CruiseInd Your Industry Insider Source for Information, News and Analysis of the Cruise Industry Mon, 15 Jul 2019 21:07:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Carnival Vista Repairs Underway Mon, 15 Jul 2019 21:05:38 +0000 Just wanted to share these photos and videos because we may not see something like this for a while. The 133,500gt Carnival Vista has been loaded onto the 116,173dwt Boka Vanguard (ex-Dockwise Vanguard) heavy lift ship. She’s now moored at the Grand Bahama Shipyard where they now have access to both pods in a dry environment to do the bering swap-out.

Editors note: I keep seeing the Boka Vanguard being referred to as a the ‘worlds first floating drydock.’ This is wrong. She’s technically referred to as a semi-submersible heavy lift ship. There’s thousands and thousands of floating drydocks around the globe.

A Close Call in Venice Sun, 07 Jul 2019 19:43:10 +0000 This afternoon, a freak squal blew the transiting Costa Deliziosa off course and out of the main channel while leaving Venice.

There was no dammage to any vessel involved and all vessels proceeded on course normally. This is exactly why ships transit with tugs even with the advanced maneuverability of a modern day cruise ship.

So while this is pretty much a ‘non-event,’ a growing local movement in Venice have been passionately campaigning against having cruise ships so close to the city center.

Costa Released this statement:

Costa statament about what happened in Venice: Today a sudden weather event affected Costa Deliziosa with violent gusts causing a deviation during her Giudecca passage under guidance of the Port Commander and 3 tugboats twhich promptly assisted the maneuver.

First Look: Spirit of Discovery Wed, 03 Jul 2019 20:18:35 +0000 The first ship in a new class for a cruise lines first newbuild.

The Spirit of Discovery has just set sail for England’s Saga Cruises. This is the wholly owned cruise division of the UK’s mega holiday company Saga. They’ve been in the news lately as their share prices have plummeted (52wk range £141.20- £31.78) and they’re currently undergoing some issues between their shareholders and upper management. However, even in those financial releases, they praised the financial health of their cruise sector. Cruisers on Saga needn’t worry.

The new ship is the first in a new class developed by and built at Germany’s Meyer Werft. At 58,250gt and 774ft. LOA she’s definitely the smallest ship out of that yard in a long time. What’s even more unique about this ship is that it’s Saga’s first newbuild ever!

Saga made their name selling vacation packages (hotel+flights+transportation, etc.) to British holidaymakers. They then ventured into the cruise sector by purchasing the Saga Rose (ex-Sagafjord, Gripsholm) in 1997 and chartering the Minerva (ex-Okean, Saga Pearl, Explorer II, Alexander von Humboldt) between 2003-2005. They then added some more second and third hand tonnage over the years.

As those charters were running out and the ships were getting a bit older, they decided to venture into the newbuild market. They shocked the industry in 2015 by ordering a single newbuild with the option of another one.

That brings us to the launch of the Spirit of Discovery earlier last month and now that she’s just departed on her maiden voyage around Ireland and the British Isles, so lets take a look at her.


The bottom two decks of the ship contain a majority of the public rooms. The forward parts contain the main theater and the spa.

Amidships is The Living Room (also called the same thing on Viking Ocean’s Newbuilds) and some bars.

The aft is where the restaurants are located.

The back of the ships feature The Terraces. Instead of having aft wrap-around balconies, Saga has opted for observation areas.

The next 5 decks contain all the cabins. Every cabin onboard features a balcony.

Up on top is the Lido and Sun decks. There’s the observation lounge up front.

The pool is amidships.

The Grill, casual restaurant, is aft.

There’s also a neat outdoor games area tucked away behind the funnel.

Update on Sailing Ship Newbuilds Wed, 03 Jul 2019 13:08:27 +0000 A few updates on some of the tall ships currently under construction.

Germany-based Sea Cloud Cruises will launch their newest tall ship in mid-2020. She’ll start sailing throughout the Mediterranean for the summer then sail to the Americas in November 2020. Her inaugural winter season will then take place in the Caribbean out of Philipsburg, St. Maarten.

Star Clippers
Star Clippers

Star Clippers have had the new five-masted Flying Clipper under construction for quite a while now. There are still no published itineraries which is a clear indication that they really don’t have a firm timeline for the completion of the vessel. She’s being build in Croatia at Brodosplit and the yard has stated that they ran into difficulties with her classification society.

Carnival To Use Heavy Lift Ship To Repair Vista Tue, 02 Jul 2019 15:37:51 +0000 Carnival has just announced that they will be utilizing a Semi-Submersible Heavy Lift (SSHL) Ship to repair the damaged Carnival Vista.
carnival vista

The Carnival Vista was the first neo-panamax ship for Carnival Cruise Lines to utilize azmuthing pods for her propulsion. As is the case for many of these, there’s been some growing pains with this type of propulsion. As a result of some premature wear, they’ve had to operate her at a reduced speed. Based in Galveston, full speed is essential as there are may long legs of the voyage that require close to top speed. A decision was made to pull her from service and repair her soonest.

Problem was, there wasn’t a yard available in the western hemisphere. After the drydock collapsed when trying to lift the Oasis of the Seas earlier this year, the Grand Bahama Shipyard didn’t have anything capable of lifting the 133,500gt, 1,055ft LOA Vista out of the water. This needs to be done as they need full, dry access to the pod in order to remove certain parts of it.

Well today Carnival announced they partnered with the Dutch heavy lift specialist Royal Boskalis, formerly Dockwise B.V., and will charter the BOKA Vanguard (ex-Dockwise Vanguard).

This SSHL will submerge her deck:

The Vista will be towed directly above it.

Then they will pump out her ballast tanks, and both ships will rise out of the water.

They’ll then have access to fix the pod over dry land.

While this kind of practice is pretty common in the offshore oil & gas industry, it’s rarely used in the cruise industry. However, Carnival Corp. is no stranger to this ship. Under her previous name, Dockwise Vanguard, she was used to lift the Costa Concordia onto, in order to transport her to the breakers.

The operation is planned for July 12th and the Vista is planning to be back in service on July 27th.

Spirit of Discovery Delivered Tue, 25 Jun 2019 21:23:09 +0000 Saga Cruises first newbuild has been delivered.

That’s their first newbuild, ever! The British line has line has always used second or thirdhand tonnage from British or German lines. While this 38,350gt newbuild won’t be setting records in any size category, she does feature several innovative features. She will be utilizing podded propulsion but instead of the normal ABB Azipods, she will use the German Siemens SISHIP eSiPOD-M.

She will be registered in the UK and have London as her port of registry. Something unheard of nowadays.

She will be named in Dover, UK on July 5.

This will be an incredibly busy year for German yard Meyer Werft. They delivered the Spectrum of the Seas at the very start of the year, then the Spirit of Discovery this summer. Now they are on schedule to deliver the Norwegian Encore at the very end of the year.

Carnival Lays Out Dining Venues for Mardi Gras Mon, 24 Jun 2019 14:26:42 +0000 When the Mardi Gras debuts in 2020, she’ll be the first Excellence-class vessel for Carnival Cruise Lines. As she is a clean sheet design for them, they’re really able to enhance the dining experience onboard.
Grand Central atrium on Mardi Gras


Exclusive to the Mardi Gras will be:

Street Eats, an open-air venue featuring three differently themed kiosks. The street-food inspired menu represents a variety of global cuisines. Examples include empanadas, falafels, bao buns or siu mai. All food here will be complimentary.

RedFrog Tiki Bar, an evolution in the concept of their RedFrog bars, the RedFrog Tiki Bar is a two level poolside bar. Unique drinks include Polynesian Punch, Red’s Rum Runner Jumper and Jungle Bird. They will also offer collectable souvenir tiki glasses.

The Watering Hole, off the stern on deck 6 on the patio at Summer Landing. This causal outdoor gathering spot is designed and inspired by a fun backyard gathering. The bar will have a wide beer selection, Carnival’s own brews, Watermelon Coolers, and Tequila Sunsets.

The Mardi Gras will also be the second ship in the fleet to feature Big Chicken by Shaquille O’Neal. It will be opened for all three meals.

Returning favorites include the Seafood Shack, Pizzeria del Capitano, BlueIguana Cantina, Lido Marketplace, and the largest Guy’s Burger Joint at Sea!

Azamara Club Cruises Rebrands Tue, 18 Jun 2019 19:39:20 +0000 Royal Caribbean’s upper-premium brand, Azamara Club Cruises, has re-branded to simply, Azamara.

The design philsophy surrounding their new logo is broken into three different parts; “an open world symbol; the two artistic strokes represent both land and sea experiences; the star in the design is representative of Azamara’s namesake “Acamar,” which means the brightest star in the southern sky. and represents the brand’s ‘north star’; like a compass that drives balance, direction and dependability. “

They also introduced the new tagline, Venture Beyond the Sea. This pairs with their newly released land tours. They’re building strongly upon the pre and post cruise experience allowing guests to travel more inland.

It’s official; cruises to Cuba from the US are no more. (June 2019 edition) Wed, 05 Jun 2019 14:54:36 +0000 In connection with the news yesterday, cruise lines have begun cancelling calls in Cuban ports. A overwhelming majority of those cruises are booking those voyages solely for calls in Havana.

Here are the updated cruise lines statements:


NCL has begin removing listings of Cuban cruises on their website.

Today, the U.S. government announced new travel restrictions to Cuba. We are closely monitoring these recent developments and any resulting impact to cruise travel to Cuba. We will communicate to our guests and travel partners as additional information becomes available.

NCL will offer compensation for those impacted by the changes until September 2 of this year. After that, they are cancelling all Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Sun itineraries. They will be redeploying these ships.


Virgin started building their brand around Cuban cruises so this probably hits them the hardest. They haven’t released their alternative destination yet. Their ship doesn’t set sail until next year so they have time to figure out a suitable alternative.


Effective immediately, cruise ship travel is no longer allowed and we are required to cancel our visit to Havana. We have replaced our call to Havana with a replacement port to provide our guests with the best experience ashore.

Carnival has five ships scheduled to call in Havana. Their website lists the alternative destinations they’ve chosen.

Royal Caribbean

Effective immediately, the U.S. government has implemented new regulations that prohibits travel from the U.S. to Cuba by cruise ship. This change requires us to immediately replace all Cuban ports. For all 2019 sailings on both Majesty of the Seas and Empress of the Seas, we have secured alternative ports and we are in the process of communicating the new itineraries to our guests and travel partners. For these guests, they will have the option of remaining on their sailing with the new itinerary and receiving a 50% refund or they may cancel their cruise and receive a full refund.

For 2020 sailings on both Majesty and Empress of the Seas, we are working to secure alternative itineraries and expect to be able to communicate to our guests and travel partners within the next week. 


MSC Cruises is currently reviewing and working through the details of the Administration’s Cuba policy announcement to assess the scale and timing of its effect on its cruise sailings from the U.S. to Cuba. We will advise all guests and travel partners when additional information becomes available.

[UPDATE] Carnival Corp. Reaches Deal With Government Tue, 28 May 2019 18:45:08 +0000 UPDATE 6/4: Carnival Corp. will pay a fine of $20 million. (Basically a slap on the wrist.) In the courtroom today, CEO Arnold Donald stated that they will fix the problems and initiate a plan in order to do so.

With Carnival Corp. in some hot waters with the US government, it was announced over the weekend that the is an agreement in place.

Carnival Vista

Carnival Corp. currently faces 7 counts of probation violations stemming from a 2016 plea agreement. If you’d like to know more, we wrote an in-depth analysis a few weeks ago.

Over the weekend it appears that Carnival Corp. and their new legal team were able to come to an agreement with the US Government. It’s unknown what the terms are but if they leak in the meantime, I’ll update this post.

There will still be a hearing June 3rd, in Miami, where Carnival Corp.’s executives, including the CEO and the Chairman, should be present at. It is then that we will know whether or not the judge agrees to the terms if the deal.