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Last chance for the public to provide CDC feedback on cruising

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The information may be used to inform future public health guidance and preventative measures relating to cruise ship travel.

Comments should be submitted to the federal rulemaking portal, identified by Docket No. CDC-2020-0087.

4,667 comments received, and counting ... 

Comments are publicly posted and, as of this writing, 3,333 comments have been posted from 4,667 received. Those not posted may contain private or proprietary information, inappropriate language or duplicate/near duplicate examples of a mass-mail campaign. 

The submissions are from a wide range of voices, including avid cruisers, travel advisors, people who live in port communities and suppliers. As of Friday, Cruise Lines International Association had not yet submitted its comments.

Divergent views

The postings present a range of views, from 'I cannot understand why the CDC has singled out the cruise industry as the only leisure activity not allowed to resume since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic' to 'It would be tragically irresponsible to allow cruise ships to start operating again.'

Comments also address specifics like masks and HVAC systems, with equally passionate and divergent views.

After the docket closes, CDC will be reviewing the submissions, along with the detailed plans submitted by cruise lines. 

The US no-sail order currently extends through September, while CLIA's own voluntary suspension of sailings from/to US ports stretches through October

See also 'Florida senators introduce Set Sail Safely Act toward resuming US cruises'


Ontario's Killarney kicks off new itinerary-planners' series by Lakeshore Excursions

Canada House at Killarney Mountain Lodge will provide passenger amenities like a fish fry and local entertainment and is the site of the future dedicated cruise tender dock

One of the 'new' spots is Ontario's Killarney, a gem tucked into the northern part of scenic Georgian Bay in the northeast corner of Lake Huron. Killarney is a popular tourist destination that's enjoyed hefty investment in recent years. Passenger ships haven't called since the 1940s, but that's about to change.

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Viking and more

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises' Hanseatic Inspiration is booked in 2021 and Viking Expedition Cruises in 2022, along with another noted expedition line that hasn't published its plans yet.

Killarney stars in the first of a by-invitation-only webinar series crafted by the veteran operator Lakeshore Excursions. The series goes live Sept. 22.

'Our goal is to introduce new destinations, new excursions and new ideas. We're doing these webinars from an itinerary planner's perspective,' explained Bruce O'Hare, a founding partner of Lakeshore Excursions. Each webinar — kept to a crisp 15 minutes or less — covers logistics, marine operations, weather, excursion details and more.

One of the oldest settlements in northern Ontario, the fishing village of Killarney has now become a world-class recreational boating draw. It offers historic village sites and new attractions like the sumptuous Killarney Mountain Lodge, where cruise ship tenders will land.

Hiking, kayaking, canoeing in pristine wilderness

Nearby Killarney Provincial Park unfurls rugged beauty and glorious vistas on hikes led by First Nations guides and park staff. George Island is home to bears, deer, moose and beaver ponds, which may be seen from a wilderness trail. Yet another hiking option skirts Georgian Bay and its pink granite shoreline on route to a historic lighthouse. Helicopter tours with views of spectacular geography, including an inland fjord, are available directly from Killarney Mountain Lodge. Canoeing and kayaking are provided for, too.

All excursions give the option to return to Killarney Mountain Lodge for a fish fry featuring the freshly caught local white fish at an outdoor fire pit or on the patio of Canada House, the world's largest log conference center.

Big welcome at Killarney Mountain Lodge

Holden Rhodes, whose mother’s side of the family all were born and raised in Killarney going back to the early 1800s, has poured more than $40m into improving the facilities at Killarney Mountain Lodge and the Sportsman’s Inn and building new ones so that more people can enjoy the area for generations to come.

When O'Hare and Stephen Burnett, executive director of the Great Lakes Cruising Coalition/Cruise Ontario presented the idea of hosting cruise ships, 'I jumped all over it,' Rhodes said, because he'd love to welcome folks 'from all around the world who have never experienced our part of the world' and, hopefully, will spread the word about its allure.

Cruise ship tenders can land at the boat docks in Killarney Mountain Lodge's marina, but Rhodes plans to build a dedicated dock for cruise visitors adjacent to Canada House, which will provide passenger amenities like the fish fry and local entertainment.

Next up: Little Current

A new password-protected webinar by Lakeshore Expeditions will be posted at the same time each week for the next several weeks, with Little Current, Ontario, up next, then Lake Superior's North Shore where a new 'Inside Passage' route is being developed. After the ports of Ontario, O'Hare plans to cover US destinations on the Great Lakes.

Seatrade Cruise Talks

Seatrade Cruise Talks: COVID-19: Looking at The Big Questions

At the beginning of August, we brought together key Cruise Industry thought leaders in a webinar to ask some of the big questions around the industry’s future. In an honest conversation led by Ryan Stana (CEO and Founder, RWS Entertainment Group), hear from Larry Pimentel (Former CEO, Azamara, SeaDream, Seabourn, Cunard), Annie Scrivanich (Senior Vice President, Cruise Specialists), and Carolyn Spencer Brown (Chief Marketing Officer, Cruise Media, LLC) as they discuss what consumer interest looks like, and what the industry should be doing to prepare.


T. Mariotti cuts steel for Seabourn's second expedition newbuild

T. Mariotti's Marco Ghiglione, left, and Holland America Group's Cyril Tatar press a button to start the steel-cutting

T. Mariotti Managing Director Marco Ghiglione presided over the ceremony alongside Cyril Tatar, VP newbuild services for Holland America Group, with Seabourn President Josh Leibowitz joining virtually.

Scheduled for 2022 debut

The second ship, which has yet to be named, is scheduled to begin sailing in 2022. It follows sister Seabourn Venture, coming in December 2021 and debuting with a new Norwegian winter itinerary.

'Now, more than ever, we are committed to make it extraordinary and possible, with the highest standard of beauty, comfort and safety,' Ghiglione said. He added both ships benefit from Seabourn, Carnival Corporate Shipbuilding, Tihany Design and T.Mariotti people working together as one team.

Enough Zodiacs for everyone to tour at once

Both 264-passenger vessels offer all-veranda suites and are being built to PC6 Polar Class standard. Each will have two custom-built submarines and 24 Zodiacs, giving the flexibility to take all travelers on a Zodiac tour at once, should conditions present a window of opportunity.

Hospitality designer Adam Tihany developed the design vision for the public areas and suites along with a bespoke furniture collection.

5 Minutes with Seatrade Cruise News


Read the full stories:

  1. 'P&O cancels all 2020 sailings'  
  2. 'Carnival Corp. signals hefty Q3 loss, 10 more ships to exit'
  3. 'It's a go: SeaDream I to begin season of Barbados round-trips Nov. 7'
  4. 'Eight Ponant ships have sailed, a very promising start'
  5. 'Disney Wish delayed, cruise will be "last business to come back”'
  6. 'Change in plans for MSC Magnifica's restart' 
  7. 'AIDA now to start earlier, in October, with new Italy cruises'


Bolette joins Fred. Olsen fleet in Rosyth

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Babcock’s Rosyth Facilities received sister ship, Borealis, on September 4, 2020

The two ships will now remain in lay-up until March next year when their operations resume.

‘It is wonderful to have sister ships Bolette and Borealis together in the same place, joining the rest of our fleet’, says Peter Deer, md, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines. ‘Taking ownership of these ships is a clear indication of our plans to bounce back stronger than ever, once the time is right to start sailing again.’

Bolette and Borealis, which previously belonged to Holland America Lines, take over the itineraries of Boudicca and Black Watch.


In Focus: Covid-19 Solutions

Vikand launches maritime public health practice

Dennis Peyton Jr. has 15 years of practical public health experience, seven serving the maritime industry, with a focus on infection prevention and control

Directed by Dennis Peyton Jr., the practice focuses on disease prevention and response, hygiene, sanitation, protocol and training for the cruise, commercial shipping and yachting industries.

'Dennis joins us from Holland America Group where he has served as epidemiologist since 2013 and has provided auxiliary support to the Carnival Corporation fleet of over 100 vessels based around the world. His experience and expertise are exceptional,' Vikand CEO Peter Hult said.

With 15 years of practical public health experience, seven serving the maritime industry, Peyton holds a master's degree in public health from Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of Public Health, and internationally accredited certifications in infection prevention and control. He has also served as professor of medical microbiology at Jefferson College in Louisville, Kentucky. 

Emphasis on infection prevention and control

Peyton’s emphasis is on infection prevention and control, most recently with COVID-19. This in-depth knowledge was essential in managing and supporting the pandemic response for Princess Cruises, Holland America Line and Carnival Corp.

'Dennis is known throughout the industry as a collaborator, creating lasting professional relationships including key stakeholders at global health leadership organizations,' Hult said.

Total healthcare solution

'With Dennis’ extensive experience and knowledge of public health, epidemiology and cruise industry operations, Vikand expands its capabilities for clients and the maritime industry,' Hult continued. 'We provide a total healthcare solution. This is especially important in meeting the challenges of COVID-19, daily developments and quickly reviewing and augmenting protocols. It means providing solutions for the resumption of cruising plans through testing technologies, medical and PCR network developments, and multiple additional factors.'

Peyton’s credentials also include access to the World Health Organization, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Public Health Agency of Canada and Europe via EU Healthy Gateways and others.

Safeguarding collective vitality

'The greatest strength of public health is its focus on safeguarding collective vitality,' Peyton said. 'Through this attention, a community can realize its shared ideals: to reduce and eliminate unacceptable health disparities, nurture healthy children, cultivate healthy environments where empowered students learn and colleagues work productively, and to quench a natural thirst for healthy travel and new adventure. Together, as a society, we can achieve these shared goals through commitment to broad coalitions and effective communications that generate sustainable public health interventions.'

Vikand provides global medical service solutions to more than 200 cruise ships and supports 120,000 crew medical and mental wellness needs with on-board and onshore medical staff. Solutions encompass 24/7 medical management, public health, consulting, biomedical equipment maintenance and sales, and leading air and surface decontamination solutions.

The Fort Lauderdale-based company recently celebrated its 10th anniversary and is currently a finalist for the Seatrade Cruise Awards as Supplier of the Year 2020.

In Focus: Covid-19 Solutions

Noble Caledonia and Salén Ship Management choose Rescompany tech

The technology can be used for recording temperatures with high accuracy

The hand-held device records the temperatures of passengers and crew to help in the identification and isolation of suspected coronavirus cases.

The system can notify operational crew whenever a temperature measurement exceeds pre-defined thresholds and is claimed to be accurate to ±0.3°C.

Cruise terminals, gangways, safety areas, outlets, seating areas, restaurants and crew areas feature among the locations where eConcierge is suitable for use.

Real-time data processing and the elimination of typical manual close-distance measurements prevents a reduction in embarkation throughput, Rescompany said.

AmaWaterways extends German-market sailings, suspends others through Nov. 15

AmaKristina is sailing the Rhine, carrying local guests

Other previously scheduled 2020 sailings in Europe, Africa and Asia are suspended through Nov. 15.

Many travel restrictions for North Americans

'The US and Canadian markets make up 95% of our guests, and there are still many restrictions affecting North American residents' ability to travel internationally,' AmaWaterways President and Co-founder Rudi Schreiner said.

The company is in the process of proactively contacting all travel advisors with clients affected by this new suspension date to provide options.

'We continue to monitor government and health authorities, including European Union restrictions which are updated every two weeks. Our ships and crew remain on standby to welcome travelers on our regular scheduled sailings once these restrictions are lifted,' Schreiner said.

In July AmaWaterways became the first US-based river line to resume cruising in Europe with one vessel, AmaKristina. 

P&O cancels all 2020 sailings

Arcadia's sailings were cancelled in August

The line hopes to resume sailings to the Caribbean at the end of January and cruises to and from the Port of Southampton in February. P&O announced last month the cancellation of Aurora’s Caribbean and South America itineraries, and Arcadia’s world cruise.

Paul Ludlow, president, P&O Cruises said the company 'will certainly reintroduce cruises should the opportunity arise and it is feasible to do so,' but added the decision to cancel the itineraries was 'necessary' owing to 'evolving restrictions on travel from the UK.'

He added, ’These further cancellations vary according to ship as well as complexity and length of itineraries, advice and guidance regarding ports of call and current air availability for fly-cruises.’ 

Ludlow said the company is working with scientists and government 'at the highest level' on new health measures for when P&O’s ships restart, adding 'adherence to the protocols on board and ongoing vigilance will be critical.'