Caribbean News

23 Sep 2020

Cruising Pause Has Major Impact on Florida's Economy

© Tamme / Adobe Stock

The cruise industry has certainly been among businesses hardest hit by the economic impacts of COVID-19. But the industry-rocking fallout extends well beyond the cruise lines themselves, extending through cities throughout Florida where canceled sailings are resulting in loss of revenue to public ports, government at all levels, and private companies that do business with cruise lines.These conclusions are contained in the latest Fact Finding 30 report that was released today by Fact Finding Officer Commissioner Louis E. Sola, of the Federal Maritime Commission.

23 Sep 2020

A Killing at Sea Implicates the Armed Forces in Lawless Venezuela

© Capt. Silverio Balbuena / MarineTraffic.com

Around midnight on February 23, Eulalio Bravo, a marine electrician, was dozing in his rack aboard the San Ramon, an oil tanker anchored off the coast of Venezuela.Suddenly, he heard footsteps pounding along the passageway outside. His captain, Jaime Herrera, cried for help."Be still!" an unfamiliar voice ordered.A gun fired.By the time Bravo and eight other shipmates emerged to see what had happened, the captain lay dead, a gunshot in the back of his head. Herrera's stateroom had been pillaged, drawers flung open, his bunk overturned.

21 Sep 2020

Norwegian Cruise Line Founder Kloster Dies at 91

(Photo: Norwegian Cruise Line)

Knut Kloster, one of the founders of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. and a pioneer of the modern cruise industry, passed away on Sunday at the age of 91.“We are incredibly saddened by the loss of the visionary who not only brought our company, but our industry, to life,” said Frank Del Rio, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings president and CEO. “Knut was a pioneer in our industry and certainly ahead of his time, exploring every opportunity to be at the forefront and break boundaries.

21 Sep 2020

Cruise Lines File Health Protocols to CDC Looking to Set Sail Again

Image by EdNurg/AdobeStock

A panel set up by Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd said on Monday it had submitted a report to the U.S.

17 Sep 2020

Fit for Fight: Navies challenged by COVID at sea, ashore

Fit for the COVID Fight: Sailors stand in ranks before manning the rails of Nimitz-class nuclear aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). Photos: U.S. Navy Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Christian Huntington

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, navies adjusted how they operate at home and while deployed, to keep their forces ready for any missions as they keep their Sailors, families, communities, as well as allies and partners safe from the coronavirus.Navies have taken a number of prudent preventative measures to limit outbreaks, mitigate cases of infection and reduce the community spread of the virus.Speaking during his May 29 “On The Horizon: Navigating the European and African Theaters” podcast, Admiral James G. Foggo III, Commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa, said The U.S.

16 Sep 2020

Grain Shipments via St. Lawrence Seaway Climb

CSL Frontenac loading grain at the Port of Thunder Bay. Photo Credit: Michael Hull, Chamber of Marine Commerce)

Canadian grain shipments through the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway trade corridor are up 20% in response to continuing world demand for wheat and canola, the latest figures show.Year-to-date shipments of grain (from April 1 to August 31) totaled 5.2 million tonnes, as ships transported Prairie wheat and canola and Ontario wheat and soybeans for both domestic use and for export to markets around the world.The rush of grain, which is carry over from last year’s crops, has helped to offset continuing pandemic-related declines in other key cargoes such as iron ore (down 23%)…

16 Sep 2020

Unmanned Piracy Detection Vessel Launched

Narwhal Star USV (Image: Star International)

A new unmanned surface vessel (USV) launched by U.K.-based marine and offshore services firm Star International has been designed for use by shipping operators to identify piracy threats and inform evasive actions.The Narwhal Star USV is an oceangoing rigid inflatable boat (RIB) surveillance platform that can be piloted via a remote ground control system (GCS), or used as a conventional, manually piloted vessel. The USV has been designed for rapid deployment from a parent vessel and can be launched using a standard davit or cargo crane.Jeff Antley…

10 Sep 2020

New LNG ATB Bunker Vessel is a US First

(Photo: Q-LNG)

Bunkering ports around the world have long used a variety of small tankers or tug and barge combinations to deliver fuel to visiting ships. Mostly this was heavy oil, but recently a new breed of bunkering vessels is emerging to deliver clean burning liquefied natural gas (LNG) to modern ships with dual-fuel capabilities.The fall of 2020 will see a new addition to this fleet servicing ships in Florida and the Caribbean. As an articulated tug barge (ATB) combination, the vessel will have a cargo capacity of 4,000 cubic meters of LNG.

09 Sep 2020

List: Major Oil Spills from Ships

The Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, March 23, 1989 spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil. (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

The Sri Lankan navy said on Tuesday an oil slick had been spotted a kilometer from a loaded supertanker carrying roughly 2 million barrels of oil that has been engulfed in intermittent fires since an explosion on September 3.Oil from the engine room of the 20-year old New Diamond tanker “appears to have leaked out to the sea” following regular bouts of water-dousing by fire-fighting vessels, the navy spokesman said.The oil slick has raised concerns about the potential of further leakage from the cargo holds…

03 Sep 2020

Carnival's Shares Surge as Costa Cruises Prepares to Sail

Costa Cruises is initially restarting sailing with two ships, Costa Deliziosa (pictured) and Costa Diadema, calling Italian ports. The one-week itineraries are being reserved exclusively for Italian guests. (Photo: Costa Cruises)

Carnival Corp’s shares surged 11% on Thursday after its Italian brand Costa Cruises said two of its ships would resume sailing this weekend, with more to follow.Cruise companies, among the worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, were forced to halt voyages for months after ships in Japan, Australia and California made headlines because of large numbers of infections onboard.So far this year, Carnival’s shares have lost nearly two-thirds of their value, while peer Royal Caribbean Cruises Group has lost about 45% and Norwegian Cruise Line Holding Ltd about 67%.Shares of Royal Caribbean were up 6% an

08 Sep 2020

US Seizes $27 Mln Found on a Cargo Ship in the Caribbean

The Norma H II is a 1972-built anchor handler currently use for transporting cargo in the Caribbean. (© Rasheid Chambers / MarineTraffic.com)

U.S. authorities in San Juan, Puerto Rico seized $27 million of undeclared currency found inside boxes aboard a cargo ship bound for St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized the vacuum-sealed cash packs on board the vessel Norma H II during a joint investigation between CBP, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico on Saturday…

02 Sep 2020

Foreship Appoints Sward to Head US Operations

Benjamin Sward, CEO of Foreship LLC (Photo: Foreship)

Naval architecture and marine engineering company Foreship Ltd has appointed Benjamin Sward as President of Foreship LLC to take responsibility for the company’s U.S. activities. Based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Sward will also oversee Foreship’s Seattle operation.The appointment sees a return to Foreship for Sward, who served the company as a Naval Architect and Project Manager between 2015-2018 and led a variety of upgrade projects for high-profile cruise clients such as Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises.

01 Sep 2020

Owners of Iranian Fuel Seized by US Assert Rights to Cargoes

© Huw Gibby / MarineTraffic.com

The owners of four Iranian fuel cargoes that were confiscated by U.S. authorities last month mounted a challenge to the seizure, asserting their rights to control the cargo, according to a court filing on Tuesday.The U.S. Justice Department last month announced the seizure of 1.116 million barrels of fuel it said was destined for Venezuela. The oil industries of Venezuela and Iran, both OPEC nations, are under U.S. sanctions, and Iran earlier this year irked Washington by sending gasoline cargoes to Venezuela.In the Tuesday filing with the U.S.

27 Aug 2020

US LNG Loading Delays Expected as Hurricane Slams Gulf Coast

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

Loadings of liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes from the United States likely will be delayed as a powerful storm strikes the heart of the U.S. oil and gas industry on the Gulf Coast, forcing several LNG plants to shut.Hurricane Laura made landfall early on Thursday in southwestern Louisiana as one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the state, with forecasters warning it could push a wall of water 40 miles (64 km) inland from the sea. Landfall came near Louisiana's border…

21 Aug 2020

Metal Shark Delivers Patrol Boat to the Dominican Republic

(Photo: Metal Shark)

Shipbuilder Metal Shark has delivered an 85- by 19.5-foot welded aluminum Near Coastal Patrol Vessel (NCPV) to the Dominican Republic’s Navy under a $54 million U.S. Navy contract to produce up to 13 Defiant-class patrol craft for U.S. partner nations.Christened Betelgeuse in keeping with the Dominican tradition of naming military vessels after constellations, the new patrol craft was built at Metal Shark’s Franklin, La. shipyard and officially incorporated into the Dominican…

19 Aug 2020

Bureau Veritas Expands Marine and Offshore Services in N. America

(Photo: Bureau Veritas)

Testing, inspection and verification services firm Bureau Veritas (BV) said it has taken a number of steps to broaden and deepen its marine and offshore services in North America.The opening of a new remote survey center in Miami is the latest step in the delivery of digital services across the Bureau Veritas network, providing yet further global coverage for remote surveys.Florida-based Tropical Shipping’s fleet has now benefited from remote survey services on three of its vessels sailing in the Caribbean trades.

10 Aug 2020

Royal Caribbean Eyes COVID-19 Testing to Help Restart Cruises

(Photo: Royal Caribbean)

Royal Caribbean Group said on Monday testing passengers for COVID-19 was “very likely” going to be part of a new set of safety measures planned to get its ships to resume sailing after months of being docked.The company’s shares rose as much as 11% in early trading.“We have not yet reached a point in our protocols where we’re ready to publish and release for discussion. But it’s very likely that testing will occur,” said Michael Bayley, chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean International.Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line are working on new safety standards…

10 Aug 2020

Royal Caribbean Reports Bigger-than-expected Loss

(Photo: Royal Caribbean)

Royal Caribbean Group reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss on Monday, as the cruise operator suffered from a coronavirus-driven halt to sailings that is now on course to last deep into the second half of 2020.The company’s shares, which have lost over 60% of their value this year, fell nearly 2% in premarket trading.Royal Caribbean, which dropped “Cruises” from its corporate name last month, expects to burn $250 million to $290 million of cash on average per month, while its operations are suspended during one of the industry’s worst periods in history.Royal Caribbean, which has pled

07 Aug 2020

Florida Current is the Weakest Its Been in a Century

A new study uses a method of tracking the strength of near-shore ocean currents from a distance via measurements of coastal sea level. (Photo by Carol Anne Clayson, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

The Florida Current, which forms the start of the Gulf Stream, has slowed over the past century and is the slowest it has been at any point in the past 110 years, a new study reveals.Researchers have developed a method of tracking the strength of near-shore ocean currents using measurements made at the coast, offering the potential to reduce one of the biggest uncertainties related to observations of climate change over the past century.“In the ocean, almost everything is connected…

05 Aug 2020

US Cruising Pause Extended through October

© Janice Barchat / Adobe Stock

The cruise industry has voluntarily suspended U.S. cruises until at least October 31, a month beyond the no-sail order date set by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)."We believe it is prudent at this time to voluntarily extend the suspension of U.S. ocean-going cruise operations to October 31," trade group Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) said in a statement on Wednesday.CLIA represents more than 95% of global cruise capacity, including the world's largest cruise lines such as Carnival Corp…

04 Aug 2020

U.S. Navy, NOAA Strike Deal to Fast-Track Unmanned Maritime Systems

NOAA scientist operates an autonomous surface vehicle in the Port of Gulfport, Miss., during the Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command’s Advanced Naval Technology Exercise on Nov. 6, 2019, to test and evaluate new maritime technologies. (CNMOC)

The advent of autonomy in the maritime and subsea space has received a significant boost with the announcement that a pair of U.S. government titans, the United States Navy and NOAA, have inked an deal to jointly expand the development and operations of unmanned maritime systems.“With the strengthening of our ongoing partnership with the Navy, NOAA will be better positioned to transition unmanned maritime technologies into operational platforms that will gather critical environmental data that will help grow the American Blue Economy,” said retired Navy Rear Adm.

31 Jul 2020

Maritime Security: Failing to Prepare is Preparing to Fail

© Denys Yelmanov / Adobe Stock

North America is historically one of the world’s safest regions for maritime transit and operations. Our data shows that of the 2,915 reported global maritime crime incidents that have occurred in the last decade, only nine of them took place in North America. This figure comes from a range of threats against both commercial, and pleasure craft vessels, primarily, attempted, or successful: attacks, suspicious approaches, illegal boardings, hijackings, kidnappings, robberies and exchanges of gunfire. This is what many of us boil down to the eye-catching buzzword “piracy”.

30 Jul 2020

Royal Caribbean Hires Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Calvin Johnson (Photo: Royal Caribbean Group)

Royal Caribbean Group has hired Dr. Calvin Johnson as Global Head, Public Health and Chief Medical Officer, a new role created to lead the cruise line operator's global health and wellness policy, manage its public health and clinical practice and determine the strategic plans and operations of its global healthcare organization.Johnson will also collaborate with the Healthy Sail Panel assembled in response to COVID-19, to ensure the company establishes and implements its protocols and recommendations.Dr.

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