At the very end of the 19th century, while the world was entering the industrial age, a group of clever men and women developed a mechanical device that had the potential to revolutionize shipping, forever. Their invention, a steam-powered ship, could move under its own power and could do so at a voyaging speed of over 20 knots (more than 22 miles per hour). But, the ship’s steam engine required the ship to stop to refill its supply of fuel, and when the engine was stopped, the ship was vulnerable to attack.
A letter written and signed by thousands of cruise ship crew members will be officially presented at the Sixth International Marine Environment Protection Symposium, taking place in Barcelona, Spain, on Friday, May 7. The letter asks the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to place the global ban on shipping ship emissions of ozone depleting substances (ODS) in place until the year 2060. The overwhelming majority of cruise passengers are happy to hear that ODS are scheduled to be taken out of international shipping by 2060.
On January 13, 2017, Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA) chief operating officer (COO) Pasquale DiFulco sent a letter to the US Coast Guard Commandant, Admiral Paul F. Zukunft, requesting the service of an auxiliary vessel to escort cruise ships to Mexico. DiFulco noted the issue could not be resolved without congressional action, as the Coast Guard will not issue a permit for larger ships to transit the Gulf of Mexico through the busy approaches. The letter requested CLIA be provided with a three-year extension of its current permit, and the service of a vessel to assist in the escort of cruise ships to Mexico.. 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
Will cruise ships ever sail again?
I hope you’re sitting comfortably. As a passenger, cruising the oceans is a fantastic experience; the busy ports of call, the warm, welcoming reception from fellow passengers, the delicious food, the pristine service—it’s all a dream. But, for the real-life seafarers who sail the seas, it’s an altogether different story. Cruise ships are notorious for their size, and as a result, they’re not always the most seaworthy. To put it bluntly, they’re massive and fragile, and their owners have to keep their passengers safe from the waves and killer storms.
When will cruise ports reopen?
When a cruise ship sinks, it takes weeks or months to find. It’s unfortunate, but it happens. There are a few reasons parties get in a tug of war over salvage rights, but determining a ship’s identity and assets can take years. In the meantime, many cruise ships sit idle in port, potentially costing the companies that own them a lot of money. Cruise ports are one of the great success stories of the last few years. With the 2012 Virgin America crash, the hope of returning cruise ships back to America began to dim. But in the last few months, that has changed. During those first few months, the Department of Transport (DOT) has been saying that cruise ship operators were not required to pay for the inspections that required before their ships could resume sailing in the U.S. But, since then, the DOT has reversed course and announced that they will require the operators of these ships to pay for the inspections that are required before they can resume sailing to America.
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