(Reuters) – Carnival Cruise Line said on Monday it has extended its pause in operations for North American voyages until Sept. 30, as it determines how to safely resume service amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The cruise line, owned by Carnival Corp (CCL.N), had previously said it would resume some voyages on Aug. 1.
Industry trade group Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) said on Friday its ocean-going cruise line members, which include Carnival, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCL.N), and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd (NCLH.N), would voluntarily extend their pause in operations from U.S. ports until Sept. 15.
The cruise industry has taken a major hit from the novel coronavirus pandemic, with some of the earliest large clusters of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus, occurring aboard cruise ships in which thousands of passengers and crew were packed in tight quarters.
On March 14 the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a no-sail order for all cruise ships, which it subsequently extended to July 24.
To survive for months without revenue, the companies have issued debt and pursued additional funding. In May, Norwegian completed a $2.4 billion fundraising through debt and equity offerings. Norwegian Chief Executive Officer Frank Del Rio told Reuters at that time that the $3.5 billion in cash that the company had on hand would be enough to bankroll it for “at least 18 months” without new revenue.
In April, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), disclosed an 8.2% stake in Carnival Corp.
The major cruise operators are not eligible to receive funding from the CARES Act, which was passed by Congress in March to address the economic fallout from the pandemic, because they are incorporated outside of the United States.
Amid worldwide travel restrictions, operators have struggled to repatriate foreign workers living aboard idled ships.
Reporting and photo: Reuters
Last call to cruise Maldives aboard Four Seasons Explorer
Last call! The stunning Four Seasons Explorer will be cruising through the sun-drenched turquoise atolls until May 1, 2023 – leaving intrepid explorers just a few months to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime Maldivian odyssey between the two Four Seasons resorts of Kuda Huraa and Landaa Giraavaru before the boat relocates to thrilling new waters.
This is an incredible final opportunity to escape on an all-inclusive 3-, 4-, or 7-night Winter of Wonders cruise on board the luxurious three-deck, 11-cabin catamaran, experiencing multiple bucket-list encounters each day.
Guests can dive and snorkel isolated reefs, encounter rare marine animals up close, dine under the stars in the middle of nowhere and indulge in spa treatments on remote, uninhabited islands. Retiring to 10 spacious cabins or the unrivalled Explorer Suite to reenergise and rejuvenate, each cruise fluidly adapts to the needs of onboard guests and the best of the surrounding waters on any given day.
Secure one of the last remaining places on Four Seasons Explorer – Four Seasons only “floating resort” – before she bids farewell to the Maldives for the last time.
To be one of the last guests to experience a Maldivian atoll cruise aboard Four Seasons Explorer, contact the Central Reservations Department team at tel: (960) 66 00 888 or email email@example.com.
Dive into luxury at sea with Four Seasons Explorer seasonal cruise routes
After many months cooped up at home, and many missed travel experiences, Four Seasons Explorer – the brand’s only floating resort – offers marine adventurers a ticket to fresh sea air, blissful seclusion, bucket-list experiences, and a different view every morning with two extraordinary seasonal cruise itineraries: Winter of Wonders, and Summer of Mantas.
Available to a maximum of 22 guests at a time, the gleaming 39-metre (128 foot), three-deck vessel takes divers, snorkellers and avid adventurers on all-inclusive three-, four- or seven-night odysseys into some of the Indian Ocean’s most abundant waters, complete with gourmet dining, spa therapies, water sports, island visits and Four Seasons inimitable service standards.
From now until May 29, 2022 (and again from October 31 to December 18, 2022), experience a different extraordinary every day with Winter of Wonders cruises: endless bucket-list encounters across five atolls, from coral-ceilinged caves to camera-happy sharks, swim-through tunnels to a fish-filled wreck. Winter of Wonders cruises sail between Four Seasons two sister Maldivian Resorts on a 3-, 4- and 7-night itinerary, departing from Kuda Huraa on Mondays and Landaa Giraavaru on Thursdays.
From June 27 to October 31, 2022, itineraries change to Summer of Mantas, in line with the huge seasonal aggregations of manta rays and whale sharks that come to the region to feed. Get up close and personal with the world’s largest known population of manta rays alongside The Manta Trust team dedicated to studying them during an epic gentle giants odyssey through the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and into Rasdhoo, North and South Ari Atolls. Summer of Mantas cruises depart from and arrive back to Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru on a 3-,4- and 7-night itinerary.
Each of the 10 air-conditioned staterooms offer blue-hued views through large windows, along with spacious ensuite bathrooms, refrigerated private bars, and flat-screen LCD TVs. For the ultimate luxury, the expansive Explorer Suite boasts an abundance of interior space, a wall of windows, and its own sunbathing deck.
A floating 5-Star PADI Dive Centre, Four Seasons Explorer features the latest Scubapro dive gear, Cressi snorkelling gear and Olympus cameras, while a team of multi-lingual instructors share the full spectrum of PADI courses at a bespoke pace with highly individualised attention.
Sandbank spa treatments, gourmet dining, and water sports take the Four Seasons experience to sea within sleek, chic interiors that include a new sun deck, a lounge, a library, a restaurant and two bars.
The boat is also available for private dive, surf or leisure charters for groups of up to 22.
With the health and safety of its guests and staff a top priority, Four Seasons Explorer provides the ultimate care, confidence, trust and comfort through its Lead With Care programme – heightened health and safety protocols led by global experts that include enhanced cleanliness, physical distancing measures in shared spaces, and empowering staff training grounded in emotional intelligence. In addition, Four Seasons App and Chat provide the reassurance of contactless real-time interactions in 100+ different languages.
Superyacht Nord in Maldives
Currently exploring the countless islands of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean is the 142-metre superyacht Nord, owned by Russian billionaire Alexei Mordashov.
Since late December, Nord has been spotted in Baa Atoll, home to several world-leading luxury resorts, as well as the southern island-atoll of Fuvahmulah, which is world-renowned for diving with tiger sharks.
Delivered in 2021 as one of the largest superyachts in the fleet at 10,154 GT, she was built at the German shipyard Lürssen in Bremen with Moran Yacht & Ship overseeing her build. Formerly known as Project Opus, she was designed inside and out by the Italian studio Nuvolari Lenard.
Made from steel and aluminium to PYC standards, the warship style vessel encompasses six decks and can accommodate up-to 36 guests across 20 cabins.
On bridge deck level, a large helicopter landing deck aft with fold-down side platforms provide shelter for Nord’s helicopter that can be stowed away in a retractable hangar that slides neatly into the superstructure when not in use.
A large sports and diving centre on the lower deck, oversized swimming pool on the main deck and a fleet of custom tenders are just some of the other features on board this impressive vessel.
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