December 21, 2020
In this Issue
Here are some of the news articles we are following:
- COVID-19 canceled your cruise. Here’s how you can use that money for a future vacation
- Suez Canal reduces transit fees for cruise ships
- Touchless tech: Cruise lines adapt to prepare for a healthy return to sailing
- Saga Cruises boasts increased interest in ‘once in a lifetime’ adventures
- Dream Cruises' World Dream ship receives Halal and Vegetarian food certifications
- Singapore Ministry of Health Confirms Quantum of the Seas Passenger Does Not Have Covid-19
- United Kingdom Reduces Self-Quarantine To 10 Days
- Cruise Bookings Surge, People Splurge for 2022 and 2023
- Australia's cruise ship ban is set to expire – but it won't all be smooth sailing
- Congress requires cruise ships to have a doctor on board in big year-end defense bill
- Port Victoria BC Canada installs shoreside power at James Bay cruise terminal
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COVID-19 canceled your cruise. Here’s how you can use that money for a future vacation
Will you be able to celebrate the holidays while enjoying a margarita on a cruise? It looks unlikely. Many cruise companies, including Florida-based Carnival Corp., Royal Caribbean Group, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Disney Cruise Line, have continued to cancel trips as they work toward the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 40-page conditional sail order. The order requires the companies to meet certain COVID-19 safety benchmarks — including testing for all passengers and crew on embarkation and disembarkation days — before they can set sail.
Suez Canal reduces transit fees for cruise ships
To promote Egypt's cruise shipping tourism, SCA-Suez Canal Authority halved transit fees for cruise vessels that dock for minimum 48 hours in at least 2 Egyptian ports. SCA's Director Osama Rabie revealed during a meeting with a delegation from the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities on November 11 that the SCA was "offering incentives to encourage cruise ships to dock at Egyptian ports on the Red Sea and the Mediterranean."…
Touchless tech: Cruise lines adapt to prepare for a healthy return to sailing
For the past few years, one of the biggest buzzwords in travel has been “seamless,” envisioned as a utopian experience in which every moment of a journey - before, during and after a trip - happens effortlessly and yet is customized to the needs and interests of the traveler. Then came COVID-19 - upending the travel industry, the way business is conducted and the expectations of consumers.
Seamless is of course still nice, but seemingly overnight, “contactless” has become even more valuable. Now that the coronavirus has made the world aware of the potential invisible risks associated with the virus, the goal of a hands-free experience has become paramount for both travelers and brands.
The cruise industry was one of the first sectors of travel to feel the shock and pain of COVID-19.
Saga Cruises boasts increased interest in ‘once in a lifetime’ adventures
Saga Cruises UK has experienced a surge in interest from customers looking for ship travel holidays. During the week following the news of successful trials of the new COVID-19 vaccine, the company reported 78% increase in traffic to its Traveller’s World website pages as well as 36% increase for its Traveller’s World online brochures in comparison with the week beforehand.
Dream Cruises' World Dream ship receives Halal and Vegetarian food certifications
The premium Asian brand Dream Cruises (GHK-owned) announced that its World Dream cruise ship had received official OIC SMIIC Standards Halal certification from the UNWHD-United World Halal Development and Vegetarian certification from the GVCS-Global Vegetarian Certification Services, the first cruise ship in the Asia Pacific to bear both marks of distinction. Muslim passengers will be able to enjoy peace of mind when sailing onboard World Dream’s 2- and 3-night “Merry Super Seacation” high seas voyages departing out of Singapore for the ultimate “stay-cation” adventure.
Singapore Ministry of Health Confirms Quantum of the Seas Passenger Does Not Have Covid-19
The 83-year-old passenger who tested positive for Covid-19 on board Quantum of the Seas has subsequently tested negative, said Singapore’s Ministry of Health on Wednesday. The original PCR sample from the ship’s medical center was sent to the National Public Health Laboratory for a retest, and a second fresh sample was tested. Both Covid-19 tests came back negative. Following the health protocols, the laboratory conducted an additional sample today to confirm the patient’s Covid-19 status. The latest update is that the final confirmatory test came back negative and the National Public Health Laboratory has confirmed that the 83-year-old passenger on board Quantum of the Seas does not have Covid-19 virus.
United Kingdom Reduces Self-Quarantine To 10 Days
Back in May, the UK introduced a mandatory 14 day quarantine for all travelers arriving from “high-risk” areas (last week an exception was added for “high-value business travelers”). As of Monday, December 14, 2020, the UK will be reducing the quarantine requirement from 14 days to 10 days. Again, this applies to people arriving from areas outside of the UK’s travel corridors, while there’s no quarantine requirement for traveling within the corridors. This policy change is intended to increase compliance with the 14-day quarantine, which I’d say is a move in the right direction. Yes, people would be (marginally) safer if everyone quarantined for 14 days, but the problem has been the lack of compliance with this policy. The CDC in the US has even recently recommended a reduction of quarantine length from 14 days to 10 days.
Cruise Bookings Surge, People Splurge for 2022 and 2023
The pause from traveling in 2020 has left people ready to spend on holidays in 2022 and 2023, said Michelle Sutter, senior director for national accounts and field sales at Holland America Line. “We've seen a surge in bookings for suites … Those of us who haven't had, well, I guess all of us who haven't had the opportunity to vacation this year, are looking to spend, maybe, splurge a little more next year. I know, I've done that. And many of you have as well,” she said during the Virtually Yours forum organized by Cruise Planners. Sutter added that Alaska and Europe tend to be popular destinations for the upcoming seasons. Longer voyages, including world cruises, remain in demand, too, she said. “We have seen a surge in bookings for 2022 … on the long voyages as well. Our grand world voyages for 2022 are doing very well. And we're already getting interest for 2023,” Sutter said. “The good news is that people are ready to travel. Now that we've had our freedom taken away from us to travel, we're ready to book.”
Australia's cruise ship ban is set to expire – but it won't all be smooth sailing
Cruise companies are optimistic they’ll be able to restart trips in Australia soon, but even with restrictions and boosted safety measures, the risk of spreading Covid remains. On 17 December, the Australian government’s ban on cruise ships is set to expire. Since the Ruby Princess debacle, which resulted in 28 deaths and at least 854 passengers contracting Covid-19, cruises have been halted in Australia. Cruise companies are optimistic low community transmission and fewer restrictions mean they will be able to restart in Australia soon. But many – including epidemiologists and the operators themselves – are urging caution. A lot is still up in the air. Here’s what we know about the industry and what might happen when it restarts.
Congress requires cruise ships to have a doctor on board in big year-end defense bill
Parts of a federal bill meant to strengthen safety standards on cruise ships are set to become law. The regulations from the Cruise Passenger Protection Act, sponsored by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), require ships to have a trained physician on board and install video cameras in all public places. The provisions are part of a $741 billion year-end defense bill passed Friday by the U.S. Senate after clearing the House on Tuesday. It is the first time Congress has passed new regulations for the cruise industry since 2010. A spokesperson for the industry’s lobbying group, Cruise Lines International Association, Bari Golin-Blaugrund, said in an email that the group supports the new rules. Advocates for more industry oversight are happy, too.
Port Victoria BC Canada installs shoreside power at James Bay cruise terminal
GVHA-Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (Victoria BC, Vancouver Island, BC Canada) is closer to bringing shoreside power to the cruise terminal in James Bay. It is an idea that has been studied for over 2 years, with the goal of eliminating emissions from vessels idling at the port. According to GVHA's CEO Ian Robertson, ~96% of all emissions emanating from the terminal came from cruise ships. ~75% of those emissions came from when the vessels were alongside the pier. Last week, the board of Greater Victoria Harbour Authority approved moving ahead with the installation of shore power at the dock. Robertson said the installation of shore power would see an immediate, 46% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The plan is to install 2 plugs, which meant they could allow 2 ships to plug in at one time.
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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