October 5, 2020
In this Issue
Here are some of the news articles we are following:
- How Cruise Lines are Preparing for a Post-Pandemic World
- Tests, masks, temperature checks: 'Healthy Sail Panel' submits 74 COVID-19 cruise recommendations to CDC
- Cruise Lines Anxiously Await CDC Decision This Week
- Royal Caribbean Announces Sweeping Updates to 2021 Summer Cruises
- Sweden’s Port Stockholm is open and receives cruise ship calls
- What it will take for the cruise industry to survive — a PR professional's perspective
- The Future of Cruising Will Require Masks, Testing, and More, According to Cruise Association Guidelines
- 5 recommendations for wearing masks on cruise ships by the Healthy Sail Panel
- The cruise industry will implement these COVID-19 precautions: testing, masks, ventilation, more
- Crisis Creates Shock Waves and Opportunity
- CLIA announces mandatory core elements of health protocols
- Viking announces new 2023 departure for its ‘Baltic Jewels and The Midnight Sun’ itinerary
- Greece’s cruise ship comeback cut short by COVID-19 outbreak
- Cruise Industry, Activists Petition CDC Over its "No Sail Order"
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How Cruise Lines are Preparing for a Post-Pandemic World
"It’s no surprise or secret that the coronavirus pandemic has dealt a major economic blow to cruise ship lines. Some of the earliest, most gripping stories of COVID-19’s spread outside of China involved quarantined cruise ships searching for safe harbor in the viral storm. After some initial scrambling to bring home everyone already at sea, most cruise ships have been in port and empty of passengers, awaiting word that it’s safe to sail again. Miami is the home port for many of the cruise lines in the Western Hemisphere, especially those sailing to the Caribbean and South and Central America. It’s also the headquarters of Horizon Air Freight’s cruise ship division and home to our dedicated cruise industry warehouse facilities, which include refrigerated and frozen storage for the millions of pounds of food we move to cruise ships in a typical year. (It’s one of the more specialized of our more than 30 consolidation centers positioned strategically around the globe.) But as we write this, Miami is also a hotspot of coronavirus cases, so we don’t anticipate cruise operations will restart there anytime soon. “They really need to get the whole state under control before Miami-based cruise lines start thinking about cruising again,” says Alex Durante, Horizon’s director of global sales."
Tests, masks, temperature checks: 'Healthy Sail Panel' submits 74 COVID-19 cruise recommendations to CDC
"It's not news that cruising will be different when ships return to U.S. waters as cruise operators seek to ensure passengers' safety. The question of what a cruise vacation will look like in the COVID-19 era has lingered during a more than six-month industrywide pause. But a picture is starting to form. Monday, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian's "Healthy Sail Panel" submitted a 65-page report to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of the agency's request for public comment. The CDC's comment period closes Monday, and its "no-sail" order is set to expire at the end of the month. The Cruise Lines International Association, an industry trade group, issued a voluntary suspension through Oct. 31.
The panel's report contains 74 recommendations to prevent the introduction and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on cruise ships, including testing, face coverings and temperature checks. The recommendations were published on each cruise company's website."
Cruise Lines Anxiously Await CDC Decision This Week
"While the airlines anxiously await a potential second round of government aid, another big segment of the travel world is also on pins and needles this week. The cruise industry in the U.S., under a No-Sail Order by the Centers for Disease Control since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, is hoping the Wednesday, September 30 deadline for that order expires quietly and it can again return to the waters and conduct business. Though some cruise lines have set sail in Europe, ships carrying more than 250 guests are not allowed to cruise within the U.S."
Royal Caribbean Announces Sweeping Updates to 2021 Summer Cruises
"Royal Caribbean International has announced a number of upcoming changes in itineraries and homeports to its summer 2021 cruises. Highlights of the updated summer cruises for 2021 include new four- and five-night Mediterranean getaways from Barcelona, and more time in the Caribbean with ships sailing from additional U.S. cruise ports next summer including Tampa, Fla. and San Juan, Puerto Rico."
Sweden’s Port Stockholm is open and receives cruise ship calls
"Sweden's radical approach to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis (keeping businesses and schools open throughout) is not only benefiting the population but also the cruise shipping industry. And unlike many seaports globally, PoS (Ports of Stockholm) has been open throughout. In 2020, the PoS is expecting 29 cruise ship calls, of which 3 in December. According to Stefan Scheja, manager cruise and ferry PoS, for the port and for the city it was fantastic that they could show they had a business that was up and running and that passengers were willing to get on board again and travel around. He added that normally their season ended in mid-October so the winter calls were a fantastic and positive effect of COVID-19. Whilst TUI Cruises will have twenty ‘scenic calls’ whereby the liners turn in front of the Old City, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises will bring crew and passengers into the city from ms Hanseatic Inspiration, ms Europa, and ms Europa 2."
What it will take for the cruise industry to survive — a PR professional's perspective
"Finn Partners' Virginia Sheridan, managing partner, North America travel, is a public relations expert with vast cruise industry expertise. Her commentary on what it will take for cruising to survive the coronavirus pandemic is reprinted here, by permission. The coronavirus pandemic has cut a deep and devastating swath through the travel industry — with negative impact on all sectors — but none greater than cruising. The cruise industry is an estimated $75 billion business, highly attractive to 32 million people who take one or multiple ocean or river cruises around the world per year. Since the emergence of COVID-19, the industry has suffered from harrowing headlines and an almost total shutdown of business."
The Future of Cruising Will Require Masks, Testing, and More, According to Cruise Association Guidelines
"The Cruise Lines International Association, whose members include major cruise lines around the world, said Monday that 100 percent of passengers and crew will be tested for COVID-19 before getting on a ship and masks will be mandatory whenever cruising does eventually resume. In addition to testing requirements and a mask mandate, physical distancing must be maintained in terminals, on ships, during excursions, and on private islands as part of the group’s “mandatory core elements.” Shore excursions will only be permitted “according to the cruise operators’ prescribed protocols.” While these precautions are being implemented to prevent an outbreak of COVID-19 on board, CLIA’s policy also includes “risk-based response plans,” including designating isolation cabins and creating protocols to make arrangements in case the need for a shoreside quarantine arises."
5 recommendations for wearing masks on cruise ships by the Healthy Sail Panel
"Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings joint Healthy Sail Panel announced its initial recommendations on Monday, and as many expected, we will have to wear a mask on a cruise. Wearing a mask is one of many new protocols that will be part of the overall plan to prevent, detect and treat infections on a cruise ship, and it is one of the most contentious topics related to what guests are willing to do (or not). Having sifted through the proposed policies, here are the important takeaways from what wearing a mask on a cruise will probably entail."
The cruise industry will implement these COVID-19 precautions: testing, masks, ventilation, more
"On Monday (21 Sept 2020), the cruise industry announced mandatory health and safety changes designed to make it safe to sail during the COVID-19 pandemic – ideally with a phased-in U.S. start commencing before the end of the year. Cruise Lines International Association, the cruise industry's leading trade organization, and its members, who carry 95% of the world's oceangoing cruisers, announced a mandatory "Core Elements of Health Protocols," that includes crew and passenger testing, mask wearing, enhanced cruise ship ventilation, stringent response procedures and shore excursion protocols. The new protocols will apply to all CLIA member ships impacted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's current no-sail order, which bans cruising in U.S. waters until at least Oct. 1 for vessels that can carry 250 or more passengers. CLIA, which voluntarily suspended sailing in the U.S. until Nov. 1, is requiring each cruise company's CEO to provide written verification that the elements are being applied to their individual fleets, according to a release shared by Bari Golin-Blaugrund, vice president of strategic communications and public affairs for CLIA."
Crisis Creates Shock Waves and Opportunity
"The cruise industry is facing the deepest crisis since it emerged in its present form in the late 1960s. While some companies have been forced out of business, others have been able to upgrade their fleets by acquiring good quality second-hand tonnage at much discounted prices. It is difficult to gauge opportunities and challenges – which extend beyond actual cruise operations – in this fluid situation. The Covid-19 pandemic has played havoc with the valuations of older cruise ships. Prices have fallen by as much as 70%, said Lars Hallengren, Managing Director of Brax Shipping, the Gothenburg-based broker that specializes in cruise ships and ferries. “In principle, it's a great help for anyone who might start setting up a new cruise line. However, there are a number of other considerations that should also be kept in mind,” he told CruiseBusiness.com Magazine. Many cruise lines have, at the time of writing in early September, extended the suspension of their operations to December; a few others into the first half of 2021. “We can say that the summer of 2021 is the earliest time when operations can return to anything like normal levels,” Hallengren said. From this, it follows that should a buyer acquire a vessel now, it would have to be laid up for several months, at a substantial cost. “We also think that existing cruise operators will be very aggressive in their marketing efforts to win back passengers, so it would be a very tough market for newcomers,” Hallengren continued…"
CLIA announces mandatory core elements of health protocols
"Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), representing 95% of global ocean-going cruise capacity, announced the adoption of mandatory core elements of a set of health protocols to be implemented as part of a highly controlled, phased-in resumption of passenger shipping operations. A next step, now that initial sailings have begun effectively in Europe, with strict protocols, is the resumption of cruises in the Caribbean, Mexico, and the Americas (Central America), which encompass the world's largest cruise market. Informed by leading medical experts, scientists, and health authorities, these core elements are the product of extensive work by the Association's oceangoing cruise lines and their teams of experts, including the recommendations from the Healthy Sail panel established by RCG-Royal Caribbean Group and NCLH-Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, as well as Carnival Corporation’s collection of outside independent experts and MSC’s Blue Ribbon group. Other considerations include the effective protocols developed for the successful European sailings by Costa Cruises, MSC Cruises, Ponant, Seadream, TUI Cruises, and others. CLIA Global Board has unanimously voted to adopt all of the core elements for an initial restart of limited operations in the Americas and operations related to U.S. ports. The core elements will be continuously adjusted against the current state of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic."
Viking announces new 2023 departure for its ‘Baltic Jewels and The Midnight Sun’ itinerary
"Viking Ocean Cruises released a new 2023 departure for one of the company's most popular itineraries - the 29-day "Baltic Jewels and The Midnight Sun" from London-Greenwich to Stockholm Sweden via Norway, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Estonia, Russia, Finland, Sweden. Viking Venus (newbuild currently under construction) is scheduled to depart on July 22, 2023, and visit ten countries. The voyage includes 19 guided (complimentary to all passengers) shore excursions. Prices start from USD 18500 (~EUR 15830) per person for Veranda stateroom (double occupancy). Savings of USD 2000 per cabin/couple are also backed by Viking's Risk-Free Guarantee that allows changing the booked voyage up to 24-hours prior departure."
Greece’s cruise ship comeback cut short by COVID-19 outbreak
"More than 1,500 people have been isolated onboard a Maltese-flagged cruise ship in Greece after 12 crew members tested positive for the coronavirus. The Mein Schiff 6, which is run by TUI Cruises, was moored off Milos in the Aegean Sea after the positive test results Monday, according to Greek authorities. The cruise was the first of its kind to visit Greek waters since March, when the country went into lockdown. The global cruise industry also shut down around that time after a flurry of high-profile outbreaks on ships."
Cruise Industry, Activists Petition CDC Over its "No Sail Order"
"Cruise industry representatives and longtime cruise opponents have filed competing petitions with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control over the upcoming expiration of the agency's "no sail order," which prohibits large cruise ships from sailing due to the risk of spreading COVID-19. When passengers intermingle on board and return home, they may inadvertently carry coronavirus to communities across state and national boundaries, CDC has warned. The CDC's no-sail order expires on September 30, unless the agency extends it. Monday was the last day of a public comment period on its implementation…. The report comes as a group of longstanding cruise industry critics appeals to the CDC to keep cruise ships at the pier. The environmental groups Stand.earth and Friends of the Earth US submitted petitions with more than 50,000 combined signatures on Monday, calling for CDC to extend its no-sail order a second time. "As long as the cruise industry refuses to implement changes needed to protect its passengers, our environment, and local communities, the industry should not restart cruising,” asserted Marcie Keever, the oceans and vessels program director at Friends of the Earth US…."
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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