Cruise industry defends record after a critical TV documentary

Zaandam Ship Stats & Information- Holland America Line Zaandam ...

The cruise industry has defended its record in tackling the coronavirus crisis in the wake of a critical ITV documentary screened on Thursday.

The hour-long ‘Billion Pound Cruises: All at Sea’ focused on the plight of various Princess Cruises ships and Holland America Line vessel Zaandam which were caught up in the pandemic.

It highlighted the impact on passengers and crew and detailed the number of deaths involved.

The documentary featured passenger footage taken onboard Diamond Princess, which was thrust into the spotlight as the virus became a pandemic due to an outbreak on the ship as it was docked in Japan which led to guests and crew being quarantined.

However, global cruise industry body Clia said: “While the tragic reality of the pandemic has meant that its impact has been felt across all walks of life, Clia believes that the industry’s rapid response is one reason why the number of cases linked to ships was a small fraction of the global total.”

The association stressed that health and safety are “integral” to the cruise industry, which is currently at standstill across most of the world due to government restrictions.

A Clia spokesperson said: “No other form of travel provides such high transparency in public health reporting, or requires such stringent cleaning and hygiene protocols.

“Within 48 hours of the WHO [World Health Organisation]  announcing an international emergency, Clia ocean cruise lines introduced enhanced screening protocols worldwide, including health and travel history checks prior to the embarkation of every passenger and crew member.

“Upon the declaration by the WHO of a pandemic, Clia ocean cruise lines voluntarily suspended operations worldwide, making the cruise industry one of the first to do so.

“Some ships had to travel thousands of miles to return to port, and repatriation was complicated by international air travel and border restrictions; Clia cruise lines have also successfully repatriated many thousands of crew members, and have been working non-stop with governments and health authorities to secure the safe return of crew members to their homes.”

Costa Cancels Cruises Into August

Costa Diadema
Costa Diadema above

Costa announced a further pause for all its cruises until August 15, 2020, and the cancellation of all cruises in Northern Europe for the remainder of the 2020 summer season, according to a statement.

“The decision is linked to the uncertainty on the gradual reopening of ports to cruise ships and the restrictions that may still be in place for the movements of people due to the COIVD-19 global pandemic. In addition, the Company is also communicating the cancellation of all future cruises of the Costa Victoria,” the company said.

In the meantime, Costa said it is working alongside all relevant authorities to define health protocols for a potential restart of cruises as soon as possible.

Carnival UK Lays Off One-Third of Staff

Carnival Corporation And Plc Logo - Free Transparent PNG Clipart ...

Carnival UK has announced a sweeping round of job cuts.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has not only affected the holidays of our guests but it has also impacted every part of our business; our future deployment; the guest experience; our supply chain and our people on ship and onshore,” said President Simon Palethorpe in a prepared statement.

“Due to this impact, we have had to make some really tough decisions to ensure that we can sustain and protect our business for the future. Following a period of collective consultation, nearly a third of our shore-based staff will very sadly be leaving our business on June 30 and another significant proportion will take a period of sabbatical,” said Palethorpe.

“We are devastated to have to take this action which has affected so many talented and dedicated colleagues.

“We appreciate it is a very difficult and unsettling time for everyone but we have followed a clear and fair consultation process and considered all individual suggestions for new ways of working.

“At the current time as our operations are paused, we are working at the highest levels to develop a comprehensive restart program to phase our ships back into service with enhanced and approved protocols that will keep everyone on board well and still give our guests an amazing holiday.”