This Week in Cruise Recovery: Restarts in Alaska, Malta and Florida

Cruise "restarts" continued this past week. Viking restarted in the Mediterranean with two ships—Viking Sea and the new Viking Venus—sailing from the line's new home port of Valletta, Malta. 

In Alaska, both Princess Cruises and Holland America Line began sailing to Alaska with Majestic Princess and Nieuw Amsterdam. Each will operate 10 voyages through September. 

And in Florida, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line welcomed passengers back after a 16-month pause. Grand Classica sailed from the Port of Palm Beach to Grand Bahama Island, marking the return of the line’s two-night cruises.  

Carnival Corporation has announced that it expects to resume guest cruise operations with 65 percent of its total fleet capacity by the end of 2021 across eight of its nine cruise brands. Additionally, Carnival Cruise Line has announced plans that envision its entire fleet returning to service by the end of 2021. That would further increase Carnival Corporation's total operating capacity to nearly 75 percent by year's end.

Surprise Court Reversal

Last week, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals "stayed" a lower court judge's order—thus retaining the CDC's authority for a Conditional Sailing Order (COS) required for ships sailing from U.S. ports. But in this tug-of-war between the U.S. federal government/CDC and the State of Florida, the drama continued last Friday.

As Florida readied an emergency petition to the U.S. Supreme Court about the "stay," the appeals court reversed its position on that "stay." The result? The COS protocols became guidance for cruise lines sailing from Florida ports, not a legal requirement. That said, the court case itself continues.

Other News

Another new ship is in the water, as Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic christened its new 126-passenger National Geographic Endurance in ReykjavikIceland on Thursday.  The ship is the first polar new build in the line's history and is named to honor legendary explorer Ernest Shackleton.  

Recently, expedition cruise operator Albatros Expeditions, part of the Alabatros Travel Group, released its first Arctic season voyages for the new 183-passenger Ocean Albatros; eco-wise, the ship has Tier III compliant engines, the world's cleanest that limit nitrous oxides. The Ice Class 1A, Polar Code 6 vessel also will offer three restaurants (including a new “Nordic Sushi” specialty restaurant), an infinity pool, whirlpools, a spa, gym and panorama sauna.

On the personnel front, Scenic Group USA named Kelley Hogan as its regional sales director for the Northwest Territories

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