Issue #

140

|

Volume

9

July 20, 2020

In this Issue

Here are some of the news articles we are following:

  • Extending Cruise Ban, C.D.C. Says Ships Helped Spread Coronavirus
  • Cruise Critic Readers Speak Out: Short Cruises Unacceptable, Ventilation Changes Needed
  • Caribbean Port Makes Masks Mandatory
  • Holland America’s Maasdam and Veendam Cruise Ships Expected to Be Sold
  • Judge dismisses Grand Princess cruise passengers' COVID-19 lawsuits
  • Fred. Olsen Buys the Amsterdam and Rotterdam from Holland America
  • Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line to resume sailings August 28
  • Four Holland America Line ships are sold and exiting in 2020
  • Rudy Princess Special Inquiry Hears of NSW Health Mistakes
  • Carnival Corporation to Emerge Leaner and Stronger
  • Quark taps V. Ships Leisure to manage polar newbuild Ultramarine
  • Key West Harbor Pilots Sue To Have Cruise Ship Charter Amendments Thrown Off the Ballot
  • Viking Saigon to debut on the Mekong in 2021
  • Carnival Cruise Line Likely Won’t See Full Passenger Capacity Until 2022
  • Carnival and Royal Caribbean Receive UK Coronavirus Aid After Cruise Snub in U.S.
  • Two former Royal Caribbean cruise ships will be sold
  • Australian researchers track COVID-19 in wastewater from plane and cruise ship passengers
  • Why cruise lines are fighting with passengers—and each other—over safety standards
  • Hapag-Lloyd to resume cruises this month for select passengers
  • Less Efficient Ships to Rotate Out of Fleet

Cover Image by:

Extending Cruise Ban, C.D.C. Says Ships Helped Spread Coronavirus

“In a scathing order extending the current “no sail” order on U.S. cruise lines, the agency said it spent 38,000 hours managing the outbreaks on ships.  As the coronavirus pandemic raged around the world, cruise ship companies continued to allow their crews to attend social gatherings, work out at gyms and share buffet-style meals, violating basic protocols designed to stop the spread of the highly transmissible virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a scathing 20-page order, released Thursday, that extended the suspension of cruise operations until Sept. 30.  In a rebuke of the cruise ship companies, Robert R. Redfield, the director of the C.D.C., blamed them for widespread transmission of the virus. The C.D.C. said there were 99 outbreaks aboard 123 cruise ships in United States waters alone, the agency said in the statement. From March 1 until July 10, 80 percent of the ships in the C.D.C.’s jurisdiction were affected by the coronavirus. The agency said there had been nearly 3,000 suspected and confirmed cases and 34 deaths on ships in U.S. waters.”

Read more

https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/cruise/index.html

20 page report: https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/pdf/No-Sail-Order-Cruise-Ships-Second-Extension_07_16_2020-p.pdf

 

Cruise Critic Readers Speak Out: Short Cruises Unacceptable, Ventilation Changes Needed

“Air and ventilation changes, as well as routine COVID-19 testing, regular temperature checks and embarkation procedures that deny boarding to those who have flu-like symptoms are the changes that Cruise Critic readers would most like the cruise lines to implement. Conversely, Cruise Critic readers, most of whom have taken more than 10 cruises -- are not willing to cut their vacations short and accept cruises that are less than a week long, with fewer port calls. They also dislike the idea of fewer amenities and reduced turndown service in the cabins, as well as dividing passengers into small groups centered around age.” 

Read more

 

Caribbean Port Makes Masks Mandatory

“Saint Maarten is slowly opening up its borders, but is requiring all visitors to wear masks and be tested prior to their arrival on the popular island.  On the website offering official updates on the island, the new protocols are spelled out even as St. Maarten prepares to welcome back visitors. “Since March, we’ve all been staying home, wearing masks and social distancing for the safety of all our citizens and visitors,” the site reads”.  

Read more

 

Holland America’s Maasdam and Veendam Cruise Ships Expected to Be Sold

“Two Holland America Line cruise ships are set to be sold by parent company the Carnival Corporation due to the impact of the suspension on operations. The MS Maasdam and MS Veendam cruise ships which are currently operated by Carnival-owned Holland America Line are set to be sold. According to TradeWinds, the two ships are being sold to an unknown buyer and they are in preliminary agreements. They are not being scrapped and will likely be used for further sailing in the future. According to the cruise ship tracker, both vessels are currently sailing together towards the Suez Canal and that is the destination the tracker is currently showing. Once they are through, we’ll likely know where they are heading. It is important to know that the cruise line has not confirmed if any cruise ships are leaving the fleet and Carnival Corp has not confirmed any names on vessels that are being sold or scrapped.” 

Read more

 

Judge dismisses Grand Princess cruise passengers' COVID-19 lawsuits

“A federal judge dismissed lawsuits by Grand Princess cruise ship passengers who sued for emotional distress caused by their fear of exposure to COVID-19, saying that allowing their cases to proceed would “lead to a flood of trivial suits.” Judge Gary Klausner in Los Angeles said in Tuesday’s ruling that allowing passengers to collect damages based on potential COVID-19 exposure without suffering symptoms raised concerns of unlimited liability for restaurants and other businesses. Debi Chalik, a lawyer for passengers Ronald and Eva Weissberger, said she was disappointed with the ruling and might appeal. Chalik said fears of COVID-19 lawsuits were overblown because few businesses welcome customers the way Princess did, knowing the virus was potentially present.” 

Read more...

 

Fred. Olsen Buys the Amsterdam and Rotterdam from Holland America

“Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has bought the Amsterdam and Rotterdam from Holland America Line as it works to modernize its fleet. The vessels will be renamed MS Bolette and MS Borealis, the company said. The 1997-built Rotterdam and 2000-built Amsterdam will help bring Fred. Olsen's fleet up-to-date while also adding considerable capacity as both ships are approximately 1,400 berths. The current Fred. Olsen fleet is made up the 1972-built Black Watch and Boudicca, the 1993-built Braemar and the 1988-built Balmoral.”

Read more

 

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line to resume sailings August 28

“Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line today announced an extended delay to the resumption of its sailing operations. The official statement, delivered by Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line CEO Oneil Khosa, is as follows: “Upon announcing that we would resume cruising in late July, we were thrilled to see a great deal of demand, demonstrating that there is a strong appetite amongst travelers for our unique short-cruise ‘microcation’ product. At this time, we remain the only cruise line in the country to have received a “green status” from the CDC on our No Sail Response plan, meaning we have met all requirements in providing a safe environment for our crew members to work and disembark via non-commercial travel.”

Read more

 

Four Holland America Line ships are sold and exiting in 2020

“Holland America Line's Amsterdam, Maasdam, Rotterdam and Veendam will be leaving the fleet this year, destined for undisclosed buyers.  The ships have been sold in pairs, with the S-class Maasdam and Veendam transferring to one company in August, while the R-class Amsterdam and Rotterdam will move to another company in the fall.” 

Read more

 

Rudy Princess Special Inquiry Hears of NSW Health Mistakes

“In the closing submissions of the Ruby Princess inquiry, NSW Health was criticized for making three crucial mistakes when handling the arrival of the ship, when it docked in March.

After more than a dozen days of hearings since April, the inquiry into the cruise ship’s COVID-19 outbreak heard health officials should have prioritized the rapid testing of the initial swabs when the Ruby docked. Those passengers who tested positive on the morning of March 19, should have transferred to quarantine, which would have resulted in limiting the spread of the virus. But what happened instead was a series of mistakes from an incorrect assessment of the ship as “low risk”, a decision, Richard Beasley, counsel assisting the inquiry, said was a “serious mistake”.” 

Read more

 

Carnival Corporation to Emerge Leaner and Stronger

“We will be leaner. There is no question about it. And we’ll be stronger,” said Arnold Donald, CEO, Carnival Corporation, in an interview with Cruise Industry News. “What happens in these times is that you are forced to do things that may have been a good idea to do before but weren’t necessarily material enough in the moment. “Right now, we have no revenue. We have to slim down. We have to reduce overhead and we have to reduce our cash flow,” continued Donald, who is at the helm of the world’s largest cruise company, which was set to operate in 2020 with nine brands, over 100 ships and carry approximately 12.5 million guests at double occupancy according to the 2020 Cruise Industry News Annual Report.

Read more…

 

Quark taps V. Ships Leisure to manage polar newbuild Ultramarine

“Quark Expeditions selected V. Ships Leisure to manage its first owned polar newbuild, Ultramarine. 'After an extensive selection process involving the world’s leading ship management companies, we’re incredibly pleased that V.Ships Leisure will partner with us as we launch our new technologically-advanced polar vessel,' Quark President Andrew White said.” 

Read more

 

Key West Harbor Pilots Sue To Have Cruise Ship Charter Amendments Thrown Off the Ballot

“The harbor pilots who guide big ships into the Port of Key West are challenging three proposed city charter amendments that are scheduled to be on the November ballot in Key West.  The proposed amendments would limit the number of people disembarking from cruise ships to 1,500, limit ships to those with a capacity of 1,300 people or fewer, and require the city to prioritize the ships with the best environmental and health safety records. The suit by the Key West Bar Pilots Association was filed in U.S. District Court in Key West. It seeks to have the three proposed amendments taken off the November ballot. They were placed there after proponents gathered enough petition signatures by Key West voters to qualify.” 

Read more

 

Viking Saigon to debut on the Mekong in 2021

“Viking will launch a new vessel next summer for its 'Magnificent Mekong' cruise-tour. Currently under construction, the 80-passenger Viking Saigon is scheduled to debut for the Aug. 30 departure. The river cruise portion of this cruise-tour sails between Kampong Cham, Cambodia, and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam. 'For many of our guests, Vietnam and Cambodia remain top destinations because of their significance in world history,' Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen said. He added that Viking Saigon will be the most modern vessel on the Mekong and will feel like ‘home’ to Viking loyalists.”

Read more

 

Carnival Cruise Line Likely Won’t See Full Passenger Capacity Until 2022

“Carnival Cruise Line likely won’t sail at full capacity until 2022 — at the earliest — according to the company’s CEO. Carnival, which has extended its cancellation of future sailings and pushed back the inaugural journeys of new and renovated ships, is planning a phased restart over the coming months. "[The] nature of restart is going to be almost country by country and destination by destination," Carnival’s CEO Arnold Donald said on a media call on Friday, according to USA Today, adding the company likely won’t see a return to full capacity for passengers until 2022.” 

Read more

 

Carnival and Royal Caribbean Receive UK Coronavirus Aid After Cruise Snub in U.S.

“Back when the CARES Act was passed in April, much was made over Congress’ somewhat surprising decision to leave the cruise lines out of its massive fiscal stimulus program. The act stipulated that recipients must be “created or organized in the United States or under the laws of the United States and has significant operations in and a majority of its employees based in the United States.” The cruise lines plainly do not fit that bill. But in the United Kingdom, it appears no such distinction was made. Carnival plc and RCL Cruises Ltd. (both UK entities of the global companies) received millions of pounds of state assistance as part of a program known as the Covid Corporate Financing Facility, according to Bank of England documents, and first flagged by UK-based investigative think tank TaxWatch. Carnival has received £25 million ($31.3 million), while Royal Caribbean received £300 million ($375 million). Other travel companies to benefit include easyJet and Ryanair. In Carnival’s earnings call last week, Carnival Corp. Chief Financial Officer David Bernstein mentioned the program to investors when describing the company’s liquidity position, saying it had qualified for $700 million from the UK. A spokesperson for the company confirmed for Skift that while the company had the opportunity to claim up to the equivalent of $700 million, only £25 million had so far been used.” 

Read more

 

Two former Royal Caribbean cruise ships will be sold

“After weeks of speculation, Royal Caribbean is in the process of selling two former cruise ships. Monarch and Sovereign are currently part of Pullmantur Cruises' fleet, but originally sailed as part of Royal Caribbean International. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman and CEO Richard Fain confirmed the ships' fate during a call with travel agents.  He indicated that there are no plans to sell any ships right now, apart from the Pullmantur ships. "The one exception would be the Pullmantur ships, which are now in the process of being sold." ”

Read more

 

Australian researchers track COVID-19 in wastewater from plane and cruise ship passengers

“As Australia considers how to safely welcome international visitors again, testing wastewater systems on long-haul planes and cruise ships could provide crucial information on detecting the presence of the COVID-19 virus in incoming passengers. A new paper in the Journal of Travel Medicine reported that testing of aircraft and cruise ship wastewater upon arriving at their destination had detected genetic fragments of the COVID-19 virus, SARS-CoV-2, a step forward in using this test as an additional public health management tool. Researchers from The University of Queensland (UQ) and Australia's national science agency CSIRO worked with transport companies to test on-board wastewater from lavatories.”

Read more

 

Why cruise lines are fighting with passengers—and each other—over safety standards

“When will it really be safe to cruise again? Until cruise operators can give a more definitive answer to their eager but vulnerable customers, they might as well be rearranging deck chairs on another famously-doomed ocean liner. Pandemic-battered cruise companies, bleeding cash and desperate to bring passengers back to their ships, this month have touted new efforts to hammer out post-coronavirus health and safety standards. “We will sail when we feel we will honor our commitment to operate in the best interest of public health,” Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald told analysts during a conference call last week. In Germany, that could be as early as next month. Carnival is planning to bring passengers back aboard three of its German AIDA ships in August, and is hoping that it can resume operations in Italy next. But in the United States—the home to more than half of all cruising customers, the functional headquarters for all the major cruise companies, and a country where COVID-19 cases are spiking again—Carnival and its competitors will remain anchored until at least late September, and quite possibly longer. The timing for resuming operations in the U.S. will “largely be determined not only by health authorities but also society’s comfort level and acceptance with social gathering,” Carnival spokesman Roger Frizzell tells Fortune.”

Read more

 

Hapag-Lloyd to resume cruises this month for select passengers

“Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is set to resume operations for select guests at the end of the month with extensive hygiene measures in place and reduced. Forced to halt operations for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the cruise company will sail eight new short cruises at the end of July for guests who reside only in Germany, Austria and Switzerland at this time. Cruises will depart Hamburg with the luxury ship, the EUROPA 2, and the expedition ship HANSEATIC inspiration with a reduced capacity of just 150-300 guests. In preparation of its resumption, Hapag-Lloyd has unveiled a ten-point plan that includes hygiene and safety protocols based on guidelines from relevant authorities, health experts and CLIA Deutschland shipping companies. These include mandatory disclosure of health information for guests, the use of thermal imaging cameras during embarkation, a staggered and controlled boarding process, thorough health checks for crew, reduced seating and extended opening times in restaurants, and care kits for all guests. The view the full list of protocols click here."  

Read more

 

Less Efficient Ships to Rotate Out of Fleet

“Thirteen ships are set to leave the Carnival Corporation fleet as the world’s largest cruise company accelerates the withdrawals of less efficient vessels that were already scheduled to find new homes. “It’s not very complicated. Look, a number of ships would be rotating out over time anyway,” said CEO Arnold Donald, in an interview with Cruise Industry News. “They are less efficient; you’re not going to put the capital into them because you won’t get the returns. They are fine right now in terms of resonating with guests.” In total, the 13 ships expected to leave the fleet represent a nearly nine percent reduction in capacity for Carnival Corporation. “They are less efficient because they were built at a different time in a different way and they are more challenging in terms of generating returns. You’re not going to put a lot of capital into something like that if it makes your task that much greater when you can bring in the new capacity which is far more efficient,” Donald said.” 

Read more

 

 

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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Issue #

140

|

Volume

9

July 20, 2020

In this Issue

Here are some of the news articles we are following:

  • Extending Cruise Ban, C.D.C. Says Ships Helped Spread Coronavirus
  • Cruise Critic Readers Speak Out: Short Cruises Unacceptable, Ventilation Changes Needed
  • Caribbean Port Makes Masks Mandatory
  • Holland America’s Maasdam and Veendam Cruise Ships Expected to Be Sold
  • Judge dismisses Grand Princess cruise passengers' COVID-19 lawsuits
  • Fred. Olsen Buys the Amsterdam and Rotterdam from Holland America
  • Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line to resume sailings August 28
  • Four Holland America Line ships are sold and exiting in 2020
  • Rudy Princess Special Inquiry Hears of NSW Health Mistakes
  • Carnival Corporation to Emerge Leaner and Stronger
  • Quark taps V. Ships Leisure to manage polar newbuild Ultramarine
  • Key West Harbor Pilots Sue To Have Cruise Ship Charter Amendments Thrown Off the Ballot
  • Viking Saigon to debut on the Mekong in 2021
  • Carnival Cruise Line Likely Won’t See Full Passenger Capacity Until 2022
  • Carnival and Royal Caribbean Receive UK Coronavirus Aid After Cruise Snub in U.S.
  • Two former Royal Caribbean cruise ships will be sold
  • Australian researchers track COVID-19 in wastewater from plane and cruise ship passengers
  • Why cruise lines are fighting with passengers—and each other—over safety standards
  • Hapag-Lloyd to resume cruises this month for select passengers
  • Less Efficient Ships to Rotate Out of Fleet

Cover Image by:

Extending Cruise Ban, C.D.C. Says Ships Helped Spread Coronavirus

“In a scathing order extending the current “no sail” order on U.S. cruise lines, the agency said it spent 38,000 hours managing the outbreaks on ships.  As the coronavirus pandemic raged around the world, cruise ship companies continued to allow their crews to attend social gatherings, work out at gyms and share buffet-style meals, violating basic protocols designed to stop the spread of the highly transmissible virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a scathing 20-page order, released Thursday, that extended the suspension of cruise operations until Sept. 30.  In a rebuke of the cruise ship companies, Robert R. Redfield, the director of the C.D.C., blamed them for widespread transmission of the virus. The C.D.C. said there were 99 outbreaks aboard 123 cruise ships in United States waters alone, the agency said in the statement. From March 1 until July 10, 80 percent of the ships in the C.D.C.’s jurisdiction were affected by the coronavirus. The agency said there had been nearly 3,000 suspected and confirmed cases and 34 deaths on ships in U.S. waters.”

Read more

https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/cruise/index.html

20 page report: https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/pdf/No-Sail-Order-Cruise-Ships-Second-Extension_07_16_2020-p.pdf

 

Cruise Critic Readers Speak Out: Short Cruises Unacceptable, Ventilation Changes Needed

“Air and ventilation changes, as well as routine COVID-19 testing, regular temperature checks and embarkation procedures that deny boarding to those who have flu-like symptoms are the changes that Cruise Critic readers would most like the cruise lines to implement. Conversely, Cruise Critic readers, most of whom have taken more than 10 cruises -- are not willing to cut their vacations short and accept cruises that are less than a week long, with fewer port calls. They also dislike the idea of fewer amenities and reduced turndown service in the cabins, as well as dividing passengers into small groups centered around age.” 

Read more

 

Caribbean Port Makes Masks Mandatory

“Saint Maarten is slowly opening up its borders, but is requiring all visitors to wear masks and be tested prior to their arrival on the popular island.  On the website offering official updates on the island, the new protocols are spelled out even as St. Maarten prepares to welcome back visitors. “Since March, we’ve all been staying home, wearing masks and social distancing for the safety of all our citizens and visitors,” the site reads”.  

Read more

 

Holland America’s Maasdam and Veendam Cruise Ships Expected to Be Sold

“Two Holland America Line cruise ships are set to be sold by parent company the Carnival Corporation due to the impact of the suspension on operations. The MS Maasdam and MS Veendam cruise ships which are currently operated by Carnival-owned Holland America Line are set to be sold. According to TradeWinds, the two ships are being sold to an unknown buyer and they are in preliminary agreements. They are not being scrapped and will likely be used for further sailing in the future. According to the cruise ship tracker, both vessels are currently sailing together towards the Suez Canal and that is the destination the tracker is currently showing. Once they are through, we’ll likely know where they are heading. It is important to know that the cruise line has not confirmed if any cruise ships are leaving the fleet and Carnival Corp has not confirmed any names on vessels that are being sold or scrapped.” 

Read more

 

Judge dismisses Grand Princess cruise passengers' COVID-19 lawsuits

“A federal judge dismissed lawsuits by Grand Princess cruise ship passengers who sued for emotional distress caused by their fear of exposure to COVID-19, saying that allowing their cases to proceed would “lead to a flood of trivial suits.” Judge Gary Klausner in Los Angeles said in Tuesday’s ruling that allowing passengers to collect damages based on potential COVID-19 exposure without suffering symptoms raised concerns of unlimited liability for restaurants and other businesses. Debi Chalik, a lawyer for passengers Ronald and Eva Weissberger, said she was disappointed with the ruling and might appeal. Chalik said fears of COVID-19 lawsuits were overblown because few businesses welcome customers the way Princess did, knowing the virus was potentially present.” 

Read more...

 

Fred. Olsen Buys the Amsterdam and Rotterdam from Holland America

“Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has bought the Amsterdam and Rotterdam from Holland America Line as it works to modernize its fleet. The vessels will be renamed MS Bolette and MS Borealis, the company said. The 1997-built Rotterdam and 2000-built Amsterdam will help bring Fred. Olsen's fleet up-to-date while also adding considerable capacity as both ships are approximately 1,400 berths. The current Fred. Olsen fleet is made up the 1972-built Black Watch and Boudicca, the 1993-built Braemar and the 1988-built Balmoral.”

Read more

 

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line to resume sailings August 28

“Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line today announced an extended delay to the resumption of its sailing operations. The official statement, delivered by Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line CEO Oneil Khosa, is as follows: “Upon announcing that we would resume cruising in late July, we were thrilled to see a great deal of demand, demonstrating that there is a strong appetite amongst travelers for our unique short-cruise ‘microcation’ product. At this time, we remain the only cruise line in the country to have received a “green status” from the CDC on our No Sail Response plan, meaning we have met all requirements in providing a safe environment for our crew members to work and disembark via non-commercial travel.”

Read more

 

Four Holland America Line ships are sold and exiting in 2020

“Holland America Line's Amsterdam, Maasdam, Rotterdam and Veendam will be leaving the fleet this year, destined for undisclosed buyers.  The ships have been sold in pairs, with the S-class Maasdam and Veendam transferring to one company in August, while the R-class Amsterdam and Rotterdam will move to another company in the fall.” 

Read more

 

Rudy Princess Special Inquiry Hears of NSW Health Mistakes

“In the closing submissions of the Ruby Princess inquiry, NSW Health was criticized for making three crucial mistakes when handling the arrival of the ship, when it docked in March.

After more than a dozen days of hearings since April, the inquiry into the cruise ship’s COVID-19 outbreak heard health officials should have prioritized the rapid testing of the initial swabs when the Ruby docked. Those passengers who tested positive on the morning of March 19, should have transferred to quarantine, which would have resulted in limiting the spread of the virus. But what happened instead was a series of mistakes from an incorrect assessment of the ship as “low risk”, a decision, Richard Beasley, counsel assisting the inquiry, said was a “serious mistake”.” 

Read more

 

Carnival Corporation to Emerge Leaner and Stronger

“We will be leaner. There is no question about it. And we’ll be stronger,” said Arnold Donald, CEO, Carnival Corporation, in an interview with Cruise Industry News. “What happens in these times is that you are forced to do things that may have been a good idea to do before but weren’t necessarily material enough in the moment. “Right now, we have no revenue. We have to slim down. We have to reduce overhead and we have to reduce our cash flow,” continued Donald, who is at the helm of the world’s largest cruise company, which was set to operate in 2020 with nine brands, over 100 ships and carry approximately 12.5 million guests at double occupancy according to the 2020 Cruise Industry News Annual Report.

Read more…

 

Quark taps V. Ships Leisure to manage polar newbuild Ultramarine

“Quark Expeditions selected V. Ships Leisure to manage its first owned polar newbuild, Ultramarine. 'After an extensive selection process involving the world’s leading ship management companies, we’re incredibly pleased that V.Ships Leisure will partner with us as we launch our new technologically-advanced polar vessel,' Quark President Andrew White said.” 

Read more

 

Key West Harbor Pilots Sue To Have Cruise Ship Charter Amendments Thrown Off the Ballot

“The harbor pilots who guide big ships into the Port of Key West are challenging three proposed city charter amendments that are scheduled to be on the November ballot in Key West.  The proposed amendments would limit the number of people disembarking from cruise ships to 1,500, limit ships to those with a capacity of 1,300 people or fewer, and require the city to prioritize the ships with the best environmental and health safety records. The suit by the Key West Bar Pilots Association was filed in U.S. District Court in Key West. It seeks to have the three proposed amendments taken off the November ballot. They were placed there after proponents gathered enough petition signatures by Key West voters to qualify.” 

Read more

 

Viking Saigon to debut on the Mekong in 2021

“Viking will launch a new vessel next summer for its 'Magnificent Mekong' cruise-tour. Currently under construction, the 80-passenger Viking Saigon is scheduled to debut for the Aug. 30 departure. The river cruise portion of this cruise-tour sails between Kampong Cham, Cambodia, and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam. 'For many of our guests, Vietnam and Cambodia remain top destinations because of their significance in world history,' Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen said. He added that Viking Saigon will be the most modern vessel on the Mekong and will feel like ‘home’ to Viking loyalists.”

Read more

 

Carnival Cruise Line Likely Won’t See Full Passenger Capacity Until 2022

“Carnival Cruise Line likely won’t sail at full capacity until 2022 — at the earliest — according to the company’s CEO. Carnival, which has extended its cancellation of future sailings and pushed back the inaugural journeys of new and renovated ships, is planning a phased restart over the coming months. "[The] nature of restart is going to be almost country by country and destination by destination," Carnival’s CEO Arnold Donald said on a media call on Friday, according to USA Today, adding the company likely won’t see a return to full capacity for passengers until 2022.” 

Read more

 

Carnival and Royal Caribbean Receive UK Coronavirus Aid After Cruise Snub in U.S.

“Back when the CARES Act was passed in April, much was made over Congress’ somewhat surprising decision to leave the cruise lines out of its massive fiscal stimulus program. The act stipulated that recipients must be “created or organized in the United States or under the laws of the United States and has significant operations in and a majority of its employees based in the United States.” The cruise lines plainly do not fit that bill. But in the United Kingdom, it appears no such distinction was made. Carnival plc and RCL Cruises Ltd. (both UK entities of the global companies) received millions of pounds of state assistance as part of a program known as the Covid Corporate Financing Facility, according to Bank of England documents, and first flagged by UK-based investigative think tank TaxWatch. Carnival has received £25 million ($31.3 million), while Royal Caribbean received £300 million ($375 million). Other travel companies to benefit include easyJet and Ryanair. In Carnival’s earnings call last week, Carnival Corp. Chief Financial Officer David Bernstein mentioned the program to investors when describing the company’s liquidity position, saying it had qualified for $700 million from the UK. A spokesperson for the company confirmed for Skift that while the company had the opportunity to claim up to the equivalent of $700 million, only £25 million had so far been used.” 

Read more

 

Two former Royal Caribbean cruise ships will be sold

“After weeks of speculation, Royal Caribbean is in the process of selling two former cruise ships. Monarch and Sovereign are currently part of Pullmantur Cruises' fleet, but originally sailed as part of Royal Caribbean International. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman and CEO Richard Fain confirmed the ships' fate during a call with travel agents.  He indicated that there are no plans to sell any ships right now, apart from the Pullmantur ships. "The one exception would be the Pullmantur ships, which are now in the process of being sold." ”

Read more

 

Australian researchers track COVID-19 in wastewater from plane and cruise ship passengers

“As Australia considers how to safely welcome international visitors again, testing wastewater systems on long-haul planes and cruise ships could provide crucial information on detecting the presence of the COVID-19 virus in incoming passengers. A new paper in the Journal of Travel Medicine reported that testing of aircraft and cruise ship wastewater upon arriving at their destination had detected genetic fragments of the COVID-19 virus, SARS-CoV-2, a step forward in using this test as an additional public health management tool. Researchers from The University of Queensland (UQ) and Australia's national science agency CSIRO worked with transport companies to test on-board wastewater from lavatories.”

Read more

 

Why cruise lines are fighting with passengers—and each other—over safety standards

“When will it really be safe to cruise again? Until cruise operators can give a more definitive answer to their eager but vulnerable customers, they might as well be rearranging deck chairs on another famously-doomed ocean liner. Pandemic-battered cruise companies, bleeding cash and desperate to bring passengers back to their ships, this month have touted new efforts to hammer out post-coronavirus health and safety standards. “We will sail when we feel we will honor our commitment to operate in the best interest of public health,” Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald told analysts during a conference call last week. In Germany, that could be as early as next month. Carnival is planning to bring passengers back aboard three of its German AIDA ships in August, and is hoping that it can resume operations in Italy next. But in the United States—the home to more than half of all cruising customers, the functional headquarters for all the major cruise companies, and a country where COVID-19 cases are spiking again—Carnival and its competitors will remain anchored until at least late September, and quite possibly longer. The timing for resuming operations in the U.S. will “largely be determined not only by health authorities but also society’s comfort level and acceptance with social gathering,” Carnival spokesman Roger Frizzell tells Fortune.”

Read more

 

Hapag-Lloyd to resume cruises this month for select passengers

“Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is set to resume operations for select guests at the end of the month with extensive hygiene measures in place and reduced. Forced to halt operations for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the cruise company will sail eight new short cruises at the end of July for guests who reside only in Germany, Austria and Switzerland at this time. Cruises will depart Hamburg with the luxury ship, the EUROPA 2, and the expedition ship HANSEATIC inspiration with a reduced capacity of just 150-300 guests. In preparation of its resumption, Hapag-Lloyd has unveiled a ten-point plan that includes hygiene and safety protocols based on guidelines from relevant authorities, health experts and CLIA Deutschland shipping companies. These include mandatory disclosure of health information for guests, the use of thermal imaging cameras during embarkation, a staggered and controlled boarding process, thorough health checks for crew, reduced seating and extended opening times in restaurants, and care kits for all guests. The view the full list of protocols click here."  

Read more

 

Less Efficient Ships to Rotate Out of Fleet

“Thirteen ships are set to leave the Carnival Corporation fleet as the world’s largest cruise company accelerates the withdrawals of less efficient vessels that were already scheduled to find new homes. “It’s not very complicated. Look, a number of ships would be rotating out over time anyway,” said CEO Arnold Donald, in an interview with Cruise Industry News. “They are less efficient; you’re not going to put the capital into them because you won’t get the returns. They are fine right now in terms of resonating with guests.” In total, the 13 ships expected to leave the fleet represent a nearly nine percent reduction in capacity for Carnival Corporation. “They are less efficient because they were built at a different time in a different way and they are more challenging in terms of generating returns. You’re not going to put a lot of capital into something like that if it makes your task that much greater when you can bring in the new capacity which is far more efficient,” Donald said.” 

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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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July 20, 2020

Extending Cruise Ban, C.D.C. Says Ships Helped Spread Coronavirus

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