Caribbean News

01 Mar 2021

Callan Marine Hires Harner as COO

Greg L. Harner (Photo: Callan Marine)

Galveston, Texas-based dredging contractor Callan Marine said it has hired Greg L. Harner as its new chief operating officer.A 36-year veteran of the construction and maritime industry, Harner brings experience in infrastructure development for deep-water seaports, port security, resort developments, marine terminals, cruise terminal facilities and commercial building projects within the U.S. and Caribbean.Maxie McGuire, President of Callan Marine, said, “I have known Greg for more than 20 years…

01 Mar 2021

Crowley Promotes Warner to CFO

Dan Warner (Photo: Crowley)

Crowley Maritime Corporation said senior executive Dan Warner has been promoted to chief financial officer, consolidating company’s enterprise-level financial strategy, resources and services under his leadership. Warner has served as senior vice president and treasurer and member of the company’s senior leadership team since 2005. He began his career with Crowley in 2001 as a senior analyst for the corporate planning group, and later served as finance director for both the company’s…

23 Feb 2021

Royal Caribbean Advance Bookings Rise with Eyes on Vaccinations

© Phuong / Adobe Stock

Royal Caribbean Group said on Monday it was seeing an uptick in future bookings, following a disastrous year for the cruise operator, as travel enthusiasts look to sail again at a time governments globally have started mass vaccinations.The company’s shares, down 44% last year, soared 9% in morning trading, as Royal Caribbean said it recorded a 30% increase in new bookings since the beginning of the year when compared to November and December.Analysts have also tipped Royal Caribbean…

22 Feb 2021

Stuck in Port, Royal Caribbean Posts $1 Billion Quarterly Loss

© Studio Barcelona / Adobe Stock

Royal Caribbean Group reported a billion-dollar net loss for the fourth straight quarter on Monday, as the cruise operator continued to be affected by a coronavirus-triggered halt to voyages.Cruise operators have been shoring up cash reserves by issuing new shares, selling assets or raising billions of dollars in debt over the last few months as the virus outbreak brought the industry to a virtual standstill.With its ships not sailing, the company’s total revenue for the reported quarter plunged to $34.1 million from $2.52 billion last year.

18 Feb 2021

Inside Cruise Shipping's Fight for Survival

Photo Source: Port Everglades

In early 2021, the somber news from the cruise sector continued. For some cruise brands, their own version of “lockdowns” will have spanned an entire year. By late January, 2021, Carnival and others were hesitantly pegging their restarts for April/May 2021, and for some markets, late summer, under a Conditional Sail Order promulgated late last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).What else to do but look ahead?In preliminary earnings guidance, Carnival Corporation (NYSE: CCL)…

18 Feb 2021

UK Royal Navy Seizes $15,3M Worth of Drugs in Arabian Sea

HMS Montrose/Wikimedia Commons shared under OGL v1.0 license

Royal Marines from the UK Navy's HMS Montrose Frigate have seized  £11 million (USD 15,3 million) worth of illegal drugs in two raids of suspect vessels in the Arabian Sea, the UK Ministry of Defence and the Navy said in statements on Wednesday.The Royal Marines seized 2.4 tonnes worth of illegal drugs from a suspect boat in the Northern Arabian Sea, on a counter-narcotics patrol. This was the second drug bust by the HMS Montrose crew in two days.According to the statement by the UK government…

10 Feb 2021

US Sells Illicit Iranian Fuel, Another Seized Cargo on the Way

© Alexander Demin /

The United States has sold more than a million barrels of Iranian fuel seized under its sanctions program last year, a Department of Justice official said, as another ship with intercepted Iranian crude oil sails to a U.S. port.The seizures are part of Washington's tough economic sanctions on Tehran imposed over its nuclear program and the U.S. designation of a number of Iranian groups as terrorists, continuing decades of rancor between the two nations. Iran rejects U.S. accusations of wrongdoing.In a new approach last year, the administration of former U.S.

01 Feb 2021

Crew Change Hubs Could Help Address Seafarer Crisis, Says MAJ

Rear Admiral Peter Brady, Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (Photo: Maritime Authority of Jamaica)

A global network of crew change hubs would help alleviate the humanitarian crisis seafarers face at present, according to the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ).They could offer a short-term solution to the barriers presented by global travel restrictions, ensuring vital crew changes could take place and facilitating trade and logistics to the benefit of the world economy, the Flag State advised.Rear Admiral (ret’d) Peter Brady, MAJ Director General, explained, “In the Caribbean for example…

26 Jan 2021

Saga Sees Resilient Cruise Bookings Despite COVID Concerns

© Peter Kosztolicz /

Britain’s over-50s holidays group Saga said on Tuesday total cruise bookings stood at 140 million pounds ($191.3 million) as it prepares to restart sailing in May after a torrid year for the travel industry due to the global health crisis.Mass vaccination drives have offered hopes for a revival this year but the industry faces fresh uncertainty as new variants of the coronavirus force some countries to bring back curbs, threatening a quick return to normalcy in leisure travel.The owner of Saga Holidays and Saga Cruises has mandated vaccinations for its travelers after customer feedback…

19 Jan 2021

Royal Caribbean to Sell Azamara Brand for $201 Million

© Jürgen Ruhardt /

Cruise operator Royal Caribbean Group said on Tuesday it reached a deal to sell its Azamara brand to private-equity firm Sycamore Partners for $201 million in cash, as it grapples with biting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.Sycamore Partners will acquire the entire Azamara brand, including its three-ship fleet—Azamara Quest, Azamara Journey and Azamara Pursuit—and associated intellectual property. In conjunction with the transaction, Azamara Chief Operating Officer Carol Cabezas has been appointed President of the brand.Royal Caribbean said it will incur a one-time…

14 Jan 2021

Silver Dawn Floated Out at Fincantieri's Ancona Shipyard

(Photo: Fincantieri)

Shipbuilding giant Fincantieri said Thursday that it has launched Silversea Cruises’ new ship Silver Dawn at its yard in Ancona, Italy. The cruise ship will now enter the outfitting phase ahead of scheduled delivery in November 2021.Silver Dawn will become the 10th ship in the ultra-luxury cruise line’s fleet. Silversea Cruises, part of the Royal Caribbean Group, took delivery of the Silver Origin and Silver Moon in 2020. The third ship in the Muse-class series, and part of a long-term plan to grow and enhance the cruise line’s fleet…

11 Jan 2021

All American Marine to Build Research Vessel for BLUETIDE

(Image: Teknicraft Design)

Bellingham, Wash. boatbuilder All American Marine announced it recently secured a contract to construct a research vessel for BLUETIDE Puerto Rico. The 73- by 26.7-foot aluminum catamaran will be constructed to USCG Subchapter T standards for use on both near coastal and ocean routes.The twin-engine vessel will be BLUETIDE’S first for its marine research, education, innovation and conservation work based out of Puerto Rico. The mission of BLUETIDE is to "influence, innovate, support…

12 Jan 2021

Carnival Reports $1.9 Billon Quarterly Loss

© Solarisys / Adobe Stock

Carnival Corp reported a bigger-than-expected preliminary fourth-quarter net loss on Monday as the cruise operator’s business was brought to a virtual standstill by the COVID-19 pandemic.The world’s largest cruise company’s shares fell 2% to $20.04 in morning trading, after plummeting nearly 60% over the last year as the health crisis hammered holiday tourism demand across the globe.Carnival, which extended its pause on U.S. cruise operations until March 31, said it was working to bring all its ships back in service by the end of the year.

29 Dec 2020

UAE Emerges as Hub for Companies Helping Venezuela Avoid US Oil Sanctions

© Pak Agen /

In June, the United States imposed sanctions on half a dozen oil tankers managed by established shipping firms. It was a major escalation of American attempts to choke off Venezuela’s oil trade.Within weeks, a little-known company based in the United Arab Emirates took over management of several tankers that had been shipping Venezuelan oil. The vessels got new names. And then they resumed transporting Venezuelan crude.The company, Muhit Maritime FZE, is one of three UAE-based entities identified by Reuters that have shipped Venezuelan crude and fuel during the second half of this year.

09 Dec 2020

Relieved Passengers Leave Singapore Cruise After COVID-19 Scare

Quantum of the Seas (Photo: Royal Caribbean)

A Royal Caribbean “cruise-to-nowhere” from Singapore began disembarking its nearly 1,700 passengers who were confined to their cabins for more than 16 hours on Wednesday after a COVID-19 case was detected onboard, forcing the ship back to port.All passengers aboard the Quantum of the Seas had cleared a mandatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for the virus up to three days before the four-day cruise began on Monday.Authorities said close contacts of the COVID-19 patient among the 1,680 guests and 1,148 crew members on board had so far tested negative.

09 Dec 2020

Passengers Stuck on 'Cruise to Nowhere' After Onboard COVID-19 Case

(Photo: Royal Caribbean)

Nearly 1,700 passengers on a Royal Caribbean ‘cruise-to-nowhere’ from Singapore remained confined in their cabins for more than 14 hours on Wednesday after a COVID-19 case was detected on board, forcing the ship back to port.All passengers aboard the Quantum of the Seas vessel had cleared a mandatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for the virus up to three days before the four-day cruise started on Monday.Authorities said close contacts of the patient among the 1,680 guests and 1…

02 Dec 2020

WMU PhD Candidate Ambrose Wins Goldman Environmental Prize

Kristal Ambrose (Photo: WMU)

Kristal Ambrose, a PD candidate at the World Maritime University, is the recipient of the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize 2020. The award is the world’s foremost environmental prize and honors outstanding environmental activism through community and citizen participation on critical sustainability issues facing the planet.Ambrose founded the Bahamas Plastic Movement in 2013 to develop solutions to plastic pollution and to educate young people on the importance of a clean and healthy ocean.

24 Nov 2020

Fincantieri to Open Ship Repair Yard in Mexico

(Photo: Fincantieri)

Fincantieri is teaming up with the Mexican government to open a new shipyard that will provide repair, conversions and maintenance cruise ships, large cargo vessels and oil and gas vessels.The Italian shipbuilding giant revealed Tuesday that it has signed a letter of intent (LoI) with the Ministry of Economic Development and Labor of the Yucatán State (Mexico) to participate in the design and construction of the new facility, located within the expansion and modernization of the Port of Progreso, the main port of the state, approximately 35 kilometers from the capital Merida.

19 Nov 2020

Idled Cruise Ship Answers Mayday Call in the Caribbean

(Photo: Carnival Cruise Line)

The crew of an idled cruise ship anchored in The Bahamas coordinated the rescue of a severely inured yacht crew member on Tuesday.Carinval Cruise Line's Carnival Ecstasy responded to the Mayday call from the private yacht Balista seeking help for a crew member suffering from severe injuries.Carnival Ecstasy was approximately four nautical miles away. While it could see that another cruise ship was closer, the other vessel did not appear to be responding to the Mayday and Carnival…

17 Nov 2020

SeaDream Cancels 2020 Sailings After Virus Outbreak

© Paul Gerdes /

Norwegian-owned cruiseship operator SeaDream Yacht Club has cancelled all sailing for the remainder of 2020 after positive COVID-19 test results onboard one of its cruises, it said on Tuesday, dealing a fresh blow to the cruise industry.The decision follows an outbreak of the novel coronavirus aboard a voyage of its SeaDream I vessel in the Caribbean last week.“7 guests and 2 crew members have tested positive for Covid-19 by Barbados health authorities,” SeaDream said in a statement.Requirements…

13 Nov 2020

Caribbean Cruise Paused as Passengers Test Positive for COVID-19

© Rodrigo Freitas / Adobe Stock

SeaDream Yacht Club has halted a cruise in the Caribbean following several positive coronavirus tests among passengers, the company said on Friday.The SeaDream I vessel has returned to port in Barbados and all passengers are currently being re-tested, the privately owned company said in a statement.“The ship’s medical staff has tested all crew members and all tests have come back negative,” SeaDream said.Cruise ships were home to the some of the earliest clusters of COVID-19 as the pandemic spread globally early this year…

11 Nov 2020

Slew of Tankers Sail Toward Venezuela, Suggesting Oil Export Rebound

© Tony Hogwood /

At least 18 oil tankers are expected to load oil for export from Venezuela in the coming weeks, according to tracking data and internal documents from state-run PDVSA, in a sign the sanctioned OPEC nation's crude exports may rebound this month.Venezuela's oil exports fell to their lowest levels since the 1940s in October, as some of Petroleos de Venezuela's last remaining clients halted trade with the company ahead of a deadline imposed by the United States.Washington sanctioned…

10 Nov 2020

Phantom Buyers in Russia, Advice from Iran Help Venezuela Skirt Sanctions

Oil tanker Elisabeth Knutsen, later relabeled as Knut and one of several misidentified tankers hired by phantom companies to export oil from Venezuela, is seen anchored off Las Palmas, near the Canary Islands, before departing to Venezuela's Jose terminal, operated by state-run PDVSA, Spain September 27, 2020. (© Vin Moore /

On Aug. 21, a tanker called the Otoman docked at the Jose oil terminal on Venezuela’s coast in the Caribbean to load 1.82 million barrels of heavy crude, according to the state oil company’s internal documents.Yet no tanker with that name is registered in major global shipping databases.Muddying the situation further, the unique identifier for the Otoman listed in the documents - a number used by the International Maritime Organization to identify ships - was assigned to another tanker called the Rubyni, according to the databases.The Rubyni was broken up two years ago, they record.

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