September 23, 2020
In this Issue
Here are some of the news articles we are following:
- Royal Caribbean Group's digital innovations eliminate the "pain points" of travel
- Cruise Line CEO Says “The Cruise Industry is Close to Devastation” in Miami-Dade Meeting
- Rick Scott bill would create advisory group for cruise industry relaunch
- TUI Cruises resumes sailings to Greece
- Why you shouldn't fly to your cruise the same day it begins
- Royal Caribbean is building the new world's largest cruise ship despite the pandemic still halting sailings — see the Wonder of the Sea
- When Norwegian Cruise Line Ships Could Start Sailing Again
- Royal Caribbean and Celebrity cancel all sailings in Australia and New Zealand for the rest of 2020
- Major Cruise Line Announces 2nd Cruise Ship Will Resume Cruises
- British cruise line Cunard won't sail until spring 2021, with some cruises canceled into May
- AIDA Cruises pushes back planned restart, will not sail until November
- British Virgin Islands to Accept Technical Calls, Warm Lay Ups
- 5 hints Royal Caribbean Group Chairman has shared about cruises resuming
- Costa Cruises' ship Costa Smeralda prepares for a October 10 restart
- Right on Time: eCruise’s Integrated Health Systems
- Hurtigruten Cancels First Three Months of Antarctica Program
- Coral Expeditions Confirms October Start for Great Barrier Reef Cruises
Cover Image by:
Royal Caribbean Group's digital innovations eliminate the "pain points" of travel
"Royal Caribbean Group announced it was dedicated to further evolving sailings into healthier and safer vacations. At the forefront will be the Group’s digital innovations specially designed to eliminate what has been considered primary pain points of travel - paper, crowds, and lines. Just in 2020, Royal Caribbean Group released a reimagined safety drill which was in development for over a year. The new Muster 2.0 approach encourages higher safety and health levels by reframing a process designed for large groups into a more personal and faster approach. At the core of Muster 2.0 is the company’s digitally advanced, passenger-empowering mobile app, introduced for the first time in 2017 and currently available on many Azamara, Celebrity Cruises, and RCI-Royal Caribbean International ships. Initially developed for travellers to make the most of their trip, the capabilities of the app make it a solution that can integrate current crucial health and safety practices like minimizing common touchpoints and physical distancing."
Cruise Line CEO Says “The Cruise Industry is Close to Devastation” in Miami-Dade Meeting
"Major cruise lines want to begin cruising again in the United States and the NCL CEO has said “The cruise industry is close to devastation”. In a meeting with the Miami-Dade County Tourism and the Ports Committee and cruise lines, CEO’s and Miami-Dade leaders have said the industry is ready to resume operations. There is a push for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) not to extend the “No Sail Order” in the U.S which is currently in place through September 30, 2020. The meeting which took place on Thursday also included the attendance of Frank Del Rio, CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line; Arnold Donald, President, and CEO of the Carnival Corporation, Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International and Richard Sasso, Chairman of MSC Cruises in North America. So, all the major players in the U.S. had their say and there was definitely a trend that the cruise industry was ready to make a return. It was mainly a message to the CDC to say health measures are just about in place for U.S. cruises and by extending the suspension even further it will not just impact the cruise lines but local businesses, crew members around the world, and more. The impact will be huge."
Rick Scott bill would create advisory group for cruise industry relaunch
"Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio want to create a federal advisory panel to help the cruise industry identify, enact and promote health, safety, security, and logistical changes for cruise ships to set sail again.
The two Republicans announced Wednesday they are introducing a bill they call the Set Sail Safely Act, which would establish a federal Maritime Task Force. It would work with a private-sector advisory committee to address the changes needed for cruise lines and ports to resume operations. Cruise lines have been under a federal no-sail order until Sept. 30, due to the coronavirus pandemic."
TUI Cruises resumes sailings to Greece
"Germany-based TUI Cruises on Sunday, September 13, will become the first major cruise company to restart Greek Island sailings since the Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown began with voyages from Heraklion, Crete. The 7-night sailings will take place on the 2,534-passenger Mein Schiff 6 and offer calls at Corfu and Piraeus (Athens). Two more major lines, Costa Cruises and MSC Cruises are planning their own return to Greek Island journeys in the coming weeks. Last month, MSC Cruises said it would restart sailings to Greece on September 26 with one ship, the 2,550-guest MSC Magnifica which will operate 7-night departures from the Italian ports of Trieste and Bari to the Greek ports of Piraeus, Corfu, and Katakolon. Costa Cruises announced it would resume Greece sailings on October 10 with voyages from Trieste, Italy, on the 2,260-guest Costa Deliziosa. A second Costa Cruises ship, the 3,724-guest Costa Diadema, will begin Greece voyages in November. Until now, only small cruise ships Variety Cruises’ 24-cabin yacht Galileo have restarted operations in the Greek Islands."
Why you shouldn't fly to your cruise the same day it begins
"One of the most common mistakes a first-time cruiser will make is to fly on the day of your cruise. Booking a flight for the same day your cruise begins seems like it would not be a problem, but it could result in missing your cruise vacation completely. While most flights are going to be on time and without incident, travel delays do occur with some frequency and if you end up on the wrong side of a delay, it could create a giant fiasco. Even though you are able to board your Royal Caribbean cruise in the early afternoon (and later arrival times could be coming soon), planning to fly in the same day your cruise departs is just too risky."
Royal Caribbean is building the new world's largest cruise ship despite the pandemic still halting sailings — see the Wonder of the Sea
"Royal Caribbean's new Wonder of the Seas cruise ship was transferred to an outfitting dock on September 5 in preparation for its 2022 debut despite the current tumultuous state of the travel industry amid the pandemic. The construction of the ship was first announced in 2019 as the fifth boat in Royal Caribbean's "Oasis" lineup, which consists of the world's biggest cruise ships, according to the cruise line. However, this latest addition to the family will be larger than its four predecessor, according to Royal Caribbean's president and CEO Michael Bayley in a report by the Orlando Sentinel. The Wonder of the Seas ship was originally set to embark from Shanghai in 2021, but its initial debut was delayed due to the pandemic, USA Today reported."
When Norwegian Cruise Line Ships Could Start Sailing Again
"Norwegian Cruise Line could cruise again with some ships in North America later this year, according to port schedules, previously announced deployments and Norwegian's website, which lists cruises as soon as November 2020. Other vessels may not start service until 2021. A look at the expected first sailing of each Norwegian Cruise Line ship as the cruise industry gets back into service (all information is subject to change due to the COVID-19 crisis)…."
Royal Caribbean and Celebrity cancel all sailings in Australia and New Zealand for the rest of 2020
"Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises cancelled all sailings in Australia and New Zealand for the rest of 2020. The cancellation of local voyages goes beyond the decision of the Federal Government to ban all international cruise vessels visiting Australian ports until December 17. This means thousands of cruisers who have booked vacations to spend Christmas & New Year at sea onboard Royal Caribbean and Celebrity liners, will have to make alternative plans. Royal Caribbean Group apologized to passengers for any inconvenience the cancellations might cause."
Major Cruise Line Announces 2nd Cruise Ship Will Resume Cruises
"MSC Cruises, the first major cruise line to resume cruises, has announced plans to resume sailings on a second cruise ship next month. MSC Magnifica will resume sailings on October 19, 2020 with a series of seven cruises including an eight-night Christmas cruise departing on December 18 from Genoa, Italy. Simultaneously, the cruise line also extended MSC Grandiosa’s current sailings through year-end, including the ship’s Christmas cruise to depart Genoa, Italy on December 20. MSC Grandiosa is offering seven-night cruises with embarkation in the Italian ports of Genoa, Civitavecchia, Naples and Palermo, plus calling at Valletta, Malta."
British cruise line Cunard won't sail until spring 2021, with some cruises canceled into May
"British cruise line Cunard, a subsidiary of Carnival Corp., has extended its pause in operations until spring 2021, according to a release. "After very careful consideration and reviewing the latest guidance, we simply do not feel it would be sensible to start sailing again with our current schedule so we have reviewed future itineraries," Simon Palethorpe, president of Cunard, said in the release. Cunard's three ships, the Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Victoria, all have different restart dates. The Queen Mary 2 is scheduled to sail again on April 18 and the Queen Victoria won't sail until May 16. And although the Queen Elizabeth's operational pause ends March 25, the vessel won't sail any of its scheduled itineraries."
AIDA Cruises pushes back planned restart, will not sail until November
"German line AIDA Cruises, a subsidiary of cruise giant Carnival Corp., has pushed back its restart date to Nov. 1. The cruise line canceled its previously scheduled September and October cruises and has updated its schedule for fall and winter, according to a release provided by Roger Frizzell, spokesperson for Carnival Corp. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, "the conditions are currently not in place" to sail again in Germany's neighboring countries, the line said, referencing Norway, Denmark and the Baltic States specifically. Additionally, the line said, Germany has issued travel warnings for some other countries while others have closed ports to cruise ships until 2021. "AIDAblu from Kiel, the voyages with AIDAperla with departure dates of Sept. 12, 19 and 26 from Hamburg, as well as all voyages up to and including Oct. 31, 2020, will be cancelled," the cruise line's release said. "In addition, all other voyages planned for the fall and winter season for 2020 and 2021 in the Western Mediterranean, the Azores, Cape Verde Islands and Northern Europe will not take place." "
British Virgin Islands to Accept Technical Calls, Warm Lay Ups
"The BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) has announced that permission has been granted for the acceptance of technical calls and warm layups at its seaports for cruise ships. The government has agreed on conditions to allow cruise ships to carry out short-term berthing at the BVI Ports Authority’s Cruise Pier and Port Purcell dock under strict health and safety rules, according to a press release. "It is important for the BVIPA to stay in line with the Government’s decision to suspend cruise liner visits to the Territory during the current COVID-19 Pandemic," the port authority said, in a press release."But the cruise business can be continued via what is known as a technical call or warm layup. This is not a cruise call, the vessel does not have any passengers on board, and it will be berthing exclusively to take on bunkers, provisions, spare parts and other services. No crew members will be allowed to disembark from the vessel, and no attendance on board the vessel from shore-based staff will be permitted during its stay in the BVI." The economic benefits of extending technical calls or warm layups include ships carrying out refueling, repair and start-up activities in the territory before they can set sail again, according to the BVI Ports Authority."
5 hints Royal Caribbean Group Chairman has shared about cruises resuming
"Ever since Royal Caribbean shut down operations in March, everyone has been wondering when and how the cruise line will start back up again. While there is no clear answer just yet, there have been some clues and guidance provided throughout the shutdown by Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain. Mr. Fain has spoken on television, in webinars, and on conference calls many times during the voluntary cruise suspension, and offered hints at what cruises starting up again will involve. For anyone trying to piece together Royal Caribbean's game plan, here are some of the significant plans Richard Fain hinted or alluded to over the last few months."
Costa Cruises' ship Costa Smeralda prepares for a October 10 restart
"Wednesday morning, September 16, Costa Cruises' flagship and the group's first LNG-powered ship, Costa Smeralda, entered Port Savona Italy, after months of forced absence due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. City's Mayor Ilaria Caprioglio welcomed the liner on all major social networks. Smeralda, which was recently moored in Marseille France, arrived at 8:04 am to make the necessary preparations for the scheduled for October 10 departure. Beginning on October 10, 2020, and for the entire 2020-2021 winter season, Costa Smeralda will call at Savona weekly (on Saturdays) as a part of a new Western Mediterranean itinerary. The definitive itinerary will be announced in the coming weeks. According to the ship's current schedule, call ports include Marseille, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca (Balearic Spain), Palermo Sicily and Civitavecchia-Rome."
Right on Time: eCruise’s Integrated Health Systems
"Onboarding cruise passengers quickly and efficiently has always made sense. It is absolutely vital in the post-COVID-19 age. This spring, eCruise introduced an addition to its iPad-driven Mobile Check-In application. The easy-to-use system that cut embarkation times in half was given a health questionnaire option and no-touch thermometer reader. Now eCruise adds another element to that Mobile Health Check application – a self-standing kiosk where passengers and crew can check their own temperatures at key intervals, or anytime they like."
Hurtigruten Cancels First Three Months of Antarctica Program
"Hurtigruten has been forced to cancel its October, November and December Antarctica departures. "The situation is still fluid, and developments are unpredictable," said Daniel Skjeldam, CEO. "There are still major hurdles to overcome. As of now, they do not show much promise to be resolved in time to explore Antarctica under our strict health and safety standards in the coming months. "This is why we have made the decision that Hurtigruten will not operate our Antarctica expedition cruises departing in October, November and December 2020." Skjeldam said the health and safety of the company's guests, crew and staff is Hurtigruten’s number one priority."
Coral Expeditions Confirms October Start for Great Barrier Reef Cruises
"Coral Expeditions has confirmed a restart of operations for Oct. 14 with a series of new seven-night sailings onboard the Coral Discoverer. Operating out of Cairns with planned departures through mid-December this year, these voyages will take small groups of guests to explore the pristine outer reefs and lesser-known islands of the Great Barrier Reef, the company said. Coral Expeditions will be delivering its SailSAFE plan developed by Australian medical specialists for the current environment, giving guests and crew confidence and peace of mind to travel. The SailSAFE plan has been approved by all Australian State and Territory governments and is based on the most rigorous safety principles which effectively create a “safe travel bubble” for guests and crew through pre-screening steps, onboard mitigation process and authorized response control."
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
Having trouble reading?Download this Issue