NEWS, INSIGHTS, AND COMMENTARY. A DIFFERENT VIEW.
While I'm a consumer of cruising with over 150 voyages on 50 ships over the past fifty-years, I've also been in the business in various capacities. From owning a couple of travel agencies in the 70's and 80's to developing and employing strategic marketing industry strategies and even working on a few cruise-line startups, I have some insight into the industry. I now author and self-publish books on ships and destinations as well as participate in several consumer and industry-related social media channels.
The cruise industry has been disrupted, nearly gutted, as ports began denying entry and ships became hosts for quarantined guests and crews leaving many lines with no way to disembark their passengers, refused by ports around the globe. I decided to share my thoughts and insight as well as observations here at Site2Sea. The journey will continue. When, is anyone's guess.
Virgin's Tough Start
Scarlet Lady sits sadly at Port Miami with a delayed August debut.
Fred. Olsen's Braemar gets a reprieve by Cuba after the ship's port of registry denies entry -home at last.
Static,empty ships occupy Government Cut.
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UPDATE: Stuck at Sea
Ships struggle to debark passengers as global ports close.
An Industry Disrupted
Enacting the "pause" principle.
31 March 2020
Donald J. Trump
THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
RE: RESCUING HOLLAND AMERICA LINES’ “ZAANDAM” & “ROTTERDAM”
From 1873 to 1989 Holland America Line operated as a Dutch shipping line, a passenger line, a cargo line and a cruise line operating primarily between the Netherlands and North America. Thousands of immigrants were carried to the new world on Holland America Line which today is an American-British owned company, purchased by Carnival in 1989.
Cruise lines are largely offshore corporations with ships registered primary in Nassau, Panama and Liberia. While they may not contribute significant tax revenues to the United States, the domestic economic impact from the industry is in the billions.
Two of Holland America Lines’ ships are desperate to disembark their passengers in Florida after struggling to gain successful leeway through the Panama Canal, the “Rotterdam” and “Zaandam”. Guests who are primarily old and many who are sick have been at sea for close to thirty-days. The guests, crew and company are desperate. Desperate times demand desperate measures.
I was sickened to read Florida Governor’s Ron DesSantis response: “We cannot afford to have people who are not even Floridians dumped into South Florida using up those valuable resources,” DeSantis told Fox News. “We view this as a big, big problem and we do not want to see people dumped in Southern Florida right now.”
Does the Governor realize his state receives hundreds of millions in taxes and revenues from the ports in Florida including Tampa, Cape Canaveral, Port Everglades and the cruise capital of the world, Miami? Does he realize Key West in among the top 10 ports visited in the world?
Many cruise passengers fly to the US for pre and post land-based stays in Florida adding to the local economies not to mention the thousands of land-based employees of those cruise lines who are US based and serve the tens of millions of passengers that sail each year. Then there’s the domestic companies that provision those ships carrying millions of passengers. US-based companies who deliver soft-goods, food, fuel, equipment and general supplies that keep the gears in motion.
How the Governor of the cruise capital of the world can throw an entire industry under the bus in one flagrant comment is beyond me and many others including the President of Holland America Line.
Clearly, if CUBA was able to save hundreds of sick and infected passengers who disembarked from small-ship cruise line Fred. Olsen Cruises last month, the USA and Florida can come to the aid, rescue, and assistance to not only our own citizens who are wary, sick, and defenseless but those from other countries from around the globe.
Our Governor has been very lax to date with enforcing a stay-at-home mandate in this state. It is unimaginable to see how quickly a ship full of aging, sick passengers can be refused entry to the greatest country in the world. How is this even a topic of discussion?
The rapid spread of CoronaVirus has shut down cruise line's operations globally. How soon the resumption of sailings will initiate is anyone's
guess. Is MAY enough time as ports around the world may opt to prevent ships from entering their ports including Norway and Canada?
Empty ships lay-up around the globe
With over 300 ships in the ocean-going cruise fleet, MIAMI has eliminated berthing fees at the port. How owners expect to maintain dormant vessels at berth or at anchor with skeleton crews and no revenue..
Carnival, RCI and NCLH tap credit lines
Carnival, RCI, and NCLH have drawn down their credit lines for working capital and general operations. Carnival is now in the market seeking to secure an added $6 Billion for liquidity.
Will the newbuild orderbook "pause"?
Are billions of newbuilds at risk? Over 130 new ships with an average size of 85,192 tons and capacity of 2,162 guests. The average cost is approximately $584 Million. Thirty-nine different cruise brands are building new ships, involving 21 shipyards.
Washy-washy. Will it be enough?
NCL's coined "washy-washy" has been the buzz for years featuring videos of crew and staff welcoming guests to dining venues. Are the days of purrell enough? What are cruise lines thinking about when it comes to improving sanitation and hygiene? Is the air safe?
Norway is closed,
Canada bans ships
Canada's minister of transport announced
that all large cruise ships carrying more than 500 passengers will be prohibited at Canada's ports, nationwide, from April 2 through July 1. As a strategic point of departure for ships, what plans are in place? And when will Norway return?
Deposits, refunds and FCC cause havock
Just before the crisis took place, lines were upping on-board credit to salvage capacity. Then the 125% FCC was enacted with an option to refund. Now, many lines have eliminated refunds and updated their policies...the confusion ensues.
Transparency and honesty - key
Consumers of cruises are loyal. The repeat rate is the highest in the leisure sector and needs succinct honest information and data. Selling cruises for April departures may be a sign that more thought is needed as to how this industry will rebound. This may be a good time to exploit those private island as single destinations.
Where are all the ships? Berths are filling up and anchorages are being identified for the global cruise ship fleet...
TRAVEL: NORWAY - A PHOTOGRAPHIC ODYSSEY
Quintessential Norway delivered through Schwartz's newest photo book.
4 Ships, 15 ports cities, 7 fjords - 300 pages
NORWAY: A PHOTOGRAPHIC ODYSSEY
300 Pages, 15 ports, 7 fjords, 4 ships, 14,000 miles
“It isn’t that life ashore is distasteful to me. But life at sea is better.”
SIR FRANCIS DRAKE
Schwartz' first voyage into Norway's iconic Fjords in 2017 led this author, photographer, and self-proclaimed seafarer, to three more cruises to the country culminating in January 2020 - in search of the Northern lights. Schwartz' first-ever destination-centric book features port-specific information detailing 15 port cities and 7 fjords a lithographed collectible book, his spellbinding black and white photos in this 300-page odyssey captures and exudes the authors passion for oceanic travel through Norway's coastal cities and fjords...don't miss this photographic odyssey...coming soon.
TESTING THE WATERS
ON FRED OLSEN'S
BRILLIANT LITTLE GEM
SUGGEST A STORY
Welcome to PORT MIAMI where I reside and frequently sail from. Featured are sail-aways, the Miami skyline and ship movements.
Photo chronicles of my last 22 cruises featuring my view of Norway, Cuba, the Caribbean, Italy, the UK, France, Mexico, Spain and Bermuda.
A different view with editorial highlighting industry news, destinations, new-builds. what's hot and what's not...
Don't miss S2S insider.
An introduction to the Gallery of Ships featuring collections from my cruises and crossings including ships, the oceans, sky & elements.
ON THE HORIZON
APRIL 2020 SITE EVENTS:
I'm just getting started here so leave me your email address and we'll keep you updated.
DESTINATION: NORWAY & THE ARCTIC
THE BRILLIANCE OF "BLACK WATCH"
"NORWAY-A PHOTOGRAPHIC ODYSSEY"