Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 In Review

2013 - Cruise Line Woes

As the year draws to a close, we'll take a look at some of the headlines from the past year. The largest stories in the cruise industry involved disasters in the majority of the cases.

Silversea's Explorer No Match for Mother Nature

Silver Explorer departed Ushuaia, Argentina, in early January, for an 18-night cruise to Antarctica.On January 12th, somewhere between Tierra del Fuego and the Antarctica,  a wave came crashing into the ship's bridge injuring four crew members.   They were treated in the medical center onboard the vessel and according to Silversea Cruises all 133 guests and 113 crew are safe. The incident caused the current and next voyage to be cancelled.  Read more ...

Carnival Triumph Engine Fire
By Mike Brantley | mbrantley@al.com

A small engine fire broke out Sunday morning February 10, 2013, onboard Carnival Triumph while it was about 150 miles off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.

The ship’s automatic fire extinguishing systems activated and the fire was contained to the aft engine room. Fortunately, there were no casualties or injuries however the ship was adrift for several days without power and hotel facilities functioning.

Carnival Triumph Arrives in Mobile 

More Engine Woes for Carnival

Just one month since the Carnival Triumph fire, which left the ship without power and stranded passengers for days, Carnival Corporation had yet another problem with power onboard one of their ships, Carnival Dream.  It was followed by propulsion problems on Carnival Legend.

Carnival Cruise Lines President and Chief Executive Gerry Cahill had launched a comprehensive review of its entire fleet, which may have been the reason these problems were discovered.   Eventually all these ships would return to service, but not without impacting passengers and Carnival's reputation.

Following the investigation of the Carnival Triumph's fire, several improvements were implemented causing a delay in the Triumph's return to service as well as the re-entry of Carnival Sunshine which was a complete makeover of Carnival Destiny. 

Read more about these stories:
To be fair, Carnival wasn't the only cruise line experiencing propulsion problems: Celebrity Millennium Itinerary Change

Grandeur of the Seas Fire
Fire Onboard Grandeur 
of the Seas

Early Memorial Day morning, a fire broke out onboard Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas while it was sailing in the Bahamas.  The fire caused extensive damage to the aft mooring deck of the ship as you can see in this image courtesy of Royal Caribbean.
Fortunately, no one was seriously injured in the incident and the ship was diverted to Freeport in the Bahamas.   Passengers were awakened and instructed to go to their muster stations.  Read more ...

Severe flooding hits Europe Europe Flooding Impacting River Cruises
Worse flooding in 70 years hit parts of Central Europe contributing to at least 10 deaths and impacting River Cruising causing cancellations and itinerary changes.

Europe Flooding Impacting River Cruises

Lobsters Keep Cruise Ship from Entering National Park

Celebrity Xpedition Cruises Temporarily Suspended 

Probably the most bizarre causes of cruise itinerary cancellations in 2013 was due to the Galapagos National Park authorities suspending the ship's license when it was discovered that the ship was transporting frozen lobster out of season.  Read more ...

Unexpected Dry Dock Ends Alaska Sailing Season Early

Celebrity Millennium experienced mechanical problems since early August, resulting in the early termination of its latest cruise and cancellation of 4 sailings ending the Alaska sailing season early for the vessel. More details ...

Costa Concordia Parbuckling (Salvage Operations)

Costa Concordia Parbuckling
Costa Concordia Parbuckling (read more)
This image extracted from a live video of Costa Concordia's Parbuckling Procedure, which began mid-September in Giglio, shows the slow process of righting the vessel.

As of mid-December, the Concordia is stable and being winterized in preparation for the next phase, installation of the 15 sponsons that will be positioned on the starboard side (land side) and the remaining 4 on the right side (sea side) in order to proceed with the refloating phase and have the wreck ready for towing by the end of June 2014.  We will continue to provide updates in our Costa Concordia Salvage Begins article.

As 2013 ends, Captain Schettino is still on trial,  salvage operations are on hold for the winter, and costs are mounting with predictions for insurance payments to exceed $2B.

Cruise Lines Respond to Typhoon Haiyan Disaster

Super-typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane on the U.S. Saffir-Simpson scale, struck central Philippines early  Friday November 8th with sustained winds estimated at 195 mph (315 kph) by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

Many governments and organizations came to the aide of the people of Philippines in the wake of the storm.   Among them were several cruise lines who employee many Filipinos on their staffs, many of whom have been away from their families and friends for many months.  This is a hard time for those separated from their loved ones. More Details ...

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