Ships still at sea are on cruises to nowhere

Ships still at sea are on cruises to nowhere
Norwegian Jewel.

It’s been five days since CLIA member lines declared a suspension of cruise operations due to the Covid-19 crisis, but several cruise ships are still at sea with passengers, and some are having trouble finding ports to disembark.

CLIA said that as of March 17, about 20% of ships were completing final itineraries.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Jewel, currently on a 23-day Australia and French Polynesia itinerary, was supposed to disembark in Auckland, New Zealand, on March 20. Due to multiple port closures in the area, the ship is now scheduled to disembark in Honolulu on March 22.

Holland America Line’s Maasdam this week had to forego plans to dock at Hawaii Island because it has closed to cruise ship calls. The Maasdam does not have any known or suspected cases of coronavirus and now plans to disembark in Honolulu on March 20.

Holland America said the Zaandam had not been allowed to disembark in Punta Arenas, Chile, on March 16, so it left the port and headed for San Antonio, Chile, to pick up fuel and other supplies. The ship is not in quarantine and has no known or suspected cases of Covid-19, the company said. The ship had been on a 14-day sailing in South America scheduled to end March 21. Holland America said it does not currently know where it will disembark.

Image result for hal zaandam

Holland American Zaandam

The Amsterdam, currently sailing an around-the-world cruise that started on Jan. 4, was originally scheduled to end the sailing in Fort Lauderdale on May 12. It will now disembark in Fremantle, Australia, on March 21.

The fate of two Silversea ships is up in the air after passengers on both tested positive for Covid-19 on March 14.

Two guests on the Silver Shadow departed the ship for medical reasons in Recife, Brazil, one that subsequently tested positive for the virus; the other was negative, the company said in a statement.

Several guests onboard the Silver Explorer left the ship for medical reasons in Tortel and Castro, Chile, and later tested positive for Covid-19. Parent company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. declined to say how many passengers had tested positive.

“We are in continuous contact with the various government authorities relating to transport. This work continues,” the company said in a statement.

The cruise line said it has asked guests on both ships “to temporarily remain in their cabins in accordance with our medical isolation protocols.”

“On behalf of our guests, we are in close coordination with the governments and local health authorities to determine next best steps,” the company said.

ASTA CEO Zane Kerby criticized ports for turning away cruise ships.

“Over the course of the past few weeks, a disturbing and anti-humanitarian trend has emerged,” he said in a written statement. “Multiple cruise ships at sea have been denied entry to various ports around the world for fear that some aboard might have or spread the Covid-19 virus.”

The items in blue show where the cruise ships have anchored or on the way.

“While local governments have a responsibility to keep their citizens safe, human decency and common-sense solutions should take precedence during these times of crisis,” he said.

The British ship Braemar, operated by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has also had a harrowing journey over the last several days.

On March 10, one guest and four crew members tested positive for the virus. Later, one more guest who had originally gotten an inconclusive result was confirmed to be positive. As a result, the Braemar did not get clearance to disembark gusts in Barbados on March 12.

The ship spent three days in the Bahamas with 682 guests before Cuban authorities granted it permission to disembark in Havana and fly back to the United Kingdom.

The Braemar docked in Havana on Wednesday. Three flights were chartered from British Airways to fly guests to London Heathrow in the evening.

Those who have coronavirus or have displayed flu-like symptoms along with their companions will return on a separate flight arriving at MoD Boscombe, an air force base in Wiltshire, England. Any guests not considered well enough to fly will receive medical treatment in Cuba.

Fred. Olsen managing director Peter Deer thanked the Cuban government for allowing the ship to dock.

“Other countries would not allow Braemar to dock once we had confirmed cases of coronavirus onboard,” he said.

Fred. Olsen Launches 108-Night World Cruise for 2021

Boudicca at Doha

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is launching its new 108-night world cruise for 2021 aboard the Black Watch, sailing on Jan. 8, 2021 on the Boudicca.

Guests booking prior to May 31 can look forward to free gratuities and an onboard credit.

Justin Stanton, Sales and Marketing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines said:

“This exceptional ‘Around the World’ sailing, aboard 880-guest Black Watch, will allow guests to explore and enjoy diverse landscapes, cultures and wildlife, right across our magnificent planet.

“And what’s more, guests will be able to return to the ship and refresh themselves in the bar, unwind with a treatment in the Atlantis Spa, or enjoy an action-packed shore excursion, all on Fred. Olsen, with up to £600 per person free on board spend. We will even pay for your tips! This inspirational voyage – taken from Fred. Olsen’s eagerly-awaited 2020/21 cruise program – is particularly exciting, as it is the first time that guests will have the option to set sail on such an epic exploration from Liverpool.

“With scenic cruising, spectacular sights and culture a-plenty, this ‘Around the World’ voyage has all the makings of a truly sensational holiday, sure to create memories to last a lifetime.”

Prices start from £10,799 per person.

Ports of call: Southampton, UK – Oporto (from Leixões), Portugal – Funchal, Madeira – Santa Cruz, Tenerife – Santa Cruz, La Palma – Bridgetown, Barbados – St John’s, Antigua – Road Town, Tortola – Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos – Havana, Cuba – Colón, Panama – Cruising Panama Canal – Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica – Nuku Hiva, French Polynesia – Fakarava, French Polynesia – Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia – Raiatea, French Polynesia – Bora Bora, Society Islands, French Polynesia – Crossing the International Date Line – Nuku’alofa, Tonga – Savusavu, Fiji – Mystery Island (Inyeug), Vanuatu – Noumea, New Caledonia – Sydney, Australia (two-night stay) – Burnie, Tasmania, Australia – Melbourne, Australia – Albany, Australia – Perth (from Fremantle), Australia – Surabaya, Java, Indonesia (overnight stay) – Singapore (overnight stay) – Sabang (Weh Island), Sumatra, Indonesia – Colombo, Sri Lanka – Kochi, Kerala, India – Mormugao, Goa, India – Mumbai, Maharashtra, India (overnight stay) – Aqaba, Jordan – Cruising Suez Canal – Haifa, Israel (overnight stay) – Limassol, Cyprus – Valletta, Malta – Malaga, Spain – Southampton, UK

This is the fourth itinerary to be teased from Fred. Olsen’s 2020-2021 cruise program, which will be launched in full in March 2019.

Qatar Opens Cruise Season with Arrival of Boudicca

Boudicca at Doha Port

The 2018-2019 cruise season kicked off in Qatar with the Boudicca from Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines docking at Doha Port last week.

The season, which continues until April 2019, is expected to see nearly double the number of cruise ships that arrived in the 2017-2018 season, according to a statement.

Of the 43 ships scheduled to call in Doha Port, 10 ships will be making their maiden calls to Qatar. Some 140,000 guests are expected.

There will also be five days with two calls, according to a press release.

Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and Qatar’s major transport services provider, Mowasalat, recently signed an MoU to further develop tourist transport services, ensuring the growth in cruise tourism demand is matched with flexible and reliable transportation.

Qatar is expecting to receive 200,000 cruise visitors by the 2019-2020 season and has plans to turn Doha to a turnaround port.

QTA recently signed an agreement with the AIDA and Costa to place Qatar on the two companies’ winter itineraries as well as to cooperate in designing special promotion packages for their passengers.