CRUISING, CRUISE SHIPS & THE CORONA VIRUS – 11/15/2020
CRUISING, CRUISE SHIPS & THE CORONA VIRUS
WEEKLY NEWS & UPDATES
from Bill Miller
Nov 15th 2020
Sun Nov 8th Going, going, gone! The auction for the remaining 4 cruise ships of the bankrupted Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ (CMV) fleet rendered low prices in this depressed, Covid market. Greece’s Seajets grabbed the Columbus (for $5.3 million) as well as the Magellan (at $3.4 million). Meanwhile, it appears that scrap merchants have bought the 55-yr old Marco Polo (seen below and for a mere $2 ½ million) and the 33-yr old Astor (seen at bottom below and at a mere $1.7 million).
Update! After CMV went into administration, the Astor was among the cruise ships ordered auctioned to pay debts. On Nov 7th was towed from the port of Bristol, England bound for Aliaga in Turkey for recycling.
Mon Nov 9th Stocks & Bonds: Premarket on Monday, cruise line stocks surged up to the tune of between 20 to 30 percent based on positive vaccine news. Carnival Corporation was up 29.16 percent; Royal Caribbean Group 21.05 percent; Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings 25.81 percent and Lindblad Expeditions 17.43 percent in premarket trading.
Tue Nov 10th Demolition! Charles Dragonette reported: “Cargo ships and cruise liners are being scrapped in growing numbers as operators hit by the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic look to turn their unemployed vessels into cash in the recycling market.
Car-carrying vessels and iron-ore haulers lead the burgeoning fleet heading for demolition. Cruise ships, still idled by the restrictions imposed at the start of the pandemic, are joining the lineup at ship-breaking yards, where the vessels are pulled apart for their steel.”
Axes & Hammers: Meanwhile, Capt Justin Zizes forwarded the photo below of the scrap yards at Aliaga in Turkey.
Looking Ahead: Much earlier the usual, Cunard has released an advance schedule for 2022. Meanwhile, Seabourn has revealed “strong bookings” for its 2022 world cruise while Regent-Seven Seas reports near sell-outs for their 2022 & 2023 world cruises.
Construction in China: Making a key milestone in the construction of the first megaship built in China, Italy’s Fincantieri held the coin ceremony for its cooperative newbuild at Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co. Ltd, a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation The ship is under construction for CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Limited, a joint venture between Carnival Corporation and CSSC. Fincantieri also reported the hull erection of the ship is starting. The new ship, which will be delivered in 2023, will accommodate about 4,250 passengers, in addition to 1,400 crew members. She will be the first cruise ship built in China for the Chinese market.
Above: A busy day at San Juan …
Wed Nov 11th Getting Ready! Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings test cruises could start in early January, but full fleet ramp-up may take 6-9 months Some other cruise operators may be able to start their trial sailings in December, however; Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is looking to early January.
Above: Swedish American Line advertising, 1929
All Aboard! Royal Caribbean will look for volunteers to test out its safety protocols on simulated sailings before it resumes passenger cruises.
New System: ‘Safe Air’ will be fitted on the MSC Seashore, which is currently under construction at shipbuilder Fincantieri’s Monfalcone yard, set to be delivered in July 2021 and be the first of two ‘Seaside Evo’ class ships. In August, MSC became one of the first major cruise lines in the world to return to sea with a new health and safety protocol approved by a range of national and regional authorities in Europe following the halt of the global industry in March as a result of COVID-19.
Above: Busy day at Miami
Thu Nov 12th At Embarkation It Begins! Gene Sloan, a cruise journalist, reported: “The process of getting on board a cruise ship is going to be a little different for a while. But maybe not as different as you might think. Within minutes of arriving at the port of Barbados on Saturday afternoon to board the 116-passenger Sea Dream, first cruise ship to resume sailing in the Caribbean since March, I found myself in a medical tent, face-to-face with two staffers in full Contagion gear — masks, goggles, medical gowns, the works.”
Mr Sloan added: It turns out cruising during a pandemic isn’t as weird as we all thought it would be. After three days on board the first cruise vessel to restart operations in the Caribbean since March, my fellow passengers and I have settled into a cruise routine that looks, well, almost normal. All the facilities of the vessel — SeaDream Yacht Club’s 112-passenger SeaDream 1 — are open, with just a few small accommodations to allow for social distancing among passengers.
Up at the open-air Top of the Yacht Bar, for instance, the venue’s ever-personable bartender, Tomislav, still is there every evening as the sun sets to shake up your gin martini for sailaway. But every other bar stool is blocked to keep passengers at a safe distance. Two decks down, the ship’s fitness center is open. But to use it, you need to make an appointment. The ship only is allowing a handful of people at a time into the space to keep passengers socially distanced, and staffers are cleaning it extensively every hour. There are a few other minor things that remind you these are not normal times. Passengers must stop by the Concierge desk every day to have their temperatures taken at an automated digital station. Signs around the ship politely ask passengers to remain at least 6 feet apart from each other — a message that also was reiterated by the vessel’s activity director during a first-day talk.
Thu Nov 12th Beginning! Scenes from the beginning of construction on the first large cruise ship to be built in China & for Carnival’s China cruise division.
Above: The first prefabricated cabin for Carnival’s new 4,500-passenger cruise ship built purposely for Chinese cruising
Outbreak! A Covid-19 scare is the last thing the cruise industry needs as it eases back into the Caribbean. Yet on Wednesday, a passenger on SeaDream Yacht Club’s SeaDream 1 received a preliminary positive test result for Covid-19. The SeaDream 1 is the first cruise vessel to resume sailing in the Caribbean since the start of the pandemic. Update: The number later rose to 6 cases.
Above: 5 cruiseships at San Juan
Ferry News! Charles Dragonette reports: “Ferry company Stena Line has put a vessel out of service after an outbreak of Covid-19 among the crew. The company has confirmed its ferry Horizon, which usually sails from Rosslare (in Ireland) to Cherbourg in France, was removed from service on Nov 5th for a deep clean.”
Fri Nov 13th Restart Dates Pushed Forward: Silversea Cruises announced on Wednesday it will not restart cruises until mid-2021. The luxury cruise brand released new start dates for each of its cruise ships, with restart dates ranging between April, May and June.
From Down Under! Carnival Cruise Lines has paused the operations of their Carnival Splendour, permanently home-ported in Sydney in Dec 2019, until Mar 2nd. As earlier reported, sailings of the Carnival Spirit, which has been home-ported Down Under since Oct 2012, are paused until June.
Extended Halt! Frederick Pillsbury out in Victoria, BC, Canada reports: “Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), a trade group representing 95 percent of the industry, announced it was requesting a pause on all cruises thru Dec 31st. The association said its members will spend the time preparing safety measures outlined by health experts and the CDC.”
Bygone travel: Matson Line ad dated 1936
Continued kindest & best thanks to our friends, readers, reporters & those faraway “maritime secret agents”