Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Fincantieri and Eni Extend Cooperation for New Technologies

Fincantieri and Eni Extend Cooperation for New Technologies

Fincantieri Keel Laying

Fincantieri has announced that it has extended its agreement with the Italian energy company Eni for the continued development of initiatives in decarbonization and the circular economy.
The CEOs of Eni and Fincantieri, Claudio Descalzi and Giuseppe Bono, signed a memorandum of Understanding extending the cooperation in research and development, set up by the two Italian companies in 2017, to push technological barriers into the future.
According to Fincantieri, the main focus of the extension will be the development of new and innovative initiatives. The activities will focus mainly on waste to energy processes, production and transport of alternative energy sources such as natural gas, methanol, hydrogen and fuel cells, and the development and deployment of offshore renewable technologies.
Over the past three years, Eni and Fincantieri have collaborated on several concepts of floating offshore production platforms, with a modular and so-called reversible approach, developed according to a Fincantieri patent; a floating gas to methanol concept with Eni technology; and a floating independent power plant.
Descalzi, CEO of Eni, stated: “Thanks to the developed synergies, Fincantieri and Eni will support the country's sustainable development. This agreement fits into our long-term strategy. To build the future Eni we are combining economic and environmental sustainability, we are working on a transition by providing energy in a profitable way and, at the same time, obtaining an important reduction in the carbon footprint. Natural gas, a fossil energy source with the lowest carbon footprint, will represent an increasing component of Eni’s energy mix in the coming years: 60% in 2025, reaching 85% in 2050. In this process, Fincantieri represents a strategic partner with whom we continue to research and develop innovative technologies and systems.”
Fincantieri’s CEO Bono commented: “We believe that the success of this partnership is very good news for Italy, especially given that the cooperation explores sustainable developments. The ability of big two national industrial players to pool experiences, skills, and above all their visions for the future, is a huge strategic achievement. I am very pleased because the research path we are charting with a group such as Eni has already led to the creation of several projects, consolidating a technological lead, which has allowed our companies to obtain important achievements worldwide.”

Many Governments Failing Cruise Crew Repatriation

Many Governments Failing Cruise Crew Repatriation

Crew Transfer Between Vessels

“The challenges in repatriating seafarers on cruise vessels around the world have highlighted the shortcomings of many governments in this worldwide crisis,” Lena Dyring, director of cruise operations for the Norwegian Seafarers Union, told Cruise Industry News. “These shortcomings have caused a toxic, compounding domino effect for seafarers who were and still are stuck on cruise ships around the world and caused a lot of human suffering.”
Dyring said that first of all she wanted to highlight how the Bahamas has acted.
“They have not allowed repatriation from their territory, thus failing their obligations under the Maritime Labor Convention (MLC). They boast that they have ‘allowed’ the ships to anchor in their waters and have crew members transferring between vessels so they can sail them home. They also boast that storing and provisions have been done in the Bahamas. But to my knowledge, most of these vessels still sail to Miami or Port Everglades for storing and provisions.”
According to Dyring, had the Bahamas allowed charter flights out of their territory from day one, there would not have been so many seafarers stuck at sea and a lot of human suffering and uncertainty could have been avoided. To her knowledge, she said, the Bahamas has even denied medical evacuations from vessels registered there.
There are many governments that have failed both their own citizens and their obligations under the MLC, according to Dyring. She said there is a pattern of “overreactions” caused by what she called fear and not facts.
“I also have to highlight the situation in the Philippines where thousands of seafarers have been stuck either on a ship in Manila Bay or in some kind of quarantine situation in Manila for weeks and sometimes months for no apparent reason.
“The Philippine union AMOSUP has done a great job in the middle of all of this, but it is difficult when you have to work against all of these other forces.”
Some governments have stepped up and taken responsibility. Dyring mentioned that Barbados, for instance, has taken a vastly different approach to the challenges and have invited the cruise lines to operate charter flights out of their country.
Some countries in Europe have also taken their obligations seriously. Dyring said that the UK has stepped up, as well as Germany, Spain and Norway.
Read the full article in the Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine Summer 2020 edition, due out at the end of June.

Home Office lays out quarantine rules

Home Office lays out quarantine rules

Chamber News

The Home Office and Department for Transport published the rules covering quarantine restrictions today.

The quarantine measures require arrivals to the UK to self-isolate for 14 days and will come into force on June 8.

The government insists they are “designed to prevent new cases [of coronavirus] being brought in from abroad and to prevent a second wave of the virus”.

All arrivals “bar a shortlist of exemptions” will be required to complete an online locator form, with contact and travel details and the address where they will self-isolate.

The UK’s Border Force will undertake checks and may refuse entry to any non-resident foreign nationals who refuse to comply.

The rules exclude travellers to and from Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

They will be reviewed every three weeks, with the first review by June 29.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Protecting the public’s health and avoiding a second peak that overwhelms the NHS will always be our top priority.

“As we get the virus under control here, we must manage the risk of cases being imported from abroad. We owe it to the thousands who’ve lost their lives.”

She insisted: “These measures are informed by science, backed by the public and will keep us safe.

“We will take a number of factors into account within the reviews to satisfy that the risk of imported cases is low.”

These factors will include:

The rate of infection and transmission internationally and “the credibility of the reporting measures international partners have put in place”;

Levels of imported cases in other countries where there are more relaxed border measures;

The degree to which antibody and other testing methodologies prove effective in minimising the health risk.

Patel said: “We will also continue to take account of the impact on the economy and industry.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed the government is examining “arrangements known as ‘air bridges’ or international travel corridors which would remove self-isolation measures and safely open up routes to and from countries with low transmission rates”.

These would require agreement with individual countries, he said, adding: “We are working with the transport industry to see how we can introduce agreements with other countries when safe to do so, so we can go abroad and tourists can come here.”

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

P&O Cruises cancels sailings until October

P&O Cruises cancels sailings until October

Spotlight on: P&O Cruises' Iona ship - Cruise Trade News
P&O Iona

Covid-19 has forced P&O Cruises to further extend the cancellation of sailings until mid-October.

The fourth extension of the suspension of cruises until October 15 follows all departures being cancelled in April until July 31.

The latest move comes as the UK line focuses on working in close coordination with all relevant public health bodies to approve further enhancement of the company’s already stringent health and safety protocols.

Departures by P&O Cruises and sister brand were first suspended in mid-March and then again on March 30 as Covid-19 hit the global cruise industry.

Parent company Carnival UK has since announced a series of redundancies.

Passengers booked on the cancelled sailings will receive a future cruise credit, giving an additional 25% on top of the amount paid for the holiday.

P&O Cruises also confirmed that the future cruise credit, which may be held until the end of 2021, maybe put against any holiday on sale at that time.

The credits may also be used to upgrade or for a second cabin for any existing booking and also may be gifted or transferred to someone else. This option will also be available until the end of December 2021.

A 5% deposit is also being introduced for new bookings made by June 29 for 2021 sailings.

P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: “We want to apologise once again to those guests who wait for refunds, particularly at a time of financial constraints, however the new technology we have in place is rapidly improving things though and we continue to make further progress on a daily basis.”

Referring to the latest pause in operations, he said: “As a business, our operational focus is not  ‘when can we resume sailing?’ but is instead ‘how can we develop a comprehensive restart protocol that will keep everyone on board, our crew and guests, safe and well and still give our guests an amazing holiday?’

“We are working with government and industry bodies at the highest possible level, such as Public Health England (PHE) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to review every aspect of a holiday with us and establish a framework of policies and procedures. Our aspiration is to be adopting best practice in managing COVID-19 within the travel industry.

“Unfortunately, as the world continues to adapt to this global crisis, we have made the decision, difficult as it is, to extend our pause in operations for all sailings up to and including October 15, 2020. We are so sorry for the disappointment this will cause too so many of our guests.”

He added: “We have for years had in place many of the protocols now considered advisable for other social gathering venues, such as hand-sanitizing stations and rigorous cleaning and disinfecting procedures.

“We also have for years gone beyond those protocols by having guests complete a health declaration form and having a comprehensive medical facility onboard each ship providing 24/7 medical care and treatment.

“During the recent crisis, we added robust health screening upon embarkation, starting with thermal scanning of guests and crew.

“Along with the rest of the world, we will adapt. We will work closely with medical experts and global authorities to help us determine the best way to move forward while honouring our highest responsibility – the health, safety, and wellbeing of our guests, crew and communities we visit, along with compliance and environmental protection.

“We have always taken such pride in our standards of cleanliness and hygiene before Covid-19, but when we return there will be enhanced protocols approved by the hospitality and national public health authorities.

“This will ensure we continue to have in place high levels of cleanliness across every single aspect of public areas, crew living areas and every item of furniture in cabins and everywhere on board as well as approved safety standards for the service of food and drink; entertainment and experiences onboard and onshore.

“When the time is right, we will be ready to resume our tradition of providing amazing holiday experiences for our guests.”

Monday, 1 June 2020

Copenhagen Puts New Cruise Terminal Project on Pause

Copenhagen Puts New Cruise Terminal Project on Pause

Copenhagen Port

Copenhagen won't be getting a new cruise terminal in 2022, as the port originally promised.
"A very significantly changed cruise market, due to the crisis with the coronavirus pandemic, means that Copenhagen Malmö Port (CMP) will postpone the establishment of what was planned to be a new cruise terminal at Copenhagen’s Oceankaj," the port said, in a statement. 
“This is, it goes without saying, extremely regrettable, including of course also to the parties involved in the tendering process, that the investment in a new cruise terminal is being postponed. Until a few months ago, we saw a healthy 2020 with a record number of port calls from cruise ships with almost a million guests visiting Copenhagen. However, with the arrival of the crisis accompanying the coronavirus pandemic, the brakes have suddenly been put on global growth – including in Copenhagen, where forecasts indicate that the 2020 cruise season will be entirely cancelled, followed by some uncertainty in the next few years. The new terminal was to confirm Copenhagen’s position as a hub for cruise tourism in northern Europe, however now we will simply have to wait for the situation to reverse so that we can again focus on developing sustainable cruise tourism for the benefit of the entire region as a whole,” said Barbara Scheel Agersnap, CEO of Copenhagen Malmö Port.
The port said it will be in a wait and see approach, and "will decide when the process for a new cruise terminal will be relaunched."

Saga's New Spirit of Adventure Is Delayed

Saga's New Spirit of Adventure Is Delayed

Saga Cruises – Late Cruise News
Spirit of Discovery

Saga's new Spirit of Adventure won't debut in August, according to a statement from the company.
A Saga spokesperson said: “The Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany, which is building the Spirit of Adventure, has informed us that the ship will not now be delivered in time for our planned maiden voyage. Progress has been severely impacted by the workplace and travel restrictions in place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We have written to our customers to let them know and offered them the chance of amending over to the new date once confirmed or to receive a full refund. An inaugural cruise is a very special event and we expect the majority of our guests will want to amend their bookings to the later date. We will continue to work with Meyer Werft on finalising a new delivery date.”

Redesigned Buffets Will Need to Convey Sense of Safety

Redesigned Buffets Will Need to Convey Sense of Safety

Oceanview Cafe on Celebrity Cruises

The cruise ship buffet may never look the same again, according to an industry supplier. 
"It will not just be about serving food in a safe way; it will also be about conveying a sensation of safety to the customers," said Erik Schobesberger, vice president sales modernization at ALMACO, a key supplier of interior, galley and buffet design and installation to the cruise industry.
The company said that buffets will either change drastically or cease to exist, and cruise ship operators will need to figure out easy and cost-efficient temporary solutions in order to be ready for sailing in August.
"The temporary solutions, however, will most likely not be 100 per cent efficient and visually acceptable as long-term solutions," said Schobesberger.
"The new concept must be 'wow," while meeting the new standards and regulations," he added.
Schobesberger said he expects some cruise lines will choose to keep the buffet concept but implement design improvements and equipment innovations that make it safe.
"Others will transform their restaurants into a la carte with open kitchens or cooking shows. Whatever the choice maybe, we can assure you that ALMACO is here to help our customers on every step of the way, from quick-fix solutions to get the restaurants up and running to redesign and revitalization of new innovative future- and germ-proof restaurant concepts," he added.

Saturday, 30 May 2020

Canada Effectively Cancels Its Cruise Season, Expanding Ban Through October

Canada Effectively Cancels Its Cruise Season, Expanding Ban Through October

Port of Halifax
Halifax in Nova Scotia.
Citing the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian authorities have effectively cancelled the rest of the 2020 cruise season in Canadian waters by banning any ships with overnight accommodations allowed to carry more than 100 persons from operating in Canadian waters until October 31, 2020.
The order came down via the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau.
The news cancels the Alaska season except for U.S.-flagged vessels and will put a stop to the late summer and early autumn fall foliage sailings in Canada/New England. It will also impact expedition operators in the Arctic. 
"Our Government is committed to protecting Canadians, particularly during these challenging times. It is for that reason I am announcing updated measures for cruise ships and other passenger vessels in Canada, which includes prohibiting larger cruise ships from operating in Canadian waters until October 31, 2020. Our Government continues to work with other levels of government, transportation industry stakeholders, and Indigenous peoples to re-examine measures and to ensure Canada's transportation system remains safe and secure during this time. We are all in this together," said Garneau.
As of July 1, 2020, all other passenger vessels must follow provincial, territorial, local and regional health authority requirements for timelines and processes to resume operations, the government said.
Passenger vessels with the capacity to carry more than 12 persons continue to be prohibited from entering Arctic coastal waters (including Nunatsiavut, Nunavik and the Labrador Coast) until October 31, 2020.
Beginning July 1, 2020, passenger vessels will be allowed to operate in inland rivers and lakes in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon. 

Oil and Gas Refugees Are Being Courted By Clean Energy in Texas

Oil and Gas Refugees Are Being Courted By Clean Energy in Texas

wind turbine
By Brian Eckhouse and David Wethe (Bloomberg) –Jeff Bishop’s LinkedIn post gets right to the point: “Houston Oil & Gas Folks — we’re hiring in Texas” for jobs in cleantech.

His company, battery developer Key Capture Energy, is making the pitch even as tens of thousands of renewable-energy jobs have dried up amid the coronavirus pandemic. That’s because Bishop and a handful of other clean-power executives see an opportunity to recruit talent from the oil and gas industries, which have been even harder hit.
While there are plenty of overlapping skills, it wasn’t always easy for clean-power companies to lure top talent from oil and gas. Wind and solar were young and niche industries that tended to attract environmentalists. Now they’re big energy, and they appeal to a wider class of workers. Since publishing the post two months ago, Bishop has received about 200 applications.
“We’ve always wanted oil and gas folks,” said Bishop, Key Capture’s chief executive officer.
When boiled down, much of oil, gas, wind and solar is about building projects and selling the output. That requires workers with backgrounds in geology, land acquisition, engineering, finance, asset management and energy contracts.
“We are hiring oil and gas refugees for sure,” said Christian Fong, CEO at Spruce Finance Inc. The solar company moved its headquarters from San Francisco to Houston two years ago to recruit more energy veterans. It plans to boost its staff by 30%, or 20 people, during the second and third quarters.
Clean power already has momentum in Texas. It’s long been the top wind-power state in the U.S. Solar has been booming. Houston plans to power all of its city-owned properties — from fire stations to airports — with renewable energy. And now the city’s mayor is trying to bring two Elon Musk companies to the city — Tesla Inc. and SpaceX — in his push to broaden the city’s economic base beyond oil.
“We’re having to make certain adjustments,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “It’s about the energy transition.”
To be clear, clean-power companies aren’t even close to being in a position to absorb the nearly 90,000 fossil-fuel jobs shed in March and April, including drillers, frackers and refiners. Renewables companies shed nearly 96,000 of their own jobs during that period as lockdowns put rooftop solar installations and other larger projects on ice.
But while some furloughed clean-power workers are already being called back to work, the pain in the oil patch continues as the industry suffers its worst downturn ever as the pandemic cripples demand.
On Wednesday, Chevron Corp. said it’s planning a 10% to 15% reduction in its global workforce this year, the biggest recent cut to headcount yet among global oil majors. It comes after oil-services giants Halliburton Co. and Schlumberger Ltd. have already made steep jobs cuts, including in Texas.
In the end, clean-power executives say they’re confident they’re better-positioned to bounce back and ultimately prevail in the struggle for the future of energy.
“We clearly see renewable energy coming out as a relative winner from this COVID crisis,” analysts from Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. including Deepa Venkateswaran wrote Friday in a note to investors. “The COVID crisis will result in an acceleration of decarbonisation initiatives.”
In some instances, the pay is even better in clean power. The median hourly wage for a mid-career wind-industry worker is now $29.79, above the $26.67 for oil, according to the U.S. Energy & Employment Report from the Energy Futures Initiative and the National Association of State Energy Officials.
“Before 2020, I had never heard of any firm specifically hiring from oil and gas into advanced-energy companies,” said Nat Kreamer, CEO of the trade group Advanced Energy Economy and a founder of the solar giant Sunrun Inc. “Now you look at a place like Texas with so much work to be done in renewables and so little work to be done in oil & gas — it’s obvious.”
Houston-based Sunnova Energy International Inc. has hired oil and gas workers before, and CEO John Berger expects to hire more. 8minute Solar Energy is looking for oil and gas people with experience in power trading, greenfield development, land acquisition and mineral rights, according to CEO Tom Buttgenbach.
“Ten years ago, the idealistic change-the-world folks were attracted to clean energy,” said Bishop, whose company has installed three 10-megawatt storage projects in Texas. “Today, we still get some of the change-the-world folks, but it’s an increasing number of team members wanting stable jobs in a growth industry.”

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Storylines Pick Up Project Manager, Names Newbuild

Storylines Pick Up Project Manager, Names Newbuild

Storylines New Ship Concept

Storylines, which is poised to build a new residence cruise ship, has announced Dr Paul Read as the newbuild project manager.
Read is CEO of Gelen Marine Ltd and has over 25 years of experience in shipbuilding and conversions, according to a press release.
He is a chartered Naval Architect and Marine Engineer with comprehensive experience in project management, engineering design and ship construction. Read will project manage and oversee the engineering, design and construction of the Storylines newbuilds.
The company said Read has been aboard for over three months, working closely with the designers, classification, shipyards and engineers to assist in the timely delivery of the company's first ship, now named the Narrative.
"I’m excited to be heading up this unique project with all the challenges it brings at this current time and looking forward to seeing this fantastic ship take shape." Read said.

CMV Has Booking Momentum for Baltic and St. Petersburg for 2021

CMV Has Booking Momentum for Baltic and St. Petersburg for 2021

Marco Polo

Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) is seeing growing interest in cruise holidays sailing to the Baltic cities and St. Petersburg in 2021, according to a press release.
CMV’s fleet of smaller to medium-sized cruise ships sail from a range of UK ports including London Tilbury, Newcastle, Portsmouth and Harwich to Baltic destinations, according to the company, with a nine-night cruise departing October 17, 2021, from Portsmouth is available from just £699 per person, included in the buy one, get one free offer the company is pushing.
The Baltic cruises include "Hidden Baltic Treasures" sailing from London Tilbury April 11 for 12 nights onboard CMV’s Marco Polo visiting Holland, Denmark, Germany with an option to see Berlin, Lithuania and Poland. 
A number of CMV cruises to the Baltic include an overnight stop in St. Petersburg. The Columbus sails June 5, 2021, from London Tilbury on a 14-night Baltic Cities and St. Petersburg itinerary. This itinerary also includes Copenhagen, Tallinn, Helsinki and Stockholm. Fares are available from £1135pp. The Columbus sails on a similar itinerary on September 16 2021.

Gibraltar Steps Up for Crew Repatriation for Royal Caribbean

Gibraltar Steps Up for Crew Repatriation for Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean Cruises fleet in Gibratlar

The Port of Gibraltar has played a key role as a gathering place for Royal Caribbean Cruises vessels to move crew between ships as the company works on its repatriation efforts for its global fleet.
The Chief Minister Fabian Picardo of Gibraltar has recently exchanged letters with Royal Caribbean’s Director of Port Services EMEA Alessandro Carollo, following the successful repatriation of Royal Caribbean crews from Gibraltar, according to a press release.
In his letter to the Chief Minister, Carollo wrote that "communities like Gibraltar are rare gems of humanity in such difficult and unprecedented times’ and expressed ‘sincerest gratitude for your [Gibraltar’s] cooperation, support and professionalism."
Looking to the future, Carollo noted that "Royal Caribbean has been historically supporting Gibraltar as a destination for its guests, and will continue to do so when regular cruising will restart."
In his reply, the Chief Minister promised that "Gibraltar will be here to welcome you back, and we look forward to doing so for many years to come."

Monday, 25 May 2020

Top Cruise Photos from Oceanliner Pictures

Top Cruise Photos from Oceanliner Pictures

With the global cruise fleet in a temporary and extended service pause, take a look at these top cruise photos from expert photographer Oceanliner Pictures (by Oliver Asmussen), which is the largest cruise ship photo archive for photos of cruise ships, interior photos and maritime travel, currently with over 780,000 photos.
Queen Mary 2 cruising on the Elbe River
Queen Mary 2 cruising on the Elbe river at sunset

The MS Hamburg against the Garibaldi Glacier 
MS Hamburg Garibaldi Glacier and Fjord

AIDAdiva leaves the port of Warnemuende
AIDAdiva leaves the port of Warnemuende

The Regal Princess outbound
Regal Princess outbound Warnemuende

MS Amera in Rendsburger Hochbrücke
MS Amera in Rendsburger Hochbrücke

The Nieuw Statendam after her maiden call in Kiel
Nieuw Statendam after her maiden call in Kiel

Sunset over the Astor, sailing for Transocean
MS Astor im Sonnenuntergang auf der Elbe

Sunday, 24 May 2020

Princess Cruises Inks Distribution Deal with CVC

Princess Cruises Inks Distribution Deal with CVC

Emerald Princess

Princess Cruises will be the first U.S. Carnival Corporation brand to integrate with CVC Corp, the largest travel group in Latin America.
This development was designed by Discover Cruises, which is part of Discover the World, which provides sales and marketing support for Princess Cruises in Brazil, Argentina, Hungary, Paraguay, South Africa, Uruguay and West Balkans.
This new agreement allows agents and customers in the entire Latin American region access to all of Princess inventory. It includes 18 ships with more than 170 itineraries around the world and pricing in Brazilian Reais and an instalment program. Agents and customers will have 24/7 access to CVC Corp.
"We are so excited about the new partnership with CVC Corp, which allows travel agents and our customers to see the rich, real-time content we will be able to share with them," said Trey Hickey, Senior Vice President International of Princess Cruises. "With over 5,000 unique points of sale locations, this end-to-end connection will represent the single largest integrated network of travel agents anywhere in the non-English speaking world for Princess Cruises. The CVC Corp integration is the first of many more steps planned to improve our share, not just in Brazil, but across the entire LATAM region. We truly believe LATAM will become Princess Cruises largest fly-cruise source market in the world."
Headquartered in Brazil, CVC Corp is comprised of seven different companies: CVC (the leader in the vacation and leisure travel segment), Sumarino Viagens (online leisure and business travel agency), Rextur Advance (corporate travel in the B2B segment), Trend (corporate and leisure travel distributed through independent agencies), Experimento Intercambio Cultural (courses and cultural exchange programs abroad) Esferatur (corporate travel in the B2B segment) and Visual Turismo (leisure travel focusing on ecotourism, honeymoon travel, resorts and charming and luxury accommodations. In 2009 CVC Corp acquired two of the most important travel companies in Argentina, the BIBAM Group and Ola Turismo. Last year, they acquire another company in Argentina, the Almundo Group.

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Sticking to lockdown washing routines could cut Britain’s long-term carbon footprint

Sticking to lockdown washing routines could cut Britain’s long-term carbon footprint

  • Changes to our daily routines as a result of lockdown could shrink the nation’s carbon footprint by reducing pressure on energy demand at peak times
  • EDF estimates that if a third of households continue to use their dishwasher and washing machines at non-peak times, annual CO2 emissions could reduce by half a million tonnes - equivalent to more than 750,000 cars switching to electric vehicles
  • 8 in 10 Brits keen to see lifestyle changes that have had a positive impact on the planet continue post-lockdown
Changes to our daily household routines could have a long-term positive impact on our carbon footprint – as data from EDF reveals households continuing to take care of chores throughout the day could reduce the need for fossil-fuelled generation at peak times once industries power up again. 
Historically, households created additional demand for energy at peak times, typically between 4 and 7pm, as people returned home from work and started to tackle these day-to-day chores at the same time. However, since lockdown began, demand for energy throughout the day has smoothed.
The data, released as part of work by the low carbon electricity supplier to assess the impact of lockdown routines on energy efficiency, estimates that if just over a third of households continue to use their dishwasher and washing machines at non-peak times in the future, as they have been doing during the lockdown, annual CO2 emissions could reduce by half a million tonnes – the equivalent to more than 750,000 cars switching to electric vehicles (EVs)*.   
The announcement comes as consumer research** undertaken by EDF reveals 8 in 10 of us are keen to see environmentally-friendly lifestyle changes continue after restrictions are lifted. 
The study of 2,000 UK residents found that lockdown restrictions have caused the nation to reassess the impact of their daily habits on the environment, with 40% planning to take steps to reduce their carbon footprint post-lockdown, rising to 51% of those under the age of 34. The most popular steps were:
  • Walking more (67%)
  • Recycling more (52%)
  • Purchasing more locally produced products (47%)
  • Using the car less (46%)
  • Unplugging electronic devices when not in use (37%)
The reduced pollution levels resulting from dramatically fewer vehicles on the road have also sparked an increased interest in EVs, with 1 in 5 (19%) more likely to consider switching to a low emission EV in the future. 
78% of people believe we can all do more to reduce our carbon footprint once restrictions are lifted. However, despite the potential impact on CO2 emissions, less than a third (31%) are aware that the time of day they do household chores, such as washing dishes and laundry, impacts their carbon footprint.
There is a strong demand for more advice on living greener, with nearly two thirds (62%) wanting information about how to reduce their carbon footprint.

Friday, 22 May 2020

Carnival Corp. Details More Job Cuts in Doral Headquarters

Carnival Corp. Details More Job Cuts in Doral Headquarters

Carnival Adds 2018 World Cup Programming | TravelPulse

Carnival Corporation has detailed more cuts to its teams at its Doral, Florida, headquarters in a filing with the state of Florida.
The news follows over 500 cuts detailed in a filing earlier this week.
In Doral, the company said as part of its Carnival Cruise Line division, 181 individuals will be laid off and 379 will be furloughed.
Among The Lay Off Position Titles (181 In Total)
  • 5 Administrative Assistants
  • 5 Executive Administrative Assistants
  • 10 Senior Analysts
  • Over 20 Manager Titles
  • 19 Director Titles
  • 14 Vice President titles
  • Senior Vice President, Nautical and Port Operations
On a corporate level, the company said it will layoff 96 workers and furlough 56 starting on June 1, citing the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among the titles are nine senior analysts, various administrators, three senior directors, eight directors, three senior managers, 14 managers, the senior vice president of retail, and six vice president positions.

Shearings owner enters administration

Shearing's owner enters administration

Coronavirus: Shearings collapses with loss of 2,500 jobs ...

Shearings Holidays owner Specialist Leisure Group has entered into administration after failing to secure a rescue deal.

As well as 117-year-old Shearings, Specialist Leisure Group was behind agency Wallace Arnold Travel, National Holidays, UKBreakaways, Caledonian Travel,, Bay Hotels, Coast & Country Hotels and Country Living Hotels.

With the current travel restrictions in place as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, there were only a “small number” of customers overseas on package holidays, the Civil Aviation Authority said.

However, the company had more than 64,000 bookings – the majority coach package holidays – Abta said, confirming they would be financially protected with customers due to a full refund.

‘It’s crucial to save summer’, says industry coalition

A statement posted on the company’s website this evening said: “The Specialist Leisure Group entered administration on May 22, 2020.

“All tours, cruises, holidays and hotel breaks booked with the Specialist Leisure Group have been cancelled and will not be rescheduled.”

Chief executive Richard Calvert said: “This is a terribly sad day for employees, customers and commercial partners of the Specialist Leisure Group (SLG) and its subsidiaries which have entered into Administration.

“The effects of Covid-19 on our 117-year old company and the wider travel industry have been devastating.

“In the most trying of circumstances, over these past few months, we have fought tooth and nail to save the Group and the jobs of our 2,400 loyal employees serving over 1.1m customers annually.

“It is heart-breaking that the required funding or investment could not be secured to get us through this unprecedented crisis in order to save SLG to and our amazing travel brands.”

SLG confirmed last month that it was in discussions with stakeholders, advisors and the government “to weather the storm of Covid-19”.

Reports at the time said the majority of Shearings’ employees were currently furloughed and said 2,600 jobs would be at risk should the company fall into administration. It had put a pause on new bookings before entering administration.

Shearings Holidays was the UK’s largest escorted tour operator and traced its roots to 1903 when Smiths Happiways was established in Wigan.

It offered holidays to 170 destinations in the UK, Europe and Worldwide, including coach tours, rail holidays and river cruises.

Main stakeholder Lone Star Funds took control of Shearings in 2016, and the company rebranded as Specialist Leisure Group in 2018.

Shearings and Wallace Arnold were both members of Abta. Bookings with Wallace Arnold Travel, which acted as an agent for other suppliers, will go ahead as normal except where bookings have been made with other companies within the Specialist Leisure Group.

John de Vial, director of membership and financial services at Abta, said: “The Specialist Leisure Group included two of the UK’s best-known coach holiday brands, Shearings and National Holidays, two much loved holiday companies who for many years have provided holidays both at home and overseas to a very loyal group of customers.

“Today is a very sad day for these customers and the thousands of staff who will have lost their jobs.

“The fact that two such well-known brands with a loyal customer base have had to call in administrators is a stark indication of the pressure that the holiday industry is under as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Abta has repeatedly highlighted to the government the urgency of the situation and the need to set out a coordinated strategy with clearer communication if it wants to help avoid significant job losses and support companies to weather the storm.”

Atol spokesman Andrew McConnell said: “This is a particularly sad day for customers and employees of Shearings Holidays Ltd, longstanding business and well known UK travel company.

“The company specialised in coach packages and other types of holiday bookings, however, there are a small number of consumers with flight-inclusive packages, which will be ATOL protected. For these bookings, we will be contacting consumers directly or via their agent to provide guidance and support.”

National Holidays and UK Breakaways were members of the Confederation of Passenger Transport, which confirmed affected customers would be due a full refund.

Chief executive Graham Vidler said: “This is a sad day for all those involved with Shearings and the wider coach tourism industry, our immediate thoughts are with those employees who now face an uncertain future. Today’s events show the need for the government to urgently step in and provide support to the wider coach tourism industry, during the Covid-19 pandemic, which has been lacking to date.”

Shearings: Advice for customers
Customers with forward bookings for Shearings Holidays, National Holidays trading as Caledonian and Travel Style, UK Breakaways and Shearings Hotels trading as Bay Hotels and Coach and Country Hotels should click here and follow the instructions on how to progress a claim.

For customers with an ATOL certificate, customers should click here to start the refund process.

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd posts $1.4bn Q1 loss

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd posts $1.4bn Q1 lossRoyal Caribbean Hurricane Irma & Maria Relief - Make a Donation

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd has reported a net loss of US$1.4 billion for the first quarter of 2020.

The parent company of Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara and Silversea paused all operations amid the global Covid-19 pandemic on March 13.

In a trading update today,  the company said the pandemic was expected to have hit production at shipyards, meaning delays to new-build Royal ships.

RCCL said the pandemic had led to the cancellation of 130 sailings, which equated to a 20% reduction on its planned sailings and was 17% down on last year’s programme.

The company posted a profit of $249.7 million in the first quarter of 2019 and said it expects to report an overall net loss in 2020.

RCCL withdrew its full-year trading guidance in March, and the update noted: “The magnitude, duration and speed of Covid-19 remain uncertain. As a consequence, the company cannot estimate the impact of Covid-19 on its business, financial condition or near or longer-term financial or operational results with reasonable certainty.”

It expects non-operating expenses of between $590 million and $610 million for the remainder of the year.

Bookings for the remainder of 2020 are “meaningfully lower” than 2019 with lower prices, RCCL reported but noted that before the pandemic took hold it was in “a strong booked position and at higher prices” than 2019.

Looking ahead, it said “the booked position for 2021 is within historical ranges when compared to the same time last year” with 2021 prices “up mid-single digits compared to 2020”. The company stressed it was “still early in the booking cycle”.

RCCL brands had offered customers booked on cancelled cruises either a cash refund or future cruise credit note and said that, as of April 30, 2020, approximately 45% of guests had requested cash refunds.

As of March 31, 2020, the company had $2.4 billion of cash in customer deposits.

RCCL estimates its cash burn to be, on average, in the range of approximately $250 million to $275 million per month while operations are suspended but noted it had “taken significant actions to enhance its liquidity, preserve cash and secure additional financing”. These included securing a $4 billion increase in financing and knocking $3 billion off its 2020 capital expenditure.

“We have taken swift and substantial actions to bolster our financial position by significantly reducing our operating and capital spend and leveraging our strong balance sheet to raise additional capital,” said Jason Liberty, executive vice president and chief financial officer.

As of April 30, 2020, the company had liquidity of approximately $2.3 billion all in the form of cash and cash equivalents, RCCL reported. And on May 19, 2020, it completed a $3.3 billion senior secured notes offering, improving its liquidity position by approximately $1 billion.

RCCL noted that as of May 19, 2020, the expected debt maturities for the remainder of 2020 and 2021, are $0.4 billion and $0.9 billion, respectively.

“Responding to the dramatic change in business conditions caused by COVID-19 has required focus, dedication, ingenuity and improvisation from all our people, and their efforts have been nonstop,” said chairman and chief executive Richard Fain. “We understand that when our ships return to service, they will be sailing in a changing world.  How well we anticipate and solve for this new environment will play a critical role in keeping our guests and crew safe and healthy, as well as position our business and that of our travel agent partners to return to growth.”

RCCL is due to complete its repatriation of crew members to their home countries, and said the company’s future focus now turns to four key principles:

  • Ensuring the safety of guests and crew
  • Proactively enhancing liquidity
  • Protecting the Company’s brands, and
  • Defining and preparing for a “new normal.”

Battle Over World’s Biggest Wind Turbine Is Heating Up

Battle Over World’s Biggest Wind Turbine Is Heating Up

Haliade-X 12 MW wind turbines
An illustration of GE’s Haliade-X 12 MW wind turbine. Image courtesy GE

By William Mathis (Bloomberg) — Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA, the Spanish wind turbine manufacturer, is to build what will be the world’s biggest windmill, by the thinnest of margins.
The 14-megawatt machine with a rotor diameter of 222 meters (728 feet) will be just two meters bigger than General Electric Co’s own massive turbine. It’s another sign that size matters when it comes to the rapidly growing market for green power from offshore wind farms.
Since GE debuted its own 12-megawatt Haliade-X turbine in March 2018, the machine has racked up numerous orders, including for the world’s biggest offshore wind farm that will be built off the coast of England, and cut into the business that’s been dominated by Siemens Gamesa and to a lesser extent by MHI Vestas Offshore Wind A/S.
The Siemens Gamesa turbine, which the company’s calling SG 14-222 DD, will be ready for a prototype in 2021 and commercially available in 2024. With the new machine cutting off GE’s claim on the world’s biggest windmill, Siemens Gamesa will be well-positioned to solidify its position as the market leader.
“My ambition and the ambition of Siemens Gamesa is to stay above 50% of world market share,” Andreas Nauen, chief executive officer of Siemens Gamesa’s offshore business, said by phone. “That requires winning at least half of all projects in the world, winning more than everyone else together.”
The company is already in advanced talks with a number of potential customers for the first orders of the new machine, with announcements expected later this year, Nauen said.
Competition among manufacturers is intense because each wind farm is so large and there are relatively few of them compared to wind farms on land. For developers competing to win government contracts to build the wind parks, the turbine they choose is one of the most important decisions.
The new turbine from Siemens Gamesa will increase annual energy production by 25% compared to their largest machine today, the company said.
Still, while the new Siemens Gamesa turbine will be slightly bigger than GE’s machine, whether or not it’s ultimately the most powerful is still unknown because adjustments can be made to turbines to enhance their output.
Siemens Gamesa said it’ll be able to make its new turbine have a capacity of 15 megawatts with something it calls a Power Boost feature. While GE’s Haliade-X is marketed as having a 12-megawatt capacity, the platform could be easily adjusted to have a 14-megawatt capacity or even more, according to BloombergNEF wind analyst Tom Harries.
While turbines have grown rapidly in recent years, it’s not clear how much bigger they will get. Technically, it would be easy to scale-up further, but the supply chain wouldn’t be able to keep up, said Jeppe Funk Kirkegaard, head of structural blade design for offshore at Siemens Gamesa. There’s also the issue of having enough vessels big enough to install the giant machines.

Monday, 18 May 2020

NCL Holdings says cruisers eager for exotic sailings

NCL Holdings says cruisers eager for exotic sailings

Oceania Cruises' Marina.
Oceania Cruises' Marina.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH) said that consumers are booking cruises to far-flung destinations in 2021, with Japan and Dubai among the top itineraries, along with several world cruise segments.
NCLH CEO Frank Del Rio said during the company's earnings call that for its Oceania and Regent brands, demand for those itineraries in the first and second quarters of next year indicates that people will be willing to take long-haul flights.
"And so, this notion that people aren't going to want to cruise to faraway places or exotic destinations, what we're seeing is defying that," he said. "So we're not seeing any particular area of strength other than these Japanese itineraries, these world cruise segments that are sold out, literally."
Del Rio also said during the call that he anticipates it would take about six months to resume service across its entire, three-brand fleet.
"The return to service of a phased approach of roughly five vessels per month is what we believe we operationally could handle in terms of bringing back the ships from cold lay-up, including re-crewing the vessels etc.," Del Rio said. "Given that we have 28 vessels if you bring back an average of five vessels a month, it's going to take about six months to get all ships back operating."
During the earnings call, Del Rio said that timeline assumes that the itineraries those ships would operate are available.
"So the six-month ramp-up assumes more than anything else our operational capability to ramp up and that the ports are open," he said.
Del Rio said that consumer demand is not a concern.
"We believe consumer demand and the bookings that follow are based on our ability to market, travel agents being back open again, the whole industry being back in operation as opposed to sitting idle," he said. "There is pent-up demand, let's not forget that. People only talk about the negative, but the fact that the industry has been shut down now over four months, there'll be pent-up demand. People will want to cruise again."
He also acknowledged that it will take time for cruising to come back to where it had been.
"We just have to be patient," he said, adding that "no one is more impatient than me. But I recognize that this is going to be a recovery effort that's going to take multiple quarters, perhaps multiple years to get back to the good old days of 2019."
$211M loss in the first quarter
NCLH reported an expected loss of $211.3 million for the first quarter of 2020, compared with income of $181.8 million one year prior. Revenue decreased 11.2%, to $1.2 billion, compared to $1.4 billion in 2019, for the quarter ended March 31.
NCLH said it had "taken decisive action to significantly strengthen our financial position" in response to the Covid-19 global pandemic, including the company's $2.4 billion capital raise, which Del Rio said positions the line "to weather an unlikely scenario of over 18 months of suspended voyages."
"Our guests continue to demonstrate their desire for cruise vacations," Del Rio said. "And we continue to experience demand for voyages further in the future across our three brands."
NCLH reported "significant softness in near-term demand and an elevated rate of cancellations for existing bookings."
But the company also said there "continues to be demand for cruise vacations, particularly beginning in the fourth quarter 2020 accelerating through 2021."
The company reported that slightly more than half of its guests booked on cancelled sailings had requested cash refunds instead of future cruise credits.
NCLH said that it had begun developing a comprehensive and multifaceted strategy to enhance its health and safety protocols, including "enhanced screenings, upgraded cleaning and disinfection protocols and plans for social distancing."
NCLH said it had furloughed approximately 20% of its shoreside workforce through July 31.

Sunday, 17 May 2020

Port Everglades Expansion On Track

Port Everglades Expansion On Track

Port Everglades

Port Everglades is advancing $1.6 billion in infrastructure improvements that are underway and expected to be completed in the next five years, according to a press release.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is certainly impacting this year’s bottom line, but we are fortunate that Port Everglades’ diversified business sectors of cargo, cruise and petroleum can address a dip in one business sector and be balanced out with stability in other revenue-generating business sectors. As a result, Port Everglades has a history of financial success and has budgeted for several sizeable construction projects that are moving forward at a rapid pace with little disruption from the virus,” said Port Everglades’ Glenn Wiltshire, Acting Chief Executive & Port Director.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is in the preconstruction engineering and design phase of deepening the Port’s navigation channels from 42 feet to 48-50 feet and widening narrower sections of the channel for safe vessel passage.
In February 2020, this project received $29.1 million in funding under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers FY 2020 Work Plan. The funding will be used to build a new facility at U.S. Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale so the Intracoastal Waterway can be widened by 250 feet. Currently, this chokepoint in the channel puts operating restriction on large Neo-Panamax cargo ships, which affects their ability to transit past docked cruise ships. The Coast Guard Station reconfiguration is the first phase of the larger dredging project.
Port Everglades is also building a new parking garage to serve Cruise Terminals 2 and 4. The new 1,818-space garage is currently under construction, with a Fall 2020 completion date. It will feature an air-conditioned bridge with moving walkways to deliver guests to Terminal 2, Princess Cruises’ prototype Ocean Medallion terminal. The Northport Garage, where passengers now park, will be dedicated to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Broward County Convention Center.