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Europa 2 saves 600 tons of carbon dioxide during 30 day cold-ironing use

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Europa 2 has had its cold ironing connection certified by the classification society DNV GL

The certification is the result of testing the ship’s undisrupted use and compatibility of cold ironing.

Europa 2 has been using shore power at the Hamburg Cruise Center Altona for the past 30 days and was able to save a total of 600 tons of carbon dioxide.

The compatibility of the cold ironing connection at the Cruise Center in Altona was adjusted by Hamburg Port Authority (HPA), as the small Europa 2 requires a lower voltage than the other cruise ships that are using cold ironing there.

2.2 megawatts of power per hour

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ luxury ship, with a maximum capacity of 500 passengers, requires 2.2 megawatts of power per hour during its lay time. This reduces the ship’s emissions to practically zero. The electricity used is being supplied by Hamburg Energie and comes from 100% renewable resources.

The settings can be easily duplicated any time the ship makes a stop at the port in future.

‘We are glad that we have been able to make such valuable use of this forced break by driving forward cold ironing and the certification of the Europa 2. The fact that a cruise ship has used cold ironing over a long period of time in Hamburg is an important and unprecedented experience,’ said Karl J. Pojer, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.

He continued: ‘Successful use of cold ironing is another important part of our environmental strategy. We use marine gas oil with a low 0.1% sulphur content in the whole fleet, all over the world, thereby going beyond the legal requirements.’

Flåm wins government funding to build onshore power supply for cruise ships at berth

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Port of Flam is aiming for OPS to be ready to supply cruise ships by July 1, 2022

Port of Flåm submitted an application to Norway’s Ministry of Climate and Environment (ENOVA) for funding towards the project in April 2020, and this has now been granted.

The cost of building the OPS (Onshore Power Supply) facility including an underwater cable directly from the hydro power station in Aurland to Flåm is estimated to NKr83m. The ENOVA grant is for NKr27m.

The application to ENOVA was prepared in collaboration with local stakeholders, the cruise industry, and the local energy supplier, noted Tor Mikkel Tokvam, port director, Port of Flåm.

Opportunities abound

‘This is big and important news for us. This shows that we are ready for a change over. Now we need to find a balance when it comes to the OPS facility and the opportunities it gives us. It now needs to be seen in context with the regulations for the World Heritage Fjords set by the Norwegian Maritime Authority and the Norwegian parliament’s decision to make the UNESCO World Heritage fjords emission free in 2026,’ said Tokvam.

He added, ‘now it is important to find a future-oriented strategy that benefits public health and the environment in the World Heritage fjords while safeguarding the foundation of creating value locally.’

75% reduction in cruise ship emissions

By establishing an OPS, emissions from cruise ships will be reduced by 75% in a few years, predicts the Port of Flåm.

At the same time, the project will contribute to greater supply of electricity to Flåm creating an opportunity to electrify the entire destination across sectors, remarked Jon Olav Stedje, port operation manager and head of marketing.

All-electric sightseeing catamarans

Since 2016,  Norwegian passenger ship owner and operator, The Fjords, has been operating all-electric sightseeing catamarans along the UNESCO World Heritage listed fjord route between Flåm and Gudvangen.

In 2018, Port of Kristiansand began offering cold ironing for cruise ships at berth, in a first for Norway.


CroisiEurope welcomes France's OK to resume river cruises July 11

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CroisiEurope vessels on the Seine

This is good news for Strasbourg-based CroisiEurope.

Operations planned on all French rivers, with fewer vessels

'We are very happy with this decision,' said Lucas Schmitter, e-commerce and sales director. 'We had expected a recovery on July 13 with our itineraries.' The company is going to operate on all French rivers, as announced, even if it reducing its fleet on some of them, such as the Rhine (three ships instead of four) and the Seine (two instead of three).

Schmitter said CroisiEurope will resume its international cruises on the Rhine and the Danube at the end of July/beginning of August. In August the company will also restart sailings on the Douro in Portugal and on the Guadalquivir in Spain. Only far-away cruises are not scheduled. Also, some theme cruises were canceled or revise.

CroisiEurope's flexible reservation and payment policy played a role in keeping many loyal customers from seeking refunds and attracted some new travelers. The company is also working with Bureau Veritas to achieve the Safeguard label, verifying effective infection control measures.

Bookings from France and beyond

'We have bookings from France, but also from Switzerland, Belgium and Germany,' Schmitter said. 'We also hope to have some from Spain and Denmark. Even if our activities were considerably reduced, we are more optimistic than three months ago.'

One ocean vessel set to sail, the other on standby

There is no problem or restriction for La Belle de L'Adriatique, which will sail in August along the Croatian coasts. As for the 130-passenger La Belle des Océans' departures from Nice for cruises around Corsica, 'We hope to get an official authorization from the government at the end of June or the beginning of July,' Schmitter said. Those cruises are to take place from July 26 until Oct. 11.


June 22 updates: Carnival pauses through September, PVA urges more aid for US-flag operators

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Carnival is pausing cruises two weeks longer than Cruise Lines International Association's Sept. 15 date

Carnival Cruise Line pauses through September

Carnival Cruise Line extended its operational pause in North America through Sept. 30. That is two weeks longer than the date set Friday by Cruise Lines International Association for US-based sailings.

As with its previous pause announcements, Carnival is giving travelers who wish to move their booking to a later date the offer of a future cruise credit and either a $300 or $600 on-board credit. Otherwise, they can request a full refund. The process is fully automated so travelers can submit their preference online and they have until May 31, 2021, to make a selection.

Carnival is still completing the repatriation of nearly 29,000 crew members to more than 100 nations who serve its fleet of 27 ships.

Passenger Vessel Association seeks more relief for US-flag industry

The Passenger Vessel Association, the national trade association for US-flag passenger vessels of all types, sent a letter to leaders in Congress and the Trump administration urging them to provide more long-term financial relief for the industry, which continues to be mostly shut down as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

PVA pointed to the shortfalls and inefficiencies of government emergency funding programs such as the Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and the Main Street Lending Program. PVA expressed the concern that these programs are simply not enough for small businesses and their employees to survive the long-term realities of lost revenues and higher costs related to safely operating during the COVID-19 era. 

In the letter, PVA 2020 President Colleen Stephens stated: 'Our political leaders in Washington cannot assume that the economic crisis is over or that measures taken thus far are sufficient to address the problems. PVA's members need assurance that long-term financial relief will be available to them soon.'

Ocean cruises may soon restart from France, with reduced capacity

A ship like Le Dumont D'Urville, one in Ponant's Explorers class, can carry 184 passengers and 112 crew

Lemoyne said officials were talking with cruise operators about a capacity restriction. In a recent meeting, a 500-person (passengers and crew) limit was discussed, however this has not been decided.

Ponant's plan 'very interesting'

Ponant's proposal to operate cruises along the French coasts using six of its vessels was considered 'very interesting' by the minister.

Ponant's new Explorers series ships carry 184 passengers and 112 crew, while its earlier expedition vessels carry up to 264 passengers and 140 crew.

France's discussion about allowing ocean cruises continues.

MSC moves up Canaveral service to start this winter with MSC Seaside

MSC Seaside, pictured here, will operate the Canaveral service November though March, with MSC Divina taking over from late March through November 2021

MSC Seaside will initiate the Central Florida sailings from November this year until March 2021, then MSC Divina will take over the service, starting at the end of March. Earlier, MSC had announced its Canaveral program would begin with MSC Divina in March.

Both ships currently sail from PortMiami.

Three-, four- and seven-night cruises

Three-, four- and seven-night cruises departing on Sundays and Thursdays are planned.

'Port Canaveral has always been an extremely popular port with cruisers. It is easily accessible, offers innovative and modern terminals and provides convenient access to many attractions in the surrounding area,' said Rubén Rodriguez, president of MSC Cruises USA.

He added that as MSC Cruises looks to the upcoming year, 'we are eager to bring our guests back to sea when the time is right, with health and safety as a top priority, following guidance from national and international health authorities. We are also excited to expand our presence in North America with new and enriching cruise experiences.'

'This exciting new partnership is an endorsement of our commitment to excellence and the investments we’ve made in our cruise operations. We’re looking forward to working together with our new cruise partner providing the best possible experience for their guests,' said Capt. John Murray, CEO, Port Canaveral.

Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Nassau, Ocean Cay

MSC Seaside will offer three-, four- and seven-night cruises November through March, visiting Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Nassau and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.

MSC Divina will replace MSC Seaside in Port Canaveral in March, continuing the itineraries through November 2021.

Pullmantur files to reorganize under Spanish insolvency terms

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Monarch is one of Pullmantur's three ships, along with Sovereign and Horizon

Cruises Investment Holding owns 51% of the Spanish cruise line, while RCL owns the remaining 49%.

COVID-19 made this action 'necessary'

Pullmantur's board of directors determined that COVID-19 pandemic's impact made the action necessary. Pullmantur management notified employees of the decision after filings were made with Spanish authorities.

'Despite the great progress the company made to achieve a turnaround in 2019 and its huge engagement and best efforts of its dedicated employees, the headwinds caused by the pandemic are too strong for Pullmantur to overcome without a reorganization,' the board stated.

Three ships

The company earlier canceled sailings through Nov. 15. Pullmantur operates three ships: Monarch (2,752 passengers), Sovereign (2,733 passengers) and Horizon (1,828 passengers). 

Royal Caribbean said passengers booked to sail will be offered the option to cruise with Royal Caribbean International or Celebrity Cruises. Details of the offer are to be shared with guests in the near future.

Crew are staffed at minimum maintenance levels on Pullmantur's three ships and the company said it will take care of their safe return home.

RCL impairment charge in Q1 results

RCL noted all of its assets related to the Pullmantur joint venture were included in the $1.1bn in non-cash asset impairment charges reported in the company's first quarter 2020 results.

UK detains five CMV ships for expired crew contracts, nonpayment of wages

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All these matters are in breach of the Maritime Labor Convention. 

According to CMV, the matter highlights the challenge all shipping companies face in repatriating crew, and the pay issues, it said, have been resolved.

Four ships in Tilbury and one in Bristol

Detained were Astoria, Astor, Columbus and Vasco da Gama at Tilbury and Marco Polo at Bristol. All five are operated by Global Cruise Lines Ltd. Four of the vessels are flagged with the Bahamas and one with Portugal (Madeira).

'The welfare of seafarers is of the utmost importance and we take any reports of safety concerns around crew incredibly seriously,' Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps said. 'This is a very concerning situation and I am pleased that the MCA has been able to act swiftly over the last few days. The well-being of all seafarers is an absolute priority.'

Director of Maritime Safety and Standards Katy Ware, the UK’s permanent representative to the International Maritime Organization, said the detention 'sends a very clear message that crew welfare remains a top priority for us both as a flag and a port state. We must care for the well-being and health of our seafarers who work so hard in the industry.'

The ships will remain detained until the MLC breaches are resolved and the MCA is invited back to reinspect.

Magellan not detained

A sixth CMV ship, Magellan, which also belongs to Global Cruise Lines Ltd., was not detained after no significant deficiencies were found.

COVID-19 travel restrictions to blame

CMV said expired crew contracts and crew being on board in excess of 12 months resulted from COVID-19 travel restrictions for some countries. According to CMV, the wages — which were due within the last week — have already been addressed.

The Essex-based company said it has worked hard to repatriate as many crew members as possible but has been unable to get all home all due to the travel restrictions. Other cruise lines, and all shipping companies, are facing the same challenge.

CMV noted it has been cruising from British ports since commencing operations 10 years ago without any detentions and cooperated fully with the MCA’s inspections.

Hope this raises awareness of the plight of seafarers

'CMV has in the past and is continuing to work hard to cooperate fully with the Maritime and Coast Guard Agency and to rectify the crew contract issues which have largely contributed to the detention of five CMV ships,' CEO Christian Verhounig said. 'We hope this issue has raised awareness of the plight of our crew with the various embassies and that they will now assist CMV with the repatriation of crew members. Remaining countries have fully engaged in supporting CMV over the past two days. We are confident that with the sudden increase in support and help we will be able to repatriate the remaining crew, ideally before the end of the month. CMV apologises for any inconvenience or disruption that these issues may have caused for their highly valued crew.'

Astoria had been scheduled to sail last Thursday for Lisbon for minor repairs and to have certificates renewed.

Company is seeking additional funding

CMV has been in discussion with potential lenders and investors after the Essex-based company was unable to secure a £25m loan from Barclays bank under a COVID-19 business interruption loan scheme.

During their repatriation flight, two Carnival crew deliver a baby

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Nurses Christine Anne and John saw to the safe delivery of baby Sky at 37,000 feet

Nurses Christine Anne and John — last names not immediately available — were being repatriated from Carnival Breeze when they responded to an announcement asking for medical personnel to assist in an in-flight situation at 37,000 feet.

Mother and baby are fine

Mother and baby girl were reported as doing fine. The baby's name is Sky.

Christine Anne and John were supposed to be on another flight a few days earlier but, in this case, the delay seemed to work out for the best.

Carnival Cruise Line expressed its pride and appreciation for Christine Anne and John.


Apollo's Steve Martinez resigns as an NCLH director

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Steve Martinez, right, is pictured at a shipyard visit several years ago with Frank Del Rio

Led Apollo investment in Oceania and NCL

Martinez is senior partner, head of Asia Pacific, for Apollo Global Management. He was the Apollo partner who led the investment first in Oceania Cruises and then, in 2007, in Norwegian Cruise Line. Apollo eventually cashed out of NCLH in November 2018.

In a filing, NCLH said the resignation did not involve a disagreement with the company on any matter relating to its operations, policies or practices.

New director to be appointed

The board intends to appoint a new director to replace Martinez no later than July 15.

At today's NCLH annual shareholders meeting in Miami, three directors were reelected to serve until the 2023 annual general meeting. They are Chairman Russell Galbut, managing principal of Crescent Heights; David Abrams, senior managing director of Cerberus European Capital Advisors; and John Chidsey. former chairman and CEO of Burger King Corp.

Other directors are Frank Del Rio, president and CEO, NCLH; Adam Aron, CEO and president of AMC Entertainment Holdings and chairman and CEO of World Leisure Partners; Stella David, former CEO of William Grant & Sons Ltd.; Mary Landry, retired US Coast Guard rear admiral; Chad Leat, retired vice chairman of global banking at Citigroup; and Pamela Thomas-Graham, founder and CEO of Dandelion Chandelier.