It’s all been a bit quiet in the cruise world this last week. Add to that the Bank Holiday plus a couple of days that I spent working away, and you can see why there have been no posts. But here’s a quick roundup of recent events that seem of interest to me.
- I suppose the big news is that Quantum of the Seas will be home-ported in Shanghai from May 2015, after first doing an inaugural (winter) season from New York. The deployment of sister ship Anthem of the Seas to Southampton for the summer 2015 season is still due to happen – indeed, they must have already started selling cruises on her. After that, however, she will relocate to New York for the winter 2015/16 season and I gather that is a change – she was originally slated to spend winter 2015/16 in the Caribbean;
- Back to Quantum of the Seas, there’s still no firm word as to when she will be in Southampton (she’s due to make a call there on her way from the builders to New York). However, looking at the entries on CruiseTT my guess would be that it will be 10 November. Still nothing on the Southampton VTS Cruise Schedule for 2014 about the call, however;
- Getting into Dock Gate 4 at Southampton is still a possible problem; the dual carriageway along Platform Road isn’t finished yet. However Host Sharon on the the Cruise Critic P&O forum said (in answer to a question about this) “You still have to go round the park BUT there is now a dedicated lane just for Dock Gate 4 which makes it so much easier.” So you still have to go round the gyratory;
- People are generally reporting efficient-enough transport arrangements for Ventura’s Mediterranean fly-cruises – she’s now done one complete Genoa to Genoa round trip and is currently on her way back to Venice. No real word yet as to popular they are – i.e. is the ship full or half-empty, and if the former, is it because they’ve been selling the cruises off very cheaply;
- And finally there’s been a statement by the CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) about the Venice ban on large ships. You’ll remember that an outright ban on ships over 96,000 toms was introduced, to come into effect in November 2014, and also that it was overturned a month or so ago. The CLIA have announced that, notwithstanding the overturning of the ban, they will observe it anyway. This is actually less significant than it sounds, because the lines will have planned their 2015 deployments into Venice with the ban in mind. For example, P&O had already planned and have announced some weeks ago that they will replace Ventura (113,500 tons) with Oceana (77,500 tons) for their Mediterranean fly-cruises in 2015. So when the cruise lines say they’re going to voluntarily observe the ban, that simply means that they will stick to the plans they made when they were expecting the ban to in force. Here’s a link to a story in the Independent about it.
Having said “nothing much happened this week”, that is of course strictly in the world of cruising. Looking a little further afield but still staying within the world of passenger shipping, I (like all of you, I’m sure) have been horrified by the accounts of the sinking of the South Korean ferry, and the consequential loss of life. A dreadful event. While one’s first concern must be with those who lost family members, nevertheless I await the accident investigation report with interest.