July 13, 2020
(Updated 1:28 p.m. EDT) -- Faced with declining revenues and a lack of passengers during the global COVID-10 pandemic, some cruise lines are taking an unpopular but necessary step: Selling off older vessels for scrap.
Most modern cruise ships have service lives of 40 years or more. While it is not uncommon to see cruise ships built in the 1970's and 1980's go to the breakers, older vessels are usually transferred first to another, smaller cruise operator -- a market that is often referred to as "secondhand tonnage."
It's more unusual is to see relatively young vessels head to the breakers. Yet that is precisely what is beginning to happen, due to the coronavirus pandemic. On June 25,
(2:15 p.m. EDT ) -- Last week was a discouraging one for cruisers, with COVID-19 cases popping up on the few small ship and international lines that have resumed service.
Norway, where cruising had re-emerged first from the pandemic, has put a two-week docking ban on ships with more than 100 people after Hurtigruten spawned an outbreak that is now past 50 infected passengers and crew. SeaDream I passengers were also forced to quarantine, after a passenger from a previous sailing tested positive for COVID-19.
Despite French Polynesia having some of the most rigorous COVID-19 testing requirements for entry, an American passenger turned up positive, forcing
CroisiEurope has resumed sailings through the French wine region of Bordeaux -- and confirmed British passengers will be welcome back onboard from next month.
Europe's largest river cruise line operates more than 50 ships and canal barges, is already offering sailings to people living in mainland Europe.
Cruise Critic is onboard this week's CroisiEurope sailing -- with 124 cruisers from France, Germany, Switzerland, Monaco and Northern Ireland --
(2 p.m. EDT) -- Royal Caribbean Group released its second-quarter earnings results on Monday, detailing a net loss of $1.6 billion and announcing that most newbuild projects will be delayed by approximately 10 months.
The Group, which counts Azamara, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Silversea among its portfolio of cruise line brands, also gave an update on its Spanish subsidiary Pullmantur and revealed that demand for bookings across the Group remains "within historic ranges" for 2021, particularly for the second quarter and beyond.
"We continue to take substantial actions to bolster our financial position," said Jason Liberty, Royal Caribbean Group executive vice president and CFO. "We
(12:15 p.m. EDT) -- MSC Cruises has been given the green light by Italian authorities to resume limited cruises in the Mediterranean this month aboard MSC Grandiosa and MSC Magnifica.
MSC's flagship, MSC Grandiosa, will return to service on August 16, offering voyages to the Western Mediterranean from Genoa. The slightly-smaller MSC Magnifica enters service from Bari on August 29, where it will sail primarily to the Eastern Mediterranean.
Both vessels will initially offer cruises only for Schengen (European Union) residents and will travel throughout Italy, Greece and Malta. The Greek and Maltese governments have also reviewed and signed-off on MSC's restart plans, according to the co
(1:05 p.m. EDT) -- Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) President and CEO Frank Del Rio announced it has no plans to sell any of its ships from its three cruise brands, as a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
"We absolutely have no plans to divest of any of our vessels," Del Rio said during NCLH's second quarter earnings call with investors and media Thursday morning.
The corporation, which counts Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania and Regent Seven Seas as its brands, reported an adjusted net loss of $666.4 million in its second quarter. Due to the complete suspension of sailings during the quarter, revenue decreased to just $16.9 million across all brands, compared with $1.7 bi