Three Out Of Four Ships: One Strike And You’re Out – Other Cruise News: MSC Cruises’ New Approach – NCL Holdings Fleet Sails for Europe

by Kevin Griffin

Last week saw the mainly unsuccessful culmination of a number of tries to re-start cruising in the midst of the Covid pandemic. The main big ship success so far has been four 3-night mini-cruises from Hamburg by TUI Cruises’ 1,200-berth (pre-Covid 2,900) Mein Schiff 2.


Three Out Of Four Ships: One Strike And You’re Out

Last week we wrote about the larger German-based ships of TUI Cruises (so far successful) and AIDA Cruises (so far delayed), but there were four other trials proceeding on smaller ships.

Each of UnCruise Adventures’ Wilderness Adventurer (Juneau to Juneau), Ponant’s Paul Gauguin (Tahiti to Tahiti) and SeaDream Yacht Club’s’ 112-berth SeaDream I (Denmark to Tromsso) had pyrrhic victories.

Seadream I in Norway, June 2020

Seadream I in Norway, June 2020

These three ships succeeded in setting of on their cruises but in the case of UnCruise and Paul Gauguin had to return to port, and in the case of SeaDream I their passengers’s positive score caught up to the ship after it had arrived at its destination.

Three voyages had to be curtailed because of one passenger in each of the first three cases.

And all three came about after the operators boarded passengers with a single test result still missing. Had these operators refused to embark a passenger without proof of a negative score it is possible these three cruises might have been completed.

Roald Amundsen - Hurtigruten (Photo: Tor Erik Kvalsvik / Kleven / Hurtigruten)

Roald Amundsen – Hurtigruten (Photo: Tor Erik Kvalsvik / Kleven / Hurtigruten)

And in the case of Hurtigruten, their trials ended up as a complete failure as the operator confessed to not having stuck to its own protocols.

The loser last week was must definitely Hurtigruten’s Roald Amundsen, whose owner has had to give up their present summer itineraries on three expedition ships, also including the Fridtjof Nansen and Spitsbergen


MSC Cruises’ New Approach

However, MSC Cruises is this month trying a new approach, using only two of its ships to begin with.

The MSC Grandiosa (Credit: Bernard Biger - Chantiers de l'Atlantique)

The MSC Grandiosa (Credit: Bernard Biger – Chantiers de l’Atlantique)

On August 16, MSC Grandiosa is due to sail from Genoa on a 7-night Western Med Cruise, and on August 29 MSC Magnifica is due to sail from Bari on a 7-night Eastern Med Cruise.

All passengers will be tested on the pier with tests that can give a result within 30 minutes, and no passenger who is tested positive will be allowed to board.

Only MSC-organised shore excursions can be booked and passengers will not be allowed to go ashore independently. Only citizens of the 26 so-called EU Schengen countries will be allowed to book, so no UK or North American passengers. We will see how this works.

NCL Holdings Fleet Sails for Europe

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings - NCLH (logo)Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. the leading global cruise company which operates the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, announced positioning voyages that will deploy most of its fleet to Europe and allow redeploment plans that will allow a return to cruise service over the coming months. Details will follow next week.

(Kevin Griffin is managing director of The Cruise People Ltd in London, England. For further information concerning cruises mentioned in this article readers can visit his blog)

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