January 15, 2021
In this Issue
Here are some of the news articles we are following:
- Conditional approval granted to Ponant for New Zealand cruises to resume in 2021
- Vaccine optimism driving strong cruise ship bookings in 2021 and 2022
- Think COVID's killed the cruise ship? Now there's one with a roller coaster on board
- Why you shouldn't fly to your cruise the same day it begins
- AIDA Cancels Cruises Due to IT Problems
- Former Royal Caribbean Ship Empress of the Seas Sold to Indian Startup
- 8 cruise ship tips from a former employee
- Cunard Hopes to Ride Movie Momentum
- Isolation during COVID-19 lockdowns led to suicides among cruise ship staffers: report
- Quark Expeditions launches traveler-focused COVID policy
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Conditional approval granted to Ponant for New Zealand cruises to resume in 2021
New Zealand is becoming the next destination to permit a limited resumption of cruises starting in February 2021. NZ's Ministry of Health has granted conditional approval to Ponant Cruises (France) to restart operations in New Zealand but the voyages will be limited only to NZ residents. Ponant responded thanking the country's officials and calling it a major first step. The company had been in dialogue for months with officials in both Australia and New Zealand hoping to open a regional "travel bubble." And while Australia remains closed to sailing, Ponant announced it looked forward to the opportunities in NZ and believed those actions took them "closer to the time when borders re-open and cruising resumes.”
Vaccine optimism driving strong cruise ship bookings in 2021 and 2022
For many travelers, a Covid-19 vaccine is a symbol of a coming positive change in the world, and it has many already making plans for cruise vacations next year and beyond. "With the news of the vaccines being distributed across the country, we are seeing a renewed sense of optimism towards travel," said Beci Mahnken, Founder and CEO of MEI-Travel. "Clients seem ready to have the conversation about options and we are seeing an increase in bookings particularly for fall 2021 and 2022."
Think COVID's killed the cruise ship? Now there's one with a roller coaster on board
In cold, dark Finland, in the middle of the pandemic, shipyard workers at Meyer Turku were hard at work setting a roller coaster on top of a cruise ship. Others were installing a brewery that could produce craft beers using filtered sea water, intended to entertain an on-board audience of up to 6500 passengers. Their work at the shipyard is now complete. Mardi Gras, Carnival Cruise Line's largest "Fun Ship" ever, is ready to set sail. Of course, it will be months before even the first traveller steps on board, and questions abound as to when the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention will lift its no-sail order and allow ships to resume operations. Carnival is planning an April debut, with week-long itineraries throughout the Caribbean. That target may be a pipe dream, given the CDC will require all ships to apply for as-yet-undetermined certifications and carry out test cruises to prove pandemic readiness.
Why you shouldn't fly to your cruise the same day it begins
One of the most common mistakes a first-time cruiser will make is to fly on the day of your cruise. Booking a flight for the same day your cruise begins seems like it would not be a problem, but it could result in missing your cruise vacation completely.
AIDA Cancels Cruises Due to IT Problems
AIDA is cancelling its New Year's Eve cruises for the AIDAperla and AIDAmar, citing IT problems as German media widely reported the company was facing a cyber security 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 cyber security 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."
Former Royal Caribbean Ship Empress of the Seas Sold to Indian Startup
Royal Caribbean International's Empress of the Seas may be heading to a new cruise line based in India, according to a press release from Cordelia Cruises which said it had bought the ship. Of note, the news statement quotes Jurgen Bailom, president and CEO of Cordelia Cruises. Bailom was most recently the head of Jalesh Cruises, overseeing an aggressive cruise line launch in India. Bailom said in the press release: "It gives me immense pleasure to inform you that Waterways Leisure Tourism Pvt Ltd. that recently acquired over the Jalesh Cruises brand, has decided to further capitalize the immense potential of cruising by entering in the Indian market with the Empress of the Seas, that belonged to the global giant Royal Caribbean International until recently. With an individual capacity of 2,000 passengers, she has sailed many coastlines and high seas in her glorious past. I look forward to your support in continuing the legacy of Jalesh Cruises in upholding the spirit, culture, and value of "Incredible India" and being the evangelist of Joy by curating memorable cruise holidays that delight customers."
8 cruise ship tips from a former employee
The crew on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship see a lot of things in their time onboard, including guests making mistakes along the way. Former Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises employee Pippa Madden worked on a few different cruise ships for 8 years, and shared what she saw as important tips for guests when they go on a cruise.
Cunard Hopes to Ride Movie Momentum
Cunard Line hopes to use the Queen Mary 2’s role in the movie Let Them All Talk to raise brand awareness and ultimately drive bookings, said Simon Palethorpe, president. “It will be good for the industry, good for Cunard, and definitely good for the Queen Mary 2,” he said, in an interview with Cruise Industry News. “One thing it does is reminds us of the joy of cruising.”
Isolation during COVID-19 lockdowns led to suicides among cruise ship staffers: report
Overcome by isolation and fear at sea, at least half a dozen cruise ship staffers likely killed themselves during the early stages of COVID-19 lockdowns, according to a new report. Confined to tight quarters for extended periods and largely cut off from the world beyond the decks, cruise ship employees were subjected to especially acute lockdown conditions, Bloomberg found. While many passengers were eventually able to disembark from their cruise ships, most staffers found it difficult to….
Quark Expeditions launches traveler-focused COVID policy
The leader in Polar Adventures, Quark Expeditions, unveiled a comprehensive, traveller-focused Coronavirus (COVID-19) policy. Quark Expeditions S.A.F.E. COVID Policy is a cruise industry-leading programme designed to bring peace of mind and reassurance to potential explorers "as they once again start planning expedition travel in the coming months." The line's S.A.F.E. COVID Policy stands for…
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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