Seatrade Cruise Review - December 2020 Issue


We are excited to invite you to read the digital edition of the latest issue of the Seatrade Cruise Review.

This edition features:

  • Seatrade: 50 years of reporting on the cruise business
  • Top 20 most read Seatrade Cruise News stories in 2020
  • Class of 2021 what new ships are coming?
  • Meet Royal Caribbean Group’s head of global marine ops, Patrik Dahlgren

In addition, we also have reviews on cruise ship sales in 2020; European river cruising; orderbook; ports & destination news; Australia’s expedition scene; cruising in a COVID world onboard World Dream sailing out of Singapore; crew training: how will it change and latest refurb and interiors news.



Technology can help crew mental health, says Inmarsat Senior VP Peter Broadhurst

Holistic approaches and technology were discussed as ways to support the mental health of seafarers

Widespread adoption of tools and programmes that produce ‘the right data so you put support in the right place to begin with’ and help ‘spot welfare trends’ were suggestions put forward by Broadhurst as he explained the adoption of technology in ‘engine monitoring and performance monitoring - not monitoring crew.’ 

Referring to Inmarsat’s recent report, Welfare 2.0, he asserted that mental health issues among seafarers are ‘just as much a safety problem as a welfare problem.’ 

The comments came during ‘Caring For Crew: Mental Health On Land & At Sea’, a live webinar sponsored by Inmarsat and presented by Seatrade’s Editor Video Production and Deputy Editor Holly Payne. 

Psychological first aid

Founder of Mental Health Support Solutions (MHSS), Clinical Psychologist and Psychotherapist Charles Watkins called for a new protocol that would see a ‘psychological first aider’ on board cruise ships. ‘We’re trying to implement it as a Standard for the industry,’ said Watkins before explaining the issues modern seafarers currently face on board some cruise ships. ‘Anxiety, worrying, catastrophizing… bullying and harassment… which we thought was not as prevalent, but unfortunately it still is.'

Measuring happiness 

‘We embrace the approach of happiness drivers,’ said Michael Lopez, vice president, human resources, Royal Caribbean Group. ‘We conducted the largest cruise study ever, we received over 50,000 responses… We found there were eight happiness drivers with our crew.’ The results meant the company could partner with mental health professionals to come up with measures to support those having ‘a tough time' in isolation. 'We’re calling it the crew journey,’ he added. 

Breaking down barriers

With Watkins, Happiness at Sea founder and mental health professional Pam Kern discussed the ‘very different coping strategies based on culture’ that exist among crew members and varying coping strategies to manage mental health issues among seafarers. 

Describing mental health as still carrying ‘stigma,’ Kern recommended giveng crews paid days off work. ‘A pilot programme with a cruise line streamlining and reshifting the workload was able to reduce exhaustion and cynicism between 25% and 35% [of seafarers] - and crew became happier and more productive,’ she added. 

The webinar will be available to watch in early 2021. 

The panelists recently shared their tips to improving mental wellbeing. 

Caring for Crew: Mental Health on Land and At Sea

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How do you minimize the effect of stress caused by months away from home? Should crew mental health be a priority even when they are on shore leave? After the arduous task of getting crew home in a pandemic, how do you mentally prepare them to return to work onboard?

These are just some of the questions discussed last Friday during the Seatrade Cruise Talks live webinar, Caring for Crew: Mental Health on Land and At Sea (sponsored by Inmarsat). Now, to continue the conversation, our panelists are sharing their own mental health best practices with us.

1. How do you unwind after a long day of work? 

Personally, I park whatever is outstanding before I finish. We all have ongoing time pressure issues and things due, but if you don't put them in context and mentally ensure they are not going to be on your mind all night, you can't relax or unwind. It helps create a demarcation between work and after-work life.

Peter Broadhurst, Senior Vice President, Inmarsat

Mindfulness and time for stillness. This may be in the form of a good book, supporting talks with family or friends, some tea we enjoy by being in the moment with our thoughts and our senses, or merely enjoying some physical exercises or meditation/prayer. 

Charles Watkins, Founder, Mental Health Support Solutions

Unwind and activate your Self-Care Plan:

This is your unique chart map of what you can do to care for yourself. These are tools that you have access to onboard. Having a plan can make you feel more in control and give you joy doing the things that make you happy and well. It's your personal strategy to help you stay on course. Activate your plan by:

Create Make a list of the areas of your life into categories that are important to you. These may be social, spiritual, physical, mental wellbeing, etc. Write down activities under these categories that contribute to your wellbeing and feeling well.

Barriers – Think about any obstacles or challenges you might see to get these done and change them to what you can do. If certain things don't work because of where you are in the world or the ship you are on, change it around to what you think can work in your environment.

Sharing – You can share this plan with someone on board you feel comfortable with, a "go-to" person you know and trust, or with family or loved ones at home to help support you. If possible, create an onboard self-care group or community to discuss similar interests.

Pam Kern, MS, LMSW, Former Seafarer/Wife of a Seafarer/Mental Health Professional, Owner Kern and Co., LLC

2. What's one thing seafarers should know about mental health as they prepare for months away from home?

Seafarers should not be afraid to talk about mental health and wellbeing. Communication is essential to bring normality to the subject. They will not be the only seafarer with concerns and will have low and high points through their time away from home like all the others. Together mental health will be supported better than in isolation.

Peter Broadhurst, Senior Vice President, Inmarsat

Seafarers can stay resilient by understanding mental hygiene techniques and how to practice them even in stressful times. 

Charles Watkins, Founder, Mental Health Support Solutions

As a former seafarer and mental health professional, the one thing seafarers should know is that mental health is a natural extension of your overall health. It is okay not to feel okay at times - and it is okay to ask for help.

Pam Kern, MS, LMSW, Former Seafarer/Wife of a Seafarer/Mental Health Professional, Owner Kern and Co., LLC

The webinar will be available to watch in early 2021. 

Learn more from our panelists about ways to improve the mental health of seafarers.

Fincantieri delivers the Renaissance-inspired Costa Firenze

Costa Firenze's captain is presented with a bell at the ship's handover

At a time of enormous challenges, the handover is 'a sign of hope and restart' for cruising and tourism, said Michael Thamm, group CEO of Costa Group and Carnival Asia. 'Our hope is that people will soon be able to travel again and that more ships will set sail and contribute to the revitalization of tourism in Italy, Europe and globally.'

Together with longstanding partner Fincantieri, he added, 'we are ready to do our part for sustainable and zero-emission cruising.'

Centered in Florence, 'The Renaissance came after the Dark Ages, when pandemics were frequent,' Fincantieri CEO Giuseppe Bono noted. Technology, innovation and working together can help overcome the current dark period, he said.

A masterpiece and an act of faith

For his part, Fincantieri Chairman Giampiero Massolo called Costa Firenze an 'extraordinary masterpiece' and an 'act of faith.'

It is the third cruise ship delivered by Fincantieri since September, further demonstrating the shipbuilding giant's resilience. No orders have been canceled, and the company is creating jobs, contributing to the rebirth of travel and to safer, healthier cruise ships, Bono said.

11th Costa ship built by Fincantieri

Costa Firenze is the 11th ship built by Fincantieri for Costa, and together with Enchanted Princess, the second delivered to Carnival Corp. & plc during the pandemic. Carnival Corp. President and CEO Arnold Donald thanked the Italian government, Fincantieri management and the hundreds of craftspeople who came to work every day at great personal risk, 'because you can't build a ship virtually.' Donald called Costa Firenze a 'tribute to the beautiful city of Florence, but also to the talent of workers.'

Italy was the first country to allow Costa to resume cruises, in September, noted Mario Zanetti, chief commercial officer, Costa. Costa Firenze, designed for China, will first ply the Mediterranean from late February to October 2021. It will sail two Western Mediterranean itineraries with calls to multiple Italian and international ports, with a stop at La Spezia for access to Florence.

Participating in the handover ceremony, which featured a musical tribute from a Florence rooftop, dancers and a flag-waving demonstration, Florence Mayor Dario Nardella welcomed the city's namesake ship.

To Asia in October 2021

After October 2021, Costa Firenze will move to Asia to join sister Costa Venezia, delivered in 2019 from Fincantieri's Monfalcone yard.

The 135,000gt Costa Firenze has capacity for more than 5,200 passengers. Amenities include 13 bars, seven restaurants and a family adventure park.

RINA has accorded the ship Green Star 3 notation for its environmental features.

Adam Goldstein looks back, and forward

The toughest part of the past year was the 'trying to get a variety of actors to align around a way forward amidst ever-changing circumstances,' Adam Goldstein said

Instead, he stayed on as a volunteer — no pay — through what must have been the toughest tenure of any CLIA chairman in history.

'I love the business. I love what we do. I love what we mean for our customers. I love the careers we've created for our crew and our shoreside employees. I've always wanted to work toward doing the right things and making sure we're able to articulate our story,' Goldstein said in an exclusive interview.

'This has been the most difficult year ever, but I felt like I should be a part of trying to forge the industry's way forward and trying to make sure the industry's position is as well understood as possible.'

Now he's wrapping up his final days as his two-year term ends and a new chairman — to be announced — takes over.

Goldstein's confident CLIA is in good hands, with 'a lot of smart people there.' He's 'immensely' enjoyed working with CLIA President and CEO Kelly Craighead and the team.

Toughest challenge?

The hardest part about the past year was the 'never-ending process of trying to get a variety of actors to align around a way forward amidst ever-changing circumstances.'

For months CLIA was continually asked about the new health protocols. During most of that time, the association was getting input on the science of the virus, the opinions of various experts and the views of the cruise lines' own medical experts and operations people, presidents and CEOs.

'People wanted to know more than either we were able to tell them or that we could tell them,' Goldstein related. 'Some things have to be worked through within the association before you speak publicly.'

Eventually, all this led to the agreement for universal COVID-19 testing, a way forward through the EU Healthy Gateways and European Maritime Safety Agency's protocols and the adoption of the Healthy Sail Panel's 74 recommendations and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention replacing its no-sail order with a framework for conditional sailing.

Getting consensus

Getting consensus was no small task considering the diversity of CLIA's membership — from very large to very small companies, with very large and very small ships, and operations all over the globe. Add to that the diversity of interacting with health and safety agencies across Europe, North America, Singapore and China.

'There are so many different situations we're involved in, all at the same time. I credit the members for being flexible, for making adjustments as we went along and for the overall commitment to do the right things by people. But it wasn't easy. And I don't expect it to be easy for a while to come,' Goldstein said.

There were more Global Executive Committee meetings over the past 10 months than in his prior three years-plus as CLIA chairman (he'd chaired the association for a prior two-year stint).

'Kelly and I were constantly asking for the time of the GEC members in the midst of everything else they were dealing with. These are very senior business executives with tremendous experience in the industry. They're running huge companies with a lot of their own internal pressures and challenges. I'm very appreciative of the time they gave us.'

Cruising's image

Cruise ships were closely linked with the pandemic early on, but Goldstein thinks much has been done to change public sentiment.

'Our research tells us the image of cruising has been consistently improving throughout the pandemic. It's fair to infer that some of the public steps we've taken around things like 100% testing, a multilayered approach and the 74 Healthy Sail Panel recommendations have contributed ... We've taken steps that no other sectors of travel have taken yet. We've voluntarily deferred our activity in a way that no other sector in the entire world economy has done.'

Most lines have deferred until after February — that's a whole year out of service.

Goldstein believes 'we have tried to do the right things and are doing the right things when we talk about sailing when the time is right to do so.'

And to the extent that some lines have sailed — on approximately 200 departures since July, carrying 150,000 to 200,000 passengers — the vast majority of people have stayed safe. Though the experience was different, people have enjoyed and appreciated it.

Proudest accomplishment

Goldstein's proudest that the industry has worked its way through all the learning to a robust and implementable public health approach. This has worked well in Europe over months. 'Given the nature of the challenge of the virus and the dynamic elements of the situation, I'm very, very proud of that,' he said.

Is cruising changed forever?

Yes, Goldstein believes, in the way that 9/11 changed aspects of travel forever. And yet, in the almost two decades since then, until this year, travel exploded in volume and diversity and choices.

'There wasn't anything about the adjustments that occurred post-9/11 that interfered with the trajectory of travel growth and people's hunger to see the world,' he noted. 'The travel providers and the travelers are flexible and inventive, and they adjusted and they made it work.'

The same will happen now, with a differed public health approach to travel and cruising, but Goldstein's confident they'll resume their favorable trajectories. And should anything like this pandemic happen again, 'the world will probably be better prepared than it was before this year.'

CDC update

The outgoing CLIA chairman had little to share about what's currently happening with the CDC process. He's pleased, though, there's now ample dialogue, mostly between individual member lines and the agency, and CLIA is facilitating dialogue between the smaller lines and CDC.

Figuring out all the ways lines need to adjust to sail again in a controlled and sequenced way will take time. Detailed guidance and feedback from CDC are awaited.

Strengthening critical port relationships

Pre-pandemic, CLIA was focused on strengthening critical relationships with ports around the world, especially helping very popular Mediterranean ports of call develop strategies to deal with their tourism flows.

When travel recovers, Goldstein hopes the industry will 'continue to play a leadership role,' working with destinations in places like Croatia and Greece to think through their sustainability, take inventory of their tourism assets and figure out what they really want from tourism in the future.

'Full of plans'

Post-CLIA, Goldstein is 'full of plans.' He's enjoyed building up investments in five small, private technology companies, some involved in the green economy. He serves on the board of one and the advisory committee of four. He's hopeful they'll do great things when it comes to addressing issues like the digital divide and reducing the carbon intensity of transportation.

He's had two ongoing not-for-profit involvements for years. One is the Energy Security Leadership Council, which he's stepped up to co-chair, succeeding FedEx founder, Chairman and CEO Fred Smith.

This is the leadership affiliate of Securing America's Future Energy, a Washington, DC-based policy shop that combines business leaders and retired four-star military leaders to advocate for reducing the economy's oil intensity. A huge focus is on electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles and 5G.

The ability to advocate for policies with former four-star military leaders like Gen. James T. Conway, the 34th commandant of the US Marine Corps, co-chair on the military side, is one of the greatest honors of Goldstein's career.

He's also on the board of trustees for INSEAD, the Business School for the World, where he earned his MBA. As the only US-based board member, he was involved in creating a presence for INSEAD in San Francisco early this year.

'I love all these things and I like to make a difference in whatever I do,' Goldstein said. Nurturing the fledgling technology companies is 'super exciting. I'm trying to dig in and add value.'

After he leaves CLIA, that will be the end of official ties to cruising, though he'll be available to help Craighead and the industry if he can.

One of the things Goldstein's enjoyed most in his cruise career is establishing Royal Caribbean International's global sales and marketing network with all the international representatives and offices.

'I just love being with people from around the world,' he said, 'so who knows what that will lead to?'


ShipMoney rolls out scheduling application for crew spend

ShipMoney President Stuart Ostrow says the app can schedule and send payments to anywhere in the world

‘We’ve also integrated a mobile top-up solution… If a crew member wants to add funds to his account in England or his grandmother’s account, he can log in and transfer funds from the app, while on the ship or schedule top-ups in advance,' says ShipMoney President Stuart Ostrow.

‘Wires, cash pay-outs, mobile top-ups, card-to-card transfers, along with other proprietary feature functionality, differentiate us from anyone else in the marketplace. Because we own the card system and platform end to end, we exercise full control over all our cardholder and client solutions.' 

ShipMoney - a maritime payment solutions provider that enables crew members to send money anywhere in the world while onboard or onshore via a virtual or physical payment card - has recently expanded its range of services, giving seafarers more options to manage their money.

Using the platform, crew members can select their chosen means of transferring money based on conversion rates, serving as a comparative marketplace designed specifically for crew.

Finding new solutions

ShipMoney owns, manages, and develops the processing and account management system in-house, which allows the company to adapt to the changing needs of cruise lines and seafarers, while devising news ways of ensuring crew members can always access their funds. ‘What happens if a crew member loses his card when they are onboard? Or when they are home?  What if there’s an issue with a wire payment?  Or a cash pay-out with Western Union or MoneyGram?' says Ostrow.

‘We’ve developed version 2.0 of remote card personalisation - the same onsite printing solution that produces cards and is used by many bank branches - to print cards onboard the ships. If a crew member loses their card, we can replace it very simply, quickly, and in a secure setting. This technology is also used by some cruise and commercial clients shoreside in their offices and at manning agencies to make sure that we can provide the best possible experience and service to the crew,' asserts Ostrow.

‘We’ve also developed virtual cards: you log in, get a security code, and you obtain an image of your card. It has your name, the card number, expiration date, and security code - everything you need to shop with it online. So, if a crew member loses their card on a remote island in Indonesia, we can replace it with a virtual card until they can get their replacement card. They can still wire money home, access our remittance partners, top up mobile accounts and shop online, send card-to-card transfers and more. The only thing they cannot do with it is withdraw cash out of an ATM.’

Ostrow further adds, 'We’ve acquired a significant amount of institutional knowledge and experience to service crew members worldwide, both onboard and at home. It may look easy, but it’s not.'

Advantages for crew

'Most crew contracts in the industry are denominated in US Dollars. If a cruise or shipping company wires USD to a bank account denominated in foreign currency, the receiving bank converts the incoming USD at their own exchange rate, which is generally opaque to the crew member. They do not receive their full pay when this happens,' explains Ostrow. 'One of the benefits with ShipMoney is that when companies pay their crew, the seafarers will always receive the full amount in real-time to their ShipMoney account, anywhere in the world: they receive exactly what was sent when it was sent. The crew member, in turn, can manage their wages however they see fit.'

10-years in the making

A self-confessed ‘accidental entrepreneur,’ Ostrow edged into devising payment solutions for seafarers more than 10 years ago, after recognising an emerging opportunity for prepaid card solutions while working as a ‘frustrated CPA.’

'The cruise industry was not my initial target market,' concedes Ostrow. 'After being introduced to the industry by a college friend, I had an epiphany. A realization that there are 250,000+ crew members paid in cash and virtually all of them are foreign nationals. It was literally the perfect market for this solution.'

He went on to land Norwegian Cruise Lines with Ocean Pay, his first company, before he sold the business to Brightwell in 2011. Ostrow then started ShipMoney as version 2.0 of that first business.

Now based in Miami, ShipMoney’s clients include V. Ships, MSC Cruises, Scenic Cruises, Bernhard Schulte, Viking, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection.

Given the pandemic, Ostrow believes now 'is the perfect time' for cruise lines to explore technologies like ShipMoney and re-evaluate their current providers. 'We started this industry from a simple business plan. It is humbling to witness how it has evolved and been adopted across the industry as the universal way to pay crew.

Hebrides to benefit from £49m deep water terminal

The new facility is set to be operational in May 2023

The £49m structure will be designed to accommodate ships up to 360mtr in length and will be the only deep water berth on the west coast of Scotland, north of Greenock.

Alex MacLeod, chief executive, Stornoway Port Authority, said, ‘This project will bring transformative change to the entire region, most notably to the local economy, and it gives us immense excitement to see the collaborative approach between all the local partners which will be essential to ensure the operational success of the terminal.’

He added, ‘Our own announcement comes just three weeks after the confirmation of Southampton’s new fifth terminal, which will greatly enhance the cruise itineraries and volume of ships coming from Southampton and neighbouring ports.’

US coronavirus relief package gives 'breathing room': ASTA

'We welcome the fact that Congress has finally done its job and provided new relief to distressed sectors of the economy,' ASTA's Zene Kerby said

While the bill — the first substantial US relief legislation since March — is expected to pass both chambers of Congress and be signed into law in the coming days, it is possible that additional changes might be made.

'We welcome the fact that Congress has finally done its job and provided new relief to distressed sectors of the economy, including a number of provisions ASTA and its members have been advocating for since April like the ability for hard-hit companies to apply for an additional [Paycheck Protection Program] loan,' ASTA President & CEO Zane Kerby said. 'That said, more support for our members beyond this bill will absolutely needed. Thankfully, this package is widely considered a short-term "bridge" into early 2021 and it is clear that the next Congress will take up additional relief legislation in the first quarter.

'Something is better than nothing'

'Something is better than nothing,' Kerby continued, 'and we appreciate the breathing room this bill will afford the vast majority of our members. But the fight continues, and will until the travel agency sector is restored to health.'

Among the provisions of the bill ASTA has advocated for since April are Paycheck Protection Program 'second draw' loans. The bill includes $284bn to allow the hardest-hit small businesses and independent contractors to receive a second forgivable PPP loan. 'Forgivable' expenses are expanded to include supplier costs and investments in facility modifications and personal protective equipment to operate safely. Calculations of loan size are consistent with the CARES Act, but loans are capped at $2m. Under the bill, the loan forgiveness process is simplified for borrowers with PPP loans of $150,000 or less.

Deductibility of PPP loans

Deductibility of PPP loan proceeds is also key. Under the bill, business expenses paid for with the proceeds of PPP loans are tax-deductible for the purposes of 2020 tax returns. This is consistent with congressional intent in the CARES Act, which clearly stated that recipients of forgiven PPP loans be able to deduct otherwise-deductible expenses associated with those loans for tax purposes.

But in July the Internal Revenue Service contradicted congressional intent, declaring that borrowers who expect their PPP loan to be forgiven cannot deduct those expenses on their federal tax returns. Without congressional action, small businesses across the country are estimated to pay over $120bn in taxes on forgivable PPP loans, ASTA said.

The legislation extends and expands the refundable Employee Retention Tax Credit, which was established in the CARES Act. The extension of this tax credit is intended to help keep additional US workers on payroll and more small businesses and nonprofits across the country afloat.

Extra unemployment benefits

The CARES Act also authorized extra unemployment payments, increased standard benefit amounts and broadened eligibility to include self-employed individuals and independent contractors. However, the extra benefits expired on July 31, and expanded eligibility covering the self-employed people expires at the end of December. The new bill would restart the extra benefits at a level of $300 per week (versus $600 in the CARES Act) and would through the extend broadened eligibility for independent contractors, both through March 14. ASTA has long advocated that both the 40,000 independent contractors working in the travel agency industry today and laid-off or furloughed travel agency W-2 employees receive such support while the travel industry recovers.

Record advocacy

Passage of the bill comes at the end of a year featuring advocacy by ASTA and its members on a scale never before seen. This includes 14 separate federal and state grassroots campaigns, with 25,047 people sending 105,917 advocacy messages to their policymakers, as well as more than 150 meetings, calls and Zooms with members of Congress and their staff (frequently with ASTA member constituents participating alongside headquarters staff).

The previous record for an advocacy campaign was 2,900 advocacy messages around California Assembly Bill 5 in 2019.

ASTA said that over the holidays, it will be analyzing the entirety of the package for provisions impacting its members and will explore key questions related to how to apply for a second PPP loan, the Employee Retention Tax Credit and unemployment benefits. A webinar is planned in early January to provide members with a preliminary analysis.


Thordon Bearings voices concern about VIDA omissions

Thordon’s seawater lubricated propeller shaft bearing system eliminates oil pollution from the ocean and waterways

In a statement submitted to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Canada-based bearings and seals pioneer 'strongly questions the removal of some text' in the proposed amendments, stating that such omissions will mean existing zero pollution solutions will be overlooked.

Recommendation for seawater-base systems is missing

In the current Vessel General Permit (2013), the EPA recommends newbuild vessel operators endeavor to use seawater‐based systems for their stern tube lubrication to prevent the discharge of oil from these interfaces to the marine environment. But in the revised VIDA draft there is no mention of seawater as an environmentally acceptable lubricant (EAL).

'It mentions composite bearings but does not state that the composite bearings must be lubricated by seawater to eliminate all risk of pollution,' said Craig Carter, director of marketing and customer service, Thordon Bearings.

Call for 60-day extension

The public comment period closed Nov. 25. Calling for a 60‐day extension, Thordon stated in the letter: 'The omission of this text from the VIDA proposal minimizes the fact that a current in‐use and proven zero pollution solution that has no impact on our seas and oceans is likely to be overlooked by vessel operators if it does not appear in the new VIDA.

'For vessel operators using seawater as a stern tube lubricant, there is absolutely zero impact on the ocean and sea environment, as there is no oil or synthetic EAL used. We firmly believe that the recommendation from the US EPA stated in the VGP 2013 to use the only lubricant that has no impact on the environment and is currently in use in thousands of vessels, is an incredibly powerful statement to eliminate stern tube oil pollution from ships navigating US waters.

'Why would the EPA want to remove such a statement from the 2013 VGP that encourages new ships to be built using seawater lubrication, whereby the impact can eliminate this ship source of oil pollution forever? This omission from the Oil Management section would be deemed as going backward, rather than forward.'

Confusion surrounding air-type shaft seals

The omission is not Thordon Bearings' only issue with the proposed amendments. A major concern is the confusion surrounding air-type shaft seals.

Page 56 of the proposed draft states 'during normal operation, small quantities of lubricant oil in these interfaces are released into surrounding waters.' But three pages later: 'To the extent that these seals do not allow the lubricant to be released under normal circumstances they are not considered to be oil‐to‐sea interfaces.'

'These statements do not take into account seal failure resulting from rope or fishing lines becoming entangled around the propeller shaft,' Thordon noted. 'The aft seal damage can be severe, creating an oil‐to‐sea interface enabling synthetic lubricant/oil to flow freely out into the ocean. The confusion could also result in ship operators using mineral oil in an air seal, which is worse than an EAL discharge.'

Impact of synthetic/vegetable EALs on aquatic life

Thordon also raised questions about the harmful impact that synthetic/vegetable EALs may have on aquatic life, suggesting that more research needs to be done on their environmental impact before their use can be approved as an EAL.

Seatrade Cruise Talks

Seatrade Cruise Talks: Been There, Done That: Live Entertainment in a Pandemic


Ryan Stana and Jake McCoy of RWS Entertainment Group join this webinar with devoted time and resources since March identifying how to achieve safe entertainment, alongside Clayton Lawrence of Cedar Fair Entertainment Company for an open conversation where viewers can learn and ask questions about making onboard entertainment safe and secure without losing any fun!

Discussion topics include:

  • The illusion of touch
  • How to address the various production elements such as props, scenery, and costume for safe operation on stage
  • How to manage physical distancing for guests and cast and crew backstage

Watch the full recording to learn about making onboard entertainment safe and secure without losing any fun!