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Articles from 2020 In May

Ruby Princess passengers told a crew member has TB

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The crew member is patient at Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

Risk to passengers is low

Christine Selvey, assistant director of communicable diseases, said the crew member is currently a patient at Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and that passengers on the ship have a very low risk of infection.

She said the patient has been diagnosed many weeks after they were on board Ruby Princess and those who may be at risk are roommates and close friends.

‘Tuberculosis is spread from a person with active disease after close and prolonged contact with that person, rather than casual exposure,’ she said.

Dr. Selvey said the department is following up with those people at increased risk so that they can be checked for infection and receive preventive treatment if necessary.

Ship is subject of two COVID-19 investigations

More than 700 cases of coronavirus and at least 22 deaths have now been linked to Ruby Princess which is the subject of both a criminal investigation and a Special Commission of Inquiry.

May 29 updates: 'Discover France' with CroisiEurope starting July, no Halifax cruise season

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La Belle des Océans will operate a new itinerary from Nice to Corsica

Keep checking back. This is being continuously updated.

CroisiEurope to resume sailing July 15

As France continues to ease its internal COVID-19 restrictions, CroisiEurope is planning to resume river cruises in France and ocean sailings from Nice to Corsica.

'Discover France' is what is suggested with routes on the Seine, Loire, Gironde, Garonne, Dordogne, Rhône, Saone and Rhine, and around Corsica with sailings on La Belle des Océans July 26 to Oct. 11.

On board sanitary measures have been reinforced. New offers have also been announced. Cruising is free for children under 16 on August departures. And solo travelers will get a 50% discount on the single supplement from July 17 through November. Bookings need to be fully paid 15 days before departure, and penalty-free cancellations are allowed until 16 days before.

Halifax cruise season suspended

New measures announced today by Transport Canada effectively mean there will be no cruise ship calls in Halifax this year. The Halifax Port Authority said it will continue to work with partners across tourism in Nova Scotia to rebuild the cruise industry in Halifax and Atlantic Canada.

Canada extends ban on most cruise ships through October


Only the smallest ships are allowed, those with overnight accommodations for up to 100 people.

Decision had been expected

The decision had been expected given that COVID-19 is still not under control, particularly in the neighboring United States.

Earlier, Holland America Line, Seabourn, Princess Cruises and Cunard, among others, canceled their Alaska cruise seasons, and lines had begun curtailing Canada/New England programs. Just this week Victory Cruise Lines said it would not operate a Great Lakes program this year. 

'Large cruise ships will not be allowed in Canadian waters until at least Oct. 31,' Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday in his nationally televised daily briefing. 'This decision extends the one we made in March, which was taken to protect our coastal communities. COVID-19 is still a very serious threat.'

Applies to ships carrying more than 100 people

Minister of Transport Marc Garneau specified that cruise ships with overnight accommodations for more than 100 people are prohibited from operating in Canadian waters until Oct. 31.

This is stricter than the March ban, which had applied to ships carrying more than 500 people, including crew. 

As of July 1, all other passenger vessels must follow provincial, territorial, local and regional health authority requirements for timelines and processes to resume operations.


Passenger vessels with the capacity to carry more than 12 people continue to be prohibited from entering Arctic coastal waters. including Nunatsiavut, Nunavik and the Labrador Coast, until Oct. 31.

Beginning July 1, passenger vessels will be allowed to operate in inland rivers and lakes in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon.

Essential passenger vessels, such as ferries and water taxis, may continue to operate using COVID-19 mitigation measures.

Gordon Ho, who put the 'Come Back New' into Princess Cruises, is leaving

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Gordon Ho helped drive global demand for Princess Cruises through new campaigns and branded experience partnerships

Ho ultimately served as chief marketing officer and head of sales after joining Princess in 2013 as SVP global marketing, following senior marketing roles with the Walt Disney Co.

Unstoppable creative energy

His 'unstoppable creative energy has helped to drive global demand and numerous initiatives including our “Come Back New” and 50th anniversary campaigns, as well as our exclusive partner experiences with Discovery, Sleep Doctor Michael Breus, Norman Love and Curtis Stone,' said Jan Swartz, group president, Princess Cruises and Carnival Australia.

'His focus on personalization-at-scale initiatives has fueled substantial improvements in our digital marketing and e-commerce efforts,' she continued. 'Throughout this recent time of great upheaval for our company and industry, he has helped our team share and celebrate moments of positivity and happiness.'

Characterized by relentless curiosity, the personable Ho is known for asking questions and sparking discussion to gain insights that supplement his data-driven approach.

Emotion-evoking creative, data-driven decision-making

Marketing professor Lin Humphrey considers Ho an 'extraordinary marketing leader' for having the 'rare ability of being able to launch emotion-evoking creative and data-driven decision-making in unison. I have always admired how much data-informed strategy was hidden to the cruising public behind gorgeous visuals and consistent brand messaging,' Humphrey said. 'It was seamless and effective.'

Ho 'will be missed in the industry, but he will make waves in his next role,' Humphrey added.

Going forward, the Princess marketing and sales leadership team will report to Deanna Austin, EVP and chief commercial officer.

Come Back New

'Come Back New' featured a TV campaign and led to the 'Come Back New' promise. Another new campaign spanned the line's 50th anniversary celebration with Princess Cruises' first Rose Bowl Parade float featuring 'The Love Boat' cast. 

Ho drove brand partnerships that brought fresh audiences to Princess. The one with Discovery blossomed into the Discovery at Sea program, encompassing Discovery and Animal Planet exclusive shore excursions, Camp Discovery youth centers with 'MythBuster' activities, and the Shark Week on-board programs.  

Culinary partnerships included chocolatier Norman Love for 'Chocolate Journeys,' chef Curtis Stone for his SHARE restaurant at sea and Ernesto Uchimura for the Ernesto burger. Exclusive shore excursions with Bon Appétit magazine highlighted the line's destination strength. The Sleep program with Dr. Michael Breus brought the Princess Luxury Bed fleetwide.

Localized experiences/campaigns in Asia

Ho helped drive global and new international campaigns. He created the Princess Global Marketing Summit to assemble marketing and sales leaders from around the world to share best practices and global priorities. Also, together with local teams, he launched Princess localized experiences and campaigns for China, Japan and Taiwan including Princess World Leader dinners in China.

As well, Ho helped position cruising as the best vacation option via the '7 Cruise Wonders of the World' campaign with Conde Nast Traveler and collaborated with Trip Advisor to add 'cruise' as a category to this No. 1 global travel site. 

Personalization at scale

The personalization-at-scale initiative drove expansion of personalization efforts through new MarTech solutions, providing 20% improved conversions across email, social, web and ad platforms. Adobe cited this personalization approach as one of the top implementations in the hospitality business.

MedallionClass Cruising and more

Another major effort included the launch of MedallionClass Cruising, featuring the OceanMedallion.

Most recently, during the COVID-19 crisis, Ho supported global communications and led the Princess Care Team efforts for repatriated guests who were quarantined in military bases across America. This included assembling teams, on-site and remote, to provide needed supplies, communications, care packages and transport home.

Consistent policies, protocols and patience needed before cruising resumes Europe-wide

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Mary Bond in conversation with industry leaders

Although borders are slowly opening across Europe, there are still too many uncertainties and disparities governing individual countries’ travel and tourism guidelines as they ease out of COVID-19 lockdown to enable large-scale cruising activity to return safely and swiftly.

This, according to four European-based industry experts from the ports, cruise line and shore excursions community who shared their thoughts with Seatrade Cruise Group Director Mary Bond in Seatrade Cruise Talks' first digital Curated Conversation piece.

New protocols needed

A resumption of Europe-wide cruising will be a gradual approach with new protocols needed in the first instance, followed by plenty of testing and training that need to be put in place governing port operations, shoreside activities and on board ships, according to Claus Bødker, chair of Cruise Baltic; Michael McCarthy, chair of Cruise Europe; Ukko Metsola, VP government relations, Europe & Asia-Pacific, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.; and Carmen Morosan, global shore excursions manager, Intercruises. 

Click here to watch 'What will it take to bring cruising back safely, from a European perspective?' in the Seatrade Cruise Talks series.

Seatrade Cruise Med September 2020 postponed, alternative options under review

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As a result of those conversations and the continued uncertainty around COVID-19, we have made the decision not to hold Seatrade Cruise Med this September. We are assessing options including a postponed date later this year, or a virtual event.

We continue to hear comments about the global cruising industry needing a platform to network, learn and do business. We want you to know that this is what guides us most. We welcome your thoughts and views on these options as we continue to develop alternate solutions to deliver networking, sourcing and educational opportunities, which we hope to provide in the coming weeks.

We will also be posting updates on our Travel & Health Updates page.

‘We will be sending another update before the end of June as we confirm details on how we can best serve our community, and thank everyone for their continued support as we navigate these uncharted territories,’ commented Mary Bond, group director, Seatrade Cruise.

Zielia adds 140 ports via new Cruise Europe contract

CRUISE Zielia Montréal landing page.jpg members input and maintain information to give cruise planners digital access to reliable, current material. Here, Montréal's landing page

Reliable digital resource

On, members input and maintain timely facts such as port data, destination-related information and excursions to give cruise planners digital access to reliable, current material. 

The membership in Zielia’s online database is 'timely as digital services have experienced substantial growth and necessity due to the global crisis we are currently experiencing,' said Jens Skrede, managing director of Cruise Europe. 'The Zielia platform will enable all our members to upload port data, navigational channels and soundings, video footage, top attractions, maps and local notices.'

Five pillars for itinerary planning

Zielia was created with the goal of providing a single reliable source for cruise planners to find up-to-date information. The platform is based on five pillars for itinerary planning: destination, port, attractions, marketing and calendar. With this, planners can quickly and easily evaluate ports and homeports.

'We are very pleased to add Cruise Europe members as our newest featured ports and destinations on the Zielia database,' said Shannon McKee, co-founder of Zielia. 'We are mindful of the worldwide crisis affecting the industry and look forward to providing the much-needed support to our clients and partners. It is our goal to be an integral source that helps cruise lines and destinations create partnerships that assist with revitalizing the industry.'

The Zielia database is complimentary for cruise line employees who join the site as a Destination Explorer.

Adds to 200 destinations currently

Zielia currently has more than 200 member ports and destinations in North America, Europe, Asia and Oceania. The company is in negotiations with several other cruise marketing networks and regional ports.

NCLH closes $400m exchangeable notes offering with L Catterton

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Among actions to boost liquidity

The offering is part of a number of actions NCLH has taken to boost liquidity in the current no-revenue environment.

These notes are at a rate of 7% for the first year, 4.5% payment-in-kind interest plus 3% per annum cash interest for the following four years and 7.5% in cash for the final year prior to maturity.

The net proceeds are expected to be used for general corporate purposes.

Exchange price $12.10/share

The notes will be general senior unsecured obligations guaranteed by NCLH and will be exchangeable at the holder’s option immediately preceding the maturity date. The initial exchange rate per $1,000 principal amount of the exchangeable notes is approximately 82.6446 ordinary shares of NCLH, which is equivalent to an initial exchange price of $12.10 per ordinary share, subject to future adjustment in certain circumstances.

On Thursday NCLH shares closed at $16.07, down 8.6%.

Entitled to nominate a director

L Catterton is entitled to nominate one member to the NCLH board so long as a minimum ownership threshold is met.

Goldman Sachs acted as placement agent to NCLH.

May 28 updates: Variety OKd for Seychelles, Viking suspends through August, Marella for most of July

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'Travel remains complicated,' Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen said

Viking delays through August

Viking extended its suspension of cruises through August. 'While restrictions related to COVID-19 are beginning to ease in some countries, travel remains complicated,' Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen said.

Those on canceled sailings are offered a 125% future cruise credit, which is fully transferrable and may be gifted to someone else. The FCC can be applied within the next 24 months to any river, ocean or expedition cruise. Travelers unable to use their credit voucher by the expiration date can return it to Viking for a refund equal to the original amount paid.

Those who prefer an immediate refund are asked to request it by June 12.

'Risk-Free Guarantee'

Viking's 'Risk-Free Guarantee' applies to bookings made by June 30. It allows cancellation up to 24 hours prior to departure at no penalty.

Marella cancels for most of July

TUI UK and Ireland extended its cancellations of all beach holidays until June 30 and all Marella Cruises sailings up to July 30.

Variety Cruises gets Seychelles green light

Small ship and yachting specialist Variety Cruises plans a phased return of operations this summer with 49-passenger Galileo due to recommence scheduled seven-night Greek Island itineraries from July 24 and the 44-passenger Pegasos to offer seven-night Seychelles islands round-trips from Male. Both ships will stay in domestic waters.

Variety confirmed it has an agreement with the Seychelles government to be treated like a hotel as the ship is locally based and employs local staff. ‘The minister for tourism has personally confirmed that we can restart sailings,’ Diogenis Venetopoulos, commercial director, Variety Cruises, told Seatrade Cruise News.

Greek Islands

Galileo will sail round-trip Piraeus, visiting the Cyclades islands of Poros, Poliegos, Folegandros, Santorini, Antiparos, Paros, Delos, Mykonos, Syros, Kythnos and Cape Sounion.

Italy's shipbuilders embrace Europe's €750bn coronavirus recovery plan

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European recovery plan could boost the building of sustainable ships and create jobs. Pictured here, Scarlet Lady and Valiant Lady at Fincantieri's Sestri Ponente

Fostering sustainable ships

'This plan has two main goals. The first is to boost the production and use of modern, environmentally sustainable ships, with relevant positive effects in terms of job creation and mobility,' Assonave President Vincenzo Petrone said. 'The second goal is to make up the deficit of investments needed to accelerate the “green” transition of European ships to account for the challenging environmental protection objectives that Europe intends to achieve by 2030.'

Assonave, which represents Italy's shipbuilders, believes the Recovery Plan — if streamlined and properly financed — can become an efficient means to achieve the growth objectives the European industry has set for itself against the tough challenge from Asia's shipbuilding sector. Assonave also recognized the role that Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni and Italy's government are playing to enhance the naval engineering industry.

The association was reacting to the 'Next Generation EU' plan, announced Wednesday by European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen. It consists of €500bn in allocations and €250bn in loans.

Job creation

In its communication to the European Parliament, European Council, Council of the European Union and the Committee of Regions, the EC acknowledged the transportation industry's essential role, particularly during the current health crisis. The EC also acknowledged that in order to create new jobs, it is essential to boost the production and use of sustainable ships.

The EC further proposed to reinforce programs such as the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, the Connecting Europe Facility fund and the European Defense Fund. And it mentioned gaps that will have to be filled by annual €20bn investments aimed at achieving the 'green' transition of vehicles, rolling stock, ships and aircraft, infrastructure excluded.