December 9, 2020
In this Issue
Here are some of the news articles we are following:
- MSC Gets Green Light for Japan Start
- This Infographic Shows Impact of COVID-19 on Cruising
- Chief Nikola Petrović and Capt. Kate McCue - "power couple" of the maritime sector
- P&O cancels cruise sailings up to April 2021
- Cruise industry faces $32 billion in economic activity lost
- Holland America and Seabourn cancel all sailings through March 31, 2021
- DCL-Disney Cruise Line cancels all January 2021 sailings
- Costa Crociere introduces short cruises on flagship Costa Smeralda
- Port Canaveral cruise terminal parking to boast E-PASS contactless transaction technology
- Pullmantur Cruises to resume operations with two Millennium Class ships
- First cruise ship starts sailing again in New Zealand after COVID-19
- The Original Mardi Gras: The First Carnival Cruise Ship
- SAGA is the first cruise operator awarded COVID-19 health assurance accreditation
- Cruise industry to introduce tough new COVID-19 measures when ban lifts in December
- Unsinkable: The Cruise Industry Is Coming Back to Life
- All Cruises Will Have a Contingency Plan, Says Carnival’s Arnold Donald
- Expert advice on how ports need to prepare now for cruise resumption
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MSC Gets Green Light for Japan Start
MSC Cruises announced it has received a certificate of compliance from Japanese maritime classification society ClassNK for its health and safety protocol and will restart cruising in Japan in April 2021. The certification now paves the way for the line to open sales in December to local residents for cruises homeporting in Japan and start to work with ports in the country to prepare for the forthcoming season, the company announced. Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises’ CEO, said, “We are extremely pleased to have received this certification and are now confident that we will be able to restart our Japan operation serving the local market by April 2021.” Junichi Hirata, ClassNK’s General Manager of Innovation and Sustainability Department, said, “This is the first important step of a longer-term plan for MSC Cruises to resume Japanese cruise operations in the first half of 2021, and we will now work closely with the line towards that goal.” Hiroya Nakano, Director-General of City of Yokohama’s Port and Harbor Bureau, concurs and said, “It is great news that MSC Cruises has received this certificate of approval from ClassNK for its health and safety guidelines. The Port of Yokohama is committed to cooperate accordingly for the re-starting of international cruises in spring 2021.”
This Infographic Shows Impact of COVID-19 on Cruising
VesselsValue, a UK-based maritime data provider, has created a calendar to show how the cruise industry has been affected by the coronavirus. The infographic shows the industry from January 2020 – when the total number of COVID-19 cases in the world was not clear while cruise sailings were at a “record high” – to November 2020, which brought a “new hope” to the industry thanks to the CDC no-sail order being lifted and news of successful coronavirus vaccine trials. In these 11 months, many cruise ships were sold for scrap, the global fleet value had fallen by nearly $40 billion, some cruise lines tentatively tried to resume operations in the Mediterranean but had to stop due to renewed lockdowns, and cruise ships’ average speeds “plummeted to below 11 knots to save on fuel and in-port costs whilst the vessels are en route to their layup locations.”
Chief Nikola Petrović and Capt. Kate McCue - "power couple" of the maritime sector
We spoke with the "ultimate couple" of the maritime sector. The Dubrovnik Capo was the first Virgin Voyages employee owned by multibillionaire Sir Richard N. Branson, who came into the world media spotlight with his Virgin Galactic company announcing commercial space flights, while Kate McCue was the first American to become a mega cruiser commander. . In addition to being a pioneer in their work, Capt. Kate herself is a "celebrity" on social media with over 207,000 followers on Instagram, and another 43,000 people who follow their cat who captures. Kate travels the world. Yes, you read that right - a cat . But this is a maritime portal, so we return to our sailors with whom we talked about their life, work and Croatia.
Read more…. "COLUMNS" section
P&O cancels cruise sailings up to April 2021
P&O will not resume cruise sailings until at least April next year. The company ended its cruises in March in response to the coronavirus pandemic and has not resumed any of its voyages since. The Southampton-based firm, which is part of the Carnival group, said the continued pause in operations was because of "the current uncertainty around European ports of call". The latest round of cancellations affects 19 planned cruises.
Cruise industry faces $32 billion in economic activity lost
Last year, the cruise industry's contribution to the economy of the United States was on the rise, a new economic report by the leading industry organization CLIA-Cruise Lines International Association said. However, in 2020, facing an estimated US$32 billion loss, the industry is expected to contribute less than 50% of what it did in 2019. According to the CLIA report, cruising contributed US$55 billion to the American economy last year - up 5.3% from 2018. But now cruising is suspended in U.S. waters through the end of 2020 due to the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Holland America and Seabourn cancel all sailings through March 31, 2021
HAL-Holland America Line and Seabourn joined sister Carnival Corporation brand Princess Cruises in cancelling sailings into 2021. The cancellations come as cruise lines continue to develop plans to meet the US CDC-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention framework for conditional sailing order. Carnival Corporation increased a fresh fundraising round to US$1.45 billion and EUR500 million in 2 separate financial arrangements. All Holland America departures have been paused until March 31, next year, from the previous date of the end of 2020. Cruises of 8+ days that call at a US cruise port will not resume until November 1, 2021. Selected longer sailings in Asia, South America, Australia and New Zealand have been cancelled until mid-April 2021. Some of the departures will be rescheduled to comparable 2022 dates.
DCL-Disney Cruise Line cancels all January 2021 sailings
DCL-Disney Cruise Line announced on Monday, November 23, that it is cancelling all sailings departing through the end of January 2021, as the company is working toward resuming operations. Many businesses around Port Canaveral FL are struggling to stay afloat without cruises. Cruise companies are still working with the CDC-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) protocols that will allow them to resume sailings. The Canaveral Port Authority cannot say with any certainty when the next liner will sail from the port. Last week, CCL-Carnival Cruise Line cancelled additional sailings through the first part of 2021. Launch visitors have provided some occasional relief to the area, but those visits don’t make up for the loss of cruise traffic.
Costa Crociere introduces short cruises on flagship Costa Smeralda
Between December 3, 2020, and February 21, 2021, Costa Cruises' flagship Costa Smeralda has scheduled 7-day long itineraries exclusively dedicated to Italy (passengers and call ports). The sailings can be divided into two short voyages (3- and 4-days) depart from homeport Civitavecchia-Rome. The 4-day cruises will call at ports in Central and Southern Italy, with visits to Civitavecchia (Sundays), Naples (Mondays), Messina (Tuesdays), and Cagliari (Wednesdays). The 3-day itineraries visit Civitavecchia (Thursdays), La Spezia (Fridays) and Savona (Saturdays). Costa Cruises said passengers can book the week-long voyages with departures from all ports included in the itinerary.
Port Canaveral cruise terminal parking to boast E-PASS contactless transaction technology
The CPA-Canaveral Port Authority and CFX-Central Florida Expressway Authority executed an “Interlocal Agreement for Electronic Parking Fee Collection” to implement an E-PASS automated system at the Port that would enable clients to use the contactless payment for parking at Port Canaveral's parking facilities with an E-PASS prepaid account. At its October 28 regular meeting, the CPA Board of Commissioners voted to unanimously approve the agreement followed by the unanimous approval by the CFX Board at the November 12 meeting. The CFX-CPA interlocal agreement provides Port Canaveral with the opportunity to implement the E-PASS automated payment program at all of its cruise terminal parking garages. Port Canaveral will unveil the electronic system at its brand-new Cruise Terminal 3 garage. The Port has plans to implement the new technology at its 5 other cruise terminal garages.
Pullmantur Cruises to resume operations with two Millennium Class ships
The insolvent Pullmantur Cruises might resume operations at the end of next year. Two Millennium-Class vessels from Celebrity Cruises could operate for the Spanish company in 2021-Q4. This emerged from a business plan the insolvency administrator publicly reported. Royal Caribbean Group holds 49% of the Pullmantur's shares and has presented a cooperation agreement, according to which 2 liners from Celebrity could operate for the Pullmantur brand. The remaining 51% of the Pullmantur's shares are owned by Springwater Fund. The company's restart date should be in December 2021. It has not been announced which ships are involved, but the Celebrity's Millennium-Class fleet includes Celebrity Constellation, Celebrity Infinity, Celebrity Millennium and Celebrity Summit. The 4 ships entered service between 2000-2002 and are the oldest in the Celebrity fleet. Summit and Millennium were extensively drydock modernized in 2019.
First cruise ship starts sailing again in New Zealand after COVID-19
The small ship expedition company Heritage Expeditions made history, this time as the first passenger ship to operate in New Zealand this season. The Christchurch NZ-based company's (chartered from Russia 50-passenger icebreaking ship) Professor Khromov (fka Spirit of Enderby) set sail on its first New Zealanders-only cruise this week. According to Heritage Expeditions' Commercial Director and Expedition Leader, the sold-out 7-day "Unseen Fiordland and Stewart Island" voyage departed Bluff "under perfect conditions." Professor Khromov was the first passenger ship to get an exemption to sail from the NZ's Government. Aaron added the Kiwis-only season had received "incredible support from New Zealanders wanting to explore the furthest reaches of their amazing backyard."
The Original Mardi Gras: The First Carnival Cruise Ship
In only a short two months Carnival Cruise Line expects to launch its newest member of the Carnival Family: Mardi Gras. It will be the ultimate fun ship, and one of the most ambitious that Carnival Cruise Line has attempted. Back in 1972, it was a whole different challenge that Ted Arison was about to undertake when he purchased the RMS Empress of Canada. It would be a ship that changed the history of cruising forever and whose name lives on today.
SAGA is the first cruise operator awarded COVID-19 health assurance accreditation
Saga Cruises UK moved closer to restarting passenger shipping operations with the award of new COVID safety accreditation and becoming the first cruise operator awarded with COVID-19 health assurance accreditation by Lloyd’s Register (maritime classification society). The move is a step ahead of the planned return to operations in spring 2021 in a Coronavirus-secure environment. Lloyd’s Register awarded SAGA the “Shield+” accreditation - the highest health assurance category they have. The framework has been created to reduce risk as well as provide confidence in the safety procedures of cruise operators against the introduction of infectious diseases on board cruise ships, including Norovirus, common flu, and COVID-19, as cruise companies work with the government to restart an industry employing 88,000 people and worth GBP 10 billion per year to the British economy.
Cruise industry to introduce tough new COVID-19 measures when ban lifts in December
The world's largest cruise industry association will introduce tough new COVID-19 measures, to come into effect when the current domestic ban on cruising soon lifts. The Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) has confirmed it will impose mandatory COVID-19 tests for guests and crew before boarding, limit passenger numbers, and conduct daily health monitoring and temperature checks for all on board. Joel Katz, CLIA's managing director for Australasia, wants the Australian Government to replace the current ban on cruising, which expires on December 17, with a process that would allow cruise lines to start looking at a carefully managed resumption in 2021. "Australia's relative success in stemming community transmission of COVID-19 — together with the Australasian cruise industry's robust strategy — creates an opportunity for a tightly managed and phased revival of the country's $5 billion-a-year cruise industry," Mr Katz said.
Unsinkable: The Cruise Industry Is Coming Back to Life
Ship Captains, start your engines! After a miserable 2020, the global cruise machine is slowly coming back to life, buoyed by positive news on the vaccine front. While there are hurdles yet to overcome, there’s a sense of optimism that hasn’t been felt since the industry was essentially shut down in March.
All Cruises Will Have a Contingency Plan, Says Carnival’s Arnold Donald
Throughout the entire pandemic, Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald has remained stout in his belief that cruising will be back and better than ever before. There have been plenty of developments since the last time he joined Porthole Cruise Founder and Editor-in-Chief Bill Panoff for an interview. For one, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have now lifted their no-sail order and we’re much closer to the release of an effective vaccine for COVID-19 which many think will be a cure-all for not just the cruise industry, but travel all over the world. We asked Mr. Donald his thoughts on getting the many Carnival brands back in action, how Costa and AIDA are faring in their restarts over in Europe and whether or not COVID-19 related expenses would be passed on to passengers. His knowledge and position in the industry is what makes Arnold Donald one of the most important figures in cruising. It’s always an informative experience when he joins us for a discussion. Check out the full interview below!
Expert advice on how ports need to prepare now for cruise resumption
As cruise lines navigate the challenges of complying with US rules to resume service, ports need to wake up to the critical role they play. If they don't take a leadership stance, they may be left out — either bypassed because they can't provide the kind of health safety assurances needed, or missing out on economic impact as lines craft their own 'bubbles.' A safe return to operations doesn't just entail the ships; it's a journey — and the port call is the most complex part of the journey, according to Luis Ajamil, president and CEO, Bermello Ajamil & Partners (B&A).
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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