Tuesday, 24 November 2020
Friday, 20 November 2020
PRINCESS EXTENDS SAILING SUSPENSION UNTIL END OF MARCH
Thursday, 19 November 2020
Norwegian Cruise Line Launches Summer 2023 Itineraries
Tuesday, 17 November 2020
Royal Caribbean Sees 100,000 Sign Ups for Free Volunteer Cruises
Sunday, 15 November 2020
Wednesday, 11 November 2020
Tuesday, 10 November 2020
NCLH CHIEF 'ENCOURAGED BY FUTURE DEMAND' AMID COVID CHALLENGES
Friday, 6 November 2020
Wednesday, 4 November 2020
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’.”
P&O Restart by March 'Not Impossible'
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
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.”