November 11, 2020
In this Issue
Here are some of the news articles we are following:
- Cruising Is Back: Key Takeaways from New CDC Framework
- Rising COVID-19 cases force cruise lines to cancel sailings in Europe
- Former Carnival Cruise Ship Finds New Life in Asia
- Why Virgin Voyages selected DeCurtis Shield?
- Cruise ship passengers to pay an extra $2 in Ketchikan
- Full-Steam Ahead: CDC Gives Cruise Lines the Go-Ahead to Resume Sailing
- Conditional Sail Order – Update
- Why Are Cruises to Nowhere Illegal in the USA?
- One of Carnival’s Cruise Lines is Pausing Cruises After Restarting 2 Weeks Ago
- The Messy, Booming Business of Recycling Cruise Ships
- Antarctica cruise season is almost here, but will it still happen amid COVID-19 pandemic?
- “We want to see the cruise ships sail again’: DeSantis says he’s working with White House
- Princess Cruises Australia and New Zealand sailings cancelled through May 2021
- 60 passengers on MS Swiss Crystal test positive for COVID-19
- Cruise Line Updates Cruises Due to Port Limitations
- Lindblad CEO Lists 3 Things Needed to Resume Operations
- Luxury cruise disrupted by coronavirus
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Cruising Is Back: Key Takeaways from New CDC Framework
"The CDC's Framework for Conditional Sailing Order is a 40-page document detailing the phased-in approach and return to service for the cruise industry in the United States. Key Takeaways include: 1. Cruise lines will need to apply for a COVID-19 Conditional Sailing Certificate from the CDC that is based on new health and safety protocols to mitigate the risks of COVID-19. The CDC can approve or deny any permit application, and also revoke it later. 2. Cruise operators will also need to run a series of simulated voyages prior to re-entering service. Simulated voyages will mimic a normal cruise experience and also include drills for potential outbreaks and positive COVID-19 cases aboard."
Rising COVID-19 cases force cruise lines to cancel sailings in Europe
"New lockdown measures in France and Germany this week due to fast-rising numbers of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases forced at least 6 cruise shipping companies to cancel voyages across Europe since Wednesday. Most notably, AIDA Cruises (on October 29) cancelled all sailings through the end of November. AIDA had just resumed around Italy roundtrips from Civitavecchia-Rome on October 17. Also cancelling a number of upcoming sailings was Costa Cruises, which had resumed voyages on September 6. On Wednesday, the line announced it would drop plans for cruises from Italy to ports in France, Spain, and Italy that were scheduled to begin on November 14. Instead, Costa Smeralda will continue with Italy-only cruises. Costa also cancelled a world voyage on Costa Deliziosa, and said the ship would skip visits to Croatia and Montenegro on current itineraries leaving roundtrip from Italy. Costa also cancelled plans for upcoming voyages on 3 more ships: Diadema, Favolosa and Firenze."
Former Carnival Cruise Ship Finds New Life in Asia
"The former Carnival Fascination has been sold to a company in Asia and will not be going to the scrapyard, escaping the fate of three of its Fantasy-class sister ships. At this point, the ship’s new owner and role is unclear, though Cruise Industry News is reporting that Fascination will be en route from Cadiz, Spain to Singapore for a technical stop, prior to becoming “an accommodation ship” in Asia. The 1994-built Carnival Fascination had until recently been homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where it sailed 7-night voyages to the eastern and southern Caribbean. Once the cruise industry shut down in March, the Fascination spent time repatriating crew to their homes in South Africa and India. For the past several months she has been in cold lay-up in Cadiz, the same city Carnival Victory is undergoing its transformation into Carnival Radiance."
Why Virgin Voyages selected DeCurtis Shield?
"Virgin Voyages announced it had selected DeCurtis Shield as a core component in the line's “Voyage Well” program. Virgin's “Voyage Well” plan sets forth to increase passenger and crew safety in light of not just the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but also as a set of evolutions to increase the health and safety of the crew and passengers moving forward. DeCurtis Shield has been chosen as the primary edge mitigation layer. Integrating the edge checkpoints into a robust and holistic infrastructure enables evolution as new threats surface. Security, safety, and health have always been vital components of DeCurtis Corporation’s mission, but are also the primary focus in the current environment of the cruise industry. DeCurtis Shield is focused on improving indoor environments to implement health screenings at secure entries and exit points. The result is a fast and accurate temperature reading. The technology is not just an answer to the novelty virus, but a critical part of a strategy to lessen onboard outbreaks."
Cruise ship passengers to pay an extra $2 in Ketchikan
"In case cruise ship passengers stop in Port Ketchikan (Revillagigedo Island, Alaska) in 2021, they are likely to pay an extra US$2 in head taxes. In 2019, the Ketchikan City Council decided to raise local cruise ship head taxes, effective April 2021. And that raised a question about a tax break the industry gets from a state cruise ship head tax. The state currently collects up to US$34.50 per passenger. But it is variable, depending on if a given vessel stops in Ketchikan or Juneau AK. If it does, the taxes due to the state are supposed to be reduced by the amount the cities collect. According to state revenue officials, the law about the tax reduction freezes the tax break at 2007 rates. That is, the tax break is not supposed to change in case local head taxes change. They are proposing a regulation to clarify that."
Full-Steam Ahead: CDC Gives Cruise Lines the Go-Ahead to Resume Sailing
"After months of uncertainty, it appears that cruise lines will be able to again take to the water before the end of 2020. On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an updated conditional sailing order for cruise ships that will allow cruise ships to start sailing in North America starting on Nov. 1. The framework, which can be found in full here, states that cruise lines can now pursue “a phased resumption of cruise ship passenger operations” with “a careful approach.” Initially, the CDC will require testing and additional safeguards for crew members, it said, along with onboard facilities in place to test future passengers. Then, the CDC is requiring all lines go ahead with simulate voyages “to test cruise ship operator’s ability to mitigate COVID-19 risk.” All ships will have to meet specific requirements for recertification and then, and only then, can cruise ships start a phased return to service. “These phases are subject to change based on public health consideration and cruise ship operators’ demonstrated ability to mitigate COVID-19 risk,” the CDC said."
Conditional Sail Order – Update
As previously reported: "Cruise lines will once again be able to sail from U.S. ports after the CDC announced that they will be lifting the cruise ban and they won’t be extending it past tomorrow’s expire date. Cruises will be able to restart once cruise lines prove to the CDC that their COVID-19 protocols will work on cruise ships. "
Original story: https://cruisefever.net/ban-on-cruises-from-the-u-s-lifted/
Download update: Framework for Conditional Sailing and Initial Phase COVID-19 Testing Requirements for Protection of Crew https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/pdf/CDC-Conditional-Sail-Order_10_30_2020-p.pdf
Why Are Cruises to Nowhere Illegal in the USA?
"A cruise to nowhere by definition is a short itinerary that sails roundtrip from a port of call without making any stops. Essentially, the ship leaves port and sails in a big circle only to return a day or two later. This type of cruise was generally most common when a short itinerary was needed to help fill out the schedule of a ship. For example, if a ship returned to its homeport on a Friday fresh off a special 12-day itinerary and was slated to begin doing regular, 7-day sailings on Saturday morning, the cruise line might opt to throw a one-time-only one-night “cruise to nowhere” into the mix. Why? Doing so meant that the ship could set sail with passengers and generate revenue rather than spend the night sitting at the dock, racking up port charges and facility fees. Cruises to nowhere were a win/win for the lines, given that they weren’t paying for a ship to sit empty and the amount of revenue generated during the short sailings tended to be fairly high. After all, on-board spending is known to be higher on sea days than when a vessel is visiting a port and guests are disembarking to spend their money elsewhere. A ship is most profitable when guests are onboard spending money in the casino, the bars and the spa. Many Americans loved jumping on a quick cruise-to-nowhere, whether to celebrate a special occasion without having to take a full week off work or as a way of taking a ship they’d never sailed on a “test drive” to see what they thought of it. Unfortunately, those days are over — at least for now — as cruises to nowhere are illegal in the United States."
One of Carnival’s Cruise Lines is Pausing Cruises After Restarting 2 Weeks Ago
"AIDA Cruises, one of nine cruise lines owned by Carnival Corporation, restarted cruises two week ago but will now pause operations for the month of November. AIDA Cruise has canceled all cruises between October 31 and November 30 as a result of Germany implementing far-reaching measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic. As the leading cruise line in Germany and a part of Carnival Corporation & plc, AIDA Cruises’ highest responsibility and top priorities are compliance, environmental protection and the health, safety and well-being of its guests, crew, shoreside employees, and the people and communities its ships visit – and that commitment is reflected in the line’s temporary pause in cruise operations."
The Messy, Booming Business of Recycling Cruise Ships
"Carnival Fantasy was a ship famous for its outlandish décor, all-night revelry, and size—back when 2,000 was an incredible number of passengers. The “Fun Ship” vibe it introduced in 1990 came with such whimsical spaces as an Egyptian-themed piano bar, decorated with a fake sarcophagus, and a glitzy glass-topped atrium that was the hub of the social scene. Today, the Fantasy is attracting a whole different breed of booty-seeker. In July, the 30-year-old ship sailed to the Aegean Sea, wrapping its final voyage in the ship breaking capital of Aliaga, Turkey. Its resting place is a demolition yard where old cargo ships, tankers, research vessels—and now, cruise ships retired during the Covid-19 pandemic—get torn apart and broken into pieces. In this case, they’re not being broken in half to get upgraded and stitched back together. Instead, circling the Fantasy’s partially deconstructed innards are buyers from all sorts of industries, looking for rock bottom deals on everything from artwork and kitchenwares to electrical wires and stainless-steel sinks. For the cruise company, it’s an opportunity to recoup at least some value from an asset that’s currently acting as dead weight; while its value has declined with age, the Fantasy was originally built for about $225 million. For the recycling companies that buy the vessel for cash and take on the hazardous task of emptying its valuables, it’s a months-long salvage resale on steroids."
Antarctica cruise season is almost here, but will it still happen amid COVID-19 pandemic?
"Even before COVID-19, sailing to Antarctica is not a journey to be undertaken lightly. Many expedition operators require participants to complete medical forms attesting to the mental and physical fitness of participants and obtain insurance with extensive air evacuation coverage. That's because once a ship makes a multi-day trek across the Drake, medical assistance for serious health problems can simply be out of reach. And that has jeopardized – or outright killed – the 2020-2021 Antarctica season for most operators. What's in store for the upcoming 2020-2021 season? The Antarctic cruise season typically begins in November and continues until late February or early March, during the Southern Hemisphere's summertime. With the start of the season just one month away, numerous lines have already canceled or postponed their Antarctica voyages for the coming months. As of this writing, most operators that routinely offer expedition cruises to Antarctica, including Hurtigruten, Quark Expeditions, Seabourn, and Silversea, have canceled their 2020-2021 Antarctica sailings. Scenic has removed all Antarctica voyages departing in January, February and March 2021 from its website, though voyages are technically canceled only through Dec. 31."
“We want to see the cruise ships sail again’: DeSantis says he’s working with White House
"Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Tuesday that he wants to see cruises sailing again and that he’s been in communication with the White House about how it could happen…. DeSantis said he thinks cruising can be done safely, but acknowledged that it is more high risk than attending an outdoor sporting event or other outdoor gatherings. DeSantis said he thinks rapid tests could be helpful in getting the cruise industry back into business and said if a cruise line wanted to test everyone on board, they could. The governor pointed to the economic value the industry brings to the state as the reason why he has been working to get cruises going again."
Princess Cruises Australia and New Zealand sailings cancelled through May 2021
"Due to the current uncertainty about when international travel restrictions amid the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis might be lifted, Princess Cruises announced it is extending its pause in operations for sailings departing from Australia and New Zealand through May 31, 2021. Passengers will receive a refundable FCC (Future Cruise Credit) equivalent to 100% of the fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus Future Cruise Credit equal to 25% of the fare paid. To receive the FCCs, no action is required by the passengers or their travel advisors. Alternatively, vacationers can forfeit the bonus FCC offer as well as request a refund for all money paid on the booking. Passengers have until November 30 to elect a refund, or they'll automatically receive the default offer. Princess Cruises will protect travel advisor commissions on bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full, in recognition of the role they play in the line’s business."
60 passengers on MS Swiss Crystal test positive for COVID-19
"MS Swiss Crystal (riverboat owned by Scylla AG) completed a 7-night cruise from Passau to Frankfurt am Main along the rivers Danube and Main on October 17. The folk music-themed voyage was chartered by 1Avista Reisen. Following the voyage, 60 out of 92 passengers (mostly Swiss) tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19). Some of the travellers developed symptoms and got a corona test. Those who tested positive - including the cruise organizers (Hanspeter and Elsbeth Balsiger) and the popular pop singer Monique - are currently in isolation. Several music events took place onboard Swiss Crystal during the voyage, including a singer and a brass music concert. According to a statement by the organizer, the hygiene concept, including a mask requirement, had always been adhered to. However, passengers and musicians stayed in the same room for several hours, where there was singing and a brass band played. While sitting in the room, there was no mask requirement. The landing was possible for the passengers so that could represent a possible source of infection. However, it is not clear exactly where the source of the infection was."
Cruise Line Updates Cruises Due to Port Limitations
"Carnival Corporation’s Costa Cruises, one of the leading cruise lines in Europe, has updated their 2020-2021 winter cruises due to limitations in place in some European countries. This includes canceling Caribbean cruises on one of their cruise ships. Costa Smeralda, the cruise line’s flagship powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), will extend her current cruises only in Italy until the end of February 2021, visiting Savona, La Spezia, Cagliari, Messina, Naples and Civitavecchia/Rome. This one-week itinerary will replace the one in Italy, France and Spain that the ship would have offered starting from November 14, 2020. The Costa Smeralda itinerary sails guests to some of the most popular art cities and natural areas in Italy, contributing to the recovery of the national tourism ecosystem, which is also receiving benefits from AIDAblu, from the Costa Group’s Germany-based AIDA Cruises, which has been calling only in Italy since mid-October."
Lindblad CEO Lists 3 Things Needed to Resume Operations
"Lindblad Expeditions CEO and President Sven-Olof Lindblad listed three things that are needed to reactivate cruising during the company’s third earnings call. The company has suspended and rescheduled the majority of its cruises from Mar. 16, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2020. The first thing, he said, is “incredible medical solution”, which “we developed and felt very strongly about.” The second thing would be ensuring that the travel destinations are ready to welcome cruise lines again. “So, for example, Argentina, Chili, and the Antarctic; the starting place for the Arctic, are technically off-limits for American travelers at the moment. However, we are working very closely on some kind of (solution) based on our protocols,” Lindblad said. The company recently rescheduled its 2020-2021 Antarctica season."
Luxury cruise disrupted by coronavirus
"On its website, compagnie du Ponant touts exceptional cruises "in complete serenity" in an "anti-Covid bubble" with "its state-of-the-art health protocol." The passengers of the Jacques Cartier probably have a completely different vision of their "five-star" holiday. About 60 passengers and 93 crew members have been stranded by Italian authorities since Monday 26 October aboard this luxury ship anchored in the Sicilian port of Syracuse and turned into an epidemic. According to a tally released by the ship's captain on the evening of Wednesday, October 29, 11 people were positive for SARS-CoV-2 (three customers and eight sailors) and anxiety began to mount among the passengers, whose average age blithely exceeded 60 years."
Read more (article is in French)
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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