agents to rebook.
Affected ocean and yacht passengers are entitled to a future cruise credit equal to 125% of the fare paid on fully-paid reservations and a refund of port charges, taxes and fees paid and any air and hotel packages booked through Crystal.
Guests who have not fully paid will get a credit based on the deposited amount. Credits are valid on any Crystal experience (ocean, river, yacht or expedition) up to December 31, 2023.
Crystal is offering a River Rollover to river cruise customers – who can move 2020 reservations, including all payments made, to an equivalent sailing in the same time period in 2021 with price protection on the cruise fare and port charges which the line said to represent “significant value for them”.
They can also choose to transfer reservations to any Crystal experience embarking up to December 31, 2023.
If guests do not choose an option by August 14, 2020, Crytal will automatically issue a Future Credit, equal to 100% of the cruise fare paid.
The line added: “While our fleet is paused, the Crystal team has been developing new procedures and policies that will support all public health and regulatory requirements and to ensure our guests’ vacations continue to be not only relaxing and pleasurable but safe and healthy. Each protocol will be continually evaluated as new information becomes available.”
Conservative MPs join calls for airport testing instead of blanket quarantines
Senior Conservative MPs have called on Boris Johnson to introduce German-style tests at airports to replace blanket quarantine or risk being “left behind other nations.”
The MPs including Sir Graham Brady, chair of the powerful 1922 Tory backbench committee, and former aviation minister Paul Maynard warn that the aviation industry faces “six-figure” job losses unless the prime minister adopts a “more nuanced” response.
This reflects industry calls voiced by Tui UK and Ireland managing director Andrew Flintham, urging the government to remove the ‘blunt tool’ approach to quarantine and consider regional travel corridors.
Travel Counsellors boss Kirsten Hughes also called for Covid-19 testing at airports instead of blanket quarantine restrictions on entire countries.
The 20 MPs who have signed the letter also want regional “air bridges” that would connect holidaymakers and business travellers to “low-risk” areas within countries hit by the UK travel ban.
They said: “We are particularly worried that further quarantines and continuing weak passenger numbers will further exacerbate what is an already desperate situation, with associated job losses projected to reach six figures in the coming months.”
The move follows the government re-imposing quarantine on travellers returning from mainland Spain and the Balearic and Canary islands.
Quarantine rules were also re-introduced on Luxembourg on Friday, while Portugal remained subject to the UK travel ban including the Azores and Madeira Islands even though their low rates of Covid-19 mean they are classed as “safe” destinations by the Foreign Office.
While accepting measures to protect public health, the MPs who also include former international trade minister Mark Garnier and DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said it demonstrated that a blanket quarantine approach was “not always appropriate,” the Telegraph reported.
“The government should consider moving towards regional travel corridors recognising that not all parts of a country may be similarly affected from a spike in infections, allowing quarantine-free travel from those places,” the MPs said.
This would allow quarantine-free travel to the low-risk Balearic and Canary islands, which, with Spain accounting for 2.4 million UK holidaymakers in August alone, and to Madeira and the Azores.
Airport testing would also open up vital long-haul trade routes to countries like the US and Canada following similar moves by Germany and France which have introduced schemes from this week that will allow in passengers from “red list” countries if they test negative for Covid-19.
“This would mirror the measures announced by the German government and the UK should not be left behind as other nations look to more nuanced responses that allow travel to continue and for the risks to be minimised,” said the MPs.
Heathrow has offered to run a trial where passengers could be tested on arrival and then at five or eight days, after which they could be released from quarantine if they proved negative for Covid-19.
Henry Smith, chair of the Future of Aviation Group and MP for the Gatwick constituency of Crawley, said in an article for the newspaper: “If the government is serious about Global Britain it needs to protect and support our aviation industry immediately as it faces the greatest challenge in its history.
“But the potential impacts of a blunt blanket quarantine risks damaging more than just aviation and its related industries. The concept of a Global Britain is itself at risk.
“Aviation is more than our summer holidays, it is a key economic enabler opening up the UK to trading markets and opportunities across the globe.”
The MPs urged the government to provide a “longer-term package of measures” to protect aviation jobs, each of which research shows supports a further 24 jobs.
Options that have been put forward to ministers include reduced business rates, employment support to workers and waivers on Air Passenger Duty.
“It is, of course, right that the Government remains vigilant and has the flexibility to respond to the public health challenges as they occur,” the MPs added.
“However, it is also right that this response considers the serious economic impact that these measures have on a sector that will be vital to our long-term economic recovery.
“We, therefore, urge you to reform the quarantine policy to allow for regional travel corridors, introduce airport testing linked to high-risk nations and provide longer-term employment support to the millions of employees working in the sector.”
Meanwhile, random coronavirus testing will be introduced at airports in Ireland, according to the country’s health minister.
Stephen Donnelly said the move was needed because the “international situation is becoming more volatile”.
He said passenger locator forms were being made electronic and tracing teams were to be “bulked up”.
Sunday, 2 August 2020
Holland America bestows Rotterdam name on its upcoming ship
A rendering of the Rotterdam VII, the latest in Holland America Line's Pinnacle-class. Photo Credit: Holland America Line
Saturday, 1 August 2020
Carnival Corp. shedding two more ships
Carnival Corp. recently sold the Costa neoRomantica to Celestyal Cruises.
Friday, 31 July 2020
MSC Cruises to Operate Palumbo Malta Shipyard in New Joint Venture
Thursday, 30 July 2020
Holland America Line announces name change for new build
Holland America Line has changed the name of its new build as it looks to honour the brand’s 150-year history.
The line’s new ship, expected to be delivered on July 30 next year, was due to be named Ryndam. However, the brand today announced it was changing the name to Rotterdam, with the new ship set to become the flagship for the fleet.
It comes two weeks after the line revealed it was selling four ships – including one called Rotterdam which is one of two vessels sold to Fred Olsen Cruise Line.
The new build, which will be delivered two months later than initially planned due to the pandemic, will be the seventh ship to hold the name Rotterdam. Guests who were booked on the ship’s inaugural cruise in May and itineraries through to July 30 are being contacted with rebooking options.
When the ship launches it will spend the summer in Northern Europe and the Baltic on roundtrip cruises from Amsterdam.
The new seven-day ‘Premiere Voyage’ departing from Trieste to Civitavecchia will depart on August 1. It will be followed by a 14-day sailing which ends in Amsterdam.
Between August 22 and October 10 the ship will sail roundtrip from Amsterdam on three seven-day itineraries to Norway, one 14-day cruise to the Baltics and one 140day cruise to Norway, Iceland and the British Isles.
It will then sail transatlantic on a 14-day voyage from Amsterdam to Fort Lauderdale in Florida.
To accommodate guests booked on cancelled itineraries which had been due to sail from May to July, some changes have been made to Nieuw Statendam’s deployment to match up with the former Ryndam cruises.
Guests who were due to sail on the original Premier Voyage will be rebooked on the new Premier Sailing and will receive a $100 per person onboard credit.
All other guests who were booked on impacted Ryndam or Nieuw Statendam cruises will be automatically rebooked to a similar future cruise date during the summer at the same far paid. They will also receive a $100 per person credit for cruises of 10 days or less and $250 per person for itineraries of 12 days or more.
Just retired MS Rotterdam.
Gus Antorcha, the line’s new president, said: “The first ship for Holland America Line was the original Rotterdam, the company was headquartered in the city of Rotterdam for many years, and the name has been a hallmark throughout our history since 1872 … so clearly the name is powerful and symbolic.
“With the current Rotterdam leaving the company, we knew we had a unique opportunity to embrace the name as our new flagship and carry on the tradition of having a Rotterdam in our fleet. Seven is a lucky number, and we know she’s going to bring a lot of joy to our guests as she travels across the globe
“Guests and travel advisors will be notified today of this news and coming changes to current itineraries.
“We ask everyone, though, to please bear with us just a few weeks for all of the details as we rebuild itineraries and put the finishing touches on several desirable alternatives. We will follow up with specific details very soon so everyone knows their options.”
Holland America Line’s first ship, Rotterdam, sailed on its maiden voyage from the Netherlands to New York on October 15, 1872.
Rumoured sale of Cunard and Seabourn denied by Carnival Corporation
Carnival Corporation has scotched speculation that luxury brands Cunard and Seabourn could be sold as the cruise giant seeks to navigate recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The company was responding to a specialist media report.
Global shipping news service TradeWinds claimed a sale could be prompted by ageing passenger demographics and a need to generate higher returns.
But a Carnival Corporation spokesman said: “There is no truth to this rumour.
“Cunard and Seabourn are iconic brands for our company, and both lines have a strong track record of success over the years.”
The company announced that it is to dispose of a further two ships, in addition to the disposal of 13 ships across its brands and the delayed delivery of new vessels announced earlier this month.
Four older Holland America Line ships have been sold, including two to Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, while P&O Cruises’ Oceana has left the fleet and Greek line Celestyal Cruises acquired Costa Cruises’ Costa NewRomantica.
In June, Carnival Corporation said it was speeding up the disposal of ships after a registered $2.4 billion adjusted net loss in the three months to May 31.
It has raised at least $10 billion through a series of financial transactions since March, and had “taken significant actions to preserve cash and secure additional financing to maximise its liquidity”.
It also confirmed $8.8 billion of credit facilities to fund ship deliveries originally planned through to 2023.
Cunard sailings by Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria are suspended until November 1 and Queen Elizabeth until November 23.
Seabourn’s five-ship fleet is on an extended pause in operations into October and November.
The brand had previously announced a suspension of its global ship operations from March 14 until June 30.
Tuesday, 28 July 2020
Royal Caribbean Group appoints a chief medical officer
Royal Caribbean Group has named Dr Calvin Johnson as its global head of public health and chief medical officer.
In the newly-created role, he will lead the cruise giant’s global health and wellness policy across its brands Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara and Silversea.
Johnson will manage the group’s public health and clinical practice, and determine its strategic plans and operations of its global healthcare organisation as well as collaborate with the Healthy Sail Panel which also involves representatives of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.
Richard Fain, chairman and chief executive of Royal Caribbean Group, said: “Calvin’s extensive experience in public health and clinical care will help us raise the bar on protecting the health of our guests, crew and the communities we serve.”
Dr Johnson was most recently principal at Altre Strategic Solutions Group and has previously served as chief medical officer for of correctional health care provider Corizon Health and for Temple University Health System.
He was also secretary of health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from 2003-2008 and was medical director for the New York City Department of Health from 1998-1999.
Johnson has previously led response efforts during active infectious disease outbreaks and was responsible for ensuring all aspects of patient care while overseeing a clinical operation with 1,300 caregivers and more than 300,000 individuals.
He said: “Royal Caribbean Group is committed to going beyond requirements. I am excited to join the industry leader, who is clearly establishing the way forward in managing public health initiatives and protecting health and safety.
Johnson added: “The Healthy Sail Panel is doing critical work to help us develop enhanced standards, and achieve readiness for the return to service, and I am looking forward to being involved in that work.”
Royal Caribbean Group senior vice president for safety, security, environment, medical and public health, Jennifer Love, added: “Calvin will add critical expertise in our mission to elevate the quality of care. His appointment is a testament to our commitment to transforming healthcare for those we serve.”
Monday, 27 July 2020
European Union cruise return guidance published
Mein Schiff 3 returns to service
Cruise body Clia has welcomed the publication of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) guidance on the resumption of cruise ship operations in the European Union.
The 36-page document does not set a date for a return for cruising in the EU but Clia said member lines envisage a gradual, ‘phased-in’ approach to resumption.
The EMSA guidance provides recommendations relating to the development of ship and port management plans and the interaction between cruise operations and ports and terminals.
Co-authored with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the EMSA guidance follows the recent publication of EU Healthy Gateways guidance on the resumption of cruise ship operations.
Viewed together, these guidance documents aim to establish a pan-European benchmark for national maritime transport and public health authorities for the future resumption of cruising in Europe.
Clia and its member cruise lines have been engaged in the development of the guidance, and lines are also identifying appropriate ‘door-to-door’ protocols based on evolving guidance from health authorities and medical experts that cover passengers from the time of booking their cruise to the holiday itself and their safe return home.
Tom Boardley, secretary-general of Clia Europe, said: “This guidance from the European Maritime Safety Agency is an important resource for authorities and operators focused on the safe resumption of cruising in Europe.”
In American waters, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has implemented a No Sail Order to the end of September.
Foreign Office warns against all non-essential travel to the whole of Spain
An update from the FCO on Saturday advised against non-essential travel to mainland Spain but excluded the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands.
That announcement corresponded with the government’s decision to remove the whole of Spain including the islands from the list of countries from which travellers are exempt from quarantine on arrival in the UK.
Industry leaders had called for air bridges to be set up between the islands and the UK, arguing that they were safer destinations than the mainland. On Monday afternoon, the BBC said a government source had confirmed talks were ongoing.
Major tour operators including Tui and latterly Jet2holidays suspended their programmes to mainland Spain but were continuing to fly to the Canaries and Balearics based on the FCO’s guidance.
The FCO said it has now extended its advice to cover the entire country following an assessment of Covid-19 risks.
It said the advice was based on evidence of an increased number of cases of Covid-19 in several regions including Aragon, Navarra and Catalonia, which includes the cities of Zaragoza, Pamplona and Barcelona.
Holidaymakers in Spain are not being advised to leave at this time.
The updated advice says: “The FCO is not advising those already travelling in Spain to leave at this time. Travellers should follow the advice of the local authorities on how best to protect themselves and others, including any measures that they bring in to control the virus.
“If you are returning from Spain you will be required to self-isolate on your return to the UK, but the FCO is not advising you to cut short your visit. You should contact your tour operator or airline if you have any questions about your return journey.”
Sunday, 26 July 2020
SeaDream introduces a flexible booking policy
SeaDream Yacht Club has introduced an ‘Ultimate Booking Assurance’ policy which allows clients to cancel or postpone their booking up until the day of departure.
The luxury line, which returned to cruising in June, said it believed the initiative would mean consumers could “book with peace of mind”.
The policy means guests will have the option of a full cash refund or a 120% future cruise credit for all new bookings made after July 22. It applies to sailings before June 30, 2021, that are affected by travel restrictions.
SeaDream said if there are no travel restrictions and clients don’t want to travel, they will move funds to future sailing.
It said clients had up until the day of their departure to adjust their plans without penalty.
In a statement, SeaDream said: “SeaDream Yacht Club was proud to become the first luxury line back in operation in June. We are now equally proud to announce our new ‘Ultimate Booking Assurance’.”
Saipem Wins More Offshore Wind Work for Saipem 7000
The Saipem 7000 installs a wind turbine at the Hywind offshore wind project located approximately 30 km off the coast of Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Photo courtesy Saipem
Carnival ships Fantasy and Imagination depart fleet
The Carnival Fantasy in Mobile, Alabama, in 2017. Photo Credit: Alabama Cruise Terminal
Friday, 24 July 2020
Marella further extends cruise cancellations until September 30
Marella Cruises is further extending the cancellation of sailings until September 30.
The Tui UK & Ireland line’s only ship sailing this summer will be Marella Explorer from Corfu from October 2.
The extension of the cancellations was blamed on on-going travel restrictions in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
All cruises had previously been cancelled last month until at least August 27.
Passengers whose bookings are impacted by the changes will receive a refund credit and up to 10% incentive of the total value of their booking.
Alternatively, they can request a cash refund via an online form on the Tui website.
The company added: “Due to the on-going uncertainty customers with bookings due to depart in October can amend their cruise for free before the 31 July to any other holiday on sale until October 2021.”
Spirit of Adventure Leaves Building Hall
Do you think they have put the smokestack the wrong way around?