It seems that severe hubris crept into my last PV Week introduction. One minute, you’re on top of the world and the next you are struggling. The Covid-19 epidemic has given the passenger vessel industry a very severe knock. Many vessels are laid up and orders for new vessels have suddenly become very scarce. Times are very tough but, hopefully, those tough times will not last very long.
Perhaps the northern summer will allow and encourage more tourism, even if it is only local. However, I cannot imagine that international and intercontinental travel will resume soon. I have already written off my usual Mediterranean sailing jaunt this year. I suspect most people have done the same. It seems that many countries will be closed to foreign visitors for quite a while yet.
The big cruise ship part of the industry has and will continue to be hard hit. Some of the largest companies have behaved appallingly negligently. They will deservedly suffer for that and may well suffer for some time. Indeed, Meyer Werft boss Bernhard Meyer, the world’s biggest builder of cruise ships, was quoted the other day suggesting that it may be a decade before things get back to normal in the cruise business. He is probably being optimistic.
Ferries • Ro-Pax • Marine Tourism • Cruise • Freshwater
Fortunately, the ferry and tourist boat sectors were flourishing before the virus hit. They had strong orders in hand. Particularly companies like Austal, Brodrene Aa, Damen, Incat, Jianglong, ODC Marine, RDM, Seacat Ships and Yamba Welding, to name a few busy yards. It appears that most of those orders will be fulfilled. The world had been awakening to its dire shortage of safe modern ferries and tourist boats. Builders of aluminium and FRP fast ferries, particularly of multihulls, should escape the viral recession rapidly. As soon as owners can raise money for such vessels, they will order them.
I feel that domestic travel and tourism will return to normal fairly quickly. So, the ferry and tourist sectors should recover rapidly. The large globe girdling cruise ships will be another matter. They will quite deservedly take a long time to recover from the bad headlines that their owners’ bad behaviour brought upon them.
- Island Discovery and Island Aurora – 81-metre newbuild Ro-Pax pair joins BC Ferries fleet
- Eagle II – Sleek new double-ended Ro-Pax ferry for Fisher Island, Florida
- Rygerelektra – New Norwegian ferry breaks all-electric distance and speed records
- Ocean Explorer – High-end tourist boat for Australia’s famous Hamilton Island
- Governors I – 400-passenger ferry for the popular route between Manhattan and Governors Island
Features and Opinion:
“Will people still go cheerfully jetting off to join their cruises all around the world, at least until there are vaccines that have proved to work?”
– by Michael Grey, former long-term editor of Lloyds List
– “The pandemic has shown that cruise shipping is essentially an unregulated industry that has thrived in an environment lacking rules. Will Covid-19 change that?”
– by David Millar, Australian Strategic Policy Institute
– “What is the verdict thirty years on? It appears that those who don’t need the ISM system are applying it diligently whilst those that need it are only paying lip service to it, but the jury is still out…”
– by Mike Wall, marine surveyor and consultant
News and Gear:
- Tallink to resume passenger services to Finland on May 14
- P&O Cruises’ Australia, New Zealand operations paused until August 31
- Viking Line’s Finland passenger sailings to resume on May 14
- Balearic Islands government pushes for resumption of ferry services as Spain eases Covid-19 lockdown
- Carnival Cruise Line to commence limited North America sailings this August
- Hong Kong’s Chu Kong Shipping to acquire local ferry company
- Ferry capsizes in Lake Victoria, Kenya; all on board rescued
- Canada’s TSB cites safety concerns following bottom contact of river tour boat near Ontario in 2017
- Marella Cruises moves up retirement of 1984-built vessel
- Port of Tallinn passenger traffic drops 13 per cent in Q1 2020 compared to Q1 2019
- Jianglong Shipbuilding launches new tour boat for Dawan District
- Keel laid for Stena Line’s sixth E-Flexer-class ship
- NCDOT cancels 2020 sailings of Ocracoke Express ferry due to Covid-19
- 3. Maj starts building new polar expedition ship for Scenic Group
- NTSB finds failure to heed severe weather warning led to fatal sinking of Missouri duck boat
- GSI lays keel of second 600-pax ferry for DFDS
- Sentinel Boat delivers newbuild to Florida tour operator
- Helsinki Shipyard starts building expedition vessels for Vodohod
- Silversea’s newest expedition ship begins sea trials
- Second 1,500-pax vessel delivered to Kenya Ferry Services
- Seattle’s Argosy Cruises gets new tour boat
- Jianglong Shipbuilding launches 54-metre river tour boat
- First steel cut for new electric tour boat for China’s Pearl River
- Fjord1 taps Westcon Yards for electric-hybrid conversion of ferry trio
- Sredne-Nevsky to build two Siberian river cruise ships
Recent Important Features:
– “The Bangkok Declaration provides an excellent platform from which to improve domestic ferry safety, particularly in developing countries.”
– by Neil Baird, co-Founder, Baird Maritime
– Three passenger transfer vessels were commissioned to boost tourism from cruise ships passing Norfolk Island. We followed their production, transfer to Norfolk Island, and maiden voyage.
– by Simon Ecktinap
– “The years 2016 to 2019 have shown a dramatic improvement in domestic ferry safety in significant parts of Asia.”
– by Neil Baird, co-Founder, Baird Maritime
– Tour operators on the Gordon River in Tasmania’s heritage-listed southwest face considerable challenges in planning memorable excursions for passengers, while minimising their impact on this spectacular and pristine environment.
– by Peter Strachan
Remember to come back every day to see the latest news, opinion and vessel reviews!
Call for content!
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