LIVES OF THE LINERS: CRUISING & CRUISE SHIPS – AUGUST 9, 2021

LIVES OF THE LINERS: CRUISING & CRUISE SHIPS – AUGUST 9, 2021

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Above:  Cruising in Alaska’s Glacier Bay on the Fairsea of Sitmar Cruises (Jul 1976)

From Bill Miller

Update:  August 2021

Sun Aug 1st Royal Caribbean International’s Adventure of the Seas had 6 positive cases of Covid on their recent roundtrip cruise from Nassau.  In the same cruise area, the Crystal Serenity reported 2 cases.

Portugal:  The Portuguese government has announced a staged plan to lift restrictions, with all current limits being removed by Oct 2021.

Greece:  Andreas Potamianos, one of Greece’s most prominent shipowners, passed away on Friday at the age of 88.   His family owned the Epirotiki Lines, a popular Greek isles & Eastern Mediterranean cruise line, and later Royal Olympic Cruises (from a merger with the Sun Line).    Epirotiki itself is said to have run the very first Greek isles cruise from Piraeus back in 1954.  Among the Company’s earliest ships was the “cuising yacht” Argonaut (below), a ship also well known for her charter cruises to the Smithsonian Museum.

Tue Aug 3rd The cruise industry’s accelerated restart is continuing in August as 190 cruise ships representing 65 different brands will operate with guests aboard,  The 190 ships represent over 275,000 berths at full occupancy. The ships are an average size of approximately 1,500 guests each. It was a positive end to the month of July, with Norwegian Cruise Line relaunching operation, Carnival’s new Mardi Gras sailing, and the Allure of the Seas (below) completing a test cruise for Royal Caribbean International, while Dream Cruises and Genting relaunched service in Hong Kong.

MSC Cruises:  The MSC Meraviglia (below right) has become the latest MSC cruise ship to welcome guests onboard again after the pandemic when she sailed last night out of PortMiami, Florida.  MSC Cruises said that this is a key milestone as part of the line’s global plan to have more than half of its fleet back at sea by the end of this summer, following the line’s initial restart in the Mediterranean in August 2020 and over the past several months the return at sea of more of its ships across the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, the UK, the Red Sea and now in the Caribbean out of the U.S.

Lindblad:  After resuming ship operations in June, by end-July Lindblad Expeditions had eight of nine vessels in service. Bookings for 2022 are 36% ahead of the bookings for 2021 a year prior.

Princess: The Majestic Princess returned to Seattle last weekend, concluding its sailing to Alaska and marking the first successful United States voyage for Princess Cruises following the extended pause in operations.

Farewell Sydney

Carnival:    The $1 ½ billion Mardi Gras arrived in San Juan on her first visit today.   The Company announced:  “As part of Carnival Cruise Line’s highly anticipated return to guest operations, the line’s newest and most innovative ship Mardi Gras [below] arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico, today, marking the ship’s first port of call on its maiden voyage. The Mardi Gras is also the first cruise ship to stop in San Juan in 16 months.”

Thu Aug 5th More from Carnival saying that bookings for future cruises soared in March, April & May – jumping by 45%.   Carnival also revealed that nearly 50% of its canceled cruise passengers opted for credit rather than a refund.

Royal Caribbean revealed that all of its Jul & Aug cruises were fully booked – if at reduced Covid capacities, of course.

Fri Aug 6th Carnival, Royal Caribbean & Norwegian Cruise – the three largest cruise operators – were losing a combined $900 million per month during the pandemic.   Analysts suggest that it will probably take until 2023 for the three major players to start substantially reducing their debt.

Fri Aug 6th Yet More from Carnival Cruise Line:  Yesterday, Carnival  changed its face covering and testing policies.  From Aug 7th, all guests will be required to wear face masks indoors. This includes elevators, shops, casinos, restaurant halls and queuing areas.  A spokesperson added, “In any (indoor) area where many people are gathered and when you’re not eating or drinking, we are going to require you to wear a face mask, and this is for all guests, not just those who are unvaccinated.”

Additionally, from Aug 14th, all cruises will require all guests to test negative for coronavirus within three days before the sailing.

Norwegian Cruise reported:  “Last week we reached a historic milestone in our Great Cruise Comeback with the successful commencement of our re-launch with the first ship in our fleet, the Norwegian Jade, sailing the Greek Isles. Tomorrow (Sat Aug 7th)  will mark our first cruise in the United States in over 500 days as the Norwegian Encore sets sail from Seattle to Alaska.  The company expects to have approximately 40% of its fleet capacity operating by the end of the third quarter 2021 and approximately 75% by year-end 2021 with the full fleet expected to be back in operation by April 1, 2022.

Royal Caribbean:  What occupancy does Royal Caribbean Group need on its ships to be at a break even point for cashflow?  The answer:  Somewhere between 35 and 50 percent, depending on the ship.

Out of the old shoebox:   

Below:  A Sat morning in Aug 1969 at New York – the Michelangelo (left) departs with the Nieuw Amsterdam soon to follow

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Thank you to all our readers, correspondents, those “agents” in faraway places!