Cuba's Mariel Port Preparing for Mega Ships
Cuba's new Mariel deepwater container terminal hopes to further its plan to become a regional shipping hub by completing dredging next year so it can receive mega-sized vessels, its general manager Charles Baker said on Thursday.The terminal in Mariel Bay, 45 kilometers (28 miles) west of Havana, is located in an industrial park where Cuba is seeking to attract foreign investors with tax and customs breaks, as part of its market reform plan to boost the anemic economy.After opening in 2014…
IMO Workshop Addresses Impacts of Fouling
The build-up of aquatic organisms on a ship’s underwater hull and structures is known as biofouling. This can introduce potentially invasive non-native aquatic species to a new area. Fouling can also slow down a ship and impact on its energy efficiency. An International Maritime Organization (IMO) regional workshop in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (20-22 June) aims to provide participants with a greater understanding of the requirements and implications of ratifying, implementing and enforcing the anti-fouling systems (AFS) convention and implementing biofouling guidelines.
Global Ports to Run Havana’s Cruise Ship Port
Independent cruise port operator Global Ports Holding announced that it has signed a 15-year management agreement with the Cuban company Aries S.A., for the operation of the cruise port in Havana, Cuba.Under the terms of the Agreement, the Group will from June 21, 2018 manage all of the cruise port operations over the life of the agreement. As consideration, the Group will be paid a management fee that is based on a number of factors including passenger numbers, with growth based incentives.
Future USS Indiana Delivered
The US Navy accepted delivery of future attack submarine USS Indiana (SSN 789), the 16th submarine of the Virginia class, June 25. The ship began construction in 2012 and is scheduled to commission in September. This next-generation attack submarine provides the Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation's undersea superiority. "Indiana's delivery marks the culmination of millions of man-hours of work by thousands of people across this country to bring the world's foremost undersea asset to the fleet," said Capt. Christopher Hanson, Virginia class program manager.
MSC Cruises Plans New Terminal at PortMiami
MSC Cruises is eyeing further growth in the North American with a new expansion project in Miami, the cruise line’s exclusive homeport in the U.S. The company announced it has signed an agreement for extended preferential berthing rights as well as of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the construction of a new Cruise Terminal AAA at PortMiami.“The new agreement and expanded partnership with PortMiami and Miami-Dade County is another key step forward in the business growth of MSC Cruises…
Last Port of Call for the US Merchant Marine?
The privately owned U.S.-flag foreign trading fleet, which is an essential component of U.S. sealift capability, stands on the edge of a precipice. The fleet – roughly stable in terms of cargo carrying capacity from 2000 to 2012 – has declined from 106 vessels in 2012 to 78 vessels at October 30, 2016 primarily because of a substantial decline in available U.S. Government-reserved cargo. The size of the fleet has reached a point where the viability of the U.S.-flag industry involved in foreign trade – including its trained mariners…
Norwegian Cruise Line Extends US-Cuba Sailings
Norwegian Cruise Line said it will add additional weekly roundtrip cruises from Miami to Cuba aboard Norwegian Sky, the largest vessel sailing to Cuba. Together with the five previously announced cruises scheduled in May 2017, these 25 additional cruises will start in June 2017 and run through December 2017. Noting “great demand” for sailings to Cuba, Norwegian Cruise Line president and chief executive officer Andy Stuart said NCL is the first cruise line able to offer weekly sailings from Miami to Cuba through the fall of 2017 with overnights Havana.
Mississippi Ports Eye Cuba, Ink Pacts in Havana
The Mississippi ports of Pascagoula and Gulfport signed agreements in Cuba on Monday with an eye to future business and with a Republican U.S. senator from the state looking on, despite concerns President Donald Trump might backtrack on improved relations. Senator Thad Cochran is the only Republican among five U.S. senators and a U.S. representative on a three-day visit to the Communist-run Caribbean island to discuss relations and explore business opportunities. The agreements were signed during a business forum to explore future trade attended by Cochran. “There is great potential for business between these ports and Cuba due to the geographical proximity and the excellent fluvial and maritime ways Mississippi has…
Inside Brazil's Cruise Slump
Brazil is still attracting cruise lines, such as Norwegian Cruise Line, which is bringing a ship to Brazil for the first time in the 2016/2017 season. However, hard numbers do not bode well for the industry as the number of cruises dropped by more than half in four years, with a staggering 54 percent decrease in the number of regular cruise ships on the Brazilian coast. In 2012, the season had 15 regular ships, while this year there will be only seven, and the number of passengers boarding at Santos port will be 42 percent lower.
Tauck to Double Small Ship Cruising Capacity
Tauck announced a four-year plan for doubling its small ship cruising capacity through strategic fleet expansion, deepened partnership programs and new itineraries. “We’re destination explorers at Tauck and some destinations are best explored by both land and sea,” said Jennifer Tombaugh, president of Tauck. “Tauck Small Ship Cruising is our first product line to sell out each year. Ponant, the French-owned cruise line, will debut four new luxury expedition yachts in 2018 and 2019. As part of an expanded partnership, Tauck will leverage all four Ponant new builds starting with Le Lapérouse in summer 2018. The first Tauck sailing on Le Lapérouse departs on July 3, 2018 with the “Iceland: Land of Fire & Ice” itinerary.
Cruise Ship Passenger Missing off Cuba
U.S. and Cuban emergency responders are searching for an overboard passenger who reportedly fell from the eighth deck of a cruise ship roughly 30 miles off the coast of Cuba. Missing is 23-year-old Florida resident Brandon Paul, who is said to have went overboard from the Carnival Victory cruise ship Wednesday at approximately 3 a.m. The cruise ship launched a search boat and continues to search on scene some 33 miles northwest of Pinar Del Rio, Cuba. The U.S. Coast Guard has sent an airplane crew and the Coast Guard Cutter Charles Sexton to assist in the search, while Cuban search and rescue authorities have also launched assets to assist in the search efforts.
Search Called off for Missing Cruise Ship Passenger
The search for an American cruise ship passenger who fell overboard 33 miles off the Cuban coast has been suspended after more than 16 hours of searching. The U.S. Coast Guard called off its search Thursday evening for 23-year-old Florida resident Brandon Paul, who reportedly fell from the eighth deck of the cruise ship Carnival Victory early Wednesday morning roughly 33 miles northwest of Pinar Del Rio, Cuba. Rescue crews searched for more than 16 hours and covered nearly 3,500 square miles. The U.S. Coast Guard sent two airplane crews and the Coast Guard Cutter Charles Sexton to search the area, with assistance from Cuban search and rescue authorities as well as the Carnival Victory and its search boat.
US Navy to Christen Submarine Indiana
The Navy will christen its newest Virginia-class fast attack submarine, the future USS Indiana (SSN 789), during an 11 a.m. EDT ceremony Saturday, April 29, at Huntington Ingalls Shipyard in Newport News, Virginia. Vice President Mike Pence, who previously served as the 50th governor of Indiana, will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Diane Donald, wife of retired Adm. Kirkland H. Donald, director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion from 2004 to 2012, is serving as the ship's sponsor.
US Navy Christens Submarine Indiana
The U.S. Navy christened its newest Virginia-class fast attack submarine, the future USS Indiana (SSN 789), during a ceremony Saturday, April 29, at Huntington Ingalls Shipyard in Newport News, Va. Vice President Mike Pence, who previously served as the 50th governor of Indiana, delivered the ceremony's principal address. “[President Trump]sent me here today on this historic occasion as a sign of his deep commitment to the Armed Forces of the United States of America, and to his commitment to make the strongest fighting force in the world even stronger still,” Pence said.
Venezuela Resumes Light Oil Shipments to Cuba
Venezuela resumed exports of light crude to its political ally Cuba in March after an eight-month pause that led to a production halt at the island's jointly-owned Cienfuegos refinery, according to internal data from state-run PDVSA seen by Reuters. PDVSA last year minimized exports of its lighter grade crudes, especially to the Caribbean, which since then have been used mainly to dilute its extra-heavy oil and convert it into exportable crude. The cut halted nearly all operations at the middle of last year at the dated Cienfuegos refinery, a Soviet-era facility configured to run Russian crude, and later upgraded by PDVSA to convert up to 65,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Venezuelan oil into refined products for Cuba's domestic market and exports.
NCL Makes Inaugural Call to Cuba
Norwegian Cruise Line’s first ship to sail to Cuba, Norwegian Sky, has made her maiden call in the capital city of Havana. “Today is a momentous day for Norwegian Cruise Line, our guests and our travel agent partners, as we open our doors to Cuba’s natural beauty, warm people and historical treasures,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, who was on board Norwegian Sky with other NCL executives to celebrate the voyage. Today’s call was the first of Norwegian Sky’s weekly roundtrip cruises from Miami to Cuba.
Cuban Refined Oil Product Exports Drop Sharply
Cuban exports of refined oil products fell about 97 percent between 2013 and 2016, according to a United Nations trade report released this week, reflecting falling supplies from its political ally Venezuela. The UN Comtrade annual report put the value of Cuban fuel exports last year at $15.4 million, compared to more than $500 million in 2013. The amounts for 2015 and 2014, when oil prices collapses, were $163.5 million and $336.8, respectively. The figures were based on import data from reporting countries, which may make them incomplete. The communist-ruled Caribbean nation does not publish oil-related export information. Cash-strapped Cuba reported its exports of goods…
Race Boat to Attempt US-Cuba Speed Record
An upcoming world speed record attempt by Nigel Hook and the crew of SilverHook will be a two-for-one as they set out to achieve the fastest crossing from the U.S. to Cuba, and then back. Captain Hook has chosen August 17 to try to set two speed records in what is considered the most technically-advanced offshore monohull race boat in the world. The first objective is a one-way speed record from a point just off the Florida Keys to Havana. If that record is established, then part two will be an equally-fast or faster return trip and a two-way record.
Irma Kills Eight on Saint Martin
At least half of Puerto Rico's island without power; storm likely to hit Florida Saturday or Sunday. Hurricane Irma killed eight people on the Caribbean island of Saint Martin and left Barbuda devastated on Thursday as one of the most powerful Atlantic storms in a century took aim at Florida. Television footage of the Franco-Dutch island of Saint Martin showed a damaged marina with boats tossed into piles, submerged streets and flooded homes. Power was knocked out on Saint Martin, Saint Barthelemy and in parts of the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. "It is an enormous disaster, 95 percent of the island is destroyed. I am in shock," Daniel Gibbs, chairman of a local council on Saint Martin, told Radio Caribbean International.
New Women in Maritime Network Launched
Central and Latin America celebrated the launch of a new women in the maritime network in Valparaíso, Chile (13-15 December), which joins the International Maritime Organization (IMO) family of regional Women in Maritime Associations (WIMAs), giving visibility and recognition to the role women play as key resources for the maritime sector. Sixty two women from 18 countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala…
Coast Guard Cutter Elm Heads to Baltimore for Overhaul
The 20-year-old U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Elm is scheduled to make its way to the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore this month for a planned major dry dock overhaul. The cutter’s departure from Atlantic Beach, N.C. will mark its last from its current homeport. After the overhaul work is completed, the Elm will report to a new homeport in Astoria, Oregon. Coast Guard Cutter Maple, which is presently undergoing a midlife overhaul of its own, will replace the Elm in Atlantic Beach this April.
Luxury Cruise Ships & The French Connection
Edie Rodriguez, the Americas Brand Chairman for PONANT Yacht Cruises and Expeditions, has spent a life and built a career centered on travel, cruise and branding in a most luxurious manner. She was a natural to discuss the booming luxury expedition sector, the next big frontier in the global cruise industry. It is natural, in the U.S., to pronounce PONANT as “po nant,” but the French have a different style and the company name is pronounced “po non,” dropping the ‘t.’ But Edie Rodriquez, charged with spreading the PONANT name in North America, does not get hung up on diction in this case.
PDVSA Halts Caribbean Storage, Shipping; Diverts Oil Cargo
Venezuela's state-run PDVSA suspended oil storage and shipping from its Caribbean facilities following a move by ConocoPhillips to temporarily seize the firm's assets on four islands, according to a PDVSA source and Reuters data.PDVSA has begun concentrating most shipping in its main crude terminal of Jose on Venezuela's eastern coast and recalling tankers to Venezuelan waters to avoid seizures that would further cut its exports and worsen an economy on the verge of collapse.U.S.…