CRUISING, CRUISE SHIPS & THE CORONA VIRUS. 9/26/2020

CRUISING, CRUISE SHIPS & THE CORONA VIRUS  

Anchors - Jungle Float - 1

WEEKLY NEWS & UPDATES

from Bill Miller

Sep 26th 2020

Sun Sep 20th  Lonely Isles:     Caribbean countries have recorded a 50 per cent decline in tourist arrivals up to the month of June this year.

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Above:  4 large liners together at Nassau – NCL, MSC & Carnival

Maritime Replica!  Below, our good friend Richard Weiss shared this photo of his model of Carnival’s Fantasy.   Port of call:   His Mid-West backyard!

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From Over in England:   Our good friend Nick Braddock has passed along these photos but from the Damen shipyard at Brest in western France.  Two Disney and one Royal Caribbean liners are at berth.

Paquebots : deux unités de Disney au port de commerce de Brest - Brest -  Port de commerce - Le Télégramme
Les paquebots de Royal Caribbean et Disney défilent à Brest | Mer et Marine
Brest. Deux paquebots immortalisés de nuit - Brest.maville.com

Older Ships:   Two of the world’s oldest cruise ships remain in limbo.  According to our longtime great friend Luis Miguel Correia over in Lisbon:  “Astoria [72 years old] is still in Tilbury-London, next move will be the positioning to Lisbon and await for her sale by the bank [the ship’s owners]. Question, who might be interested now?”   

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Luis added, “The Funchal [59 years old] is still in Lisbon. No news on her!”

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Mon Sep 21st  Jammed Tight!   Dave Smith, over in Southampton & former head chef on the original Queen Mary,  has forwarded this photo from the scrap yards at Aliaga in Turkey.  A sad sight, indeed:  5 large cruise ships partially aground & crammed together — and each awaiting the demolition  crews with their hammers, axes & torches. Like tall, slender birds, 5 cranes attend to the bits’n pieces.   Together, it is an estimate of almost 400,000 tons of ships.  

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From the left:  Monarch, Sovereign, Carnival Inspiration, Carnival Fantasy & Carnival Imagination

Discounted Fares:   Nick Braddock has sent over this ad from UK-based Saga Cruises – 35% off fares for that Company’s two brand new ships.  Discounting is seen as a way to win back & encourage passengers.

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Flash Back!   Richard Weiss has sent this photo of the Vistamar berthed at New Orleans (in Dec 1995).   Later but as the Orient Queen II, this is the same cruise ship that capsized in Beirut harbor following the horrific recent explosions there.

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Nordic News:   Nick Braddock has been in his “secret agent” mode and tells us:  “It was on the expedition ship Roald Amundsen that an infection broke out on board in July. A total of 29 passengers and 42 employees tested positive for the coronavirus after the voyages with the ship between 17 and 31 July.    Previously, the Norwegian Maritime Directorate has given Hurtigruten serious criticism after finding several deviations and safety failures in connection with the eruption.  Last Thursday, the shipping company announced that they will stop all expedition cruises for the rest of the year as a result of the increase in corona infections in Europe, as well as in South and North America. The goal is to resume sailing with the expedition cruises in January 2021.”

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Tue Sep 22nd:  Shifting!   The World, the luxurious floating residence/cruise liner, has moved from lay-up at a shipyard in Falmouth, England to long-term lay-up at Tenerife.  

Voyages Scrubbed!  Norway’s Hurtigruten has called off its remaining cruises this year due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in Europe and the Americas, the company said last Thursday.“Our goal is to resume operations in January 2021.”

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Above:  Bygone days – cruising in 1935

Terminations!  Carnival Cruise Line is taking steps to terminate and/or not renew the contracts of employment of several thousands of officers and crew members throughout its fleet, according to several crew members who wish to remain anonymous.  On Sep 21st, several crew members provided internal documentation indicating that Carnival is sending as many as 7,000 termination letters to Carnival officers and crew members. As many as eight captains (masters), five staff captains, five guest service managers, six executive chefs and six hotel directors are among the top ship employees who are being laid off. Carnival sent these letters via e-mails to officers and crew members who are at home on vacation or otherwise at home awaiting a vessel assignment if and when the CDC permits cruising from U.S. ports. 

Cuts at Princess:  Princess Cruise announced to Australian travel agents that it soon would be disposing of two of its eighteen-ship fleet — the 2,000-berth Sun Princess and sister ship Sea Princess.

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Above:  Busy day at San Juan

Wed Sep 23rd  Guidelines:  Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), which represents 95% of global ocean-going cruise capacity, announced this week the adoption of mandatory core elements of a strong set of health protocols to be implemented as part of a phased-in, highly controlled resumption of operations. A critical next step, now that initial sailing has begun effectively with strict protocols in Europe, is the resumption of operations in the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America (the Americas), which encompass the largest cruise market in the world. 

Mobile losing Carnival cruise shipe: Get mad, get sad, then get over it  (Dow) - al.com

Above:  Mobile, Alabama cruise terminal

Bullish on Cruising!  Cruises are 85% more likely to book a cruise as their next vacation, according to a report by CLIA, the Cruise Lines International Assn.   “There something about cruising, being at sea, that just sucks people in,” added a spokesman.  

Up & Ready! Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) member lines stated Monday that they are ready to resume sailings and that US-based cruise lines could be up and running in as little as 30 days. Cruise line bosses stressed that a phased approach to the resumption of cruise would be the way forward. 

Heading Home!   Charles Dragonette reports that the 72-yr old Astoria (the former Stockholm of 1948 & too many other names to repeat here) is now heading from London to Lisbon (and her banking owners there) in preparation to being auctioned off.   Already, there are rumors of the 600-passenger ship being saved and used as either a moored hotel or leisure center.   

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Fri  Sep 25th Like Pieces on a Checkerboard!  Royal Caribbean is among the cruise lines making changes in 2021 deployment of their ships.

Above:  Farewell to the sisters Amsterdam & Rotterdam – formerly Holland-America but now transferred to Fred Olsen cruise lines

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  Difference in size — Olympia Voyager & Carnival Valor at Cozumel in 2002

Sat Sep 26th  Off to the Bank!  Just in case you needed to know, Carnival is losing more than $17,000 a second!

Another One for the Scrappers!  A sad video:  

BUT YES, CRUISING WILL RETURN!  

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Continued best thanks to our friends, readers, reporters & those faraway “secret agents”