December 7, 2020
In this Issue
Here are some of the news articles we are following:
- Top 14 things the CDC requires cruise ships do on test sailings
- CDC Escalates Warning for Cruise Travel, Urging Avoidance
- High-tech bracelets and two tests for passengers: MSC ships are safe
- Here Are the Cruise Lines Operating Right Now
- Carnival Cruise Line cancels sailings until February 2021 across US, even longer in Jacksonville
- Cunard 2022 Sailings Open for Sale
- How to Send Carnival Crew Members a Christmas Card
- Key West ban on large cruise ships officially becomes law
- Bar Harbor ME limiting future cruise ship calls
- Meet the cruise fans vying for a spot on the first test voyages
- Carnival Cruise boss banks on safety measures
- 'Devastating impact': Cruise industry says 254,000 American jobs, $32 billion in economic activity lost
- Australian Government Studies Ways to Restart Cruise
- Viking Extends Suspension of Cruising Until February, 2021
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Top 14 things the CDC requires cruise ships do on test sailings
Test cruises are the precursor to the regular cruises starting up again, so it is no surprise so many people are fixated on when they might start and what needs to be done onboard. Interest in test cruises has been so high that Royal Caribbean started taking sign-ups for volunteers (although there has not been any information on if/when they will be needed). So, what do cruise lines have to do during these test cruises? The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has outlined a series of steps test sailings must do in order to demonstrate new cruise line protocols meant to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 work well. The Framework for Conditional Sailing lists the requirements for test cruises to complete, so here is what any cruise ship conducting a test cruise will need to do.
CDC Escalates Warning for Cruise Travel, Urging Avoidance
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has escalated its warning for cruise travel to the highest level and continued to recommend avoiding any trips on cruise ships worldwide. The agency raised its warning to Level 4 from Level 3, citing “very high” risk of Covid-19 on cruise ships. Passengers are at increased risk of person-to-person spread of Covid-19 and should get tested and stay home for at least seven days after travel, according to its website. “For most travelers, cruise ship travel is voluntary and should be rescheduled for a future date,” the CDC said. The agency just last month provided a framework for cruise lines to plan for resuming operations. Under that order, passenger operations aren’t allowed during initial phases, and every ship must be certified by the CDC before travelers can board. The eight-month shutdown has been catastrophic for the cruise line industry and its three biggest operators, Carnival Corp., Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Earlier this month, Carnival canceled additional trips as it works to meet CDC requirements, pausing U.S. operations through Jan. 31.
High-tech bracelets and two tests for passengers: MSC ships are safe
Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive President of MSC Cruises for the Italian "Corriere della Sera" gave an interview on the emergence of a new MSC health protocol. Cruise ships continue to sail as more and more European countries introduce lockdown. Sounds like a joke, but the reason is simple: MSC Cruises devised a health and safety protocol in mid-August that convinced the Italian government and then the Maltese of its safety; UHPA transmissions . It was the first major cruise company to start regular sailing and has been sailing the Mediterranean ever since. "We have become a reference for a safe start and have received inquiries from Brazil, China, France, Spain, the United States and South Africa," said the CEO of MSC Cruises, the world's fourth-largest company. "The philosophy is clear: quick swabs for all passengers before boarding the ship and after the first four days of sailing, daily body temperature checks, use of face masks, physical distance is enabled by reducing the number of guests, high-tech bracelets that allow identification of close contacts and protected excursions. MSC staff with a negative test performed during the morning on the day of the trip. So far, we have performed about 40,000 tests, and for about 300 passengers, boarding has been denied. We are sorry when this happens, but this is the only way to ensure a holiday in complete safety. ”- explained the Piercrancesco Vago protocol of MSC Cruises.
Here Are the Cruise Lines Operating Right Now
A number of cruise lines have successfully restarted operations with trimmed capacity and regional programs. A look at the cruise brands operating in November….
Carnival Cruise Line cancels sailings until February 2021 across US, even longer in Jacksonville
Carnival Cruise Line, the flagship line of Doral-based Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL), won't be setting sail until at least February — and voyagers looking to leave from Jacksonville will have to wait even longer On Nov. 18, the company announced it canceled all embarkations from U.S. homeports through the end of January. Previously, Carnival, Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL) and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) all announced in early November that voyages wouldn't resume until Jan. 1 at the earliest.
Cunard 2022 Sailings Open for Sale
Cunard Line has opened for sale 162 various itineraries onboard the Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria, and Queen Elizabeth in 2022. According to a press release, the voyages cover “north of the Arctic Circle to the Mediterranean and from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean, via the Panama Canal.” “There has been a high demand for our 2021 voyages, so we know how much our guests are anticipating traveling again on Cunard’s iconic ships with many future highlights including a welcome return to Alaska,” said Cunard’s President Simon Palethorpe. Palethorpe added that he is delighted with the company offering such a broad range of voyages in 2022. The 2022 season will see the Queen Elizabeth’s return to Alaska with seven and 10-night voyages departing from and returning to Vancouver – with calls at Glacier Bay, Haines, Hubbard Glacier, Skagway, Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, and Victoria.
How to Send Carnival Crew Members a Christmas Card
Carnival Cruise Line is connecting passengers and crew members in an effort to brighten the holiday season for both. Thanks to the global health crisis, many cruise lovers won’t be able to spend the holidays with our loved ones this year. The same holds true for crew members currently stationed aboard Carnival Cruise Line ships, many of them far away from home. So, what better way to help both...
Key West ban on large cruise ships officially becomes law
The City of Key West officially certified the results of a recent referendum that limits cruise ship traffic to Key West. The residents of Key West voted on November 3 to approve three proposals that would effectively ban large cruise ships from Key West, and the results of the voting were certified this week by Monroe County Supervisor of Elections R. Joyce Griffin. The voter-approved amendments to the City Charter have now been authenticated by Mayor Teri Johnston and filed with City Clerk Cheryl Smith. The final tally for the three new laws of Key West are as follows…
Bar Harbor ME limiting future cruise ship calls
Bar Harbor (Maine USA), a popular seasonal cruise ship destination became the latest port to raise the idea of limiting future cruise calls. As part of an ongoing debate, on November 17 Bar Harbor Town Council voted to take steps to potentially limit cruise ships in 2021. Key West, Florida residents took a similar action approving referendums on the November ballot. Growing from the ongoing concerns over the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the town council in an online meeting discussed the question of how to handle cruise ships next year and beyond. The discussion centered on the concerns regarding COVID-19 but also encompassed the financial impact to the community from the cruise industry.
Meet the cruise fans vying for a spot on the first test voyages
The CDC is requiring “mock voyages,” and there is no shortage of eager cruisers.
Large passenger cruises have been banned in U.S. waters since mid-March when the coronavirus pandemic began, devastating the cruise industry and a loyal community. But both are now thankful that the no-sail order has been lifted, giving cruise lines a path to sailing again. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has new rules before real voyages can begin: ramp up coronavirus protocols and testing; limit capacity onboard; and stage “mock voyages with volunteers who will play the role of passengers.” Royal Caribbean said Thursday that it received thousands of inquiries from loyal cruisers about that endeavor, so it created an official sign-up page and Facebook group for interested cruisers. Early Thursday, thousands of volunteers began rolling in.
Carnival Cruise boss banks on safety measures
The boss of the world's biggest cruise company has told the BBC new safety measures can help the $150bn (£113bn) a year industry to get going again. The hugely profitable business has been brought to its knees by coronavirus after regulators around the world stopped ships from sailing to try and limit outbreaks. Arnold Donald, the chief executive of Carnival Corporation, said "universal testing, which doesn't exist in any other industry of scale" will help mitigate the risk of an outbreak. He added that "additional medical screenings, physical distancing, mask wearing" could be among further measures. However, there have been outbreaks of coronavirus on some of the few cruises that have set sail recently, including the Carnival-owned Costa Diadema which has been sailing in the Mediterranean Sea.
'Devastating impact': Cruise industry says 254,000 American jobs, $32 billion in economic activity lost
In 2019, the cruise industry's contribution to the U.S. economy was on the rise, according to a new economic report put out by Cruise Lines International Association, the leading industry organization. But in 2020, facing an estimated $32 billion loss, the industry will contribute less than half of what it did last year. "The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent suspension of cruise operations in the U.S. is having a devastating impact on the economy and on those who depend on cruise activity for their livelihoods," Bari Golin-Blaugrund, vice president of strategic communications for CLIA, told USA TODAY.
Cruising contributed $55 billion to the American economy in 2019 up 5.3% from 2018, according to the CLIA report. But in 2020, cruising is suspended in U.S. waters through the end of the year thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Australian Government Studies Ways to Restart Cruise
Australian Government departments are considering ways to restart cruise operations in Australia and are studying guidance from America’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. The new CDC regime to resume sailings in America was published last weekend. Most cruise lines have yet to comment on what amounts to a tough regime of testing and trial sailings. But the Australian government has confirmed it is already studying the 40-page document as the deadline to renew its cruise ban on December 17 looms. A government spokesman told Cruise Passenger: “Australian Government departments are considering the parameters around the future resumption of cruise operations in Australia and are considering the international approach to resumption of cruise operations, including guidance from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
Viking Extends Suspension of Cruising Until February, 2021
Viking has extended the suspension of its ocean and river cruises until 1 February 2021. The line has also cancelled some sailings further into 2021 because of “regional complexities.” Viking was the first cruise line to temporarily suspend its ocean and river cruises in March at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. “As our chairman (Torstein Hagen) has said before, we will only sail again when it is safe for our guests, our crew and the communities we visit. It is in that spirit that we are extending our temporary fleetwide suspension of scheduled departures through January 31 2021. We are also cancelling additional sailings further into 2021 because of regional complexities,” said Michelle Black, managing director Viking Cruises in a letter to customers in Australia and New Zealand. The line is seeing strong demand for its 136-day world cruise 2021-22 on Viking Star, selling out in record time. Ms Black also said that there has been an increase in bookings for 2022 and 2023 itineraries across Viking’s ocean, river and expedition cruises.
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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