December 23, 2020
In this Issue
Here are some of the news articles we are following:
- Viking Cruises’ New Safety Protocols Include Daily COVID-19 Testing, New Filtration Systems, and Disinfecting Robots
- Cruise Line Explores Legalities of Requiring Vaccinations to Sail
- Chinese cruise industry resumes operations
- Milwaukee WI homeport for Pearl Mist ship (Pearl Seas Cruises) 2021 through 2030
- Cunard Cancels Cruises into May and June
- Princess Cruises Puts Money Where Its Mouth Is
- Virgin Voyages cancels cruises on its first ship into May, more than a year past launch date
- You Can Rent a Cruise Ship Stateroom for $1300 Per Month
- Here Are All of Carnival Cruise Line's Homeports For 2021
- Cruise ships may be anchored for 'some time' due to coronavirus risks
- Australia's cruise ship ban extended by another three months
- Super-Spreader Cruises May Give Biden an Early Covid-19 Test
- Could a Vaccine Be Required Before Taking a Cruise?
- Cruise lines bring aboard health experts as they look to regain the public's trust post-COVID
- What We Know About Royal Caribbean’s Free Test Cruises
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Viking Cruises’ New Safety Protocols Include Daily COVID-19 Testing, New Filtration Systems, and Disinfecting Robots
"With daily testing, it is possible to virtually eliminate any spread of [the] virus onboard our ocean or river ships,” Viking's chairman said. Viking Cruises will test all guests and crew for COVID-19 with daily PCR tests when sailings resume, as part of the company’s new Viking Health & Safety Program, the cruise line recently announced. The daily tests will be completed with a saliva sample in passengers’ staterooms, the cruise line detailed this week, and processed in either an onboard lab on ocean-going ships or a shoreside lab for river cruises. Viking built the first lab onboard a ship on its 930-passenger-capacity “Viking Star.” “There is wide agreement that the best testing method for COVID-19 is PCR and also that daily tests — if you can do them — are important to avoid spread of the virus on board… Our experts agree: with daily PCR testing it is possible to virtually eliminate any spread of [the] virus on board our ocean or river ships,” Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen said in a video address, adding all of the new protocols “make the ships even more suitable for COVID times.” In addition to testing, Viking will install new air purification technology on each of its ships (all staterooms have their own independent air handling units), require passengers to fill out an online health questionnaire before leaving home, and perform temperature checks upon check-in.
Cruise Line Explores Legalities of Requiring Vaccinations to Sail
Can cruise lines require passengers to have proof of vaccination? Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings CEO Frank Del Rio says the company is examining the issue. “It will certainly be a requirement for the crew,” Del Rio told John Lovell, president of Travel Leaders Group, one of the largest organizations of travel advisors. Norwegian Bliss in New York City (Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line) As...
Chinese cruise industry resumes operations
The departure of MS Nanhai Dream cruise ship on Friday, December 11, marked the reactivation of the cruise travel in China, as evidence of the country's socio-economic recovery after overcoming the worst stage of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. The Chinese liner departed from Port Sanya (Hainan) for Xisha Islands in South Sea. Nanhai Dream is the first in Asia to resume ex-China voyages in 2020. On Saturday, December 12, another Chinese vessel - Changle Gongzhu - will also start cruises.
Milwaukee WI homeport for Pearl Mist ship (Pearl Seas Cruises) 2021 through 2030
The role of Port Milwaukee WI (Lake Michigan, Wisconsin) as a Great Lakes cruise travel destination is now taking a step forward due to a new agreement guaranteeing that here will be homeported the cruise ship MS Pearl Mist for 9 years (2021 through 2030), with an option for the small cruise company Pearl Seas Cruises to extend the service to 2040. The lease was approved by the city's Board of Harbor Commissioners but also needs Common Council approval. The new agreement provides priority docking rights at Milwaukee's downtown dock Pier Wisconsin (located east of Discovery World) for the Guilford (Connecticut USA)-based Pearl Seas Management LLC.
Cunard Cancels Cruises into May and June
Cunard has extended its pause in operations due to the current travel constraints in place across the world, according to a company press release. Voyages departing onboard the Queen Mary 2 up to and including May 28, 2021 and onboard the Queen Elizabeth up to and including June 4, 2021 are now cancelled. Departures on the Queen Victoria remain unaffected and are scheduled to resume May 17, 2021. Guests who have had their voyage cancelled will automatically receive a 125% Future Cruise Credit, providing an additional 25% on any monies paid, to redeem against a future voyage. The 125% Future Cruise Credit can be used on any new booking made by the end of December 2021 and on any voyage available at the time of booking. Voyages are currently available through to early 2023. Cunard president, Simon Palethorpe said: “Our extension to the pause in operations is the result of the ongoing restrictions on cruising in the UK and around the world and recognizes the significant lead times to return to service, once those restrictions are lifted.
Princess Cruises Puts Money Where Its Mouth Is
Princess Cruises has been hard at work to expand and create programs and policies to enhance the passenger experience and offer greater peace of mind during a cruise vacation. The line is introducing a new program, called Princess Promise, which assures guests that Princess will “make it right” for any onboard service that did not meet their expectations. This could include being given onboard…
Exclusive: Virgin Voyages cancels cruises on its first ship into May, more than a year past launch date
Virgin Voyages has moved the launch of its first ship, the Scarlet Lady, to May 9 – more than a year after the vessel's launch was originally scheduled, the line announced Wednesday. "It's heartbreaking; this is our baby," Tom McAlpin, CEO of Virgin Voyages, told USA TODAY in an interview, noting that he has worked on building Virgin Voyages for more than seven years. This year was expected to be an exciting one for the cruise line backed by Richard Branson. The company had planned to debut its first ship, the Scarlet Lady, with a passenger cruise scheduled to depart April 1 from Miami. But the launch date was eclipsed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has put the cruise industry on hold in the United States until Jan. 1 – though several cruise lines have canceled cruises beyond that date, with several planning to resume operations in March.
You Can Rent a Cruise Ship Stateroom for $1300 Per Month
A company that had hoped to sell cruise ship staterooms as year-round residences have dialed back their plan and is now offering daily, weekly and monthly rentals. The operators of MS Satoshi, a 30-year-old cruise ship once known as P&O’s Pacific Dawn, have shifted focus from trying to sell ‘cruise condos’ to offering short- and long-term rentals for tourists once the ship arrives at a permanent anchorage about 30 minutes offshore from Panama City.
Here Are All of Carnival Cruise Line's Homeports For 2021
Carnival Cruise Line has the most U.S. homeports of any cruise brand, plus a seasonal operation in Europe and year-round cruising in Australia. Here's a look at the company's planned homeports for 2021….
Cruise ships may be anchored for 'some time' due to coronavirus risks
Cruise ships will have to stay anchored for a while longer, with travel not expected to recommence anytime soon due to COVID-19 infection risks.
International cruising is expected to be off limits for "some time" as question marks loom over domestic cruise travel, which is worth a staggering $5 billion to the Australian economy. Coronavirus has the potential to run rampant on cruise ships, with Australia's Trade Minister Simon Birmingham saying the high-risk nature of the vessels is why the industry is still on ice.
Australia's cruise ship ban extended by another three months
The ban on cruise ships operating around Australia has been extended by another three months. In March, the Federal Government imposed a ban on both domestic and international cruises which was due to be lifted next week on December 17. The industry recently launched a campaign to convince the government to allow domestic trips, however cruises have been deemed still too high-risk to resume.
Super-Spreader Cruises May Give Biden an Early Covid-19 Test
The Norwegian cruise line Hurtigruten Group was ready to show the world that ships could be made safe from Covid-19. It outfitted its newest vessel, the MS Roald Amundsen, with a suite of prevention measures for cruises among the glaciers, fjords and polar bear breeding grounds of Svalbard Island, far above the Arctic Circle. And yet sometime after the Amundsen left Tromso, a port in northern Norway flanked by snow-capped mountains, on July 17, the virus found its way on board. Eventually, 71 passengers and crew members from two back-to-back cruises to Svalbard were diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, outbreaks that were traced back to the ship. The Amundsen, named for the Norwegian man who became the first explorer to reach the South Pole, had become one of the worst Covid super-spreader events to strike Norway, according to a tabulation compiled by researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Norwegian health officials hastened to deal with the outbreaks; they quarantined hundreds of passengers who went home to dozens of towns across the country. In the end, no additional community infections were traced to the Amundsen, said Petter Elstrom, who oversees Covid-19 tracing at the Institute for Public Health, Norway’s equivalent of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Amundsen outbreaks occurred just as a second wave of infections was sweeping the country, Elstrom said. “It was quite calm with few outbreaks before this was discovered, and afterwards it has only increased.” For the U.S., the world’s biggest cruise market with 14 million embarkations in 2019, the Amundsen’s story shows how an outbreak on a single, ill-fated ship can have far-reaching effects and tax public health resources. With major cruise lines now pushing to sail from U.S. ports again as soon as March, they pose an early test for the incoming Biden administration’s stated commitment to health and science.
Could a Vaccine Be Required Before Taking a Cruise?
Have you thought about getting your vaccine passport in order? Because it could very well be a requirement from the cruise lines that you must be immune to COVD-19 before sailing. Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings CEO Frank Del Rio said the company already has its lawyers looking at the legal side of requiring guests to show they have been vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine.
Cruise lines bring aboard health experts as they look to regain the public's trust post-COVID
As cruise lines prepare to relaunch next year, many are looking to ensure the outbreaks that kept them in the news for much of this year never recur. Upgraded air filtration systems, improved onboard health clinics, and numerous new safety protocols are quickly becoming standard across the industry. Many cruise lines are also adding health officer positions. Viking was just the latest line to add such a position when Vice Admiral Raquel C. Bono, M.D. joined the luxury cruise line. Dr. Bono has led Washington State's medical response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Before that, she made a name for herself while serving in the United States Navy Medical Corps, where she is the first female Navy medical officer to have achieved three-star rank. She also served as the Chief Executive Officer and Director for the Defense Health Agency (DHA).
What We Know About Royal Caribbean’s Free Test Cruises
Significant demand was born as a result of Royal Caribbean International’s announcement for the search of volunteers to go on its first test sailings prior to returning to sea in the U.S. So much that a form has been created to sign up, which saw more than 150,000 hopeful cruise lovers leave their details. “It's a good feeling knowing that so many people want to get back on ships,” said Vicki Freed, senior vice president for sales, trade support and service at Royal Caribbean International, on Dec. 8 in response to the demand. The company has also launched a website for potential volunteers to sign up. Cruise Industry News breaks down what is known about the sailings. The test sailings are part of the new Conditional Framework by the CDC, which came in place of the "No Sail" order. They will include the company having a number of trial cruises using employees and volunteers as stand-in passengers to test safety and health protocols. Trial sailings are said to be monitored by company officials, a third-party class society, as well as the CDC.
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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