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Just out: Seatrade Cruise Review's COVID-19 impact and recovery issue

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Cruise operations are expected to restart gradually in pockets or bubbles, just as society is gradually reopening following the curve of the virus. Drive markets are first. The issue looks at some of the places that are likely to see the first ocean and river cruises — a few of them, imminently.

How will cruising be different?

Another feature, 'How will cruising be different?', looks at new practices and protocols on board, including the challenge of social distancing in an inherently social experience, F&B operations and medical practices.

Orderbook impact, lawsuits, ship lay-ups, expedition sector, excursions

Expert commentaries include a look at COVID-19's impact on the cruise ship orderbook, supply-demand balance, ship decommissioning and lay-up by Niklas Carlen, research director at MSI. Separately, hot, warm and cold lay-up are defined and analyzed.

Attorney Christopher B. Kende of Cozen O'Connor delves into the tidal wave of lawsuits facing cruise operators. David Giersdorf, founder/president of Global Voyages Group and an expedition cruising pioneer, focuses on imperatives for this sector, which was booming before COVID-19.

Further features look at how to make Asia-Pacific shore excursions safe when cruising resumes; new strategies, technologies and products to address COVID-19; and some of the recent senior cruise line management changes.

LNG commentary, Baltic and Mediterranean ports/destinations

Still other content includes expert LNG commentary by Xavier Pfeuty of Total Marine Fuels Global Solutions and features on Baltic and Mediterranean ports and destinations.

To download a digital edition of Seatrade Cruise Review's June issue click here. It also will be distributed to subscribers this week, and the print edition is mailing soon.

June 12: Eastport shelters Riviera, Crystal's new Miami-San Juan cruises, CMV delays, destinations get #SafeTravels stamp

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Crystal Serenity will operate weeklong Miami-San Juan voyages eligible for a bundle of 'Simply the Best' offers

Keep checking back. This is being continuously updated.

Eastport lay-up berth for Riviera

Maine's Eastport is providing its Breakwater Pier as a lay-up berth for Oceania Cruises' Riviera, starting Sunday.

The ship is a familiar visitor to Maine on regular Canada/New England itineraries, and last October sought refuge in Searsport Harbor, dropping anchor to ride out a nor’easter. 

'The port is ready to assist the maritime community during this time, and is honored to be capable of providing much-needed relief to the captain and crew as they wait for further instruction from the cruise line,' Port Director Chris Gardner said.

The crew will be complying with the governor’s executive order to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. They also have a stay on board order from US Customs and Border Protection for the duration of their stay.

CMV delays to late August

Cruise & Maritime Voyages further extended the suspension of all worldwide cruises from July 1 to Aug. 25.

New Crystal Serenity Miami-San Juan cruises

Crystal Cruises is bringing Crystal Serenity closer to the US source market with seven-night voyages between Miami and San Juan in October and November. These can be combined for 14-night round-trips from Miami.

The new voyages offer Crystal's 'Simply the Best' program, which includes the best stateroom or suite available at the time of booking, reduced deposit of $100 per person, low solo fares from 125%, a $250 shipboard credit per stateroom or suite (based on double occupancy) and 10% cruise fare savings on the combined 14-night itinerary.

Miami to San Juan sailings embark Oct. 1, Oct. 15 and Oct. 29 and call at Cruz Bay, St. John, US Virgin Islands (maiden call); St. John’s, Antigua; Gustavia, St. Barts (overnight); and Phillipsburg, St. Maarten. San Juan to Miami cruises embark Oct. 8, Oct. 22 and Nov. 5 and call at Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Costa Maya, Mexico.

Fares start at $1,399 per person.

#SafeTravels stamp

Major destinations around the world, including a number that handle cruise ships, are signing up for the World Travel & Tourism Council's safety and hygiene stamp to enable travelers to identify destinations and businesses that have adopted designated 'Safe Travels' health and hygiene global standardized protocols. The United Nations World Tourism Organization has embraced the stamp.

Since the launch last week of the Safe Travels stamp last week, Turkey, Bulgaria, Jamaica, Mauritius, Ontario (Canada), Portugal, Saudi Arabia and the Mexican destinations of Baja California Sur, Quintana Roo and Yucatán, have adopted the protocols. Cities with the #SafeTravels stamp include Barcelona, Cancun, Madrid and Seville.

The 'Safe Travels' protocols were devised following the experience of WTTC members dealing with COVID-19 and are based on guidelines from the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Panama isthmus transfer helps get Carnival crew home (updated)

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Crew transferred from other ships to Carnival Glory at Colón 2000. It carried them to Curaçao for repatriation from there

About 91 crew from Carnival Miracle in the Pacific sector were transferred by bus to the Colón 2000 terminal in the Atlantic sector, where they later boarded Carnival Glory to sail to Curaçao for repatriation to their countries of origin.

Panama Maritime Authority oversight

The transfer inspection was carried out by Panama Maritime Authority Administrator Noriel Arauz.

‘The crew members are healthy and, since their entry in Panamanian waters at the beginning of May, they have been monitored daily by the on-board doctors, supervised by Panama’s Ministry of Health in coordination with the Panama Maritime Authority and the National Immigration Service and in compliance with strict biosafety protocols, without putting at risk the sanitary integrity of the country,' Arauz said.

Humanitarian response

'We are providing a humanitarian and effective response to seafarers from 25 nations — among them, Philippines, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Haiti — who arrived in Panama waters on the ships Carnival Miracle, Carnival Inspiration and Carnival Imagination ... from the US West Coast,' he said.

Carnival Cruise Line had previously conducted ship-to-ship transfers of the crew members, grouped by nationality, to carry out the repatriations.

Nearly 20,000 crew home, 26,000 more to go

June 15 update: Carnival President Christine Duffy thanked Panamanian officials for going 'above and beyond in helping our team members transit their country and to facilitate their return home and for that we are very grateful.' 

As of this week, Carnival said it has repatriated nearly 20,000 crew from its 27 ships and expects to get the more than 26,000 remaining home to 100-plus nations over the coming weeks.

SustainableShips.com livecast looks at a model for sustainable destinations

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The Vanilla Islands

Host Joyce Landry and guests Navin Sawhney, Americas CEO of Ponant, and Grant Holmes, global VP cruise solutions, Inchcape Shipping Services, will discuss the Vanilla Islands.

They'll look at how this ecologically sensitive group of islands that is new to cruising aims to avoid the fate of other island nations, where infrastructure is strained by overtourism and port congestion.

The Vanilla Islands present a model for sustainable tourism and sustainable cruising, through controlled tourism and regulation, Landry said. Ponant supports their vision with a small ship in the region that provides a warm-water cultural experience for travelers.

Post-virus, will travelers be drawn to nature experiences?

'Are travelers drawn to more natural, authentic experiences post-COVID-19? We think so,' Landry said.

The livecast is at 1 p.m. EDT Friday. Registration is here.

Landry is the CEO of Landry & Kling Global Cruise Services. She launched SustainableShips.com to be a catalyst for change, inspiring cruise lines to do more in the area of sustainability.

Chile's Cono Sur elects new 2020-2021 board

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San Antonio's Carlos Mondaca, left, was reelected president while Antofogasta joined the board for the first time with Carlos Escobar, right, as secretary

Mondaca is public affairs director at San Antonio port, while Carlos Escobar, GM of the Port of Antofogasta, was elected secretary.

Rodrigo Pinto, GM of Arica port, was elected vice president, Juan Marcos Mancilla, logistics manager of Valparaíso port, as second vice president and Alex Winkler, GM of Puerto Montt port, as treasurer.

Mondaca thanked the Cono Sur board for their confidence, welcomed Antofogasta's board-level presence and expressed appreciation to Rodrigo Monsalve, GM of Talcahuano-San Vicente port, the outgoing second vice president.

Challenging time

'With a season that ended early and the crisis of the industry due to COVID-19, this board will have the great challenge of repositioning Chile in the international cruise context,' Mondaca said. As always, we will work together with the tourism authorities and our community to bring cruises back to our coasts safely.'

For his part, Escobar indicated Antofogasta's satisfaction in joining the board as a way of reinforcing the port's commitment to continue creating the conditions that make Chile an attractive destination for cruises and to support regional tourism. In the midst of this health crisis, these efforts need to be strengthened to reduce the impacts in a sector that generates a large number of jobs, he said.

The board was elected during a virtual annual assembly.

Cono Sur consists of the ports of Arica, Iquique, Antofagasta, Valparaíso, San Antonio, Talcahuano-San Vicente, Puerto Montt and Castro, Chacabuco and Punta Arenas (including Puerto Natales and Puerto Williams), together with Inchcape Shipping Services and tour operator DMC Chile.

Allure of the Seas to sail from Port Everglades in winter 2021/22

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Allure of the Seas would have been the first Oasis-class ship to homeport in Galveston

Port Everglades instead

Instead, the Oasis-class ship will be operating from Florida's Port Everglades, a company spokesman confirmed. The sailings are not yet open for booking.

Liberty of the Seas continues in Galveston

Meanwhile, Liberty of the Seas will remain in Galveston year-round, offering seven-night Western Caribbean cruises through April 2022.

As earlier reported here, the new terminal is now expected to be completed in autumn 2022, a year behind the original plan. It will be Galveston's first facility designed for Oasis-class ships.

Seatrade Cruise Talks: How COVID-19 Will Affect the Future of Entertainment & Attractions

Hear a panel of experts in entertainment and attractions discuss how they are handling the current situation, and what the cruise industry can learn from them.

Moderator:
Ryan Stana, Chief Executive Officer, RWS Entertainment Group

Featured Speakers:
Rick Gray, General Manager Entertainment Operations, Wynn Las Vegas
John Hallenbeck, Vice President, and Executive Director, IAAPA North America
Ryan Murphy, Vice President, and Production Manager, Aurora Productions

Hebridean Sky brings British Antarctic Survey teams back to UK

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Hebridean sky arriving in Portsmouth

The scientists, support teams and construction workers completed their Antarctic summer field season work in March.

However COVID-19 disrupted all international air travel, including BAS normal routes through the Falklands and South America and the only safe alternative was to bring staff and colleagues home by sea.

Portsmouth and Harwich arrivals

Last weekend Hebridean Sky arrived in Portsmouth International Port and on Tuesday RRS James Clark Ross arrived at Harwich Port.

Noble Caledonia Head of Fleet Operations Mike Deegan says: ‘We are delighted to have been able to assist British Antarctic Survey with the repatriation of their staff members who have been involved with vital scientific and research work down south. We were pleased to provide this service at no profit to ourselves in view of the extraordinary challenges faced by BAS.’

Fincantieri's Ancona floats out Viking Venus

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Viking Venus touched the water for the first time today at Fincantieri's Ancona yard

Interior fittings will now begin, leading to the delivery, scheduled in early 2021. Maiden season sailings are planned in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe.

Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen thanked everyone at the Ancona yard for their hard work and dedication.

He added: 'As the world continues its path to recovery from COVID-19, we remain focused on the future, and with strong bookings for 2021 and the enthusiasm of our guests, we are optimistic about what is to come.'

The 47,000gt Viking Venus can accommodate 930 passengers. The ship has energy-efficient engines and optimized hydrodynamics and hull to reduce fuel consumption.

20 ships for Viking

After starting its partnership with Viking in 2012 with an order for two ships, Fincantieri has stretched the business to 20 units, including a pair of expedition ships at its Vard subsidiary and options. According to the builder, this is a record stretch of cruise orders for a single brand.

Viking Star was delivered by the Marghera yard in 2015, followed by Viking Sea, Viking Sky, Viking Sun, Viking Orion and Viking Jupiter, all handed over by Ancona from 2016 through 2019.

A further 10 units, including options, are scheduled between 2021 and 2027.

In Focus: Covid-19 Solutions

Team of marine professionals claim a non-invasive, natural solution to fighting COVID-19

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John Chillingworth, Microbe Marine’s Senior Marine Principal

Citing the silent spreaders and viruses transmitted from surface contact as the main causes of virus transmission, Microbe Marine says the OCP process will combat these main risks by producing a mass of oxygen clusters, which bombard and kill all viruses and bacteria on surfaces and in the air, disinfecting clothes and people without any impact 24/7, keeping passengers and crews safe. 

Proven technology on land

The directors at Microbe Marine have been working closely with top specialists in the marine and science field to adopt a well-proven technology for the marine market.

‘Cruise lines are currently looking at several operational changes to combat COVID-19. They are considering drastic actions such as reducing the number of passengers on board and guests in show lounges, spacing out bar and restaurant seating and assigning fewer crew members,’ said John Chillingworth, Microbe Marine’s Senior Marine Principal.

A former technical VP at Cunard and who served as a chief engineer on QE2 in the 80s, Chillingworth  added, ‘wearable devices for crowd control, digital casinos, and robot crew members are just a few of the interventions being pursued by ship designers. These are all extreme initiatives and will make it very difficult for the industry to operate efficiently. Besides, these are not cure but treatment, whereas OCP kills the viruses.’

Easy installation

The Oxygen Cluster Process can be easily installed according to Microbe Marine and it claims the system kills viruses and eliminates microbes including SARS Covid 2, COVID 19, Norovirus and bacteria in the air and on surfaces throughout the ship, automatically and continuously 24/7. It also removes odours quickly and efficiently.

Microbiologists confirm that 80% of viruses on ships are transmitted by touching a contaminated surface. The clusters disinfect fabrics, people, floors, buttons, work surfaces, buffets, anything the air touches, without any knowledge or residue. This combats the main risk of surface contamination and reduces the impact of silent spreaders. The system, without any sensation, also disinfects people and their clothes whilst they are walking around the ship.

Used in the Far East to combat SARS

In 2002, the same technology was used during the SARS epidemic, COVID 2 when the epidemic was prevalent in the Far East , notes Microbe Marine.

‘Many hotels and hospitals in Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Singapore and China installed Oxygen clusters in their hospitals and hotels. Laboratory technician who conducted tests after installation showed that with oxygen clusters 99.99% of surface viruses were killed within five minutes,’ Microbe Marine states.

OCP requires minimal retrofitting, and once installed requires no adjustments or regular maintenance. Sterilisation starts as soon as the unit is switched on and is infinite for as long as the unit is active.

Each unit uses less than 50 watts.

Exclusive distributor

Microbe Marine is the exclusive marine distributor for OCP units and operates globally with an established network of marine professionals in UAE, Singapore, Turkey, Brazil, UK, US and China. 

‘Various technologies such as Ultra-violet light (UVGI), air conditioning upgrades and enhanced air filtration seem to feature in many cruise lines considerations for possible implementation in fighting the virus but I beleive OCP should also be seriously considered as an option, consultant Grenville Cartledge, managing director of Four Gold told SCN.

‘Without becoming too scientific, oxygen is the only ‘paramagnetic’ gas that absorbs electrons from the sun.  As the oxygen gains extra electrons it collects into reactive and magnetic clusters that purifies the air and rids it of microbes. 

‘Copper, which has well-documented anti-bacterial properties, works in the same way using free electrons in its outer orbital shell that makes it a “molecular oxygen grenade” and can inactivate 10 million coronavirus cells in 5 minutes.

‘Obviously, it is not practical to change all surfaces to copper on board and, anyway, this would not address the issue of airborne transmission.  However, OCP harnesses the same ‘free-electron’ process and will continuously expose all surfaces, including fabrics, soft furnishings and people, to these oxygen grenades.  The technology will seek out microbes and destroy their capability to transmit harmful genetic material. The technology is proven in many shore side establishments and can be easily adapted to the marine environment and retro-fitted at relatively low cost,’ Cartledge remarked.