September 4, 2020
In this Issue
Here are some of the news articles we are following:
- Blount Small Ship Adventures suspends cruise ship operations
- Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises Australia also extend Australia & New Zealand suspension through December
- Windstar Cruises cancels remaining 2020 departures
- Seajets is the new owner of two former HAL ships
- Former Maasdam Renamed Aegean Myth
- New Fred. Olsen ships to sail spring 2021, Balmoral even sooner
- Ex-CMV chief sets sail with takeover of stricken cruise assets
- Dominican Republic to Pay for Travel Assistance for International Visitors
- Cunard cancels all cruises until next spring and makes radical changes to itineraries
- Princess Cruises announces more cancellations
- Marella cancels cruises up to 15 November
- Fred Olsen plotting spring voyages for new ships
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Blount Small Ship Adventures suspends cruise ship operations
"The small, family-owned cruise company Blount Small Ship Adventures permanently shut down because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Rhode Island-based company with 3 ships, halted operations earlier in 2020 but made the decision permanent. Cruise operation was a sister company to Blount Boats shipyard that builds various vessels, including tugboats, ferry boats, and dinner cruise ships.
Blount family is selling its 3 overnight cruise vessels and putting all its emphasis on the family shipbuilding business. The reason was due to the COVID pandemic. The three boats on the market include the 88-passenger Grande Caribe and Grande Mariner, built in 1997 and 1998, respectively, and the 84-passenger Niagara Prince, built in 1994."
Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises Australia also extend Australia & New Zealand suspension through December
"Due to the continued progression of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and related decisions of health authorities, governments, and airlines regarding travel restrictions, Princess Cruises announced it is extending its pause in operations in Australia through December 12 which includes sailings throughout Australia and New Zealand. P&O Cruises Australia is also extending its pause in operations from Australia to December 2, 2020, as the line continues to take guidance from public health experts, authorities, and society on restarting sailings. To support passengers’ peace-of-mind during these times, P&O Cruises extended its flexible payment and cancellation policy named ‘P&O Assurance’ further to the end of the 2021 summer holidays."
Windstar Cruises cancels remaining 2020 departures
"Windstar Cruises announced it had cancelled all remaining sailings in 2020, saying it was a “difficult decision.” The company said in a statement they had hoped that the number of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and episodes of transmission would be in decline and that "the world recovery from the pandemic would be faster, but based on what we are seeing, we believe the most prudent way forward to keep our guests and crew safe is to postpone all Windstar sailings until next year." Passengers on the cancelled cruises receive a future cruise credit (FCC) valued at 125% of the money paid on the booking to Windstar."
Seajets is the new owner of two former HAL ships
"The Greek ferry company Seajets is the new owner of the recently sold Holland America Line cruise ships ms Veendam and ms Maasdam. Once things get back to normal Seajets will enter the highly competitive cruise market with 3 cruise vessels in the fleet, as the company had already bought the cruise ship Oceana from P&O Cruises. Back in July Holland America Line announced that four cruise ships have been sold in pairs to undisclosed buyers with two leaving in August and another two in the fall. Shortly after Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines announced that the company has bought MS Rotterdam and MS Amsterdam and after extensive refurbishment, they will be renamed Bolette and Bolearis. However, the new owner of the ms Veendam and ms Maasdam remained a mystery until now. The two former HAL ships are now renamed Aegean Majesty and Aegean Myth. The Veendam was renamed Aegean Majesty in Katakolon and ms Maasdam in Piraeus got its new name Aegean Myth. According to Seatrade Cruise News Aegean Majesty and Aegean Myth will be managed by Optimum Ship Management Services, which also looks after the cruise vessels of the Greek operator Celestyal Cruises. Both ships are currently in the “warm layup”, maintenance and operating condition from which they could return to service relatively quickly."
Former Maasdam Renamed Aegean Myth
"Holland America Line’s former Maasdam which was sold by Carnival Corporation last month has been renamed Aegean Myth, in preparation for her new life with new owners. According to the Cruise Ship Tracker, the former Maasdam now displays the name Aegean Myth and the flag of registry has been changed from The Netherlands to Bermuda. Aegean Myth is currently docked in Piraeus, Greece, after arriving from Cyprus on 22 August. Earlier this month, sister ship Veendam was renamed to Aegean Majesty. It is still unclear who the new owners of the ship are, although with both ships having similar names, it looks like both former Holland America ships have been sold to the same operator."
New Fred. Olsen ships to sail spring 2021, Balmoral even sooner
"New Fred. Olsen ships Bolette and Borealis - which are to take over the itineraries for Boudicca and Black Watch, respectively - will begin operating in March and April next year, together with the company’s existing ship, Braemar. Plans are underway for Balmoral to sail sooner; an announcement on its return to water date is expected in the coming weeks."
Ex-CMV chief sets sail with takeover of stricken cruise assets
"The former boss of one of Britain’s best-known cruise operators has snapped up its customer database and booking systems in a bid to relaunch it weeks after the company collapsed with the loss of thousands of jobs. Sky News has learnt that a number of assets belonging to Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV), which appointed administrators last month, have been sold to a new vehicle established by Christian Verhounig, its former chief executive. The deal is expected to be announced on Friday. Sources said that Duff & Phelps, the administrator, had sought to sell the business and wider assets of CMV and a number of sister companies but that this had proved impossible in an industry decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Major cruise operators have been forced to defer the resumption of operations amid ongoing travel restrictions and weakened consumer confidence."
Dominican Republic to Pay for Travel Assistance for International Visitors
"The Dominican Republic has announced a plan for what it calls the responsible recovery of tourism, outlining a series of initiatives, including a travel assistance program for visitors paid for by the government until December, 2020. According to the ministry of tourism, all tourists staying in hotels will be granted travel assistance that will pay for emergencies, telemedicine, lodging for prolonged stays and costs for changing flights in case of an infection. The coverage will be provided at no cost to visitors until December 2020. Initiatives are so far focused on international tourists visiting hotels and resorts and do not yet extend to cruise ships, but it is a first step in rebuilding the country’s tourism industry."
Cunard cancels all cruises until next spring and makes radical changes to itineraries
"Cunard has extended its pause in operations until 25 March 2021 for Queen Elizabeth, until 18 April for QM2 and until 16 May for Queen Victoria. It has also made changes to its 2021 itineraries with new European sailings to replace Australasia and Alaska voyages, and a new 2022 world cruise.
It blamed the FCO advice against all ocean cruises and the complexity of operating world voyages for the changes. President Simon Palethorpe said: "We are so sorry to all those guests who were due to sail on any of the cancelled voyages and for the disappointment this news will cause.
"After very careful consideration and reviewing the latest guidance, we simply do not feel it would be sensible to start sailing again with our current schedule so we have reviewed future itineraries."
"Queen Elizabeth has returned to the UK and with ongoing uncertainty over the re-opening of many ports and countries, it is sadly not practical to continue her planned itineraries for 2021.
"Therefore, in addition to the pause in operations, all of Queen Elizabeth's sailings due to depart between 26 March 2021 and 13 December 2021, in and around Australia, Japan and Alaska, will be cancelled."
Princess Cruises announces more cancellations
"Princess Cruises has axed its 2021 World Cruise on the Island Princess from North America and its 2021 Circle South America cruise from Australia on Pacific Princess. Associated positioning cruises are also cancelled. "We share in the disappointment of this cancellation for guests of our world cruises because it's a pinnacle cruise vacation experience, booked by some of our most loyal guests," said President Jan Swartz."
Marella cancels cruises up to 15 November
"Marella Cruises has extended its cancellations up to 15 November due to 'ongoing uncertainty around travel restrictions'. The TUI-owned cruise line had planned to restart cruises on 1 October but it said today that it had 'taken the difficult decision' to pause them for longer. All customers whose bookings are affected can amend their bookings for free with a 10% incentive of the total value of their original booking, or receive a credit note for up to 110% of the cost of the cruise, or claim a full cash refund. The UK Foreign Office is continuing to advise British travellers not to take any ocean-going cruises due to the risk of coronavirus. MSC Cruises became the first major cruise line to relaunch cruises earlier this month, but they're only available to passengers from Schengen countries, so British guests are barred."
Fred Olsen plotting spring voyages for new ships
"Fred. Olsen's new ships, Bolette and Borealis, will make their maiden voyages for the cruise line next spring as it outlined plans to resume operations. The vessels, acquired from Holland America last month, will take over itineraries operated by Boudicca and Black Watch in March and April. Fred Olsen confirmed this week that Boudicca and Black Watch are being retired. The Braemar will also take to the water in the spring. Balmoral will 'sail even sooner' although no date was confirmed."
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the articles above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this e-Newsletter
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