After the sinking of the Empress of the Sea, April 25th, 2010, the cruise industry was left in a state of shock. This accident occurred in the middle of the Season, and it was the worst disaster to ever hit the industry. It was estimated to cost the cruise industry $1.4 billion and 30,000 crew members’ jobs. But, as most disasters, it brought about change.
In 2011, a cruise ship called the Costa Concordia ran aground off the coast of Italy, spilling over 4,000 tons of fuel oil and causing an environmental disaster. At the time, there were no regulations for what could be done to clean up the resulting oil slick, and the site was closed to the public. Now, however, a new law has been passed that will regulate how the spill is cleaned up and will allow some people to actually visit the site.
So, a few days ago, a new fleet of ships began sailing the seas again after a near 20-year hiatus. These new ships are the first of their kind to sail the seas since the year 2000. So, what’s the deal? Why haven’t these ships been able to sail the seas since ’00? You can thank a letter called COLLISIONS.. Read more about carnival cruise line news and let us know what you think.On Tuesday evening, Royal Caribbean International received a letter from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approving port agreements for its ship Freedom of the Seas, and giving provisional permission for the vessel to operate its first simulated sailing. (Photo courtesy of CDC) President and CEO Michael Bayley shared the letter on his Facebook page, adding this celebratory comment: “After 15 months and so much work by so many during very challenging times. To all our colleagues, loyal guests and supporters all over the world I am proud and pleased to share some bright and wonderful news!” NEWS: CDC Clears Royal Caribbean for Test Cruises Over the past weekend, the cruise line announced that it had submitted a test cruise proposal to the CDC. Just a couple of days later it received a positive response, demonstrating that the public health agency is now fully engaged in the process of restarting the cruise industry from U.S. ports. The goal of the simulated cruises is to assess whether ships can sail safely and follow CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Cruise lines can choose to avoid this step by ensuring that 98 percent of crew members and 95 percent of passengers are fully vaccinated. Each ship within a fleet that cannot guarantee it will meet the required vaccination threshold must conduct the test cruises under CDC supervision before being cleared to operate voyages with paying customers. An application for those wishing to take part in the Freedom simulated sailing is now available on the Royal Caribbean website. Under CDC guidelines, volunteers must be 18 or older and either fully vaccinated or free of medical conditions that would put them at high risk for severe COVID-19. To date, Royal Caribbean already has over 100,000 volunteers who have signed up since November. The Freedom of the Seas test sailing is scheduled for June 20-22, departing from PortMiami. In order for that sailing to happen, Royal Caribbean must meet a number of terms and conditions. Key provisions include: 1. The line must inform the CDC at its earliest opportunity of the maximum number of passengers that Freedom of the Seas will carry during simulated sailings. The first two test sailings must be conducted with at least 10 percent of the maximum number of passengers. 2. Volunteer passengers must be made aware of the CDC’s Travel Health Notice for COVID-19 and Cruise Ship Travel prior to the cruise, via website link, email, or written letter. 3. Freedom of the Seas’ color-coded status must be Green or Orange at the time of the simulated voyage. If the color-coding is at Red or Yellow, the sailing must be postponed. 4. The line must follow CDC requirements related to testing and quarantine of crew and passengers. 5. Royal Caribbean is responsible for documenting any deficiencies observed in health and safety protocols, and then describe how those deficiencies will be addressed, prior to applying for a COVID-19 Conditional Sailing Certificate. The letter describes deficiencies as “any significant departure from your company’s health and safety protocols,” or, even if all policies are followed, any documented transmission of COVID-19 that suggests an adjustment to protocols is required. The Health and Human Services letter, signed by Capt. Aimee Treffiletti, an environmental health scientist with the CDC, ends on a positive note: “We commend your company’s efforts to provide a safer and healthier sailing environment for your passengers and crew and look forward to our continued partnership.” READ NEXT: ‘Have Fun. Be Safe.’ Carnival Details Health Rules For Alaska Sailings
Frequently Asked Questions
Can cruise ships sail again?
The world of cruise ships is changing rapidly. While freighters and luxury liners have seen the first signs of decline in recent years, passenger ships—whose business relies on the growing number of tourists—have been experiencing a significant decline in traffic. The cruise industry has been in a crisis for the better part of a decade. Most cruises now feature fewer amenities and cost more than ever; while the overall passenger experience is becoming more and more focused on pure entertainment, rather than luxuries and relaxation. Cruise lines have attempted to make up for this by introducing new amenities, such as special attractions and entertainment options, but these additions have not saved the industry.
When will cruises start sailing again?
A few weeks ago, on January 2nd, the United States, its citizens, and its allies all celebrated the signing of a treaty that stated that North Korea was in compliance with international sanctions and would stop its nuclear weapons program. While this news was welcomed by the United States, the prospect of a nuclear-armed North Korea has caused concern for the rest of the world. The question is: would the United States really be willing to defend Japan with a pre-emptive strike? As if the global economy couldn’t get any worse, the cruise industry is now in a state of near collapse. Cruise ships will continue to operate, but the companies that own them are struggling. This is due to the fact that the amount of interest and income the industry earns is down 50% from last year. Since the beginning of 2012, cruise lines are only expected to bring in $18 billion in revenue against the $29.1 billion they made last year.
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