August 14, 2020
In this Issue
Here are some of the news articles we are following:
- Costa Prepares Gradual Restart Plan
- Guidance Issued for Resuming Safe Cruise Operations in the European Union
- A growing number of cruise lines are canceling sailings into 2021
- Italy allows cruise ships to return on August 15
- Norwegian CEO: Relaunch will take six months; fleet will 'return in earnest' in spring 2021
- Crew tests positive for COVID-19 on Viking Cruises' Viking Star ship
- Carnival Inspiration Beached for Scrapping in Turkey
- Disney Magic returns to Dover UK following a trip to Brest, northern France
- What Life Is Like Onboard One of the First European River Cruises
- How the Cruise Industry Got 250,000 Crew Members Home
- Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Disney, and dozens of other cruise lines won't sail out of the US until at least October 31
- MSC Won't Be Selling Any Cruise Ships
- Delivery date announced for P&O Cruises new mega-ship Iona
- No normalcy for cruising until 2023, predicts Larry Pimentel
- Who is maintaining Perfect Day at CocoCay while there are no cruises?
- 12,000 crew members still on cruise ships in US waters months after COVID-19 pandemic shut cruising down
- Jewel of the Seas and Norwegian Epic plan technical calls in Gibraltar
Cover Image by:
Costa Prepares Gradual Restart Plan
"Following the authorization to cruise by the Italian Government, Costa Crociere prepares to gradually restart its operations in light of the new protocols that will be officialized soon, the company said. Michael Thamm, CEO of Costa Group and Carnival Asia said: “We are extremely excited that we will be able to cruise again soon and we want to thank the Italian Government and all the authorities for their constant availability and support. "The cruise industry and Costa specifically, as the only Italian cruise company, create significant value to the economy and to the destinations we visit. The gradual restart of our operations will give relief to the local economies in port communities and to the whole ecosystem of almost 5,000 suppliers and business partners, and over 7,500 travel agents, in Italy, who have been suffering from the pause of our activities."
Guidance Issued for Resuming Safe Cruise Operations in the European Union
"Guidance on the gradual and safe resumption of operations of cruise ships in the European Union in relation to the COVID 19 pandemic has been circulated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
http://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/HotTopics/Documents/COVID%20CL%204204%20adds/Circular%20Letter%20No.4204-Add.26%20-%20Coronavirus%20(Covid-19)%20-%20Guidance%20On%20Cruise%20EU.pdf To facilitate the gradual and safe restart of cruise ship operations, the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) have jointly developed guidance on the gradual and safe resumption of operations of cruise ships in the European Union in relation to the COVID 19 pandemic, which has been circulated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The guidance aims to facilitate a safe re-start of operations of cruise ships in the European Union, by recommending minimum measures expected to be implemented by all concerned, while maintaining general safety and security standards. The guidance is meant for EU/EEA flagged ships engaged in international voyages and for ships calling at an EU/EEA port, irrespective of flag. The IMO said it invites member states and international organizations to utilize the guidance as they see fit and circulate it to all interested parties."
A growing number of cruise lines are canceling sailings into 2021
"For months, Crystal Cruises had been responding to the coronavirus crisis by canceling voyages a few weeks at a time. After halting all departures in March, the well-known luxury cruise operator initially planned to resume trips in the spring, then the summer, then the fall. The line’s comeback never seemed far off. But now it appears Crystal has thrown in the towel on a quick return to cruising. In a succession of announcements in recent days, the line has canceled all remaining voyages for 2020 on its two ocean ships, four river ships and a small yacht, Crystal Esprit. The first Crystal voyage now available for booking isn’t until Jan. 5, 2021."
Italy allows cruise ships to return on August 15
"The Italian government Friday night (August 7) gave the green light in one of its latest moves to boost the country's vital tourism industry, pummeled by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Cruise ships can resume operations in Italy starting August 15. The approval has come despite COVID-19 infections being confirmed in crew and passengers in recently resumed sailings in other European nations. After dozens aboard a cruise ship tested positive for the virus, Norway decided to close its ports to cruise ships for 2 weeks. The Italian cruise line Costa Cruises is expected to start sailing shortly after August 15 as the announcement falls in line with the end of their cruise suspension. The company has scheduled reopening voyages starting on August 15 with calls in Greece which also reopened ports for cruise ships as of August 1st."
Norwegian CEO: Relaunch will take six months; fleet will 'return in earnest' in spring 2021
"The outlook for the rest of 2020 remains murky for the cruise industry, to say the least. On Wednesday, most major lines extended their suspensions through at least the end of October. One day later, the head of Norwegian Cruise Line's parent company predicted that its ships wouldn't be back in force until the spring of 2021. "[In the] last two months of 2020 [we] could see return of sailing with a very limited number of vessels," Frank Del Rio, CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., said on the company's second quarter earnings call. And he expects those ships to begin sailing at lower capacity and ramp up as more vessels re-enter service. Del Rio said he doesn't think that Norwegian will return to full capacity for quite some time. It won't be until the second quarter of 2021 until the Norwegian "fleet returns in earnest," he said."
Crew tests positive for COVID-19 on Viking Cruises' Viking Star ship
"A crew member of Viking Cruises' Viking Star ship in Alesund Norway has tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19). The company said there had been minimal contact between the crew onboard, and it was further limited until everyone had been tested. There were no other people onboard with COVID-19 symptoms. The person is part of a crew of 105 people onboard, according to the press release. Aleksander Linge Sommerdalen, the acting municipal chief physician, said the person had come onboard the ship on July 17 from abroad".
Carnival Inspiration Beached for Scrapping in Turkey
"The Carnival Inspiration has joined three other cruise ships by being beached at the ship-breaking facility in Aliaga, Turkey. The ship was beached today after being anchored just off the coast for more than one day. The ship has been squeezed in between sister ship Carnival Fantasy which was beached last week and the former Sovereign of the Seas which was beached on July 23. The former Monarch of the Seas is also seen beached which occurred on July 22. All the ships are being dismantled after being sold by their cruise operators."
Disney Magic returns to Dover UK following a trip to Brest, northern France
"A Disney Cruise Line's ship which spent almost 3 months moored up in Kent headed back to the county. Fans who missed out on seeing the 11-deck ship in Dover UK now have a second chance to do so. Disney Magic was due back in the port at 6:00 p.m. Thursday evening following a 2-day trip to Brest, north-west France. The liner did crew transfers with her sistership, Disney Fantasy, which had sailed to Europe for refurbishment. Disney Magic, which has a Goofy hanging from the stern and sports Mickey silhouettes on her funnels, then made her way along the Channel back to Dover UK. As of 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, Disney Magic entered waters off the Kent coast, meaning she could be then spotted from Hythe and Folkestone."
What Life Is Like Onboard One of the First European River Cruises
"A number of lines like German A-Rosa have made a slow and tentative start, resuming operations at the beginning of July. Other major lines intend to start later this year, with Avalon Waterways, Scenic and Viking offering sailings from October through to December. While AmaWaterways with APT have suspended their operations in Europe, Africa and Asia till 30 September, the line has thought of an ingenious way for cruises to get back on the rivers. Kristin Karst, executive vice president and co-owner of AmaWaterways said the line has formed a partnership with a German tour operator which has chartered the AmaKristina along the Rhine River. “Germany is very strong because Germans love to travel and since they’re restricted in where they can go worldwide, many of them are staying within Germany,” said Rudi Schreiner, the line’s president."
How the Cruise Industry Got 250,000 Crew Members Home
"It’s been a quiet few months for the cruise industry. Pre-COVID, we would be at the height of the European and North American wave season, sailing around the Mediterranean or sunning ourselves on the beaches in the Bahamas. We would be whale watching off the shores of Alaska or heading north to the Arctic. But while there might be ships sailing, they are filled with crew members who have been stranded for the last few months. Border closures as well as government rules and regulations have prevented our beloved crew members from getting home. But the mammoth task of repatriating almost 250,000 seafarers is nearly complete. Royal Caribbean’s Michael Bayley said in a web seminar earlier this week that the company, which also owns Celebrity Cruises and Azamara, has repatriated between 97 to 98 percent of its crew. Not an easy feat, especially during the middle of a pandemic."
Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Disney, and dozens of other cruise lines won't sail out of the US until at least October 31
"Some of the most well-known cruise lines in the world won't be sailing out of the US any time soon. An industry group of nearly 60 cruise lines announced on Wednesday that cruise companies including Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Disney cruises would be waiting until at least October 31 before setting sail from US cruise ports. The sail date extension from September 15 to October 31 comes amid multiple outbreaks of the coronavirus aboard some of the first cruises to set sail since the pandemic forced closures across the industry. Two cruise ships in Europe and one in the South Pacific have experienced coronavirus outbreaks. This included Norway's Hurtigruten, Germany's AIDA, and Paul Gauguin in the South Pacific region. "This is a difficult decision as we recognize the crushing impact that this pandemic has had on our community and every other industry," the cruise industry group said in a statement. "However, we believe this proactive action further demonstrates the cruise industry's commitment to public health and willingness to voluntarily suspend operations in the interest of public health and safety, as has occurred twice prior. CLIA [Cruise Line International Association] cruise line members will continue to monitor the situation with the understanding that we will revisit a possible further extension on or before 30 September 2020. At the same time, should conditions in the US change and it becomes possible to consider short, modified sailings, we would consider an earlier restart." "
MSC Won't Be Selling Any Cruise Ships
"Two MSC Cruises ships about to start service in the Mediterranean should grow to 14 ships in service by this coming winter, while the company has no plans to retire or sell any ships, Gianni Onorato, CEO, told Cruise Industry News. With a modern but large fleet, MSC won’t be divesting any tonnage, he said. “No, absolutely not,” he answered, when asked about ship sales. “I don’t know why (the other companies) are doing it. I don't know why they are creating competitors.” "
Delivery date announced for P&O Cruises new mega-ship Iona
"P&O Cruises announced plans for its new highly anticipated mega cruise ship, Iona. The liner was originally scheduled to launch in April 2020 but was delayed due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Set to be one of the largest cruise ship launches of this year, P&O has now announced that it plans to take delivery of the newbuild “before the autumn”, with her unnamed sistership set to be delivered in December 2022. P&O Iona and her sistership are currently under construction at Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg Germany. P&O Cruises’ latest addition will be the largest cruise ship ever built for the UK cruise market, with a passenger capacity of 5,206 and 1,800 crew. With 17 passenger decks, the liner will weigh 185,000 GT and feature amenities like a glass SkyDome and a total of 29 drinking and dining venues."
No normalcy for cruising until 2023, predicts Larry Pimentel
"The industry will take three years to return to pre-COVID-19 levels of sailing and there could be no cruising from the US for the rest of the year, predicted cruise industry veteran Larry Pimentel during the latest Seatrade Cruise Talks webinar. 'The runway is very long here… You’re not going to see many vessels this year, at all – if any – for the remainder of the year', said Pimentel, who resigned from Azamara in April, adding, ‘It’s a very complicated path to recovery. A cruise industry in which there’s no place to cruise? How much worse could it get.’ ‘COVID-19's Impact on Cruise Operations – Finale’, moderated by Ryan Stana, CEO at RWS Entertainment Group, also heard Carolyn Spencer Brown, CEO, Cruise Media, question the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's current reluctance to allow cruising to resume and criticized the mainstream consumer press for their reporting of the pandemic on board cruise ships."
Who is maintaining Perfect Day at CocoCay while there are no cruises?
"Throughout Royal Caribbean's suspension of sailings, there have been questions about the impact on many aspects of life at sea, including Perfect Day at CocoCay. Royal Caribbean International CEO Michael Bayley was asked earlier this week who is maintaining the cruise line's private island in the Bahamas. Mr. Bayley compared the upkeep of Perfect Day at CocoCay to any of Royal Caribbean's cruise ships, which all have an operational team to maintain things. "We have an operating team that rotates through Perfect Day and the maintenance and management and engineering." "
12,000 crew members still on cruise ships in US waters months after COVID-19 pandemic shut cruising down
"Akash Dookhun, a Celebrity Cruises crew member from Mauritius, an island nation in southeastern Africa, has not set foot on dry land since he was on a port call in New Zealand in early March. And he doesn't know when he'll stand on solid ground again. "The more time passes by and the more (stressful) it gets," he said. And by late March, the Celebrity Solstice, the cruise ship where Dookhun worked as a stateroom attendant, had been completely emptied of passengers, he told USA TODAY. He remained on the ship until he and other crew members were transferred to Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas, where he has been since May. "I have been on board for almost 10 months," Dookhun said, noting a number of fellow crew members have been on board ships for over a year."
Jewel of the Seas and Norwegian Epic plan technical calls in Gibraltar
"Royal Caribbean's Jewel of the Seas and NCL-Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Epic plan to carry out technical calls at Gibraltar on Monday, August 10, 2020, at around 08:00 hrs. In line with the decision of Gibraltar's government to suspend cruise ship calls during the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, it has to be pointed out that is not a cruise call, the ships do not have any passengers on board, and will be berthing exclusively to undertake operations. No crew will be allowed to disembark from the liners, and no attendance onboard the vessels from shore-based staff will be permitted during the short stay in Gibraltar."
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
Having trouble reading?Download this Issue