August 12, 2020
In this Issue
Here are some of the news articles we are following:
- MSC Gets Approval to Restart Cruising in August
- COVID-19 infections trouble ships as companies try pandemic cruising in Europe, Tahiti
- Fresh Air HVAC System Could Make Cruise Ships Safer
- Diamond Princess, the ship that suffered a major COVID-19 outbreak, won't sail in Asia next fall or winter
- VIDEO: MSC Cruises introduces comprehensive health and safety protocol
- Norwegian Outlines Roadmap for Returning to Service
- Hurtigruten Says Sorry as Cruise Continues a Patchy but Determined Return
- Marella Plans to Start Cruising from Corfu in October
- Passenger on Alaska cruise tests positive for COVID-19, prompting quarantine, canceled sailings
- Cruising is still canceled, but here’s what travelers can expect when it returns
- Beirut Deadly Explosion sinks Orient Queen cruise ship, killing one crew member another reported missing
- Fred. Olsen to Use Havana as Homeport
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MSC Gets Approval to Restart Cruising in August
"MSC Cruises announced today that the MSC Grandiosa and MSC Magnifica will resume operations in the Mediterranean starting from August 16 and 29, 2020 respectively. The two ships will be the first to implement a new comprehensive health and safety protocol that has been approved by the relevant national authorities from the countries that the ships will call along their East and West Mediterranean itineraries this summer, according to a press release. Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman commented, “During the pause in our operations we focused on developing a comprehensive operating protocol that builds upon already stringent health and safety measures that have long been in place on board our ships. 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.” Vago continued: “The new procedures include universal COVID-19 testing for all guests and crew prior to embarkation, protected ashore visits at each destination only with an MSC Cruises’ excursion as an added level of protection for our guests and the introduction of a COVID Protection Plan for further peace of mind for our guests. With all of these measures in place, we aim to offer our guests the safest possible vacation.” "
COVID-19 infections trouble ships as companies try pandemic cruising in Europe, Tahiti
"Cruising during the COVID-19 pandemic is off to a rocky start. Nearly a month after Carnival Corporation began promoting and selling tickets for its first comeback cruises on AIDA brand ships in Germany scheduled to launch this week, the company canceled two cruises because it has not yet received necessary approvals from Italy, the ships’ flag state. “This has typically not been an issue in the past, especially once other necessary regulatory approvals had been secured,” said Carnival Corp. spokesperson Roger Frizzell in an email. “But this is a new day that requires even greater scrutiny with our review process tied to our various cruise policies and protocols, especially health — something that will ultimately benefit our guests, our crew members and our cruise line in the process.” "
Fresh Air HVAC System Could Make Cruise Ships Safer
"Italian company Integra has created an air sanitizer that works in conjunction with a ship’s already existing HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system. Essentially, their idea is to fit an HVAC unit with two tanks, one of which contains an air sanitizer while the other tank dispenses a fragrance. The disinfectant — which the company says will combat most common airborne illnesses — is odorless, while the fragrance tank could be turned on and off remotely as deemed necessary. One very big potential benefit of the system: It would put into the air a constant flow of sanitizer which could combat not only airborne viruses, but help deal with those which land on surfaces as well. The alcohol-free scent treatment is comprised of concentrated essential oils and has been tested rigorously to assure that it is non-toxic and environmentally friendly. Integra says that their system could be installed quickly and operated easily, with all of the equipment and products necessary for ongoing maintenance easily storable on the ship. One thing which would be required is an annual cleaning of the entire system."
Diamond Princess, the ship that suffered a major COVID-19 outbreak, won't sail in Asia next fall or winter
"Princess Cruises has announced it will cancel all sailings aboard the 2,670-passenger Diamond Princess throughout Japan and Asia between October 2021 and April 2022, in favor of redeploying the ship to a new destination. Princess announced the ship will instead set sail for a maiden season in another part of the world, though the company did not specify where that would be. The inclusion of the word "maiden" implies a cruising region not normally visited by the ship, which has spent most of its service career in Asia and Alaska. Princess stated that details of the new voyages would be announced later this month. The cancelled sailings run from the October 24, 2021 voyage to the April 19, 2022 Northern Japan Spring Flowers cruise."
VIDEO: MSC Cruises introduces comprehensive health and safety protocol
"Speaking at a press conference in Italy, MSC Cruises’ CEO Gianni Onorato announced the full details of the line’s comprehensive health and safety protocol developed to support the restart of cruise operations in the Mediterranean and specifically designed to protect the health and safety of the crew, passengers, and local communities that MSC Cruises' ships will call at. The company has been working closely with the authorities in the countries where the MSC ships will call, in order to develop a comprehensive protocol. A task force, with the input and support of external medical experts, created a robust protocol with brand new MSC Cruises specific operating procedures going beyond the regional and national guidelines and set a new standard. The independent maritime certification corporation RINA verified that the protocol meets the EMSA (European Maritime Safety Agency) Guidance, which incorporates additional health standards such as those from the EU Healthy Gateways Joint Action."
Norwegian Outlines Roadmap for Returning to Service
"Outlining Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ roadmap for returning to service, CEO Frank Del Rio said on the company's second quarter earnings call that the earliest he envisions full deployment of the fleet would be in the second quarter of 2021. NCLH’s roadmap focuses on developing enhanced health and safety protocols, addressing the global availability of ports and travel restrictions, planning sales and marketing to stimulate demand, and anticipating a gradual, phased return to service. Meanwhile, the company has been repatriating crew, moved ships into layup and executed its financial action plan by securing additional capital, improving its debt maturities and reducing its operating expenses and capital expenditures. And these efforts will continue, according to Del Rio. He cited what he called incredible support from export credit agencies, shipyards and suppliers."
Hurtigruten Says Sorry as Cruise Continues a Patchy but Determined Return
"Coronavirus cases put a damper on the long-awaited return of cruising around the world this week – but it hasn’t extinguished attempts to bring back itineraries wherever lines can make them work. Hurtigruten, the Norwegian expedition line that trail-blazed the return in Northern Europe, temporarily suspended expedition journeys on Monday after cases among the 158-strong crew of the MS Roald Amundsen. A total of 37 crew and 16 guests have tested positive so far. The line’s boss admitted “several deviations” from the company’s internal procedures on MS Roald Amundsen, and said the line has hired an outside firm to conduct a full investigation. “That’s not good enough. It has caused a demanding and serious situation. I apologise to our guests, colleagues and everyone who cares for Hurtigruten,” said Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam."
Marella Plans to Start Cruising from Corfu in October
"Marella Cruises has announced it hopes it will start sailing on Oct. 2 from Corfu with the Marella Explorer, and hopes to welcome guests back onboard ships when the government travel advice changes. To give customers peace of mind, Marella Cruises has introduced its Marella Promise, focused on five key commitments to ensure customers can have the safest and enjoyable cruise, the company said. If there are significant changes to an itinerary or facilities that would prevent that from happening, their cruise will not go ahead, and they’d be offered a variety of options. Extra cleaning measures will be implemented, excursion safety guidelines will be checked. The cruise line will only operate quarantine-free cruises and won’t travel to destinations with isolating measures in place. For those who are still looking to book a cruise holiday, Marella Cruises has added additional flexibility for bookings made before Sept. 30 2020, so if customers no longer wish to travel, they can have one free amend so they can move to a later date. Before boarding, customers will be asked to take a simple health screening which includes a questionnaire and a temperature check. Customers also may be asked to wear face masks at times either onboard or ashore. There will also be fewer guests onboard to help adhere to social distancing measures. Customer luggage will be disinfected before it’s taken to their cabin and there will be signs for one-way systems around the ships. Cabins and public areas will be regularly and thoroughly deep cleaned and there will be an increase in hand sanitizer stations around the ship."
Passenger on Alaska cruise tests positive for COVID-19, prompting quarantine, canceled sailings
"One of the first cruise ships to resume overnight sailing in U.S. waters since the coronavirus shut down the cruise industry this year has reported one case of COVID-19 on board. Passengers are quarantining on UnCruise Adventures' Wilderness Adventurer "until the State of Alaska deems it safe for them to return home" after one passenger tested positive, according to a travel alert posted on the cruise line's website.
The passenger received a positive test result Tuesday after first testing negative and remains asymptomatic. The ship, now off the coast of Alaska en route to Juneau, according to CruiseMapper, was able to bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's no-sail order because its capacity is less than 250 passengers and crew."
Cruising is still canceled, but here’s what travelers can expect when it returns
"From covid-19 tests during embarkation to the end of buffet dining, cruises will be a different experience.
Once upon a time the American cruise industry was projected to rake in $31.5 billion worth of revenue in 2020 — more than double what it netted a decade ago. Indeed, the period between 2010 and 2019 must have felt like a fairy tale for commercial seafaring: an era of unprecedented growth. Then came the pandemic. On March 14, the CDC issued its first industry-wide no-sail order. It barred any new passengers from boarding ships in U.S. waters and has since been extended through the end of September. If you’ve made any maritime plans immediately thereafter, prepare to chart a new course. It will almost certainly be further prolonged. The cruise industry itself has canceled U.S. cruises past the order’s date, until at least Oct. 31. Yet at some point in the future, cruising will probably become popular again — even if it won’t exist exactly as travelers remember. Like so many other aspects of life, it will fall under that ominous umbrella of “the new normal.” Here’s how to navigate the uncertain waters ahead, with insight from the experts."
Beirut Deadly Explosion sinks Orient Queen cruise ship, killing one crew member another reported missing
"The cruise ship Orient Queen, owned by the Lebanese cruise line Abu Merhi Cruises, sank in the port of Beirut after being hit by one of the biggest non-nuclear explosions in human history. The ship which was about 300 meters from the explosion site was badly damaged and all efforts to save it were in vain. Expressing their deepest condolences Abu Merhi Cruises said the deadly explosion killed one crew member and one is still missing."
Fred. Olsen to Use Havana as Homeport
"Fred Olsen Cruise Lines today announced that the 2021-2022 Caribbean season aboard the Braemar will be served with the turnaround port of Havana, Cuba. Fred. Olsen is relaunching its Caribbean itineraries for next year to showcase two types of holiday experience for guests: those looking to refresh and refuel with some winter sunshine, and those looking to immerse themselves in the history and vibrant culture of the islands they visit, the company said. Clare Ward, Director of Product and Customer Service at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “Too often the Caribbean is thought of as a single destination, but it is so much more than that, with so many islands offering different and unique yet equally exceptional experiences.
“The eastern Caribbean, with destinations such as St Kitts and St Maarten provide the perfect setting for those looking to recharge their batteries and enjoy the laid-back way of life while escaping the colder winter temperatures back home. Guests can take in the many stunning waterfalls and beaches in St Lucia, take a trip on a Rhum Runner in Grenada and indulge their Bob Marley knowledge in Port Royal."
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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