Cruising made an unexpected first return to operations not with ocean-going vessels, but instead with river cruising in Europe. Nicko Cruises headquartered in Germany launched the first cruise with its vessel the nickoVISION boarding passengers on June 1 for a cruise from Straubing along the Danube and Rhine rivers to Dusseldorf.
While the cruise marked an important first step for the industry, the companies are still finding themselves navigating a challenging environment with varying rules and regulations. According to Nicko Cruises, trips in Germany are generally possible although there are different regulations within the individual areas.For example, Nicko explains, “Rhineland-Palatinate plans to open tourist activities in the near future, but at the moment it is not welcoming river cruise ships. Some itineraries also lead to neighboring countries where travel bans still exist.”
The current cruise of the nickoVISION is scheduled to end on June 13 in Dusseldorf and Nicko then plans to market short trips on the Rhine River. On June 26, the nickoVISION will cruise back from Dusseldorf to Passau and after that the plan is to continue cruises on the Danube as scheduled. Previously, Nicko Cruises had canceled all trips on the Danube as well as in Croatia, Portugal, France, Russia, and Asia until the middle of June due to travel restrictions.
So far, the travel bans have meant that the cruises are being limited mostly to Germans, but Nicko, along with other European river cruise lines anticipate that the restrictions will be further reduced by mid-June. Currently, river cruise lines catering to mostly German and European passengers, including A-Rosa, Phoenix Reisen, Plantours, and Scylla, have also announced plans to resume their trips by the end of June, while CroisiEurope plans a gradual restart from mid-July.
The lines that market mostly to international travelers, however, are expecting a later return to service. For example, AmaWaterways currently has canceled its cruises through the end of July, while Viking’s river cruises in Europe are canceled through the end of August. In the United States, both the American Queen Steamboat Company and American Cruise Lines have announced plans to resume trips in July.
Luggage being sanitized before boarding the nickoVision – courtesy Scylla
In launching the industry’s first post-COVID-19 cruises, Nicko, which sails aboard ships operated by Scylla, announced steps that would be taken to ensure the health of the passengers and crew. Before sailing, passengers will undergo both body temperature checks and antibody tests while all luggage is being sanitized. Capacity is being limited to two-thirds of normal and onboard passengers will experience social distancing, with meals served in two seatings, tables spaced further apart, and if necessary one-way directions in certain spaces. The spa, pool, and gym will be closed. Passengers are also being asked to wear face coverings in the corridors and gangways and during shore excursions, while the service staff in the bars and restaurant will be wearing masks and gloves.
Nicko Cruises provided a photo of a server wearing a protective face covering
These trips represent a first step for the cruise industry to restore operations and to learn from passengers’ reactions to the different restrictions. The large ocean-going cruise lines continue to target the summer months at the earliest for their return to service. Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line has the first announced resumption date at the end of July while Carnival Cruise Line announced plans to restart a few cruise ships in August.
P&O Cruises, another part of Carnival Corporation, however, just announced that it is extending its cancelations until October 15, 2020, as it “focuses on working in close coordination with all relevant public health bodies to approve further enhancement of the company’s already stringent health and safety protocols.”
With their smaller capacity and river itineraries, many observers believe the river market will be a good test ground for the cruise industry. The itineraries also permit the companies to limit trips to a single country and by nature, they remain close to ports with the necessary support systems and health infrastructure should a need arise.
Directional arrows were added to the nickoVision to help maintain social distancing
Go to Source
A massive fire broke out at the Port of Beirut on Thursday, incinerating a warehouse full of tires and oil within the port’s free zone. The same area was heavily damaged in the ammonium nitrate explosion that leveled the central port area and the adjacent waterfront on August 4. According to Lebanon’s civil defense agency, […]
Over the course of the past five days, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority arranged a medical intervention for an injured aboard a freighter in the Indian Ocean. On Saturday evening, the Spliethoff tweendecker Dolfijngracht called for assistance while under way about 1,000 nauical miles off the coast of Western Australia. A crewmember had sustained serious […]
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a Marine Accident Brief about an accident that occurred on April 15, 2019, involving the towing vessel DeJeanne Maria which struck the end of a submerged dredge pipeline while pushing two spud barges to the Gulf of Mexico. The incident occurred on the Mississippi River in Pass […]
Best known as a leading passenger airport serving Germany’s most populated federal state North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf has become transformed into a vital distribution point, during the COVID 19 pandemic, for medical equipment and other life-saving goods, mostly from China. Gerton Hulsman, managing director of cargo operations, reports that the handling teams are working hard to […]
DSV Belgium has solid experience in the transport of pharmaceutical products for different customers. With a pharma hub based at Brussels Airport a lot of experience and know-how has been built up over the years. Last weekend, the forwarder handled one hundred million mouth masks, an important milestone for its Belgian organisation that has put […]
The UK government’s new post-Brexit tariff regime will result in both winners and losers. The new regime is set to replace the European Union’s Common External Tariff from the end of the Brexit Transition Period on December 31, 2020. The UK’s commitment to the ongoing Brexit process and ending the UK’s transition from EU membership […]
With close to 100 daily cargo flights operated to a destination network spanning more than 65 cities across six continents, Emirates SkyCargo is delivering essential supplies and commodities to people around the world. The air cargo carrier is currently operating 11 Boeing 777 freighter aircraft, each with a capacity to transport about 100 tonnes of […]
Emirates SkyCargo has expanded its weekly scheduled cargo flight operations to cover 75 destinations across six continents. Through its wider reach, Emirates SkyCargo is able to transport essential commodities and other urgently needed cargo more rapidly across the world, allowing exporters and importers across markets to benefit from direct access to widebody cargo capacity. Some […]
Operators can continue to use pilots and other crew members who have unable to comply with certain training, recent experience, testing, and checking requirements due to the COVID-19 outbreak in support of essential operations. Additionally, this Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) provides regulatory relief to certain persons and pilot schools unable to meet duration and […]
Global commercial aviation charter company Albion Aviation Group is reporting that it is seeing a considerable uptake in its professional cargo broker training courses from the current global pandemic crisis and surge in charter demand. “We have completed a number webinar courses for a whole of host of companies, looking to manage their own cargo […]
Astral Aviation has increased its intra-African network with cargo freighters during the pandemic. While there has been a reduction in capacity to, from, and within Africa, which has been caused by a stoppage of passenger flights and limited frequencies on freighter aircraft, Astral Aviation continues to operate cargo freighters from its Nairobi hub to 13 destinations […]
The U-Freight Group (UFL), with its considerable involvement in eCommerce logistics, says that the latest statistics showing that global e-commerce sales hit $25.6 trillion in 2018 are a further vindication of its decision to enter this sector of the international freight market several years ago. The latest available estimates, up 8% from 2017, were recently […]
Callan Marine is serving as the prime contractor to the Texas Department of Transportation for a maintenance dredging project located at the Bolivar Ferry Terminal, in Galveston, Texas. Work began in May and is estimated to be complete in late July 2020. The project consists of the removal of 600,000 cubic yards of material and […]
Network Airline Management and TAAG Angola Airlines are pleased to announce the renewal of their long-term freighter aircraft contract by an additional 12 months, sealing an ongoing partnership for the foreseeable future. Operating a regular weekly scheduled service from Liege, Belgium, to the capital of Angola, Luanda, Network Airline Management provides a Boeing 747-400F aircraft […]
Qatar Airways Cargo transported 56 SkyCell containers with vaccines from one of the largest vaccine manufacturers worldwide on its scheduled freighter and belly-hold cargo flights for its customer, CEVA Logistics. The 54-tonne shipment consisting of pneumococcal and varicella vaccines were flown from Brussels to Mumbai via the carrier’s hub in Doha on two separate flights. […]
NOAA Fisheries announced Friday that it will cancel five out of its six large-scale research surveys in Alaskan waters this year due to COVID-19. The canceled surveys include the Aleutian Islands bottom trawl survey, the eastern Bering Sea bottom trawl survey, the northern Bering Sea bottom trawl survey, the Bering Sea pollock acoustics survey, and […]