October 28, 2020
In this Issue
Here are some of the news articles we are following:
- Telehealth on cruise ships: a safer way to handle sick passengers?
- The complex world of cruise refunds revealed as the ACCC promises investigation
- The Future of Cruises–Lengthy Boarding, The End of Buffets and More Staggered Dining
- Cruise ships post-Covid-19: five ways the passenger experience will change
- What Will Become of the Cruise Ship Smorgasbord?
- Norwegian: A Major Cruise Casualty of Coronavirus?
- Cruising is still canceled, but here’s what travelers can expect when it returns
- Life on board Coral Discoverer – Australia’s first cruise in seven months
- How Aussie sailings will restart, by the new boss of the Cruise Association
- Hurtigruten Prepares for Growth, Establishes Separate Expedition Cruise Entity
- Cruise Crew Talent Pool Decreasing
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Telehealth on cruise ships: a safer way to handle sick passengers?
“In May, Tritan Software announced the launch of SeaConsult, a new telehealth solution allowing doctors to carry out virtual cabin visits. Ilaria Grasso Macola finds out how telehealth solutions work on cruise ships and ask whether they could experience a surge on board after 2020.”
The complex world of cruise refunds revealed as the ACCC promises investigation
“In a statement to Cruise Passenger, the ACCC said it was probing “whether some travel providers are misleading consumers about the amount of cancellation fees they are entitled to charge, or whether they are entitled to charge cancellation fees at all.” Cancellation and refund policies have been a hugely contentious issue ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the travel industry. Government-enforced cruise suspensions meant tens of thousands of passengers were unable to holiday at sea in Australia and overseas, leaving the already financially distressed the industry and front-line travel agents with the unenviable task of gathering refunds from thousands of providers here and overseas.”
The Future of Cruises–Lengthy Boarding, The End of Buffets and More Staggered Dining
“As many cruise lines prepare to lift no-sail orders around the world, the economic signs indicate a less than rosy future for cruise companies in the months ahead and radical changes to the way they allow customers to interact onboard. There are varying degrees of optimism but all cruise companies are sure that it is the sanitary measures they put in place that will keep them afloat–one disastrous journey could destroy the company. Cruises will likely be most successful where they place health and safety at the front of their publicity although it’s far from clear how they will manage to cope onboard with hundreds of passengers. Boarding times will have to be more staggered as will dining times, although the latter might be complicated if people are forced to eat too early or too late. Dining would need to become a served meal with masks rather than a buffet and there will have to be much more space between tables, which radically changes the feel of the dining experience but also the cost of providing food to everyone. Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is employing more medical professionals to be onboard and adding medical-grade filters. Carnival is ensuring that all of its washing machines and dryers operate at a much higher temperature to ensure that sheets and napkins are fully sanitized.”
Cruise ships post-Covid-19: five ways the passenger experience will change
“It’s been a tough year for cruise ships but as the industry begins to pick itself back up, how will the experience be different for passengers onboard? From dining and recreation to rules and regulations, Adele Berti discusses five ways the passenger experience may change after the Covid-19 pandemic.”
What Will Become of the Cruise Ship Smorgasbord?
“Cruise companies have been fighting contagious viruses for years, which loyal cruisers say makes eating aboard as appetizing as ever. In those early days of the novel coronavirus, as we all watched its terrifying spread from its point of origin, cruise ships dominated the headlines. Reports of big numbers of cases on board were bandied first as a precautionary tale, then simply a precursory one. In the eyes of the wider public, the Diamond Princess, the site of one of the first major outbreaks outside of China, with 712 infections, 14 dead, and thousands quarantined for weeks, demonstrated not just the highly contagious nature of COVID-19, but a failure on the part of the industry — one often maligned as a source of disease outbreaks in general.”
Norwegian: A Major Cruise Casualty of Coronavirus?
“The Covid-19 pandemic is proving highly damaging for Norwegian Cruises, which has been scrambling for cash ever since the beginning of the crisis. With its share price continuing to fall, and the “no sail order” still in place, how much longer can it survive? As the summer season reaches its peak, very little remains to be said about the cruise industry and its misfortunes during the coronavirus pandemic (though if you need a refresher, Future Cruise rounded it up for you in its last issue). Failed quarantine procedures, poor health and safety protocols and the prospect of not returning to the sea any time soon have all been threatening the sector’s very survival since the Covid-19 outbreak in January this year.”
Cruising is still canceled, but here’s what travelers can expect when it returns
“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.”
Life on board Coral Discoverer – Australia’s first cruise in seven months
“Finally, it’s happening. An Australian cruise ship two-thirds full of passengers set sail this week, seven months after the global suspension of cruising in March. Carrying 48 guests from Queensland, Coral Expeditions’ Coral Discoverer departed Cairns on Wednesday on a seven-night itinerary around the Great Barrier Reef. Unlike the banned big ships, this small Australian-flagged vessel is exempt from the government’s ongoing cruise restrictions due to its capacity of less than 100 passengers.”
How Aussie sailings will restart, by the new boss of the Cruise Association
“There will be more “cruises to nowhere” and a bigger mix of sea and land-based itineraries to give passengers more time to explore local destinations. The return of bigger, international ships will be a phased approach as it will take between 60 and 90 days for major lines to prepare to cruise in local waters, he said in an exclusive interview with Cruise Passenger. All this is subject to stricter health measures introduced by cruise lines, with passengers subject to 100 per cent testing pre-boarding for ships carrying more than 250 passengers.”
Hurtigruten Prepares for Growth, Establishes Separate Expedition Cruise Entity
“Hurtigruten has announced it will redefine its growing cruise operations by establishing a separate expedition cruise entity, citing strong demand for 2021 and 2022 expedition sailings. "2020 is a tough year for everyone in the travel industry. But the set back is only temporary. For second half of 2021 and beyond, we are seeing a strong demand across all markets and all destinations, including the Norwegian coast, the Arctic and Antarctica," said CEO Daniel Skjeldam. "The demand reflects our predictions that expedition cruises, with all our advantages such as smaller ships, more flexibility and fewer guests, will prove even more popular post-COVID-19," he added. "We have only seen the beginning of what’s to come. Hurtigruten sees great demand and equally great opportunities in the expedition cruise segment from 2021 and beyond. This is the growth we are preparing for." Thus, the company is reorganizing its cruise operations in two different entities: Hurtigruten Expeditions and Hurtigruten Norway.”
Cruise Crew Talent Pool Decreasing
“ “The talent pool (for crew members) is not increasing, it's decreasing,” said Per Bjornsen, director, V.Ships Leisure, which provides vessel management services to a number of cruise operators, including Scenic. “We will have quite a challenge,” he continued. “A number of crew seem to be concerned about going aboard the ships at the moment; specifically, among the Europeans.” Getting crew onboard has also become much more time consuming, said Bjornsen, requiring a two-week quarantine onboard and multiple rounds of testing. Handling crewing on a few ships in Europe earlier in the summer, Bjornsen explained V.Ships needed to rotate out crew members as their contracts came to an end and it was time to go home. “It’s very complicated, and the entire process takes much longer. “And it is restricted by where you can get crew from,” he added. “For the ships in Europe, we mainly recruit from Europe.” There have been some positives, however, as the industry works together, Bjornsen said, also pointing to the recruitment process going almost fully digital. “The only way to achieve (the restart) is to work together,” he continued. “If one of us fails, we all fail. It’s so critical we share and help each other.” ”
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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