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Friday, 22 January 2021

CARNIVAL EXTENDS SUSPENSION AND PUSHES BACK MARDI GRAS LAUNCH

CARNIVAL EXTENDS SUSPENSION AND PUSHES BACK MARDI GRAS LAUNCH

The launch of Carnival Cruise Line’s new ship Mardi Gras has been pushed back a month after the company further extended its suspension of sailings.

The vessel will now begin operating from Port Canaveral from 29 May – amended from 24 April.

 

Carnival has now cancelled all US departures through to 30 April and all Australian operations until 19 May.

 

The line has also has axed European itineraries for Carnival Legend which were due to begin in May and operate through to 31 October.

 

Booked guests and travel agents are being notified directly of the cancellations about taking a future cruise credit and onboard credit package or a full refund.

 

Carnival president Christine Duffy said: “Our guests and travel agent partners continue to express their loyalty to Carnival and their desire to get back on our ships as soon as they can, and we are heartened by the booking demand and activity we continue to see.

 

“We are certainly committed to welcoming them back as quickly as possible, but unfortunately we have determined it’s going to take a while longer, and the situation in Europe will also impact Mardi Gras’ departure to the U.S., and Carnival Legend’s itineraries in Europe.”

 

Meanwhile, Carnival Corporation’s Italian brand Costa has announced plans to resume operations on 13 March.

 

Costa said current Covid restrictions do not allow guests to “enjoy an adequate on-shore experience and the ability to fully explore the itinerary’s destinations".


Pacific Princess Sold as Another Ship Leaves Carnival Corp. Fleet

Pacific Princess Sold as Another Ship Leaves Carnival Corp. Fleet


Princess Cruise today announced the sale of Pacific Princess to an undisclosed buyer. The 670-guest ship was the smallest in the current Princess fleet.

The company said the sale of the cruise ship is in line with parent company Carnival Corporation’s plan to accelerate the removal of less efficient ships from its fleet, according to a statement.

The Pacific Princess first joined the cruise line’s fleet in 2002, and originally entered service in 1999 as R3 for Renaissance Cruises. 

The Pacific Princess sailed more than 1.6 million nautical miles and 11 world cruises. 

“Pacific Princess holds so many memories and cherished experiences to all who sailed upon her,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “Pacific Princess offered a traditional style of cruising to unique destinations. While it’s difficult to say goodbye to our ‘Love Boat,’ our World Cruise and exotic itineraries continue onboard our Medallion Class-enabled Island Princess and Coral Princess, featuring the best Wi-Fi at sea, allowing guests to keep in touch with loved ones and share vacation memories along the way.”

Thursday, 21 January 2021

Port Everglades Moving Forward

Port Everglades Moving Forward

Celebrity APEX refuelling in Port Everglades

“We are talking with the cruise lines on a consistent basis, there are weekly teleconferences. We are talking about what we are doing with our terminals and understanding what the obligations and criteria will be moving forward,” said Jonathan Daniels, who took over as the new CEO and port director at Port Everglades over the summer.

The 2020-2021 season for Port Everglades was poised to be a good one – the new Enchanted Princess was slated to call the port home, along with the Celebrity Apex and Odyssey of the Seas.

Looking at the new Celebrity Apex outside his office window, Daniels said he was working closely with the Royal Caribbean Group to understand what the terminal experience will look like.

“The difficult part will ultimately be determining where the line of demarcation is for accountability and responsibility,” Daniels said.

Guests will have staggered check-in times, basically appointments to board, and the terminals will need to be re-flowed a bit, meaning various zones for testing, isolation and more.

“Laboratories, testing, how does that translate into space in the terminal?” Daniels asked. “What happens if there is a positive case?”

Asking those questions is part of an unknown, without answers or guidance yet from the CDC.

Head Start

The port’s ferry service to the Bahamas launched for a two-week period in July, as it was not affected by the CDC’s “No Sail” order with a ship under 250 passengers aboard.

That meant Port Everglades had a trial run of sorts, installing plexiglass barriers, signage and hand sanitiser distribution stations in a terminal.

“We’ve been moving beyond that and integrating that into other terminals in anticipation of a restart of cruising,” Daniels said.

50,000

Pre COVID, a weekend in the winter could see upwards of 50,000 people move through Port Everglades on a single day with ships at all the port’s cruise berths.

With the business mounting a comeback in 2021, Daniels said the potential for growth beyond that would be in increasing the utilization of cruise terminals, especially for itineraries leaving mid-week, along with building up more summer business.

With a pivot toward closer-to-home and shorter cruises, the port is well-positioned in Florida to take advantage of that.

Excerpt from Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine: Winter 2020-2021

 



A trio of Cruise Ships Drydocks To Start 2021

A trio of Cruise Ships Drydocks To Start 2021


The cruise ship drydock market will be hot for 2021, as operators push scheduled refits and class surveys forward ahead of returning to service

Work scopes are expected to be mandatory class surveys, inspections, and technical and safety maintenance, as the majority of big projects scheduled for 2020 and 2021 have been pushed back, Cruise Industry News reported in its 2021 Drydocking and Refurbishment Report.

Without passengers on the ship, the drydocking is when the cruise lines pounce to make any changes ranging from repair to hotel and facility upgrades.

Among the cruise ships that recently drydocked is the 1,778-guest Marella Explorer 2. She is staying at Damen in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

The Marella Explorer 2 has had her cabin ceilings and walls resprayed, bathrooms updated. Some of her suites got brand new solid wood floorings, and the Market Place got a contemporary resin floor.

The 2,600-passenger Sapphire Princess, which is operated by Princess Cruises, is currently drydocking at the Sembawang Shipyard in Singapore. The ship was previously scheduled for a drydock in April 2020, which got postponed after the start of the pandemic.

Finally, Dream Cruises’ 1,804-passenger Explorer Dream is not drydocking yet but will be between Feb. 19 and 25. The works will take place in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.



Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Carnival CEO Sells Company Stock

Carnival CEO Sells Company Stock


Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation, sold 62,639 company shares on Tuesday at a price of $21.12 for proceeds of $1,322,935, according to an SEC filing. 

While the timing was less than ideal as the company remains out of service, the transaction was relatively routine.

Donald sold Carnival shares in mid-January in 2020, although at a much higher per-share price before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.



Cabezas: ‘Azamara Sale is a Win-Win-Win’

Cabezas: ‘Azamara Sale is a Win-Win-Win’


The Chief Operating Officer of Azamara, Carol Cabezas, has explained the sale of Azamara to a private equity firm, Sycamore Partners, with increasing the value of the cruise line’s product and driving the brand forward.

“Sycamore Partners, which has invested in many upscale consumer brands, is known for identifying great brands that need flexible funding to grow and succeed,” Cabezas said in a video address published on the brand’s official website.

“Sycamore’s strategy is to partner with existing management to nurture companies for growth and invest in upscale companies. The priority is to increase the value of our product. So, it's a win-win-win,” she added.

This comes a couple of hours since Royal Caribbean Group announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Azamara brand to Sycamore Partners in an all-cash carve-out transaction for $201 million, “subject to certain adjustments and closing conditions.”

The sale is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021, Cabezas said, after the cruise line receives all the normal regulatory approvals.

The transition will take a couple of months with the help of the Royal Caribbean Group.

According to Cabezas, nothing is currently expected to change for Azamara’s customers.

“There is no impact on your current bookings, future cruise credits, refunds or the availability of your travel advisor. Also, our website and care centre agents remain open for business, and I encourage you to start planning your next cruise with us,” she said, before adding that that the entire team will stay with Azamara, including customer care staff and crew.

“We commit to keeping the brand elements that make us Azamara, your brand of choice with immersive experiences that elevate vacation to lifestyle and superior service throughout the journey. With Sycamore, we intend to rapidly expand these to offer more destinations and portfolio choices at every step along the way. We're only going to get better,” Cabezas stated.

Azamara will adopt the same health and safety protocols as the Royal Caribbean Group, Cabezas said in a statement. These were developed by a group of public health experts at the Healthy Sail Panel.



Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Royal Caribbean To Sell Azamara Brand To Sycamore Partners

Royal Caribbean To Sell Azamara Brand To Sycamore Partners

Azamara Quest.

Royal Caribbean Group today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Azamara brand to Sycamore Partners, a private equity firm specializing in consumer, retail and distribution investments, in an all-cash carve-out transaction for $201 million, subject to certain adjustments and closing conditions.

Sycamore Partners will acquire the entire Azamara brand, including its three-ship fleet and associated intellectual property. The transaction is subject to customary conditions and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021. Royal Caribbean Group noted the transaction allows it to focus on expanding its Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea brands.

"Our strategy has evolved into placing more of our resources behind three global brands, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea, and working to grow them as we emerge from this unprecedented period," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Royal Caribbean Group. "Even so, Azamara remains a strong brand with its own tremendous potential for growth, and Sycamore's track record demonstrates that they will be good stewards of what the Azamara team has built over the past 13 years."

"We are pleased that Royal Caribbean Group has entrusted Sycamore to support Azamara in its next phase of growth," said Stefan Kaluzny, Managing Director of Sycamore Partners. "We are excited to partner with the Azamara team and build on their many years of success serving the brand's loyal customers. We believe Azamara will remain a top choice for discerning travellers as the cruising industry recovers over time."

Azamara's value proposition and operations will remain consistent under the new arrangement, and Royal Caribbean Group will work in close collaboration on a seamless transition for Azamara employees, customers and other stakeholders. In conjunction with the transaction, Azamara Chief Operating Officer Carol Cabezas has been appointed President of the brand.

The transaction will result in a one-time, non-cash impairment charge of approximately $170 million. The sale of Azamara is not expected to have a material impact on the Royal Caribbean Group's future financial results. Perella Weinberg Partners LP served as financial advisor to Royal Caribbean Group and  Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP provided legal counsel. Kirkland & Ellis LLP provided legal advice to Sycamore Partners.


Monday, 18 January 2021

Virgin Goes with Bipolar Ionization

Virgin Goes with Bipolar Ionization

Scarlet Lady.

“HVAC is one of the most important systems aboard a cruise ship. To that end, we designed our ship based on industry best practices, working with Fincantieri and HVAC engineers. We are trading off energy consumption for passenger comfort, quality, and safety,” Andy Schwalb, chief marine and technology for Virgin Voyages, told Cruise Industry News.

“So, instead of building the most efficient air-conditioning system possible, we built the best air circulation system possible for the comfort of our guests and crew,” he added.

Aboard the Scarlet Lady, each public space has its own air-handling system, designed and optimized for each space.

“We are constantly putting fresh air into public spaces and cabins. While other ships may pump in the fresh air too, the question is how often that air is exchanged. Our system is smart and adjusts according to how many people are in the room. So, the air may be exchanged every couple of minutes or every five to seven minutes. It can go faster or slower.

“Some large spaces also have cooling coils that help keep the air cool, but we are not recirculating air.

“We also change the air in every cabin every few minutes. Each cabin has its own cooling unit, and there is no cross-contamination between cabins.”

“There are many ways to clean the air,” Schwalb said. “The most basic is to move fresh air through a filter and suck out the old air. That works up to a point, depending on how often the air is exchanged and how big or small the particles are that go into the filters. Some companies have gone to MERV 13 filters, which have a finer mesh, and some are putting UV lamps in their air handlers.

“We have chosen a different route, covering 100 per cent of the ship with bipolar ionization.”

Schwalb explained how it works: “The fresh air comes into the space ionized with positively and negatively charged ions. They are attracted to particulate matter – pathogens, allergens, bacteria dust – and attach themselves. By doing sothey destroy the pathogens by stripping the hydrogen atom and make them bigger and heavier, which means the filters can better trap them, they are no longer able to attach themselves to people’s lungs, and they also fall to the floor.

“99.92 per cent of viruses are killed instantaneously.”

In-door air quality, in general, is a problem, according to Schwalb, not just on cruise ships. Any building, any enclosed space, has challenges such as norovirus and influenza, for example, and the ionization takes care of all of that.

“In addition, we are also upping our filtration to MERV 13 where it makes sense,” he added. “We are doing absolutely everything that is possible. First of all, we want to keep everybody safe and healthyand secondly, we think this will improve the (cruise) experience over the long run.”

Excerpt from Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine: Winter 2020-2021



The Alang Fleet: These Five Ships Will Be Scrapped in India

The Alang Fleet: These Five Ships Will Be Scrapped in India

Karnika

Five cruise ships are in the process of being scrapped in India following the COVID-19 pandemic which has accelerated the retirement of cruise ships.

Karnika
Capacity: 1,578
Tonnage: 70,130
Year built: 1990
Last Cruise Line: Jalesh Cruises

A victim of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jalesh Cruises was shut down by its owners in October. As a consequence, Karnika, the company’s sole vessel, was sold for scrap in November.


Ocean Dream
Capacity: 1,022
Tonnage: 36,674
Year built: 1982
Last Cruise Line: Peace Boat

The Ocean Dream was beached on New Year’s Eve, ending its 38-year seagoing career. Previously operated by the Peace Boat Organization, the vessel was replaced by the newer and larger Pacific World, the former Sun Princess. 


Marco Polo 
Capacity: 800
Tonnage: 22,080
Year built: 1965
Last Cruise Line: Cruise & Maritime

After Cruise & Maritime Voyages went into administration, the Marco Polo was auctioned in October. The new owners planned to use the ship on charter deals, looking into options that even included transforming it into a permanent hotel. None of the deal materialized.


Grand Celebration 
Capacity: 1,800
Tonnage: 47,262
Year built: 1987
Last Cruise Line: Bahamas Paradise
Operating for Bahamas Paradise since 2015, the Grand Celebration was sold in November. While the cruise line initially denied the sale, the 1987-built vessel set course to India, arriving in Alang on January 11.   


Satoshi (ex-Pacific Dawn)
Capacity: 1,590
Tonnage: 70,000
Year built: 1991
Last Cruise Line: P&O Australia

Sold by P&O Australia in October, the former Pacific Dawn was set to become a floating tech hub off the coast of Panama. The plan, however, fell through in December and the ship, now named Satoshi, was sold to Indian breakers.  

Thursday, 14 January 2021

How to Scrap a Cruise Ship and What They Go For

How to Scrap a Cruise Ship and What They Go For


As many as 13 cruise ships were reduced to scrap in 2020 – more than in the five preceding years combined.

The number of cruise vessels removed from the worldwide fleet in 2020 was so high that scrap yards have been struggling to keep up with the demand – especially when the vessels are registered in the European Union and, therefore, have to comply with stricter regulations.

According to Vagelis Chatziginnis, a senior trader at GMS Leadership (one such company that organizes ship scrapping), most of the vessel scrapping in 2020 took place in Turkey.

“We have seen a couple of units being sold for recycling in India already, but a couple of units is nothing compared to the numbers we've seen in Turkey so far,” Chatziginnis told Cruise Industry News. “Some of these larger cruise ships (are) being laid up in locations like Greece, for example, until more spaces are available to digest in Turkey.”

Scrap Values

Chatziginnis said the average scrap value in India is $400 per ton. In Turkey, the value is considerably less at $280-300 per ton. At the height of the pandemic, however, those values could be as low as $90 for EU-flagged ships.

“When the pandemic was at its peak – let's say around summer 2020 – and the first cruise ships started being scrapped, some of them were even getting double digits, like hardly $100 per ton, maybe $90,” he said.

The value can depend on various factors, such as the country where the facilities are located or whether the cruise vessel was registered in an EU country.

“If the vessel has to be recycled in compliance with a regulation of the European Union, you would probably be looking in Turkey for something like $200 per ton equivalent because of their very limited capacity of the yards, which are compliant with European regulations,” Chatziginnis explained.

“In the U.S., you have one facility that is approved in the European Union. So, the vessel could be recycled there, but it's a totally different market. You would probably be looking at something like $80 per ton, for example,” he added.

However, Chatziginnis said that steel prices globally have increased dramatically over the past few months and residual value has increased by nearly $100 per ton in each of the major ship recycling counties.

Process Organization

A role of a company like GMS is to organize the entire recycling process.

“So, ultimately the ownership and responsibility of the vessel would be transferred to the owning entity that would be buying the vessel. The cruise line has nothing to do anymore with the vessel. And thereafter, we are arranging the transportation from point A to point B,” Chatziginnis said.

“Let's say you're taking delivery of a cruise vessel and, let's say, from Piraeus.

So, from Piraeus in Greece, we put our crew on board, and we arrange for the unit to go to Turkey. We are (then) sending the unit to the recycling facility, and the recycling facility has to pay for purchasing the vessel to recycle in accordance with the standards that we're going to agree on,” he added.

GMS also vets the requirements of the original owner for regulations that need to be complied with and then guides them with how to proceed with the scraping in the best interests of the cruise industry.

“It sounds like it’s simple, but it isn’t always. Especially when you have to respect other regulations (like the EU ones),” Chatziginnis said.

What Holds

A record-breaking 46 cruise vessels could enter service in 2021: 30 ships that are set to debut and 16 more ships that were delivered in 2020 but have yet to enter revenue service.

With that many ships entering the scene, cruise lines have to be wary not to oversupply the market, said VesselsValue, a maritime data provider.

“A quick and confident return of demand is paramount for the industry to rebound; otherwise, we should expect to see further delays and removals in an attempt to balance things out,” VesselsValue’s cargo analyst, Guy Cooper, told Cruise Industry News.

The other sad consequence of the pandemic is that many relatively young cruise ships are getting scrapped.

“Look at the Marco Polo – it is a 55-year-old vessel … It has been operating for, like, more than 50 years now… And now, all the other major lines are scrapping all the vessels that were built in the 1990s and the 1980s. This is quite young for the normal industry in cruising in our understanding,” said Chatziginnis.

“I doubt that in the last decade, at least, or maybe even more than this, we have seen so many cruise ships being recycled in a year,” he added.



Friday, 8 January 2021

Holland America Line Extends Pause in Cruise Operations

Holland America Line Extends Pause in Cruise Operations



As Holland America Line continues to prepare and develop its plans to meet the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the company announced on Wednesday afternoon it is extending its pause of cruise operations for all departures through April 30, 2021.

This includes Alaska, Mexican Riviera, Pacific Coast, Caribbean, Mediterranean and Canada/New England departures.

The line also will cancel all Alaska cruises through mid-May, Alaska departures on three ships through early June, any Land+Sea Journeys connected with cancelled Alaska sailings, Mediterranean cruises through early June and Zaandam’s Canada/New England itineraries through August.

Cruises impacted by this pause in operation are:

  • All cruise departures through April 30, 2021.
  • Alaska: Eurodam and Oosterdam through the first week of June (roundtrip from Seattle); Koningsdam through mid-May (roundtrip from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada); Nieuw Amsterdam and Noordam through mid-May (roundtrip Vancouver and between Vancouver and Whittier, Alaska); and Zuiderdam through early June (roundtrip from Vancouver).
  • Mediterranean: Volendam cruises through early June (between Venice and Civitavecchia [Rome], Italy); Westerdam through early June (roundtrip from Venice or between Venice and Piraeus [Athens], Greece).
  • Canada/New England: Zaandam cruises through August (between Boston, Massachusetts, and Montreal, Quebec, Canada).

Guests and their travel agents are being notified of the cancellations and options for Future Cruise Credits (FCC) and rebooking.


Thursday, 7 January 2021

PRINCESS EXTENDS PAUSE IN SAILINGS TO MID-MAY

PRINCESS EXTENDS PAUSE IN SAILINGS TO MID-MAY


Princess Cruises’ sailings will remain paused until mid-May, the line has confirmed.

All Caribbean, California coast, early-season Alaska and Europe cruises have been placed on hold.


The line said the pause would allow it to prepare and develop its plans to meet the stipulations of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s framework for conditional sailing order, which allows passenger cruising to resume under strict new Covid health and safety arrangements.


Additionally, Princess said there remained uncertainty around travel restrictions owing to Covid.


All cruises departing up to, and including 14 May have been suspended, Princess confirmed late on Wednesday (6 January). Princess had previous announced an operational pause valid until 31 March.


"We appreciate the patience from our loyal guests and travel agents as we work to meet the health and safety requirements for our return to service," said Princess president Jan Swartz.


"We continue to prepare our ships for our return to service and we are eager to see our guests back onboard to create summertime memories."


Guests booked on cancelled cruises can opt for refundable future cruise credit worth 100% of their cruise fare paid, plus a non-refundable bonus equivalent to 25% of the fare paid.


Full refunds are available on request until 15 February, otherwise, guests will receive the FCC offers.


Travel agent commission on bookings for all cancelled cruises will be paid in full.



Tuesday, 5 January 2021

MSC CRUISES TO IMPLEMENT NEXT GENERATION AIR SANITATION SYSTEM FOR GLOBAL CRUISE INDUSTRY TO FURTHER ENHANCE AIR CLEANLINESS

MSC CRUISES TO IMPLEMENT NEXT GENERATION AIR SANITATION SYSTEM FOR GLOBAL CRUISE INDUSTRY TO FURTHER ENHANCE AIR CLEANLINESS

- MSC Cruises announced today that flagship MSC Grandiosa and MSC Magnifica in the Mediterranean will mark its return to operations starting this August.

Geneva, Switzerland - 21st October 2020 – MSC Cruises will be the first cruise line in the world to install a new and advanced innovative technology sanitation system called ‘Safe Air’ to improve further the quality and cleanliness of the onboard air for its guests and crew.
‘Safe Air’ will be fitted on MSC Seashore, one of the largest and most technologically advanced ships ever built in Italy and currently under construction at shipbuilder Fincantieri’s Monfalcone yard and set to be delivered in July 2021 and be the first of two ‘Seaside Evo’ Class ships.
The announcement is another step forward in MSC Cruises’ ongoing commitment to health and safety that was most recently demonstrated in August when it became the first major cruise line in the world to return to sea with a new and comprehensive health and safety protocol approved by a range of national and regional authorities in Europe following the temporary halt of the global industry in March as a result of the pandemic ashore.

The ‘Safe Air’ next-generation sanitation system is based on the technology of UV-C lamps which are type C ultraviolet rays applied in combination with the ship’s air conditioning system, whereby airflow is radiated at the source with a short wavelength light that hits organic particles and prevents the circulation of air pollutants such as viruses, bacteria and mould.
The ‘Safe Air’ sanitation system was developed by Fincantieri’s designers and technicians and the virology laboratory of the International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, a leading global research institute headquartered in Trieste, Italy.
The Institute provides businesses with scientific support to develop innovative technological solutions for the control of virus infections, which is particularly relevant today given the current global pandemic.


MSC Cruises’ effective response to the health challenges faced by the worldwide travel and tourism sector has been to set the highest safety standards with a health and safety protocol that has been in operation since 16 August when its ship MSC Grandiosa resumed 7-night sailings in the West Mediterranean. She has now completed nine voyages with more than 16,000 guests and has been joined this week by MSC Magnifica with longer and enriched 10-night cruises in the West and East Mediterranean.

The new health and safety protocol, in fact, went beyond the guidance from the relevant authorities in the countries where the ships sail to set a new standard for the cruise industry, as well as other aspects of travel, tourism, leisure and hospitality, particularly with respect to universal testing.
All guests go through universal health screening before boarding a ship which comprises three comprehensive steps – a temperature check, a review of a personal health questionnaire and a COVID-19 antigen swab test. The crew are tested up to three times before being permitted to start their work.
Other aspects of the health and safety protocol cover elevated sanitation and cleaning, protected ‘bubble’ shore excursions, facemasks and maintaining social distancing, enhanced onboard medical facilities, daily health monitoring and a robust contingency plan.

The protocol was designed by MSC Cruises’ in-house specialists in medical services, public health and sanitation, hotel services, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, other shipboard engineering systems, information technology and logistics.

A Blue-Ribbon COVID-19 Expert Group was also established that comprises a panel of internationally respected highly qualified professionals whose role is to inform and review the MSC Cruises’ protocol to ensure that the cruise line’s actions are appropriate, effective and informed by the best available science and health practices.

MSC Seashore – like all of the Company’s new vessels - will also feature some of the latest technologies and solutions available to reduce her environmental footprint. These notably include a state-of-the-art selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system and a next-generation advanced wastewater treatment (AWT) system.
SCR reduces nitrogen oxide emissions by 90 per cent through advanced active emissions control technology, and AWT systems take wastewater through a comprehensive process of purification and very fine filtration that transforms it into nearly tap-water quality.
MSC Seashore will also be fitted with shore-to-ship power capabilities that allow the vessel to connect to local power grids while at berth, further reducing air emissions.
For more information about MSC Magnifica, MSC Grandiosa and MSC Cruises’ new health and safety measures, click here and to find out how to book click here.

Monday, 4 January 2021

NCL CANCELS ALL REMAINING CRUISES UNTIL END OF MARCH

NCL CANCELS ALL REMAINING CRUISES UNTIL END OF MARCH

Norwegian Bliss

Norwegian Cruise Line has extended its suspension of operations and canceled all remaining voyages until 31 March.

The line had previously announced the halting of cruises on all ships except Norwegian Encore, Norwegian Escape, and Norwegian Joy but has now extended that to include its entire fleet.

 

NCL said it would continue to “closely review” the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s conditional sailing framework issued on 30 October and “continue to partner with global and domestic authorities, including the CDC, to chart a path forward”.

 

“We are committed to taking all appropriate steps and actions to combat the spread of Covid-19 and are working closely and in partnership with local, state, federal, and global agencies,” the line said in a statement on its website.

 

“Whilst this may result in additional future changes, please know our teams are working around the clock to do what is right by our guests and travel partners. We continue to monitor this situation closely and will provide additional updates as they are available.”

Charleston: ‘2021 Will Be a Learning Curve’

Charleston: ‘2021 Will Be a Learning Curve’

Port of Charleston.

Despite having operated for centuries, the Port of Charleston got into the “cruise game” only a decade ago. Since then, it created an effective and efficient area for cruise calls and built a good working relationship with Carnival Cruise Line.

“We currently have homeports for Carnival Cruise Line. We're very happy with them. We feel as if they're very happy with us, we hope to continue that relationship,” Jerry R. Matthews, Director, Breakbulk & Roro & Cruise Operations at South Carolina Ports Authority, told Cruise Industry News. “We work well with all the lines, but for right now (they) have been here for the past six years, I believe… We'd like to have a nice, long-term, five to 20-year contract.”

Plans for the Future

As well as doing everything it can to resume operations in 2021, the port is also preparing to build a proper cruising facility in the next three to five years.

“I think we have a really solid potential to offer more sailings, more short distance sailings to these destinations for the lines. Moving forward, hopefully, again, with building a new facility, being able to hand properly maybe a slightly larger vessel… I think that's probably the place where we can zone in more, just trying to take advantage of the great location and great weather where we are,” Matthews said.

Another thing the Port of Charleston is looking into improving is security systems at the port – such as facial recognition.

“Things like that that might be [done] with the help of CBP,” he said.

Matthews said that the port’s team has already worked hard to make the site a safe environment once cruise sailings resume and passengers come through. This includes things like more frequent disinfection and cleaning.

“We went through and identified social distancing identifications, markers, signs, stickers, postings, all that we could – we've opened more things to have outside as we can. We added more hand sanitizing stations. We have plenty of masks, gloves on hand,” Matthews said adding that part of the process was sitting down with all the employees and vendors to explain the new procedures.

The Port of Charleston also communicated with cruise lines to get a good understanding of their work calendar.

“We got with the cruise lines, and we asked them, ‘what are your plans internally on the vessel to make sure when passengers are embarking or debarking, we have enough space between them, are there any changes we should make?’,” Matthews explained.

“We spent a lot of time making sure that from the time they arrive at the terminal to the time they get on the vessel, it is as safe and productive as it can be for the passenger,” he added.

‘One Family’

Matthews said that he hopes that the entire industry recovers soon after the “unfortunately long pause.”

“We're kind of like a family: we want everyone to take it back, to go on, and wish nothing but the best for everybody. There's no competition or competitiveness there – if one of us succeeds, all of us succeed,” he said. “I'm sure there'll be a lot of starting very slow to make sure all the safety protocols and safety measures are in place to protect everyone, to be as safe as we can. But hopefully, we'll find a way to rebound back slowly but surely, and get back to normal within a year or two.”



The Marco Polo Is Getting Scrapped

The Marco Polo Is Getting Scrapped


The classic Marco Polo is heading to the scrapyard in Alang, India, according to a source familiar with the ship.

"The Marco Polo is headed for the beach," they said.

Other sources said potential charter deals included using the ship as a floating accommodation vessel and even converting it to a permanent hotel. None of the deals materialized, however.

Following the demise of Cruise & Maritime Voyages earlier this year, the classic, 1965-built vessel sold at auction for just $2,770,000.

A former ocean liner, the Marco Polo was built in 1965 as the Aleksandr Pushkin for the Leningrad/Montreal route.

After serving its original purpose until the 1970s, the vessel started to sail as a cruise ship under charter agreements.

In 1991, it was sold to Orient Lines and renamed Marco Polo. In Greece, the vessel was rebuilt as a true cruise ship, also receiving new engines.



Wednesday, 30 December 2020

AIDA Cancels Cruises Due to IT Problems

AIDA Cancels Cruises Due to IT Problems


AIDA is canceling its New Year's Eve cruises for the AIDAperla and AIDAmar, citing IT problems as German media widely reported the company was facing a cybersecurity issue.

The AIDAperla is now set to resume service in the Canaries on January 2, followed by the AIDAmar on January 3.

Bild, a German newspaper, reported on Monday a cybersecurity issue at both the AIDA headquarters in Rostock and aboard the company's vessels. Citing passengers aboard, Bild said that the ships' onboard boarding card system was not functioning. 

"The boarding pass system has stopped working," one passenger said. "Slips of paper are used that would otherwise be automatically debited, for example when you buy something. We learned secretly from the staff that there had been a hacker attack on the AIDA servers."



Cruise Ships to Dock at Port of Los Angeles Without Passengers

Cruise Ships to Dock at Port of Los Angeles Without Passengers


The Port of Los Angeles is expecting cruise ships but without passengers, in the coming weeks, according to a port press release.

The visits for fuel, supplies, and services are part of the cruise lines’ operations to reestablish the ships in U.S. waters as a prerequisite to meet federal regulations in order to resume cruising in the future. 

The port said it continues to closely monitor the situation and is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), California Department of Public Health, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and other emergency and public health agencies. 

Princess Cruises, Holland America, and Norwegian Cruise Line cruise ships are scheduled to send ships arriving in Los Angeles this week and through the new year, periodically docking at the Los Angeles Cruise Terminal for fuel, food, supplies, and/or services. No vessels will be carrying passengers.

The Port of Los Angeles is expecting more than two dozen cruise ship calls through early February.

In addition to increased precautions to minimize community spread of and exposure to COVID-19, cruise ship safety implementations while at berth include Passenger Ship Safety Certificate (PSSC) training and Marine Evacuation System (MES) replacement.



Sunday, 27 December 2020

Budweiser and CleanEarth announce Magor Brewery to be Powered by Massive Wind Turbine

Budweiser and CleanEarth announce Magor Brewery to be Powered by Massive Wind Turbine

Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, a proud part of AB InBev, and renewable energy company, CleanEarth, reached a milestone in the brewer's sustainability efforts. A new wind turbine has been installed at Budweiser Brewing Group's brewery in Magor, South Wales to help power the site with renewable electricity. 

One billion pints

The newly installed turbine will supply nearly a quarter of the energy consumed at Budweiser’s Magor Brewery. As the site produces more than 1 billion pints of beer each year (including Budweiser, Stella Artois, Corona and Bud Light) its power demand is considerable.

Located just under a mile from the brewery, the turbine serves the plant via a direct wire, with Budweiser Brewing Group purchasing the power from CleanEarth through a power purchase agreement (PPA).

The turbine is the latest step in Budweiser Brewing Group’s commitment to brewing its beers with 100% renewable electricity by next year and its continued investment in renewables.

Lloyd Manship, Brewery Manager at Magor Brewery, said, “Having worked at the brewery for more than 20 years, it’s amazing to see how far we’ve come in our sustainability initiatives. The installation of this wind turbine is going to make a huge difference in helping us to operate more sustainably long into the future.”

Unprecedented scale

The Vensys V136 turbine presented significant logistical challenges, especially in the transportation of the blades. The conventional route by road was dropped in favour of shipping them over 800 miles by sea and into Bristol’s Avonmouth Dock, leaving just the last 20 miles to be negotiated by road.

The combination of sheer size with the latest design and engineering technology makes the Magor turbine highly efficient in harnessing the available wind, providing an output of up to 3.5 megawatts.

This will generate 9 million kilowatt-hours of electricity each year – the equivalent of powering 2,300 Welsh homes – while saving more than 2,600 tonnes of CO2 emissions. That’s well over 65,000 tons of carbon savings during its operational lifetime.

Commitment to decarbonization

The partnership between Budweiser and CleanEarth is another important step in the decarbonization of UK businesses. As Paula Lindenberg, President, Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, said, “We’re committed to brewing Britain’s most sustainable beers. Partnerships like this one with CleanEarth help drive positive change – making it easier for people to make sustainable choices at the pub or on their weekly shop.”

This was echoed by Dean Robson, Managing Director of CleanEarth, who said, “Too often corporate goals are not coupled with strong and effective action – but Budweiser Brewing Group has been supportive at all levels, and have acted throughout with a clarity that’s consistent with their ambitious environmental targets.

“We are proud of the work we’ve done with Budweiser Brewing Group on this project. As a result of this collaboration, CleanEarth will generate low-carbon, low-cost energy into the Magor brewery for years to come.”