November 27, 2020
In this Issue
Here are some of the news articles we are following:
- New Medical Advisory Service for Ships
- Carnival Says Breeze and Horizon Likely First Cruise Ships Back
- Cruise Lines Put Cruises 8 Days and Longer on Hold
- Another Cruise Ship Heads for the Aliaga Scrapyard
- It's carried on cruising! Holiday ships could set sail again from January after coronavirus lockdown as ministers discuss 'phased restart' for the industry
- Cruise Lines Rehiring Crew for Ship Restart and Crew Change
- 2021 a Transition Year for Norwegian; Up to Nine Months for Full Comeback
- Sapphire Princess Trades Alaska for Taiwan in 2021
- Princess Announces Canada and New England Itineraries for 2022
- 'High hurdles' to resume cruises but demand very strong: Disney CEO
- Did SeaDream Not Take the Pandemic Seriously Enough?
- Two Royal Caribbean Megaships Will Cruise Alaska in 2022
- The North and South Poles Have Become the Ultimate Travel Bucket List: Here’s How to Get There.
- Many complexities to overcome before US cruise restart
- In the Age of the Travel Bubble, People are Chartering Entire Cruise Ships
- Inside Singapore’s first cruise to nowhere
- Thousands of people volunteer to travel for free on mock cruises
- Chinese start-up buys Sea Princess; V.Ships Leisure to manage ship
- Democrats ask CDC to reverse course on restarting cruises, citing SeaDream COVID cases
- Windstar Pushes Restart Dates Further Into 2021
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New Medical Advisory Service for Ships
A new medical advisory service has been launched to deliver health care services to seafarers, passengers and onsite guests in the maritime industry. OCL Oceanic Catering Ltd, Marine Medical Solutions GmbH and Tritan Software Corporation, in collaboration with Allianz Care, have teamed up to offer SeaMed24, a comprehensive medical advisory service for all types of vessels, from merchant to offshore, leisure and niche expedition cruises. “SeaMed24 has been developed to provide a comprehensive range of medical services aiming to improving crew members health care and wellbeing on board through direct 24/7 access to medical expertise, while ensuring financial and operational efficiencies for ship owners,” said Marinos Kokkinis, General Manager of Oceanic Catering.
Carnival Says Breeze and Horizon Likely First Cruise Ships Back
Carnival Cruise Line confirmed on Wednesday that Carnival Breeze and Carnival Horizon will likely be the first two ships returning to service when the company resumes sailings. During Travel Weekly’s CruiseWorld 2020 virtual conference, Carnival Cruise Line confirmed on Wednesday that Carnival Breeze and Carnival Horizon will likely be the first two ships returning to service when the company resumes sailings. When asked about the Gulf Coast, the executive said that Galveston is among the top candidates in that market. In a statement to Cruise Radio, Carnival said, “Even before the [Centers for Disease Control’s] order issued on October 30, we had said our return to operations will be gradual and phased in, beginning with operations from Miami and Port Canaveral.” It went on to say, “We continue our analysis of the CDC’s requirements and are moving forward in getting ships back to the U.S., starting with Carnival Horizon and Carnival Breeze, but we would anticipate operations from Galveston to be high on the priority list given our strong presence in that market.” Right now, the company’s attention is focused on the Carnival Breeze and Carnival Horizon in order to implement the new health protocols, restaff the vessels and have the staff both quarantined and trained.
Cruise Lines Put Cruises 8 Days and Longer on Hold
While cruise lines work on meeting the CDC’s new guidelines so they can resume cruises out of the U.S., the CDC is proposing not allowing sailings over seven days long. While the seven-day cap on cruises would likely be temporary and not permanent, a couple of cruise lines have put cruises eight days and longer on hold and stopped taking new bookings. Carnival Cruise Line has closed all 8 day and longer cruises from the U.S. for bookings. Carnival’s Brand Ambassador John Heald said that the cruise line has not canceled these cruises, they just stopped taking new bookings on them as they continue discussions with the CDC.
Another Cruise Ship Heads for the Aliaga Scrapyard
We’ve seen lots of ships heading to the Aliaga scrapyard in recent weeks. The sight of multiple vessels beached at Aliaga, or similar beakers in Alang, India, or Gadani, near the Pakistan port of Karachi, can be a hard thing to look at if you are a fan of cruising. It’s a sad sight, which reminds you more of scenes in Armageddon, and is certainly not what you would expect from a ship where you might have spent countless hours of fun. Now there is one more to add to the list. MS Astor might not be the name that many recognize as the ship they’ve spent many countless hours on; she is one of those cruise ships which boast the beautiful classical lines of cruise ships of old. Her final voyages were under the flag of the German branch of Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV).
It's carried on cruising! Holiday ships could set sail again from January after coronavirus lockdown as ministers discuss 'phased restart' for the industry
Cruises could be given the green light to restart from January, under plans being discussed by ministers.
The cruise industry has been in suspended animation since July when the Foreign Office issued blanket advice against all 'cruise ship travel' following a string of Covid outbreaks around the world. The advice has made it impossible for travellers to get holiday insurance and effectively halted a sector which the industry estimates to be worth almost £10billion to the UK economy.
Cruise Lines Rehiring Crew for Ship Restart and Crew Change
Around the cruise industry, there have been quiet efforts to recall some of the many crew members that had been repatriated in the spring and summer as the industry’s pause in operations was extended. In some cases, the rehiring is due to the planned restarts of a limited number of cruise ships while in other cases the cruise lines are facing the same issues of crew change that the broader maritime industry has been addressing. Among the cruise lines rehiring crew for the anticipated restart of their ships is both Royal Caribbean International which plans to resume operations with its ship the Quantum of the Seas in December and Genting’s Dream Cruises that is preparing to restart its second cruise, the World Dream. Both ships have been approved by the authorities in Singapore to begin cruises to nowhere as part of a trial program.
2021 a Transition Year for Norwegian; Up to Nine Months for Full Comeback
Next year will be a transition year for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, according to President and CEO Frank Del Rio, speaking on the company's third quarter earnings call. "In terms of how long it's going to take to get the full fleet up and going, my best sense today, given all the uncertainties that we still have to work out with the CDC and when we can start, is six to nine months," he said. Noting 2021 as a transition year, Del Rio said he believes the company will be able to have our entire fleet up and running sometime in the latter half of 2021, so that 2022 becomes the first full year since 2019 that the company can operate the entire fleet for the full year. "(2022) is the road to normalization. And then '23 forward is normalization," Del Rio said.
Sapphire Princess Trades Alaska for Taiwan in 2021
The Sapphire Princess won't be sailing in Alaska in 2021 but will instead redeploy to Taiwan, sailing a Taiwanese island route through August, according to a social media post in Taiwan from the cruise company. Meanwhile, Princess cancelled all Alaska and transpacific voyages on the Sapphire Princess from June to October 2021.
Princess Announces Canada and New England Itineraries for 2022
Princess Cruises has revealed its 2022 season for Canada and New England onboard its two Medallion Class vessels – the Caribbean Princess and the Enchanted Princess. For the latter, this will be her inaugural sailing season in Canada/New England. The Enchanted Princess will be sailing seven-day round trips from New York, visiting four ports in Canada and New England including Bar Harbor, featuring Arcadia National Park. “On this itinerary, guests fulfill a bucket-list experience cruising underneath the iconic Verrazzano Bridge during the sail away from New York City,” Princess Cruises described the voyage in a press release.
The Caribbean Princess will be offering 10- to 16-day itineraries, one of which includes Greenland. Overall, the 2022 Canada and New England program includes 16 departures and six itineraries, according to the press release.
'High hurdles' to resume cruises but demand very strong: Disney CEO
Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Chapek described 'really high hurdles' in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's framework for resuming cruises. The process to get certified by CDC will result in a 'delay beyond what we had hoped in terms of getting our ships back into service,' Chapek said during Walt Disney's fourth-quarter earnings call today. Disney, like other US-based cruise lines, has canceled sailings through year's end. Chapek sees an opportunity to create a 'Disney bubble' on each ship.
Did SeaDream Not Take the Pandemic Seriously Enough?
Seadream’s Caribbean cruise was heralded as the second coming of cruising on small ships. With extremely tight procedures pre-cruise, the line was confident that cruising on the small 112-passenger vessel could be done with minimal intrusions. Were they wrong? Cruise lines are under intense pressure to sail. The existence of some cruise lines is in jeopardy, with many on the brink of bankruptcy. Could you rightly expect that some cruise lines would take some risks to make a voyage?
Two Royal Caribbean Megaships Will Cruise Alaska in 2022
Royal Caribbean is gearing up for an adventure-filled Alaska season in summer 2022, including two mega-ships in the region. The line will have four ships cruising to the 49th state, sailing itineraries from Seattle, Washington; Seward, Alaska; and Vancouver, British Columbia. Ovation of the Seas in Alaska...
The North and South Poles Have Become the Ultimate Travel Bucket List: Here’s How To Get There.
It is the Poles, however, which have become the ultimate bucket list travel destination. Today, it’s possible to travel to both the North Pole and the South Pole. It’s not cheap. Those two trips will set you back between $50,000 and $100,000, but it’s a lot cheaper than it used to be.
Many complexities to overcome before US cruise restart
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's framework for the conditional resumption of US cruising does not contain a lot of surprises, but there are numerous complexities and unknowns. It will take some time to meet the crew COVID-19 testing requirements before a line can apply, 30 days in advance, to operate simulated voyages, and then time after those to get the certification to resume passenger service.
The industry had already committed to testing for all passengers and crew prior to sailing but not, specifically, to testing at the terminal. The CDC order requires testing at embarkation and goes further, mandating testing at disembarkation, too. This could challenge turnaround operations. Carlos Torres de Navarra, a seasoned cruise line operations executive who's working with Miami-based WeCARE Health Network on a turnkey plan for US cruise terminals, said testing at embarkation was expected and can be accommodated with rapid antigen tests and confirmatory PCR tests.
In the Age of the Travel Bubble, People are Chartering Entire Cruise Ships
Be safe without skimping on experience with these cruise ship buyouts. In an outlier of a year, it's no surprise people are looking to trips in 2021 and beyond. And as travelers turn an eye toward safety and security in planning their next moves, they're looking at trips where they can closely manage group size, interactions, and physical space. Just as they've started buying out hotel wings and entire resorts, they're now exploring another option: chartering cruise ships, from barges and riverboats to expedition ships and ocean liners. A private cruise? It's an option that's increasingly available—and from well-known brands.
“Chartering boats allow travelers to have a smaller bubble, which many say they prefer at this time," says Colleen McDaniel, editor-in-chief of Cruise Critic. “Plus, chartered cruises are incredibly customizable and private.” Wondering what's on offer? Here's a sample of lines offering full charters, which abide by strict health and safety protocols—yet with all the amenities of cruising fully intact.
Inside Singapore’s first cruise to nowhere
Last week, 1,400 passengers boarded the round-trip voyage, the country's first cruise since a ban in March. These are photos from inside.
Thousands of people volunteer to travel for free on mock cruises
Cruise ships have been left adrift for months as officials grapple with ways to create a safe onboard experience. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now requiring cruise lines to hold mock voyages to test onboard COVID-19 protocols, thousands of people are willing to sign up as volunteer passengers. Cruise ships have been left adrift for months as officials grapple with ways to create a safe onboard experience. And now that the CDC has dropped its "no sail order" and announced new safety regulations, cruise lines are keen to get moving again. But in order to do so the CDC recommends they follow "a phased approach" with a "framework of actionable items."
Chinese start-up buys Sea Princess; V.Ships Leisure to manage ship
V.Ships Leisure and sister company Oceanic Catering have been selected by China's Sanya International Cruise Development (SICD) for ship and hotel management of Charming, the former Sea Princess. The handover of the 2,222-berth vessel took place in Manila this week, Per Bjornsen, CEO, V.Ships Leisure, told Seatrade Cruise News. The process, mainly remote due to COVID-19 travel restrictions and preventative measures, involved close cooperation between V.Ships Leisure’s shore-side team, officers and crew, SICD, Princess Cruises and the relevant authorities including class and flag. Following the handover, implementation of V.Ships Leisure’s plug-and-play platforms has begun including installation of the electronic Safety Management System and the digital platform ShipSure 2.0, Bjornsen said. This system will provide class data, aiming for flawless service delivery to start-up SICD.
Democrats ask CDC to reverse course on restarting cruises, citing SeaDream COVID cases
Two Democratic members of Congress asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reinstate the no-sail order for cruise ships and reverse course on efforts to resume cruise operations. Rep. Doris Matsui of California and Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut cited the COVID-19 cases on the first Caribbean cruise to sail since March. SeaDream I's Nov. 7 cruise from Barbados was cut short on Wednesday after a passenger reported symptoms and then tested positive. Ultimately, seven passengers of the 53 on board were found to have the virus. No crew tested positive. 'In light of these disturbing reports, we feel strongly that you should reverse course on the recent decision ... to take a phased approach to restarting cruise line operations in the United States,' Matsui and Blumenthal wrote to CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield. 'Instead, we implore you to extend the prior no-sail order until a time when the health and safety of passengers and crew can be assured.'
Windstar Pushes Restart Dates Further Into 2021
Citing the COVID-19 outbreak, Windstar Cruises on Wednesday announced it has "made the difficult decision to cancel our cruise departures further out." "We are eager to return to sailing when we believe that the environment will support it. We previously canceled all remaining cruises in 2020 and are now canceling cruises for January and February 2021 for all of our yachts, and into March and April 2021 depending on the itinerary," the Seattle-based company said, in a statement. The first ship to sail will be the Wind Spirit on March 25, 2021 in Tahiti.
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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