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Article from BTNews 2 NOVEMBER 2020

CRUISE NEWS: November 2020

The International Cruise Summit is taking place today (and yesterday) bringing together ‘virtually’ the cruise industry from around the globe with the big news that the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has lifted its No-Sail order. But don't expect overnight resumption. The agency has listed a lengthy process cruise lines must meet to begin carrying passengers. See the CDC website

In Europe there are cruises planned for the Christmas holiday period but these might be curtailed due to the second wave of Covid-19. 

UK Chamber of Shipping

The UK Chamber of Shipping, the trade association for the UK shipping industry, has worked closely with the cruise industry for over six months developing new Framework documents for cruise ship operators to implement new measures with enhanced public health protection.

The Framework, which has been shared with the UK Government, and was produced in collaboration with the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), is the culmination of months of collaborative work between cruise operators, industry partners, and health experts.  The cruise sector in the UK is worth £10bn to the UK economy and supports more than 88,000 jobs and the new documents have been shared with stakeholders across the industry and were agreed by the major operators.  The operators section for cruising is a 27-page document and well worth the read.


ON TOUR, in this issue, is devoted to MSC, together with Carnival’s Aida and Costa (See below), the only alternative Mediterranean cruise offering at this time.

Ionia and Spirit of Adventure
New ships are being delivered with P&O Ionia currently on trials off Norway probably the star, or at least the largest, and Saga Spirit of Adventure, straight into hibernation at Tilbury.  Last Friday (30 October) Silversea took delivery of Silver Moon at the Ancona yard. Silver Moon is a sister ship of Silver Muse, that went out to sea in 2017 and of Silver Dawn, due to be delivered in 2022.

Announced today (2 November) is a new British cruise operator Tradewind Voyages unveiling a programme to iconic destinations and rarely visited islands on its ship Golden Horizon, the largest square-rigged sailing ship in the world, better known to sail aficionados as Royal Clipper.

The launch is backed by a promotional campaign entitled ‘Powered by the winds of change’, which highlights the company’s commitment to sustainability and promise to protect customers’ money during these uncertain times.

“Uniquely, all Golden Horizon’s voyages are planned on the basis of prevailing winds and currents around the world, often following the traditional trading routes and offering a real maritime experience,” said Tradewind Voyages Chief Executive, Stuart McQuaker.  “The ship will appeal to active adults.”

The new programme includes nine voyages departing and finishing in the UK, with seven from Harwich and two from Glasgow, between May and August 2021.

Douglas Ward has reviewed the ship in its previous guise giving it a 4-star rating and clearly taken in with the idea of going to sea by sail.  He was not that keen on the catering. Let us hope the new operator gets it right.  

SeaDream I

The SeaDream Yacht Club's 112-passenger, SeaDream I, called into Portsmouth on 19 October as part of its transatlantic crossing to Barbados where it docks tomorrow (3 November).  A total of 19 further holidaymakers embarked after adhering to strict health and safety protocols, including obtaining a Covid-19 PCR test no less than 72 hours in advance.  

In a statement Portsmouth City Council noted that no passengers already onboard were allowed ashore and all port operations followed the UK's recent Cruise Framework Agreement for vessels and the entire call was overseen by local health authorities and Portsmouth International Port staff.  SeaDream I starts on a series of 7-day cruises out of Bridgetown on 7 November which takes in the Christmas period. The ship had previously embarked passengers in both Oslo (Norway) and Rotterdam (Netherlands).

The sailing is the first transatlantic crossing to resume since the global Covid-19 pandemic shut down cruises in March.

Aida and Costa

Carnival Lines Aida (German) and Costa (Italian) are both offering very restricted programmes, which can change at short notice. The Covid-19 restrictions which feature with MSC also apply to the two US-owned lines.

Costa Smeralda, the brand’s flagship powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), will extend her current cruises only in Italy until the end of February 2021, visiting Savona, La Spezia (where she performed LNG bunkering – an Italian first), Cagliari, Messina, Naples and Civitavecchia/Rome.  Costa Deliziosa will continue operating her current one-week itinerary in from Venice until 3 January 2021– calling at Trieste, Katakolon/Olympia, Athens, Heraklion/Crete and Bari.

Aida is offering a 7-night cruise from Civitavecchia/Rome with AIDAblu, 71,000 tons, 3-star and normally 2,100 lower bed passengers.  She cruises via Naples, Palermo, Catania and La Spezia.

Cruising on the internet

The final issue of BTN for 2020 will be published Monday 21 December and as usual will include a cruise supplement.  We are hoping to feature spring programmes, cruise lines, both deep sea and river. Contributions welcome to info@btnews.co.uk

Our cruise website is proving popular, listing all the cruise lines websites, which we assume are always up to date.  

BTN's The Cruise Lines on the Web is the only comprehensive listing of its type available.


Index/Home page

OUR READERS' FINEST WORDS (All times and dates are GMT)

All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum

Malcolm Ginsberg, EDGWARE

Tell me more? No reply from Tradewind but I’m sure things will sort themselves out. I do recall Star Clippers talking about another ship but they never respond to enquiries.

Peter Godliman, Slough

I believe Golden Horizon is a new build that was originally for Star Clippers. It is not Royal Clipper.