from Bill Miller

Sep 5th 2020

Sun Aug 30th  Two More Withdrawals!  Is Carnival Cruise Line Downsizing Again?   Carnival Cruise Line had the world’s largest fleet of cruise ships at 27 until they announced they sold two of their older vessels last month. When Carnival Cruise Line made that announcement, they also said that two other of their cruise ships (Carnival Fascination and Carnival Imagination) would move to long term lay-up status. The two ships would be taken out of service for a period of time and Carnival did not a give a timeline for when the vessels would return to service. Just a little over a month after Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Inspiration were sent to a scrap yard to be recycled, is Carnival Cruise Line downsizing their fleet again? According to Marine Traffic, Carnival Imagination is currently sailing to Aliaga, Turkey and the scrappers.   Carnival Cruise Line has removed both Carnival Imagination and Carnival Fascination off of their booking engine.

Carnival Elation Cruise Ship Review - The Avid Cruiser

Below:  Capt Justin Zizes has forwarded the chart of 12 big liners gone or about to go to the scrap yards.


Yes, “Bus Cruises”:  Does the “longest bus journey in the world” tickle your fancy? For all you road trip fans, in May 2021, you can spend 70 days in a luxury coach traveling from Delhi to London.  And there are “segments” to such a “bus cruise”.  It’s the first hop-on, hop-off bus service covering the marathon journey from India to England and will cover 12,000 miles.  Adventures Overland is offering 20 people the chance to take part in this bus odyssey and it will cost roughly $20,000 per person.

More from the Boneyard!   A number of cruise ships are either being scrapped or soon to be, but Capt Justin Zizes has passed along this photo of the illustrious Pacific Princess – yes, the Love Boat – being dismantled at Aliaga in Turkey.   Deliberately run aground (for the dismantling process), the 20,000-ton ship quickly took on a severe list.  

Image may contain: sky and outdoor
Part of Bow Already Cut Off From the Former Sovereign of the Seas
Pullmantur Fleet Will Likely Be Scrapped - Cruise Industry News | Cruise  News

Above:   The 1990-91 built Horizon & sister Zenith are on the ” to-be-scrapped”  list.

Mon Aug 31st  From Holland:   Our good friend Capt Hans Hoffmann has sent this photo of four idle liners waiting off the Dutch coast – Emerald Princess, World Dream, Zaandam & Seabourn Ovation. 

C:\Users\B\Downloads\Varnebank + Emerald Princess 12aug2020 Scheveningen anchorage (c)-H.Hoffmann-DJI_0102.jpg

Tue Sep 1st  Update on a Restart!  Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines announced it intends to have three of its fleet of four vessels restart cruise operations in March and April of next year – with its 1,325-passenger flagship Balmoral starting even sooner.

Wed Sep 2nd Encouraging News & Bright Outlook!  The cruise ship orderbook still stands at a staggering 113 new ships between now and 2027, with recently updated delivery dates.     Some 237,024 berths are on order for the ocean-going fleet representing $65 billion in newbuild costs.

A new September update of the global cruise orderbook features a number of adjusted delivery dates as reported by numerous cruise operators. 

September Cruise Ship Orderbook Update Highlights:

  • Ten ships originally set for 2020 deliveries are still due to enter the global fleet shortly, these include the Silver Moon, World Voyager, Enchanted Princess, Iona, Sea Cloud Spirit, MSC Virtuosa, Costa Firenze, Saga’s Spirit of Adventure, the Coral Geographer and Quark’s Ultramarine.
  • What may have been the two hottest new ships of 2020, the Carnival Mardi Gras and Odyssey of the Seas, have both been delayed to 2021.
  • Crystal’s entry into the expedition market has been pushed back, with the Endeavor now set to debut in 2021.
  • Two ships heading to China won’t be there until at least 2022: Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas, an Oasis-class ship, and Genting’s Global Dream. 
Carnival Mardi Gras | Carnival Cruise Line | Bolsover Cruise Club

Above:  Contrast in almost 50 years – the original, 27,000-ton, 1,100-passenger  Mardi Gras (ex-Empress of Canada) – Carnival’s very first ship – and the upcoming 180,000-ton, 6,500-passenger Carnival Mardi Gras 

More Bright News!  On Monday, Miami-Dade County officials authorized the issuance of $335 million to PortMiami for revenue generating capital projects with Carnival Corporation, Disney Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and Virgin Cruise Lines, as well as other infrastructure projects allowing the Port to continue expanding business opportunities.

Miami (Florida) cruise port schedule | CruiseMapper
C:\Users\B\Downloads\Queen Mary36.jpg

Above:   The Queen Mary Hotel & Museum out in Long Beach, California has been closed due to the pandemic – but the adjoining parking lot has been used as a covid testing site.

Down Under:  As a result of coronavirus-related travel restrictions in Australia, Carnival Cruise Line and Princess Cruises have announced they have extended the pause on operations in the region into December.

The Fabled Greek Isles!  In the end of August, Greece’s Seajets took delivery of another two vessels: the 57,100-grt Veendam, built 1996, and the 55,600-grt Maasdam, built 1993, which were operated by Holland America Line.  The Veendam has been renamed Aegean Majesty and was delivered in Katakolon; the Maasdam was docked in Piraeus when delivered and renamed Aegean Myth.  Previously, the Company acquired P&O’s Oceana.

AIDA Nova - Brand new cruise ship - YouTube

Above:  AIDA Cruises’ giant AIDAnova

Thu Sep 3rd Waiting!  Citing ongoing travel restrictions related to the coronavirus, Germany’s AIDA Cruises announced that it is again delaying its resumption of service for an additional two months. Marketed primarily to German-speaking countries, the division of Carnival Corporation had been targeted as the corporation’s first brand to resume service. Carnival’s Costa Cruises, however, plans to resume cruises inside Italy in September.

World Cruises:   Interesting how many cruise lines have begun posting itineraries for 2022 world cruises and, for Crystal Cruises, for a 2023 circumnavigation.

Shore Excursions:  So far, three cruise lines that have either restarted already or plan to start soon have implemented policies that require passengers leaving the vessel to take a shore excursion sponsored by the ship.

News from Hollywood by way of Norway:  One of the world’s most famous actors has rented out two Hurtigruten cruise ships through his movie production company to help house cast and crew.

Tom Cruise, who has resumed filming the seventh installment of his Mission: Impossible movie series, had his production company Truenorth rent out the two ships after filming moved to Norway. The cost for one month was a reported 500,000 euros, or $591,545 in U.S. dollars.

The ships in question are the newly upgraded  Vesteralen and the brand new battery-hybrid powered  Fridtjof Nansen  (seen below). Cruise apparently rented the ships for cast and crew to stay aboard during their time in Norway in the hopes of halting the spread of the coronavirus. The filming for Mission: Impossible, in which Cruise plays special agent Ethan Hunt, resumed in London in July after a five-month hiatus due to the virus. The film is set for release in November 2021.

World's first hybrid cruise ship MS Fridjtof Nansen to arrive in Portsmouth  tomorrow: what time, where to see it, what it's like on board | The News
Ferries along the Norwegian coast

Above:  Bygone cruising sixty years ago, in 1960,  on the Grace Line’s 300-passenger Santa Rosa & Santa Paula – New York to the Caribbean in 13 days & with fares from $595.   Above:   Artist Carl Evers created this evocative poster of La Guaira in Venezuela.


Above:  Bygone days – cruising on Cunard’s Aquitania in 1938

Commerce:   Trade goes on – our good friend & expert photographer Capt G Justin Zizes has shared these two photos from New York harbor and as three Moran tugs attend to the arriving Japanese containership One Minato.  The 152,000-ton ship is 1,200 ft in length and can carry as many as 14,000 containers.  The ship is owned by Ocean Network Express, a Singaporean container shipping company jointly owned by Japan’s NYK Line, K Line & Mitsui-OSK Lines.


End of the Line!  One of our readers  has shared  this  very dramatic video of grounding cruise ships before being scrapped at Aliaga in Turkey.


Above:  On the France’s three-month round-the-world cruise, in the winter of 1972, one passenger was worried even if the French liner was dubbed “the best fed ship on all the seas”.  Just in case, he brought along a dozen cases of his favorite Boston Baked Beans!


Above:   “Yes, even here under the sea, we read Bill Miller’s weekly cruise & corona  news – page after page!  Each week, his updates keep us posted & up to date.  And then there’s his quarterly Millergram.  And then for something bigger & better, we just swim over to the local undersea library for shelves of Bill Miller books!”


C:\Users\B\Pictures\LookingBack\LOOKING BACK822.jpg

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