New ship Iona ‘a very positive signal’ for cruise industry

P&O Cruises has taken delivery of the largest cruise ship built for the UK market.

a building covered in snow: P&O Cruises has taken delivery of the largest cruise ship built for the UK market (P&O Cruises/PA)

© Provided by PA Media
P&O Cruises has taken delivery of the largest cruise ship built for the UK market (P&O Cruises/PA)

Iona weighs 185,000 tonnes, is 345 metres long and has 17 passenger decks.

It has a maximum capacity for 5,200 holidaymakers, before social distancing measures are taken into account.

Features include a glass dome roof above a dining and entertainment venue, and a gin distillery.

The ship was due launch in May but that was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Passengers will have to wait even longer to experience Iona, as P&O Cruises has suspended its operations until

Read More

Travel Industry Updates for Fall 2020 Business Travel

Planning business travel during the coronavirus pandemic is hard enough. With the winter months fast approaching, knowing what to look for may feel like an overwhelming task. If you’re worried about traveling in the coming months, there are policies to be aware of before you book any reservations. 

Some destinations are open, some require a quarantine, and some are closed for most people, depending on where they are traveling from. On top of this, the expiration of the Cares Act means airlines will likely be cutting routes and furloughing workers, which may disrupt intended routes. Additionally, hotel guidelines may vary and airlines are relaxing some of their practices. Here are a couple of updates for the fall.

Traveling by air

Some of the biggest news to come out of the airline industry in recent weeks is how major airlines have dropped their change fees policies. Alaska, American Airlines, Delta Air

Read More

Less Is More or How 2 Cruise Companies Disrupt the Industry – Cruise Industry News

As cruise ships get bigger and bigger, Ponant has stayed true to its form, building luxury expedition ships that are French flagged, with the idea “to create special relationships between the oceans of the world and people sailing on them,” said the CEO of Ponant Americas, Navin Sawhney.

Ponant’s specialization is in expedition ships, vessels that allow guests to see the most exciting and distant destinations while at the same time, thanks to their size, feeling like “you are one with the ocean and the destination that you sail in.”

“What Ponant saw as a void that we could fill was that the tastes of the consumer were changing. They wanted to go on expeditions, they wanted to understand and immerse themselves in destinations beyond [what] existed in the 80s and 90s,” Sawhney said during a virtual panel discussion.   

“We were the first who purpose built ships that combined [a

Read More

Impact of Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic on Wedding Industry in India

The Indian wedding industry, worth around $50 billion, is among the sectors that has been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. We caught up with wedding photographers Ankita Asthana and Akash Agarwal of WeddinNama to find out how the industry is bouncing back now that restrictions have been lifted.

Here are excerpts from the interview.

How has the pandemic impacted the wedding industry in India?
Ankita: Oh, it’s been like a pause button. Weddings thrive on social gatherings and human interaction and that is exactly what got affected by this pandemic. So it is no surprise that the industry has got severely hit. Not only did the weddings planned this year get postponed but even people who wanted to plan one next year are not able to do so because of uncertainty and risk factors. 

Akash: Almost everyone in the over-a-crore people who are involved in the wedding industry are

Read More

Cruise ships dismantled for scrap metal as coronavirus pandemic sinks industry

Cruise ships are being dismantled and sold as scrap metal due to the coronavirus pandemic all but destroying the global cruise industry.

Earlier this month, aerial footage shot by drones showed workers stripping walls, windows, floors and railings from several vessels docked in Aliaga, a town 45 kilometres north of Izmir on Turkey’s west coast.

Three more ships are set to join five already being dismantled.

Chairman of a ship recycling industrialists’ association, Kamil Onal, said before the pandemic Turkey’s ship-breaking yards typically handled cargo and container ships.

Catch up on the main COVID-19 news from October 11 with our coronavirus blog.

“But after the pandemic, cruise ships changed course towards Aliaga in a

Read More

Meeting With Cruise Industry, CDC and White House Officials

Leaders from the cruise industry, the US Centers for Disease Control, the Department of Health and Human Services, and members of the Healthy Sail Panel joined a conference call with Vice President Mike Pence on Friday to discuss a proposal to resume cruise operations in the United States.

REPORT: Cruise Industry One Step Closer to Sailing

Notes provided from the White House give a glimpse into what was discussed in Friday’s meeting.

What Happened During the Conference Call

Pence provided an overview of the current “No Sail” order, set to expire October 31, 2020, and indicated the administration shares the cruise industry’s goal of reopening the maritime economy and particularly the cruise line industry safely sailing once again.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar and CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield cautioned that the industry would have to backstop their venture to resume operations under the 74 recommendations created by the Healthy Sail

Read More

Cruise Industry Top Leaders Show Optimism for U.S. Cruise “Restart”

Leaders from the “Big Four” cruise companies are generally optimistic about their lines sailing from U.S. ports later this year, despite the “No Sail Order” being recently extended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through October 31, That was the big “takeaway” Tuesday from the Seatrade Cruise Virtual conference. 

“We are optimistic that we’ll be in a position as an industry, in collaboration with CDC … in collaboration with the [Trump] Administration to resume cruising sometime this year, but we have to work that out,” said Arnold Donald, president and CEO, Carnival Corporation (CCL). “But we are definitely cautiously optimistic.”

Later in the program, panelists were asked by moderator Anne Kalosh, editor, Seatrade Cruise News, to rank on a scale from 1 to 5 (with five being the most optimistic), of whether ships will sail from U.S. ports in 2020. “On a scale of

Read More

Rethinking travel in Indonesia: How can the travel industry design the next normal? – Opinion

Since the COVID-19 crisis closed national borders, the message from local travel and tourism providers and the government has been clear: plan a holiday at home. Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Wishnutama Kusubandio has urged Indonesians to support local businesses and rethink their domestic travel plans.

As authorities relax social distancing restrictions and Indonesia transitions to what the government calls a “new normal”, travel providers will need to win back the hearts and minds of travelers. As the industry contemplates and explores new ways to recover, we believe it will take a community response to get the world traveling again. Technology and innovation will be a powerful enabler of change.

As a travel technology provider, we’re committed to working together with our customers, partners and the wider industry to rethink travel ultimately ensuring it continues to be a key driver of global progress, positivity and prosperity.

Modern technology is giving

Read More

Cruise industry to test all passengers, crew before boarding worldwide


Cruise Lines International Association, which represents 95% of the cruise industry, introduced mandatory requirements to be able to set sail again.


Cruise lines around the world have committed to testing every passenger and crew member for COVID-19 before boarding, the industry’s leading trade group, Cruise Lines International Association, said Tuesday. 

“CLIA ocean cruise line members worldwide have agreed to conduct 100% testing of passengers and crew on all ships with a capacity to carry 250 or more persons – with a negative test required for any embarkation,” Bari Golin-Blaugrund, vice president of strategic communications for Cruise Lines International Association, told USA TODAY in a statement. 

“The global policy applies to ships capable of carrying 250 or more people, which is consistent with the policy in place as it relates to ships sailing from U.S. ports,” Golin-Blaugrund said.

The CDC’s “no-sail” order bars ships that can carry at

Read More

Will cruises resume in 2021? Here’s what the industry is doing to sail safely | Sandy Fenton

It seems like forever since I last wrote a travel column for PennLive. The truth is I haven’t had a lot to say. There has been so many changes within the industry, sometimes weekly, often daily, and always confusing.

So here I am now, celebrating 28 years of broadcasting “Let’s Talk Travel with AAA” on iHeartRadio/WHP580, and I do have some thoughts to share. And positive thoughts at that.

For one thing, the cruise industry is ready to get back to work. Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings CEO Frank Del Rio recently stated to the press, “Enough is enough,” and with a several billion dollar market cap drop from the three largest cruise lines, the CEOs are telling the CDC and government officials the industry must return to service in the United States.

Cruise lines from the U.S. have put together new plans to ensure a healthy return to cruising as

Read More