Carnival Corp. offers the use of ships as floating hospitals

Carnival Corp. offers use of ships as floating hospitals

Carnival Corp. has offered the use of its ships as temporary hospitals for non-coronavirus patients to free up space at land-based hospitals to treat patients with Covid-19.

President Trump announced at a press conference on Thursday that he had spoken with Carnival Corp. chairman Micky Arison on Thursday morning. “He’s going to make ships available,” he said.

The president has already ordered that two Navy hospital ships are deployed to areas hits hard by coronavirus. The USNS Comfort will head to New York Harbor and the USNS New York will be dispatched to a location on the West Coast. If needed, the Carnival ships could supplement those efforts.

“In addition to the big medical ships that you have coming, if we should need ships with lots of rooms, they will be docked at New York and Los Angeles and San Francisco, different places, so I want to thank Micky Arison. That’s Carnival Cruise Line,” the President said.

In a statement shortly afterwards, Carnival Corp. said that select ships from its many brands — including Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises Australia — would be made available to help with a possible shortage of land-based hospital beds.

“As part of the offer, interested parties will be asked to cover only the essential costs of the ship’s operations while in port,” the company said.

“If needed, cruise ships are capable of being quickly provisioned to serve as hospitals with up to 1,000 hospital rooms that can treat patients suffering from less critical, non-Covid-19 conditions,” Carnival Corp. said.

Temporary cruise ship hospital rooms can be quickly converted to accommodate remote patient-monitoring devices over the ship’s high-speed WiFi network, the company said. The ships would be capable of providing cardiac, respiratory, oxygen saturation, and video monitoring capabilities. Rooms have bathrooms, private balconies and isolation capabilities if needed.

The company said the ships would be able to provide up to seven intensive care units in their onboard medical centres with central cardiac monitoring, ventilators and other medical devices.

Carnival said various decks could house multiple medical functions, the company said.

Carnival and Norfolk ink 5-year deal

The Carnival-Norfolk press conference at the Half Moone Cruise Center.

The Carnival-Norfolk press conference at the Half Moone Cruise Center.

Carnival Cruise Line has signed a five-year agreement with the city of Norfolk, Va., to operate cruises from the Half Moone Cruise Center.

Norfolk has agreed to upgrade the port so it can accommodate larger ships. Improvements will include a new boarding bridge to streamline the embarkation and debarkation process.

The 130,000-gross-ton Carnival Magic will sail a series of 12 cruises from the port in 2021. It will be the largest cruise ship to sail from Norfolk, which has been welcoming Carnival cruises for almost 20 years.

The long-term commitment will elevate Carnival’s presence in the city and will give travellers in the Mid-Atlantic more cruising options to the Caribbean.

“Our cruises from Norfolk have been very well received by our guests, and this agreement speaks volumes about our confidence in growing the market,” said Carnival Cruise Lines president Christine Duffy.

“This commitment strengthens that partnership and solidifies Norfolk’s position as a true Mid-Atlantic cruise port,” Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Alexander said.

The Carnival Magic’s 2021 schedule will have four- to eight-day cruises to the Caribbean. Reservations are open.

The Carnival Magic offers hundreds of balcony staterooms and suites. It also has a complimentary kids program in three age groups, the Cloud 9 spa, a WaterWorks aqua park, a variety of indoor and outdoor dining, and an entertainment promenade.

Before repositioning to Norfolk, the Carnival Magic will sail a series of voyages in the Mediterranean. It will then take a two-week drydock in Cadiz, Spain.

Royal Caribbean latest to warn of coronavirus profit impact

Image result for royal caribbean ships in china

The wonder of the Seas due for China deployment 2020

Royal Caribbean Cruises has joined larger rival Carnival Corporation in warning of the potential “material” financial impact of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

The world’s second-largest cruise company has now cancelled a total of 18 sailings in south-east Asia and also modified several itineraries as a result of travel restrictions in place and “related circumstances.”

The number of cancelled cruises has risen from the eight out of China reported by the company last week.

RCC also reported “softer bookings” across the broader business, not just Asia.

It is in regular communications with global health authorities after China and other countries moved “aggressively” to contain the spread of the virus.

Like other cruise firms, the owner of brands such as Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Silversea and Azamara, has implemented measures to protect passengers and crew.

These include denying boarding to those that have travelled from, to or through mainland China or Hong Kong in the past 15 days and performing mandatory specialised health screenings on at-risk passengers and crew.

The company “is assessing the developments constantly and will update these measures as needed”.

RCC added: “Taken together, these measures have an estimated impact on the company’s financial performance for 2020 of approximately $0.65 per share.

“While not currently planned, if the company was to cancel all of its remaining sailings in Asia through the end of April, it would impact 2020 financial performance by an additional $0.55 per share.

“There are still too many variables and uncertainties to make a reasonable forecast for 2020.

“While the early impact due to concerns about the coronavirus is mainly related to Asia, recent bookings for our broader business have also been softer.

“If the travel restrictions and concerns over the outbreak continue for an extended period of time, they could materially impact the company’s overall financial performance.”

Chairman and chief executive Richard Fain said: “It is important that every organisation acts responsibly, and we have already taken aggressive steps to minimise risk through boarding restrictions and itinerary changes.

“Our shipboard and shoreside teams have been working tirelessly through these circumstances and I want to thank them for all of their extraordinary efforts. We appreciate our responsibility to our guests and to each other, and our focus on public health is unwavering.”

Carnival Corporation, owner of quarantined ship Diamond Princess in Japan after an outbreak of coronavirus on board, was the first to warn of a “material impact” on its financial results.