November 18, 2020
In this Issue
Here are some of the news articles we are following:
- The Importance of Cruise Line Private Islands for Resuming Cruises
- Why I’m about to get on a cruise ship. This week. Really
- Saga Pushes Cruise Restart Dates, Now April and May 2021
- Video shows massive cruise ship assembled in seconds (VIDEO)
- Cruise Lines Revise Plans to Meet Travel Restrictions
- Cruise restart pushed to February? Timing's not a surprise to some
- Cruise ship enters central Japan port for 1st time in 11 months after COVID-19 hiatus
- Cruise Ships Can’t Sail. But the Behemoth Vessels Are Still a Draw
- Singapore’s Cruise to Nowhere, Er, Sets Sail
- Carnival Owned Cruise Ship Suspends Cruises Until After Christmas
- Carnival Mardi Gras Cruise Ship Departs on Second Round of Sea Trials
- Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines named ‘Unsung Hero’ at Scottish Passenger Agents' Association Awards after £33,000 food donation
- Preparing for a Carnival season after the pandemic
- Marella Cancels More Sailings
- CDC Drops No Sail Order for Framework for Conditional Sailing Order
- NYT Travel and Coronavirus Testing: Your Questions Answered
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The Importance of Cruise Line Private Islands for Resuming Cruises
The cruise industry has been investing heavily in the last 20 years or so in purchasing or leasing private islands. Little did they know the importance these islands would have once cruising resumes in 2021. Cruise lines will be requiring guests that would like to take a shore excursion, or even leave the ship, to do so by going on a ship organized tour. Going for a walk-in town is out of the question. Private islands will be one large bubble. Therefore, there is no need to herd people together; everyone can do whatever they want on the island.
Why I’m about to get on a cruise ship. This week. Really
You may have heard that cruising is shut down in North America through at least January, and that’s true. For the most part. In the wake of a restrictive new “conditional sailing” order from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all the world’s major cruise lines this week extended their cancellations of sailings in North America through the end of December. But one small line, SeaDream Yacht Club, is going ahead with plans for a limited restart to Caribbean cruising scheduled for Saturday. Assuming all goes as expected, the brand’s yacht-like, 112-passenger SeaDream I will become the first cruise vessel to depart on a Caribbean voyage since early this year.
Saga Pushes Cruise Restart Dates, Now April and May 2021
Saga guests will have to wait even longer to sail aboard the new Spirit of Adventure, as the British brand has pushed its introduction to May, 4, 2021, while the Spirit of Discovery will restart operations in April 2021, according to a statement. "I recently wrote to you regarding our decision to extend our cruise suspension against the backdrop of the COVID-19 second wave and the fact that most countries around the world are not accepting cruise ships," said Nigel Blanks, managing director, in a letter sent to guests.
"Since then, we have sadly seen the predicted restrictions on day-to-day life increasing. This has led us to further review our planned dates for a return to service, as the seasonal impact of COVID-19 would indicate that we are unlikely to be able to cruise in February on Spirit of Adventure, or March on Spirit of Discovery," he said.
Video shows massive cruise ship assembled in seconds (VIDEO)
It took two years to build, but the entire construction process for a huge new ship from P&O Cruises can be viewed in just over a minute thanks to this incredible time-lapse video. The mesmerizing footage shows the many sections of Iona, the largest ship ever built for the UK cruise market, being put together piece by piece at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. During the final moments, the 185,000-ton vessel, which has a 5,200-guest capacity, can be seen leaving the shipyard and taking to the water. Measuring 345 meters (1,132 feet), Iona is powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG,) and consists of 17 guest decks, 13 entertainment venues, four swimming pools, including an infinity pool, and a gin distillery.
Cruise Lines Revise Plans to Meet Travel Restrictions
Cruise lines continue to map out plans to maintain their operations despite the increasing travel restrictions especially in Europe designed to curb the spread of COVID-19. Also, the US-based cruise lines are working to develop plans to meet the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s new framework for the resumption of cruising. MSC Cruises, which was the first to resume operations with large cruise ships in the Mediterranean announced several changes to its operations to address the increased restrictions primarily in France and Germany. The cruise line plans to suspend operations for one cruise ship while further increasing the precautions on its ship marketed primarily in Italy.
Cruise restart pushed to February? Timing's not a surprise to some
The initial headlines around the CDC's lifting of its No Sail Order (NSO) might have given cruisers hope that they'd be sipping Champagne at sail-away parties by the holidays, but the framework that the health agency put in place to replace the NSO will probably delay the first commercial sailings until February, industry analysts and stakeholders say. Robin Farley, an analyst with UBS, noted last week in a note to investors that the new requirements for cruising -- the "Conditional Sail Order" -- "sounds a lot like the No Sail Order," in part because of the gaps in time between when cruise lines submit plans and when they can implement them.
Cruise ship enters central Japan port for 1st time in 11 months after COVID-19 hiatus
One of Japan's largest cruise ships stopped at Shimizu Port in this central Japan city on Nov. 4 for the first time since December 2019, after the novel coronavirus pandemic brought cruise calls to a halt. The Asuka II, which weighs in at 50,444 metric tons and can carry up to 874 passengers, departed from Yokohama Port, located south of Tokyo, on Nov. 2 with 329 passengers on board, and arrived at Shimizu Port in the city of Shizuoka's Shimizu Ward at around 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 4. Measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and other diseases were thoroughly implemented. Passengers who disembarked from the vessel enjoyed sightseeing in tourism spots such as the "Miho no Matsubara" pine grove and the Tokaido Hiroshige Museum of Arts. The area is known for its views of Mount Fuji.
Cruise Ships Can’t Sail. But the Behemoth Vessels Are Still a Draw.
Empty cruise liners idling in the English Channel have become a tourist destination of their own, drawing cruise fans temporarily stuck on land. As the ferry slowly turned the corner of the Hengistbury headland off Britain’s southwest coast, the passengers on board stood up and gaped at the silhouettes of giant cruise ships moored in the distance, letting out bursts of exhilaration as the vessels came into focus. “What a beauty, what a sight,” one man shouted, as he scuttled to the front of the boat to take a closer look. “They’re alive, they’re breathing,” said another, pointing to the plumes of smoke visible through his binoculars. “Absolutely stunning,” said a woman, her hand resting on her heart. “I just can’t wait to hop back on.”
Singapore’s Cruise to Nowhere, Er, Sets Sail
Hit by cabin fever, hundreds of Singapore residents itching to get out of the tiny country boarded a “cruise to nowhere” on Friday, a rare chance to sail the seas after the coronavirus pandemic shut down much of the cruise industry. Before starting their short “seacation” on the 335-meter (1,100 ft) World Dream, passengers underwent coronavirus swab tests before boarding the vessel, which was operating at half capacity to prevent crowding. Retiree Ang Sen Hock, 73, said he had no fear about getting infected and had booked several more trips later in the month. “Not worried. Because earlier this year I was also a passenger on this cruise ship and, coincidentally, there were two suspected cases,” Ang said, while waiting for his test. “But we still boarded and they had special measures.” The global cruise industry has taken a major hit from the coronavirus pandemic, with some of the earliest big outbreaks found on cruises.
Carnival Owned Cruise Ship Suspends Cruises Until After Christmas
One of Carnival Corporation’s cruise ships will suspend cruises until after Christmas due to new travel restrictions enacted by the Greek government. Costa Deliziosa – which is offering one-week cruises calling at Trieste, Katakolon, Athens, Iraklion, Bari – will end her cruise currently underway on November 7, in Trieste. The cruise ship will then pause operations for seven weeks, canceling November 7, 14, 21 and 28, and December 5, 12 and 19 cruises. The resumption of Costa Deliziosa operations is scheduled for December 26 with an Italian itinerary to discover some of the most beautiful destinations of the Adriatic Sea and the eastern Mediterranean including Trieste, Bari, Brindisi and Catania. More destinations will be added in the coming weeks. Costa Cruises’ highest responsibility and top priorities are compliance, environmental protection and the health, safety and well-being of its guests, crew, shoreside employees, and the people and communities its ships visit – and that commitment is reflected in the decision to temporarily pause Costa Deliziosa cruise operations in Greece.
Carnival Mardi Gras Cruise Ship Departs on Second Round of Sea Trials
The Mardi Gras cruise ship which is the largest ever constructed for Carnival Cruise Line has departed on the second round of sea trials. The Carnival cruise ship Mardi Gras has set off on her second round of sea trials from the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland. According to the Cruise Ship Tracker, the new vessel departed just after 9:00 AM local time and is now sailing in the Baltic Sea.
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines named ‘Unsung Hero’ at Scottish Passenger Agents' Association Awards after £33,000 food donation
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines received the ‘Unsung Hero’ award at the Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association (SPAA) awards last night, in recognition of a donation of more than £33,000 worth of food to Scottish good causes. In June, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines donated more than 30 palettes of food from its four ships, which at the time were Balmoral, Braemar, Black Watch and Boudicca, during their lay-up in Rosyth. The food was collected by food distribution charity FareShare, which works to support those in difficult circumstances, including isolation, poverty or homelessness.
Preparing for a Carnival season after the pandemic
For the world’s biggest cruise line, 2020 was meant to be a bumper year. Carnival Cruise Line, the flagship brand of the world’s biggest cruise company, Carnival Corporation, was set to debut Mardi Gras, the lead vessel in its Excel class. At 180,000gt, it will be the largest ship in its fleet. The line was also supposed to make its long-awaited return to Europe – part of the inaugural season for Carnival Radiance, previously Carnival Victory, due to a US$200 million refit in Cadiz, Spain in April. Mardi Gras – named after the line’s first ship, which entered the fleet 1972 and was just 27,284gt – had already been delayed until October along with AIDAnova and Costa Smeralda, ships of the same class built for Carnival’s sister brands AIDA Cruises and Costa Cruises. Then Covid-19 hit, closing borders, shutting shipyards and turning the cruise world upside down – impacting the industry perhaps more than any other type of holiday.
Marella Cancels More Sailings
Marella Cruises today confirmed that due to on-going uncertainty around travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, it has paused operations until Dec. 16, 2020, according to a statement. "All customers whose bookings are impacted can choose from a range of flexible options and the relevant teams will be in touch with them to discuss these in the coming days. These options include amending their booking for free with an incentive worth up to 10% of the total value of their original booking*, receive a refund credit along with an incentive worth up to 10% of the value of their booking, or request a full refund," the company said, in its statement.
CDC Drops No Sail Order for Framework For Conditional Sailing Order
"CDC will ensure cruise ship operators have adequate health and safety protections for crew while these cruise ship operators build the laboratory capacity needed to test future passengers. Subsequent phases will include simulated voyages to test cruise ship operators’ ability to mitigate COVID-19 risk, certification for ships that meet specific requirements, and a phased return to cruise ship passenger voyages in a manner that mitigates COVID-19 risk among passengers, crew members, and U.S. communities. "These phases are subject to change based on public health considerations and cruise ship operators’ demonstrated ability to mitigate COVID19 risk. CDC will issue additional orders as needed that will be published in the Federal Register and technical instructions that will be subsequently posted on CDC’s website." The framework allows for individual cruise lines to progress through phases at variable paces, according to the agency, and enables cruise lines successfully implementing public health measures to return to passenger operations more quickly while others by necessity may move more slowly. The framework not only encourages cruise lines that are more successful at mitigating the spread of COVID-19 but provides a realistic timeline that anticipates COVID-19 continuing to be present and affecting cruise ship travel, the CDC said.
The phased-in approach will include: (1) establishment of laboratory testing of crew onboard cruise ships in U.S. waters; (2) 15 simulated voyages designed to test a cruise ship operators’ ability to mitigate COVID-19 on cruise ships; (3) a certification process; and (4) a return to passenger voyages in a manner that mitigates the risk of COVID-19 introduction, transmission, or spread among passengers and crew onboard ships and ashore to communities.
NYT Travel and Coronavirus Testing: Your Questions Answered
Taking a test is the best way to assure yourself and others that you aren’t spreading the virus. Here’s what you need to know.
Note: CDC approved RT-PCR testing for cruise ships and not antigen testing
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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