LIVES OF THE LINERS: CRUISING & CRUISE SHIPS - From Bill Miller Update: August 2021
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LIVES OF THE LINERS: CRUISING & CRUISE SHIPS Above: Arriving in New York onboard the Vistafjord, June 1973 From Bill Miller Update: August 2021
Mon Jul 26th: Azamara Cruises today announced that the Azamara Quest was the first of its ships to depart from Glasgow’s Peel Port (King George V Dock), on the afternoon of Jul 26th (seen above), following thirteen months docked in the Scottish city. The Quest had been in Glasgow with the Journey and Pursuit for the last year during their layup. The ship is now heading for a drydock in Spain before cruising again in late August. Wed Jul 28th Carnival is set to start its weekly Alaska cruises from Seattle today and the company held a “Back to Fun” ribbon-cutting ceremony officially welcoming guests back onboard. The Carnival Miracle set sail this afternoon at 4:00pm from the Port of Seattle for a weeklong cruise with stops in Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway, as well as a full day cruising Tracy Arm Fjord.
Cunard: The Queen Mary 2 is soon to head to the big Damen shipyard at Brest in France for a full refit & refreshing. The Cunard flagship returns to service in mid-Nov.
England: Our loyal agent Nick Braddock just reported: “England just announced foreign cruises can start from 0400 am Monday. Hooray!” More News from England: International cruises will be able to start again from England from Mon Aug 2nd after a 16-month break. People arriving at UK ports who have been fully vaccinated in the US and the EU will also not have to quarantine, the UK government said. It's part of a plan to relax isolation rules for US and EU arrivals in the UK. An industry body said travel agencies, hotels, tour guides, port operators and other firms would benefit from cruises restarting. Domestic cruises have been allowed to run from May but international cruises have been prohibited. The government said that international cruise travel advice "will be amended to encourage travellers to understand the risks associated with cruise travel and take personal responsibility for their own safety abroad". And travellers from France are not exempt. Arrivals will also still need to complete a Passenger Locator Form. Under-18s will be exempt from isolation, and some will not have to test, depending on their age. The
UK government said the rule changes would help to reunite family and friends whose loved ones live abroad. Transport secretary Grant Shapps said the reopening of travel was "progress we can all enjoy". On its website, P&O Cruises said following their UK summer staycations, its Britannia will begin planned western Mediterranean itineraries on Sep 25th, while its Iona will launch on the same date. However, it said due to the current traffic light system, a "number of itineraries have had to be cancelled". Cruises on the Ventura have been paused until Oct 3rd, while cruises on the Azura have been halted up until Dec 10th. Some others have been delayed until 2022. Cunard's first UK cruise will sail on Aug 13th with international cruises beginning in October. Both firms are part of US giant Carnival cruises, which is one of the world's biggest cruise companies. The hugely profitable business was brought to its knees by Covid after regulators around the world stopped ships from sailing to try and limit outbreaks. There were outbreaks on various cruise liners, including some owned by Carnival.
Above: The MSC Virtuosa was the first cruise ship to take passengers in UK waters in more than a year The global cruise line industry has been one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. In 2019, it contributed more than $154 billion to the global economy, according to the trade body Cruise Lines International Association, before the ships were all anchored due to the lockdown. Carnival, which made a profit of $3 billion in 2019, reported a loss of $10 billion in 2020 after its revenues plunged 73%. Below: Seen from the Queen Mary 2, P&O Cruises’ Ventura sailed from Southampton (Jul 2019)
Yet More from the UK: Our good friend Dave Townson reports: “Liverpool is losing its UNESCO World Heritage status because of the architectural aberrations that for years have been foisted on the city.” Below: The Queen Mary 2 & Liverpool’s Royal Liver Bldg
Thu Jul 29th Update from Cruise Critic: With the fast-spreading Delta variant causing COVID-19 cases to spike around the world, even vaccinated passengers wonder: Will it affect my cruise? The short answer is, perhaps, depending on where you're sailing. As has been the case with most cruises that have resumed sailing, the biggest changes could be with your ports and destinations. There have been spikes in Covid-19 cases in a number of popular destinations from Sitka, Alaska to Mykonos, Greece, though these have so far not impacted cruise ship arrivals. Meanwhile, the rise in cases has caused some islands in the Caribbean to continue to keep their ports closed. In any case, cruisers should be prepared for possible itinerary changes, as well as protocols that could vary from port to port, such as mask requirements. Despite the rise, some travel agents have not seen a
drop in bookings; Cruise Planners said that cruise bookings were up 27 percent week over week, with prices increasing on some itineraries. Slightly more than 30 percent of new cruise purchases had a 2021 departure date. Fri Jul 30th Germany: Ocean Residences has announced that it has signed a ship construction contract with the famed Meyer Werft shipyard to build the Njord (below) with target delivery in 2025. It will be the first newly built residential cruise ship in some twenty years, since The World in 2001.
The 948-ft long private residential “yacht” features 117 residences. “It is a home to a community of individuals and families, sharing a passion for travel, adventure and discovery – across oceans, beneath the seas, in the air and on land,” Ocean Residences wrote, adding that the Njord will have a philanthropic purpose. “She is equipped to undertake scientific and oceanographic research everywhere she travels, in supporting charities, missions and pressing causes. In co-operation with oceanographic research organizations and scientific groups, M/Y Njord will encourage research projects that work to advance scientific frontiers and global marine research that will assist in a greater understanding of the complex systems that support our earth,” it added. Ocean Residences said that the Njord has been very well received and is experiencing high demand for reservations. Hong Kong: Dream Cruises has officially restarted its cruise service in Hong Kong today with the Genting Dream’s maiden voyage of her first “Super Seacation” high seas itinerary. According to a press release,
more than 1,000 guests took part in the historic inaugural voyage on Genting Dream. Holland America: Holland America Line's Rotterdam was delivered today at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard. It is the seventh Holland America ship to bear the Rotterdam name. Crystal Cruises: Beginning as 7-day Bahamas cruises from Nassau & from Bimini, these cruises will now include Miami as an embark & depart port. These voyages are aboard the Crystal Serenity while an added series of 7-night Bermuda cruises are to begin in late Aug, first from Boston and then New York (below) and aboard the Crystal Symphony (above).
Out of the old shoebox: Below: A Sat afternoon in 1982 & dual sailings of the Atlantic (right) and Oceanic of the Home Lines
Thank you to all our readers, correspondents, those “agents” in faraway places!
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