November 20, 2020
In this Issue
Here are some of the news articles we are following:
- Cruises from the U.S. can begin sailing again — but be ready for shorter voyages, multiple COVID tests and no more buffets
- Will the Cruise Industry Be Back to Normal in 2021?
- In the Age of the Travel Bubble, People are Chartering Entire Cruise Ships
- The Cruise Paradox: CDC Says You Can Set Sail but You Cannot Depart
- Cruise Ships Back in Service: November Update
- Live on a Cruise Ship: 100 Staterooms Now Open for Bid
- Cruise Ships Cleared by CDC to Plan Return to U.S. Waters
- CDC Issues New Guidelines for Cruise Ships to Resume Operations
- CDC is lifting cruise ship ban in US waters -- but it's 'conditional'
- Rebuilding cruise tourism after the Covid-19 pandemic
- The Crypto Cruise Ship Becomes Official, First Cabins Open for Auction
- MSC Cruises Suspends Magnifica Sailings Until Dec. 18
- TUI Cancels Mein Schiff 6 Program in Greece
- Former Carnival Ship Heading to New Home in Asia
- Cruise Lines Rehiring Crew for Ship Restart and Crew Change
- Live on a SeaDream Yacht, Cruise Line Offers Residency Program
- IMO and WTO Call for Resumption of Cruises to Support Islands and Crew
Cover Image by:
Cruises from the U.S. can begin sailing again — but be ready for shorter voyages, multiple COVID tests and no more buffets
While the cruise industry can start to take steps to reopen, the CDC’s final approval could take months to receive. Public-health officials have given cruise lines the green light to begin a phased reopening in the U.S. following months of no-sail orders amid the coronavirus pandemic. But it could be months before travelers start sailing the high seas again out of American ports. Last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced it was not extending the full no-sail order that had shut down the cruise industry for months. The no-sail order, as a result, expired on Oct. 31, and in its place the CDC introduced a conditional sail order laying out the requirements that cruise lines must meet to resume operations.
Will the Cruise Industry Be Back to Normal in 2021?
As the global coronavirus pandemic continues and cruises are on hold for months, it is natural for eager passengers to wonder if the cruise industry will be back to normal in 2021. The answer, however, is more complicated than a simple yes or no. The worldwide suspension of cruise operations has stretched on since mid-March, with at least several weeks left before lines can begin sailing again in limited areas. Some popular cruise destinations have cancelled entire cruise seasons, and different locations may not see the return of major cruise lines for several more months.
In the Age of the Travel Bubble, People are Chartering Entire Cruise Ships
In an outlier of a year, it's no surprise people are looking to trips in 2021 and beyond. And as travelers turn an eye toward safety and security in planning their next moves, they're looking at trips where they can closely manage group size, interactions, and physical space. Just as they've started buying out hotel wings and entire resorts, they're now exploring another option: chartering cruise ships, from barges and riverboats to expedition ships and ocean liners. A private cruise? It's an option that's increasingly available—and from well-known brands. “Chartering boats allow travelers to have a smaller bubble, which many say they prefer at this time," says Colleen McDaniel, editor-in-chief of Cruise Critic. “Plus, chartered cruises are incredibly customizable and private.” Wondering what's on offer? Here's a sample of lines offering full charters, which abide by strict health and safety protocols—yet with all the amenities of cruising fully intact.
The Cruise Paradox: CDC Says You Can Set Sail but You Cannot Depart
The CDC lifted the no-sail ban on cruises from 1 November but ironically, cruise ships cannot depart until 2021. Here's why. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order to allow cruises to take place from 1 November onwards. The no-sail order had been in place for 7 months after being implemented on 14 March. However, this doesn’t mean that any ships can actually set sail. At least, not for the time being. Indeed, as reported by CNN, the major cruise companies have cancelled all cruises until at least 2021. So, whilst you can technically now set sail, there are still no U.S. cruise ships which are able to take you anywhere. The reason is that the CDC issued a conditional sail order, allowing for a "phased resumption" of cruise-ship passenger operations. Ships can only be given permission to leave port, with passengers, if they have a new health certificate issued by the CDC called a Covid-19 Conditional Sailing Certificate that assures compliance with CDC standards. Cruise ships will also be asked to perform a number of crew-only sailings before they receive the certificate.
Cruise Ships Back in Service: November Update
The cruise industry's restart of operations continues with some ships sailing globally at reduced capacity levels. Here are the cruise ships currently back in service or planning restarts in November and in the near future.
Live on a Cruise Ship: 100 Staterooms Now Open for Bid
If you’ve ever dreamed of living or retiring on a cruise ship, today is your day. Last month we told you about a company that bought a cruise ship and intends to sell the cabins as permanent residences and offices. Their goal? To create an entire floating community just off the coast of Panama. On Thursday morning, the first block of 100 cabins went up for public auction, and we’ve got what you need to know about how to bid, what’s included in the price — and what’s not.
Cruise Ships Cleared by CDC to Plan Return to U.S. Waters
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday that it would lift a ban on cruises in U.S. waters, even as government scientists warned that ships remain vulnerable to deadly Covid-19 outbreaks. The agency provided detailed requirements that cruise lines must meet to resume U.S. operations -- in effect, clearing ships to return to U.S. ports in the next few months. “This framework provides a pathway to resume safe and responsible sailing,” CDC Director Robert Redfield said in the statement. Yet with its statement Friday, the CDC said recent outbreaks show cruise travel “facilitates and amplifies” Covid-19 transmission even at reduced passenger capacities and poses a risk of fueling spread without proper oversight.
CDC Issues New Guidelines for Cruise Ships to Resume Operations
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines for cruise ships to resume operations. They also announced that it will allow its no-sail order to expire on Saturday. A no-sail order had been in place since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March of this year. Before cruise lines are allowed to sail again, they will have to prove to the CDC that COVID-19 protocols are in place. “CDC and the cruise industry have the same goal: A return to passenger sailing, but only when it’s safe. Under the CDC’s Framework for Conditional Sailing Order, cruise lines have been given a way to systematically demonstrate their ability to sail while keeping passengers, crew and their destination ports safe and healthy,” said former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, co-chair of the Healthy Sail Panel. The CDC said that during the initial phases, cruise ship operators must demonstrate adherence to testing, quarantine, and isolation, and social distancing requirements to protect crew members while they build the laboratory capacity needed to test crew and future passengers.
CDC is lifting cruise ship ban in US waters -- but it's 'conditional'
If you're one of those people who have been eagerly awaiting the chance to take a cruise out of US ports, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a bit of good news for you on Friday. The CDC said it's letting its no-sail order for cruise ships in US waters expire on Saturday. In its place, the CDC has issued a "Framework for Conditional Sailing Order for Cruise Ships" that starts on Sunday, November 1. But that doesn't mean lots of ships full of passengers will be sailing like it's 2019 starting next week -- the keyword in this order is "conditional." The order is a first cautious step toward the resumption of cruising in an industry that has been devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic since the no-sail order was placed March 14. Friday's order applies to cruise ships with the capacity to carry at least 250 passengers.
Rebuilding cruise tourism after the Covid-19 pandemic
“Tourism can be a platform for overcoming the pandemic. By bringing people together, tourism can promote solidarity and trust.” UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres was clear in his appraisal of the central role tourism can play in the global effort to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. But for those in the tourism industry, there are multiple challenges to overcome. As governments ease restrictions on travel, will consumer appetite recover? What impact will economic turmoil have had on holiday budgets? And how will businesses – small and large – in the cruise tourism industry equip themselves to operate successfully in a world that may well have changed for good? Over the following pages, we find out the views of key leaders in the cruise tourism industry. CFR speaks with Gloria Guevera, CEO and president of the WTTC, to find out how the organization is helping to drive the recovery of the travel tourism sector, while Chiara Giorgi of Seatrade Cruise Events highlights the importance of collaboration for the successful restart of cruising.
The Crypto Cruise Ship Becomes Official, First Cabins Open for Auction
The Pacific Dawn has been delivered to her new owners, Ocean Builders, and is now officially the crypto cruise ship, having been renamed the Satoshi. The first 100 cabins are also open for auction as of Nov. 5 to aspiring residents, with the company accepting bids for the staterooms on its website. Eventually, plans call for auctioning off 777 cabins which will become apartments on the vessel. The ship will eventually be relocated off the coast of Panama where it will become a technology hub of sorts. It will be accessible via ferry from Panama City, with the company noting it will be a 30-minute ferry ride to the ship.
MSC Cruises Suspends Magnifica Sailings Until Dec. 18
All cruises aboard the MSC Magnifica will be suspended between Nov. 8 and Dec. 18 due to reintroduced lockdowns in France and Germany – two of the vessel’s key source markets. MSC has also canceled its 2021 World Cruise onboard the MSC Magnifica. This has emerged from the company’s latest press release.
At the same time, MSC Cruises has announced that the Western Mediterranean voyages aboard the MSC Grandiosa will be extended through to March 2021 with “additional rigorous measures under the Company’s existing health and safety operating protocol.”
TUI Cancels Mein Schiff 6 Program in Greece
TUI Cruises will suspend the operations of the Mein Schiff 6 in Greece, following a new Greek lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus. TUI said it will run one last cruise from Corfu, without port stops, and featuring all sea days, before suspending service for the rest of the month. "The Greek government yesterday announced a corona-related lockdown that will take effect on Saturday, November 7," TUI said, in a statement. "As a result of the short-term nature and on the basis of our hygiene and health concept, we have received a special permit to carry out the trip to Greece from November 8 to 14 as a blue trip without shore excursions. Unfortunately, with a heavy heart, we have to cancel the other planned cruises to Greece that start on November 14th, 21st and 28th."
Former Carnival Ship Heading to New Home in Asia
The Carnival Fascination has left the Carnival Cruise Line fleet and is leaving Cadiz, Spain, en route to new owners in Asia, according to multiple sources. The Fantasy-class ship debuted in 1994 and has served Carnival Cruise Line since, having entered cold layup earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Carnival opted to sell the ship as part of its strategy to exit less efficient tonnage from its global fleet on an accelerated basis, as the company sold or disposed of some 18 ships.
Cruise Lines Rehiring Crew for Ship Restart and Crew Change
Around the cruise industry, there have been quiet efforts to recall some of the many crew members that had been repatriated in the spring and summer as the industry’s pause in operations was extended. In some cases, the rehiring is due to the planned restarts of a limited number of cruise ships while in other cases the cruise lines are facing the same issues of crew change that the broader maritime industry has been addressing. Among the cruise lines rehiring crew for the anticipated restart of their ships is both Royal Caribbean International which plans to resume operations with its ship the Quantum of the Seas in December and Genting’s Dream Cruises that is preparing to restart its second cruise, the World Dream. Both ships have been approved by the authorities in Singapore to begin cruises to nowhere as part of a trial program.
Live on a SeaDream Yacht, Cruise Line Offers Residency Program
Those that want to live in style this winter can find themselves aboard a 110-guest ultra-luxury SeaDream Yacht Club ship at special rates in the Caribbean, according to a company presentation. "Our guests onboard have been asking us about extending their stay. They are in no rush to leave the safety of our yacht and the pampering experience of SeaDream's signature service. What better way to spend this winter season than sailing the warm waters of the West Indies onboard SeaDream," the company said. Guests choosing to extend their stay on 4+ back to back voyages or 28+ days of sailing will qualify for SeaDream's Residence at Sea Program, which includes…
IMO and WTO Call for Resumption of Cruises to Support Islands and Crew
The International Maritime Organization and the World Tourism Organization joined together to issue a joint statement in support of the cruise industry. The two United Nations’ organizations said they were seeking to encourage the cruise industry and governments to continue their efforts to enable cruise ship operations to resume safely. The two organizations added their support to other world organizations, unions, employees, and trade groups all calling for the resumption of cruising. These efforts, however, come at a time where new government restrictions aimed at containing and mitigating the virus have hindered the cruise industry’s efforts to maintain and further resume sailing. In a joint statement issued on November 5, the IMO and WTO highlighted the importance of the cruise sector for the world economy. Citing industry data, the two organizations said the cruise sector supports 1.2 million jobs and contributes $150 billion to the global economy every year. They believe that tourism is vitally important for island states, where it sustains millions of livelihoods and brings substantial socio-economic benefits.
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