* items include readers letters
5 OCTOBER 2020
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We live in unusual times. There is no (definite) cruise news, or at least very little.
It has proved impossible to keep up with the return to some kind of normality with cruising, both the deep sea and river variety. Readers will be further depressed with this item on BBC World News.
BTN continues to publish the only fully comprehensive web site covering both styles of water borne holiday.
For the current update on the cruise line of your choice please refer to and pass this BTN site location on to your colleagues.
BTN was advocating an early return to cruising around the British Isles in compliance with the UK Government recommendations, but with Scottish restrictions, and now Liverpool with problems, we were clearly premature with our suggestions. Hopefully in the Spring.
Today (Monday 5 October) sees the opening of Seatrade Cruise Virtual, an innovative concept spread over four days with a series of top-grade speakers and what might well prove to be lively discussions, and the ability to visit some 300 virtual booths.
BTN highlights here the opening address by Kelly Craighead, President and CEO, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and Andrew Williams, President, Maritime Group, Informa Markets. (13:40 BST Tuesday 6 October)
This will be followed by a “State of the Global Cruise Industry” dialogue moderated by Anne Kalosh, Editor, Seatrade Cruise News with Frank Del Rio, President & CEO, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings; Arnold Donald, President & CEO, Carnival Corporation Richard Fain, Chairman & CEO; Royal Caribbean Group; Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Cruises.
Each day has a full agenda ranging from crew movements (somewhat topical) through, entertainment, and inevitably “Using IT to Protect Passenger and Crew Health”.
The International Cruise Summit (ICS) taking place in Madrid 1–2 December, but by then one would hope that the 2021 cruise programmes might be firm. The two-day event is planned to be both live and virtual (hybrid) with the emphasis on networking as much as possible. ICS 2020 will be celebrated at the Meliá Castilla Hotel & Convention Centre. This year, the hotel has implemented the “Stay Safe with Meliá” operations guide to ensure the rigorous application of the health and safety recommendations made by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and national health authorities. More details in the November BTN Cruise Review (Monday 2 November) and a full report with the last issue of the year 14 December.
CRUISING AND COVID-19
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), which represents 95% of global ocean-going cruise capacity, has announced the adoption of a mandatory series of core elements of health protocols to be implemented as part of a phased-in, highly controlled resumption of operations.
Most of these are straight forward but will cruise clients want to return to ships where the wearing of masks is compulsory for crew and passengers alike? One-way systems on some of the larger ships will include considerable walking, and will not be practical on some smaller vessels.
A critical next step, now that very limited initial sailings have begun with strict protocols in Europe, is the resumption of operations in the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America (the Americas), which encompass the largest cruise market in the world.
SOME ENCOURAGING NEWS
Saga has taken delivery of its second new ship, Spirit of Adventure, but its naming and maiden voyage have now been postponed until 4–5 February 2021 at Southampton.
One of the advantages of the delay is to allow Saga more time for Covid-19 preparations which include a reduction from 999 passengers to a maximum of 800 with an increase of crew to guest ratio and an enhanced cleaning regime. The chauffeur driven household pickup has been extended to 250 miles and Saga say the first cruise situation will be reviewed on a monthly basis. Spirit of Discovery is now due back in service 7 March.
Fred Olsen has taken delivery of Bolette (ex-Amsterdam) and Borealis (Ex-Rotterdam) the two former Holland America ships of 60,000 ton capacity and 1,400 passengers respectively. With the other ships of the Fred Olsen fleet they are berthed at Rosyth being prepared for the new season. Bolette starts her programme on 5 March with a round UK cruise from Southampton and Borealis.
The keel laying ceremony for the first of Swan Hellenic’s two new ice-class expedition cruise ships Minerva took place in Helsinki 24 September, due in service November 2021 accommodating 152 guests.
Carnival Group UK, which includes Cunard and P&O has posted 2022 programmes and is selling cruises for Spring 2021. Cunard has launched a number of sailings on Queen Elizabeth including three- and four-night cruises around the UK and the re-introduction of fly-cruises to Barcelona. The ship will restart operations from Southampton on 26 March and operate a series of three- to 14-day cruises around Europe before making its way through Asia to Australia at the end of the season. No news on QM2 and the reintroduction of North Atlantic operations, nor of Queen Victoria.
HavilaVoyages, a new cruise line, has been announced operating from 2021. It has taken over part of the Norwegian Government contract from Hurtigruten to run the coastal services. https://havilavoyages.com
ON TOUR this month features Hebridean Princess. The cruise took place in 2004. Nothing much has changed.
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