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Aranui 5 cancels Marquesas cruise due to COVID cases

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It may be possible for Aranui 5 may to sail on Wednesday but carrying only freight, no passengers

The vessel turned around and sailed back to Papeete, Tahiti, according to Polynésie la 1ere and TNTV Tahiti Nui Television.

No passengers reported infected

None of the 79 passengers were reported infected. Residents returned home and tourists will be repatriated. The 10 crew have been taken to a dedicated quarantine facility.

Aranui 5 is docked at the cruise ship wharf. It may resume sailing on Wednesday, but carrying only freight.

12 crew test positive for COVID-19 on board TUI's Mein Schiff 6

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The crew members are undergoing additional testing while being isolated

See Sept. 29 update: 'No coronavirus on board TUI's Mein Schiff 6, Greek authorities confirm'

The dozen crew members on board the TUI Cruises vessel — carrying nearly 666 crew and 922 passengers — were found to have contracted the virus after 150 sample tests were conducted, according to the Greek Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy.

A spokesperson for TUI commented, ‘On Monday morning we received positive test results from 12 crew members of Mein Schiff 6 from an external laboratory ... None of the 12 crew members has any symptoms.

Half of retests negative

‘To rule out the unlikely case of infection, the persons concerned are currently being tested again with our PCR rapid test device on board. These tests are currently being conducted. Half of the results already came out to be negative … We expect an overall status by tomorrow latest.’

They added, ‘We will stick [to our] original itinerary and sail to Piraeus tomorrow; this has been decided in accordance with the Greek authorities.'

The crew members are now isolated on board the ship, which TUI called a ‘precautionary measure’ while further swabs are taken. The line added that ‘thanks to the extensive hygiene measures and clearance rules on board, there is no reason for guests and crew to worry.

Health and hygiene measures

TUI said it has an ‘early warning system’ in place as part of its health and hygiene concept, and crew are regularly tested for COVID-19.

The company claims to implement ‘extensive hygiene measures’ and ‘distance rules’ on board.

Mein Schiff 6's Mediterranean restart

Mein Schiff 6 was on a nine-day, one-way cruise from Palma de Mallorca to Heraklion that began on September 20 and was due to end on September 29 after visiting Piraeus and Corfu. Greece has been the first Mediterranean country in which TUI Cruises started its sailing programme this year and is the number one destination for TUI customers to date in 2020.

The ship is one of the first cruise vessels to ply Greek waters after a six-month interruption caused by COVID-19.

Greek cruise market

TUI executive board member Sebastian Ebel expressed the cruise line's desire to expand its business activities in Greece when he met with Haris Theocharis, Greek tourism minister on September 25.

‘Greece has created a framework for the safe resumption of tourism’, said Ebel. ‘This has allowed us to continue offering visitors unique travel experiences in Greece and proves you can offer excellent holiday experiences while safeguarding the health and security of visitors, staff and the population.’

Theocharis also commented, ‘We wish to further deepen our close relationship with Greece and I am optimistic about the 2021 season.’

The meeting concluded that most TUI customers picked Greece this year, with a significant increase in the country’s share among its clientele while the growth in demand has helped extend the tourism season into the fall, with TUI now set to keep bringing tourists over to Greece until the end of November 2020.

Mardi Gras heads to sea trials

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Mardi Gras is scheduled to be put through its paces during 10 days of sea trials off the coast of Finland

The vessel is scheduled to spend 10 days at sea before returning to the dock for final preparations for its delivery and departure for the US.

North America's first cruise ship to be powered by LNG, Mardi Gras is planned to enter service from Port Canaveral on Feb. 6, operating weeklong Caribbean itineraries.

New Costa campaign targets Europe amid ships’ restart

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Costa Diadema restarted cruising on September 19 from Genoa (photography: Luca Peruzzi)

Until the end of November this year, passengers can book a balcony cabin at a special price with cancellation free of charge. The offer is effective for both 2020 and 2021 departures.

It comes after Deliziosa’s restart earlier this month from Trieste for Italian guests and Diadema’s resumption on September 19

The short film directed by Ago Panini is already airing in Italy and Spain on digital and social platforms; it will be shown on these countries’ national television networks as well as on TV in France.

It will appear online only in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. 

 

Workers rally at PortMiami to protest no-sail order

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'SOS. Save our salary. The no-sail order keeps cruise ships away & Florida without pay,' according to a flyer that was circulated with the hashtags #Saveoursalary #Protectportjobs #Protectcruisejobs.

Led by ILA and other workers

This rally is organized by labor, including International Longshoremen's Association members, ground transportation agencies and others. 

'Let us go to work today'

The flyer calls cruise ships 'job creators' and cruise lines 'lifelines,' adding: 'No sail. No way. Let us go to work today.'

The rally took place at Terminal D, PortMiami.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's no-sail order runs at least through September. Cruise Lines International Association member lines have a voluntary operating pause through October.

Venice port workers in August staged a protest in support of resuming cruise operations.

Where are they now? Recent cruise ship sales/buyers

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From left, Sun Princess is going to Peace Boat, Bremen to Scylla for VIVA Cruises and, among ships at the breakers, Carnival Fantasy in Turkey, alongside a Pullmantur vessel

Ships from a dozen brands have gone to a variety of buyers. Some are to begin new chapters under service for operators like Celestyal Cruises, China joint venture CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping, Dreamliner Cruises, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Peace Boat, Seajets and VIVA Cruises. Others will become accommodation vessels, and some are meeting their end at the breakers, being recycled.

This list has 17 of the ships from Carnival Corp. & plc in what the company recently said would amount to 18 ships exiting, including four announced prior to fiscal 2020.

As well, the vessels of insolvent Cruise & Maritime Voyages, going to auction in October, are included here.

Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Fantasy (1990), Inspiration (1996), Imagination (1995) to the breakers in Turkey. Fascination (1994) fate unclear.

Costa Cruises

Costa Victoria (1996) to San Giorgio del Porto, fate unclear; Costa neoRomantica (1993, Costa Romantica) to Celestyal Cruises, renamed Celestyal Experience.

Costa Atlantica (2000) transferred to CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping, a joint venture between Carnival Corp. & plc and China State Shipbuilding Corp. Costa Mediterranea (2003) is going to this venture, as well. 

Holland America Line

Amsterdam (2000) and Rotterdam (1997) to Fred. Olsen, renamed Bolette and Borealis, respectively. Maasdam (1993) and Veendam (1996) to Seajets as Aegean Myth and Aegean Majesty, respectively.

P&O Cruises

Oceania (2000, Ocean Princess) to Seajets, renamed Queen of the Oceans.

P&O Cruises Australia

Pacific Dawn (1991, Regal Princess) to an undisclosed buyer. Pacific Aria (1994, Ryndam), fate unknown. Both ships were to go to Cruise & Maritime Voyages as Amy Johnson and Ida Pfeiffer prior to CMV's insolvency; subsequently a new buyer was found for Pacific Dawn; no update on Pacific Aria.

Princess Cruises

Sun Princess (1995) to Peace Boat and Sea Princess (1997), buyer unknown.

Pullmantur

Sovereign (1988, Sovereign of the Seas) and Monarch (1991, Monarch of the Seas) to the breakers in Turkey. Zenith (1992) to Peace Boat.

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises

Bremen (1990, Frontier Spirit) to Scylla AG for VIVA Cruises as Seaventure.

FTI Cruises

Berlin (1980) to Royalton Investment for Dreamliner Cruises.

Fred. Olsen

Black Watch (1972, Royal Viking Star) and Boudicca (1973, Royal Viking Sea) to Turkey as accommodations vessels.

Magna Carta Steamship Co.

Lord of the Glens (1985, Victoria) to HP Shipping Ltd. for Hebridean Island Cruises.

Cruise & Maritime Voyages (Global Maritime Group)

Astor (1987), Columbus (1989, Star Princess), Magellan (1985, Holiday), Marco Polo (1965, Alexandr Pushkin) and Vasco da Gama (1993, Statendam) are to be auctioned in October.

Seatrade Cruise Virtual app is launched

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Benefits of the app, found here, include:

  • Manage your event from anywhere
  • Network with your connections on the move
  • Don’t miss your meetings – get notifications 10 minutes before
  • Session reminders – don’t miss out on any conference sessions you have bookmarked
  • Interact with other attendees using live polls and continue discussions after sessions and meetings as well as connecting on social channels

To search for the app in Google Play/Apple Store use ‘Seatrade Cruise Virtual’ and visit ‘The Virtual Experience’ page which gives more details.

Seatrade Cruise Virtual, October 5-8, 2020, will bring the cruise community together for four days of networking, sourcing, education and innovation – the pillars of Seatrade’s live events, reimagined to suit both your schedule and the world's unique circumstances.

New buyer for P&O Australia’s Pacific Dawn

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A new buyer will take delivery of the 1,546-passenger Pacific Dawn in the coming weeks

CMV had planned to rename her after the aviatrix Amy Johnson, following the line’s tradition of naming vessels after pioneering explorers and adventurers.

CMV had also planned to take delivery of Pacific Aria in Singapore in May and rename her Ida Pfeiffer after the Austrian explorer. 

Undisclosed buyer

A P&O Cruises Australia spokeswoman declined to name the buyer of Pacific Dawn.

She said, as a matter of courtesy, it will be left to the buyer to make any announcement.

No word on Pacific Aria

The spokeswoman also declined to say whether a new buyer has been found for Pacific Aria.

 

Lisa Lutoff-Perlo's heart for the crew lifts Seafarers' House fundraiser

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Celebrity CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, center, with some of the line's women officers, including Capt. Kate McCue, second from right

In a typical year, 150,000 crew visit Seafarers' House. It has remained open this year, however with the pandemic's restrictions, most crew have not been allowed off ships. Even so, the charity has maintained its mission of support. It has provided multi-faith pastoral care virtually and by phone, ensured ongoing assistance to 66 crew stuck in local hotels, awaiting repatriation and, at the request of cruise lines, developed twice-weekly live prayer services and prayer videos.

'You're not alone'

Through it all, 'The message is you're not alone. We're standing beside you,' said Lesley Warrick, executive director of Seafarers' House. 'We are, and will always be here for, the crew.'

On Saturday night, Seafarers' House got a fundraising lift from cash donations and a silent auction in honoring Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO, Celebrity Cruises, at its International Golden Compass Virtual Gala.  

The annual gala raises half of the Seafarers' House budget, according to Warrick.

'Steadfast support for mariners'

Lutoff-Perlo has shown 'consistent and steadfast support for mariners,' said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group, in remarks to the event. It was at her insistence, he noted, that part of the new Terminal 25 at Port Everglades — designed for Celebrity's Edge-class ships — include a dedicated crew lounge.

'Lisa's had the tenacity to enhance the role of women on the ships,' Fain continued. This included hiring the first US woman captain for a major cruise ship and the first African woman cadet on the Celebrity bridge, and this year's 100% female bridge and leadership team on Celebrity Edge for International Women's Day. Lutoff-Perlo has put the spotlight on recruiting women to seafaring jobs and raised the percentage of women on the bridge in Celebrity's fleet from 3% to 27%.

'Seeing opportunity where others see difficulty'

'She's a woman who sees opportunity when others see difficulty,' said Capt. Kate McCue, that pioneering US woman captain.

More than 19,000 crew are under Lutoff-Perlo's care, and several of the Celebrity ships were dialed in to the gala, emceed by Nick Weir, SVP entertainment, Royal Caribbean International. Virtual entertainment featured the a capella group Straight No Chaser, which will perform on Celebrity Apex in future, and a music, dance and acrobatics performance, 'When Our Ships Will Sail,' by the Celebrity entertainment family.

Video greetings from the captains and crew on all 14 ships in the fleet were beamed in, along with messages from the Celebrity management team, including some former crew members, and far-flung family.

'Crew are suffering ... They need to come back to work'

'We are nothing without our crew,' a teary Lutoff-Perlo told the Golden Compass Gala. 'They are suffering now. They have not been working for a long time. They need to come back to work. We're working hard with Port Everglades to bring this industry back so they can work and help support their families.'

She added: 'I will continue to work tirelessly for the crew on all our ships, all over the world.'

 

Miami-Dade County mayor urges CDC to not extend no-sail order

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'Our cruise partners are confident that a resumption of cruise operations in the Americas can be done responsibly,' Mayor Carlos Gimenez said in a statement

The current no-sail order goes to the end of September.

In a statement on Saturday, Gimenez pointed to the Sept. 3 resolution of the Miami-Dade County Commission urging CDC to expedite and conclude any analysis necessary for the establishment of the public health guidance and preventative measures required to resume cruise travel.

CLIA's mandatory protocols

He also noted how Cruise Lines International Association subsequently adopted mandatory core elements of health protocols to support a phased-in return of service stateside. The elements mirror the protocols established in Europe where cruising has successfully resumed and 'go beyond all other industries in requiring 100% testing of passengers and crew prior to boarding,' Gimenez said.

Other elements include mandatory masks; distancing in cruise terminals, on ships and during shore excursions; ventilation strategies to mitigate risk, expanded medical capability and shore excursions that meet the cruise lines' prescribed protocols.

A demonstrated commitment to public health

'With the development of these rigorous safety protocols, the cruise industry is demonstrating its leadership and commitment to public health in travel and tourism,' Gimenez said. 'Based on the effectiveness of the protocols implemented by CLIA members in Europe and other parts of the world, and the core elements developed by world-class experts in medicine and science, our cruise partners are confident that a resumption of cruise operations in the Americas can be done responsibly.'