August 17, 2020
In this Issue
Here are some of the news articles we are following:
- COVID-19 testing 'very likely' when Royal Caribbean returns to cruising, executive says
- Viking Cancels All Cruises Until Next Year
- Cruise ships allowed in Croatian ports again?
- Seabourn announces upcoming cruise cancellations for 3 ships
- Saudi Arabia launches luxury leisure voyages along the Red Sea coast
- AIDA to Start Cruising on September 6
- Heritage Expeditions introduces new cruise inspired by the first transit of the Northern Sea Route
- Princess Cruises Makes Cruise Ship Deployment Change
- Where Are All the Cruise Ships?
- AIDA to start cruising from two German ports in September
- 850 French passengers sue Costa Cruises after contracting COVID-19 onboard
- Public consultation findings confirm Dublin Port abandoning plans for cruise berth expansion
- MSC Will Resume Cruises on August 16
- Marella Cruises outlines health plans for future cruising
- Six cruise experts form the Cruise Professional Advisors Alliance
- Royal Caribbean Group Evaluating Ship Sales
- Are Disney Cruise ships going in for refurbishment?
- Silver Spirit chartered to Red Sea Cruises for ‘Saudi Summer’ campaign
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COVID-19 testing 'very likely' when Royal Caribbean returns to cruising, executive says
“Royal Caribbean is considering coronavirus testing as part of its plan to resume sailing, a company executive said during a quarterly earnings presentation Monday. The company has paused its cruise operations since March and hopes to resume them in November, if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lifts its no-sail order, which is set to expire at the end of September. The U.S. cruise industry has voluntarily extended its sailing suspension through Oct. 31. Though company executives gave no firm date for the resumption of cruises, one said testing would be key. "It’s very likely that testing will occur," said Michael Bayley, CEO of Royal Caribbean International. He offered no additional details, including whether testing would be for crew members and passengers or to which cruise lines testing would apply.”
Viking Cancels All Cruises Until Next Year
“Viking has made the difficult decision to cancel all cruises, both ocean and river cruise ships, through December 31, 2020. Viking’s Chairman Torstein Hagen sent the following letter to Viking guests on August 12, 2020 about the cruise line’s decision to cancel additional cruises. “On March 11, when we became the first cruise line to temporarily suspend operations at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, I would not have imagined that in August we would still not be sailing and that I would be writing this letter to you. Every day I am encouraged by the scientific advancements toward COVID-19 therapeutics and a vaccine.
But as you well know, recent events have shown us that the recovery from this pandemic will be sporadic, and the ability to travel freely across borders remains some time away. Fortunately, the U.S. State Department has lifted some travel advisories for Americans, but many countries are still limiting tourists. As keen as we may be to get back to exploring, for now, international travel must wait.
Cruise ships allowed in Croatian ports again?
“Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic asked the National Civil Protection Headquarters to change a decree banning the entry of ships with 200+ passengers into Croatian ports because MSC Cruises did not include Dubrovnik in their programme. Representatives of the cruise line had previously expressed interest in including Dubrovnik (Port Cruz) in the itinerary, but the limiting factor for the arrival of bigger ships on cruises to Dubrovnik was the decree according to which ships with over 200 passengers could not enter Croatian ports at the moment.”
Seabourn announces upcoming cruise cancellations for 3 ships
“The ultra-luxury cruise company Seabourn announced that it will cancel upcoming sailings for 3 of its cruise ships as a part of the line's pause in operations. The announcement applies to Seabourn's Encore, Ovation, and Sojourn with each vessel having a different "effective through" date. The company had previously announced a pause in its global operations from March 14 through November 20, 2020, depending on the cruise ship, effectively cancelling all sailings scheduled to operate during the timeframe.”
Saudi Arabia launches luxury leisure voyages along the Red Sea coast
“Saudi Arabian residents will be able to enjoy luxury cruises on the Red Sea for the very first time. The leisure voyages have been launched as part of the Break Free campaign of the Saudi Tourism Authority (STA), which aims to highlight the cultural gems and promote domestic tourism in the kingdom. There will be a choice of itineraries along the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia, with passengers promised a variety of onboard dining and entertainment options. The cruise operator is yet to be announced. STA confirmed it had invited top companies to operate the programmes.”
AIDA to Start Cruising on September 6
“AIDA Cruises, Carnival Corporation's German brand, is planning to resume its cruise operations with the first ships from German ports at the beginning of September 2020, according to a press release. The prerequisite for this was the approval of the flag state Italy for the restart, the company said. The first trips from Kiel will start on September 6, 2020. The first cruises with AIDAperla to the Norwegian fjords depart from Hamburg on September 12, 19 and 26, 2020. In the coming days, AIDA Cruises will review the specific details of this decision and will work closely with all responsible authorities of the flag state Italy and the classification society in order to carefully implement the new protocols and regulations in the sense of a responsible operation, the company said.”
Heritage Expeditions introduces new cruise inspired by the first transit of the Northern Sea Route
“Pioneering small ship expedition cruise company Heritage Expeditions released a new voyage named “In the Footsteps of Nordenskiold”, inspired by Swedish explorer Adolf Erik Nordenskiold’s popular Vega Expedition of 1878-1880. According to Heritage Expeditions Commercial Director and Expedition Leader Aaron Russ, the 19-day addition to the line's 2021 Russian Far East season was "aimed at true adventurers with an interest in the remarkable history, geography and wildlife of the uncompromising Northern Sea Route." Retracing the first-ever Northern Sea Route's transit, and created in consultation with the Russian history experts of Heritage Expeditions, the voyage offers intrepid travellers the chance to explore some of the seldom visited and least known shores on the planet including Severnaya Zemlya Archipelago, Novaya Zemlya (New Land), New Siberian Islands, Cape Chelyuskin, Nordenskiold Archipelago, and De Long Islands.”
Princess Cruises Makes Cruise Ship Deployment Change
“Princess Cruises has announced a deployment change for one of their cruise ships for sailings from October 2021 until April 2022. Princess Cruises has canceled 6 months of sailings on Diamond Princess so the cruise ship can sail in a different region. The October 24, 2021 sailings through April 19, 2022 have been canceled.”
Where Are All the Cruise Ships?
“While we see the images of parked airliners lined up on taxiways and wing-to-wing at various airports around the world, where are all the cruise ships? Living across from the Port of Miami, months after the pause on cruising, ships continue to sail in and out on a daily basis. That sort of makes sense. One might guess they need to refuel and get more provisions. But clearly, unlike airliners, the over 300 cruise ships that are out there, aren’t just static, shutdown, mothballed, and tied up somewhere. To find out what’s going on, I reached out to the three biggest operators of cruise ships. Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings operates the Oceania and Regent Seven Seas brands in addition to its namesake. They responded first and politely declining to offer any answers to my questions about what was going on just beyond the horizon.”
AIDA to start cruising from two German ports in September
“AIDA Cruises plans to resume cruise operations with two ships from German ports at the beginning of September, one month later than originally foreseen. The prerequisite for the go-ahead was approval from the vessels’ flag state, Italy. The first cruises — three-four-day itineraries to Norway and Denmark on AIDAblu from Kiel — will now start on September 6. Seven cruises are planned.”
850 French passengers sue Costa Cruises after contracting COVID-19 onboard
“Around 850 French passengers who were onboard a Coronavirus (COVID-19)-riddled cruise ship that was turned away from many ports in March filed a collective suit in Paris with a total of 180 complaints, including manslaughter, against the cruise company Costa Cruises. The class action, including complaints from the families of 3 passengers who died of COVID-19, accuses the Italy-based line of negligence and a variety of faults during their voyage on Costa Magica. From March 6 through 13 the vessel was refused to dock in most of the Caribbean islands Magica visited, including Barbados, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago. In the absence of stopovers, the crew members encouraged the passengers to use the shops, spas, restaurants, and casino onboard the ship without sufficiently putting health measures in place or informing guests there were suspected infections, the complainants said in the suit.”
Public consultation findings confirm Dublin Port abandoning plans for cruise berth expansion
“Dublin Port Company (DPC) has abandoned plans to develop new cruise berths as part of the North Wall Quay Extension under its original Masterplan 2012-2040. The Masterplan’s two objectives were to provide capacity to cater for growth in cargo volumes to 2040 and, secondly, to re-integrate Dublin Port with the city. Pre COVID-19’s impact on cruising, Dublin had been expecting to welcome 125 cruise ships in 2020, including 10 full turnaround calls this summer. The proposed cruise berth expansion plan got the green light in 2015 as part of the Alexandra Basin Redevelopment Project costing an estimated €108m. However before committing to the development of the new berths at NWQE, DPC undertook a public consultation exercise between October 2019 to January 2020.”
MSC Will Resume Cruises on August 16
“Switzerland-based MSC Cruises announced Monday that it will resume "full-experience" cruise operations on select ships in the Mediterranean starting from mid-August. The cruise lines flagship MSC Grandiosa will sail in the West Mediterranean from August 16 and MSC Magnifica in the West Mediterranean from August 29. The ships will be the first to implement a new health and safety protocol that has been approved by the relevant national authorities along the ships’ itineraries. Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman, said, “We have worked closely with the relevant EU-level, national health and other authorities from the countries that MSC Grandiosa and MSC Magnifica will call along their Mediterranean itineraries to develop a comprehensive set of procedures designed to protect the health and safety of all passengers on board our ships as well as ashore to ensure that local communities feel comfortable welcoming our guests.”
Marella Cruises outlines health plans for future cruising
“Marella Cruises has outlined its health and safety plans for its return to cruising, with plans for Marella Explorer to set sail from Corfu, Greece on 2 October. The cruise line has introduced its Marella Promise, focused on five commitments to ensure the safety of its guests. These include the introduction of extra measures to meet safety guidelines; 24 hour support; cruises that will sail only to destinations which will not require quarantine; cancellation of a cruise if there any significant changes to an itinerary or facilities; and full flexibility for passengers to change their bookings whether they’re affected by the pandemic or not.”
Six cruise experts form the Cruise Professional Advisors Alliance
“Six cruise experts have joined forces to form the Cruise Professional Advisors Alliance (CPAA) to offer specialized advice, resources, industry acumen and other assistance to companies operating in the global cruise industry. Group members have experience and expertise in every sector of the cruise industry and include: Shannon McKee, founder and CEO of Access Cruise; David Selby, managing director of Travelyields; Mike McFadden, founder and CEO of Mac Maritime; Roger Blum, principal at Cruise & Port Advisors; Ioannis Bras, CEO at Five Senses Consulting; and Peter Wild, owner of GP Wild International. “I have been fortunate to meet many extraordinary people during my lifetime in the cruise industry, but I am particularly proud to be associated with the highly talented, insightful, ethical and results-oriented members of the CPAA,” said Blum. “My association with this group has already brought added value to all my clients.” Some of the specialized services offered by CPAA will include cruise destination and port development, port management and representation, cruise statistics, business planning, economic analysis and infrastructural planning, onboard revenue and communication technology, customer surveys, and safety and environmental impact studies.”
Royal Caribbean Group Evaluating Ship Sales
“Will Royal Caribbean Group sell or retire more cruise ships? The company is evaluating all options according to Jason Liberty, executive vice president and chief financial officer, speaking on Royal Caribbean’s second quarter earnings call on Monday. Liberty said that over the years, the company has sold an average of one to two ships per year. He noted that the typically philosophy is that the ship needs to have a plan to generate a sizable return, and the company would invest a ship to make it a strategic fit into a fleet. If not, the company has traditionally looked to sell a ship. “We put a lot of money into these ships; these ships do exceptionally well,” Liberty continued.” It’s a difficult decision to part with a ship because it generates so much cash.” ”
Are Disney Cruise ships going in for refurbishment?
“Yesterday Disney Cruise Line announced that they were extending their pause in cruising through October 31, 2020. Now, we’re going to do something we rarely do which is speculate about something potentially that could happen. Is it possible that some of the ships could go into drydock and get a refurbishment? While we haven’t been told nor have confirmed anything from Disney Cruise Line, no cruises are currently scheduled until November 1, 2020. Without crew and passengers onboard, this would be a great time to freshen up some public areas and staterooms even if it is ahead of their normal refurbishment schedule.”
Silver Spirit chartered to Red Sea Cruises for ‘Saudi Summer’ campaign
“Silversea Cruises’ Silver Spirit is being chartered by Red Sea Cruises for two months starting August 27, to be deployed on short cruises targeted at the Saudi Arabian source market. Red Sea Cruises, owned by Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund (PIF), is part of the ‘Saudi Summer’ campaign announced by Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) to encourage residents to explore the kingdom this year, in lieu of a holiday abroad, following the lifting of the COVID-19 lockdown.”
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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