Florida News

01 Apr 2020

Cruise Passengers Await Florida Deal Allowing Them to Disembark

(Photo: Holland America Line)

The U.S. government and Florida were working on a plan on Wednesday to allow thousands of cruise ship passengers exposed to an onboard coronavirus outbreak to disembark, a day after President Donald Trump urged the governor to drop his opposition to their docking.Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said he was not opposed to them docking in his city. But he said a clear protocol was needed to protect residents of his South Florida city from infection.“There can be no missteps in this process…

01 Apr 2020

US Shipyards Forge Ahead Through COVID-19

The 56-foot icebreaking tugboat being built by Blount Boats for N.Y. Power Authority (NYPA). (Photo: Blount Boats)

As the novel coronavirus and its impacts continue to spread across America, U.S. shipbuilders, by and large, continue to build. While most yards have been deemed essential to marine transportation and/or national security and have been able to maintain operations, the situation at and around every shipyard is different, and there are several builders across the country that have had to temporarily suspend activity. In either scenario, it’s far from business as usual for America’s…

01 Apr 2020

Trump Urges Florida to Welcome Coronavirus-hit Cruise Ship

Zaandam (Photo: Holland America Line)

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday urged Florida officials to open an Atlantic Coast port to a Dutch cruise ship stuck at sea with a deadly coronavirus outbreak onboard, urging the governor to drop his opposition.Weighing in on the fate of Holland America Line’s MS Zaandam during a White House briefing, Trump said he would call Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has declared the vessel unwelcome to prevent its sick passengers from being “dumped” on his state.“They’re dying on the ship…

29 Mar 2020

Coronavirus-hit Ship Approved to Pass Through Panama Canal

The Panama Canal facilitated this Sunday the transit of Holland America's MS Zaandam and MS Rotterdam cruise ships (Photo: Panama Canal Authority)

A cruise ship stuck off Panama’s Pacific coast after four passengers died and more than 130 others developed influenza-like symptoms, including at least two with the coronavirus, will be allowed to proceed through the Panama Canal, the government said on Saturday.Holland America Line’s 238-meter (781-foot) MS Zaandam vessel can now continue its trip to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but Panama’s government underscored that no passengers or crew members would be allowed to set foot…

20 Mar 2020

Italy-bound Cruise Ship had 36 COVID-19 Cases During Marseille Stop

© Stefano Garau / Adobe Stock

An Italian cruise ship bound for the Italian harbor of Savona had 36 people on board infected with the coronavirus when tests were undertaken on passengers during a stop in the French port of Marseille, French authorities said on Friday.A Marseille area prefecture official told Reuters that he could not comment on how many of those infected had disembarked and how many were still on the ship, which was due to leave Marseille on Friday evening to sail to Savona.On Thursday and Friday…

20 Mar 2020

Coast Guard Cadet Tests Positive for COVID-19

(File photo: Cory D. Payne, USCG)

A U.S. Coast Guard Academy Cadet has tested positive for COVID-19 after returning from a spring break trip to Europe.The cadet, a 20-year-old male, was in Spain along with six other cadets and a civilian friend when they were ordered to return to the U.S. based on the Presidential Proclamation suspending travel from Europe.Upon returning home to Florida, the cadet became symptomatic and sought treatment and screening and was confirmed as positive for the novel coronavirus based on test results received Thursday from a Florida Department of Health Facility.

19 Mar 2020

Passengers On Coronavirus-hit Cruise Ship Can Disembark in Marseille

© Studio Porto Sabbia / Adobe Stock

Passengers who have tickets to travel back to their home countries will be allowed to disembark from the coronavirus-hit Costa Luminosa cruise ship in Marseille, the port authority and the cruise operator said on Thursday.A port official told Reuters that 639 passengers, including 187 French nationals, would be allowed to leave the ship in small groups, depending on the timing of their transport home.There were more than 1,420 passengers on the liner, including 230 Americans, 168 Italians and 100 Canadians…

20 Mar 2020

Staten Island Ferries: A "New York State of Mind"

The OLLIS Class: is a new class of vessels being built for Staten Island Ferries by Eastern Shipbuilding Group. Photos: Staten Island Ferries/ESG

It takes a thick skin to live in New York City, let alone to run its Staten Island Ferry service. James C. DeSimone, Deputy Commissioner, Ferry Division, New York City Department of Transportation, has been charged with running the ferry service for the last 16 years. We met with him for his insights on the challenges of keeping the iconic ferry running safely and efficiently.Jim DeSimone has led a maritime life, with his time equally split between the private and public sectors. His maritime affiliation is literally in his blood, as his father Guy J.

19 Mar 2020

Port of Virginia Providing Berth Space for Cruise Ships

Norwegian Bliss (Photo: Norwegian Cruise Line)

The Port of Virginia said it has opened its doors to cruise ships idled by the coronavirus pandemic.Since the outbreak of the virus and the cruise industry’s voluntary suspension of U.S. operations, empty cruise ships have been seeking temporary berth opportunities at multiple ports, with Florida taking the greatest share of the vessels. For a cruise ship, it is more economical to idle at a port rather than at sea because it does not burn as much fuel and provides easy access…

16 Mar 2020

Port Canaveral Maintains Normal Operations

© Tamme Wichann / Adobe Stock

The world’s second busiest cruise port is maintaining normal operations as it continues to monitor the COVID-19 developing situation, the Canaveral Port Authority announced.The port said it will be profoundly impacted by Friday's decision by major cruise lines to voluntarily suspend operations from all U.S. ports for at leas 30 days, and that it is working with cruise line partners to coordinate efforts and help meet their operational and berthing needs. The port said it is also working with federal, state and local government agencies – like the U.S.

10 Mar 2020

Passengers Sue Over Coronavirus-hit Cruise Ship

(Photo: Port of Oakland)

A Florida couple who was aboard the coronavirus-hit Grand Princess ocean liner has sued the ship’s owner for more than $1 million, claiming the company put profits over safety and did not have proper screening protocols in place.Ronald and Eva Weissberger of Broward County, Florida sued Princess Cruise Lines Ltd, a unit of Carnival Corp, alleging the company caused them emotional distress and trauma as they fear they will develop the COVID-19, a flu-like disease caused by the…

10 Mar 2020

Grand Princess Docks in Oakland

(Photo: Port of Oakland)

Weary passengers aboard a cruise ship idled at sea for days by a coronavirus outbreak erupted in cheers on Monday as the vessel sailed into San Francisco Bay en route to the Port of Oakland and the next, unexpected phase of their voyage - two weeks of quarantine.The 2,400 passengers, who have been largely confined to their staterooms since Thursday, were to begin disembarking on Monday for transport to quarantine stations or hospitals, depending on whether they are well or need immediate medical attention.Except for those with acute illness…

05 Mar 2020

Port Canaveral Launches RO/RO Division

(Photo: Canaveral Port Authority)

The official grand opening of the Port Canaveral vehicle processing facility was marked with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and the arrival of 730 new vehicles aboard the 653-foot-long vessel Wisteria Ace, the first vehicle carrier to call at the Port’s facility. The new automobiles were discharged at the Port’s 16-acre auto processing facility located alongside South Cargo Pier 4. Another carrier is scheduled to arrive next week with more than 850 new autos aboard.“A port-operated…

04 Mar 2020

Seabulk Enrolls in Carbon Offset Program

(File photo: Robert Allan Ltd.)

Seabulk Towing Holdings Inc., a subsidiary of SEACOR Holdings Inc., announced it is participating in a U.S.-based carbon offset project to neutralize carbon emissions from the physical operation of its harbor tugs in 2020.Daniel Thorogood, chief executive officer of Seabulk, said the company’s investment in an accredited carbon offset program is an initial step toward longer-term solutions that improve or eliminate direct emissions from its equipment. Seabulk, through its affiliates…

25 Feb 2020

Marine News' 2020 ATB Report

(Photo: Vane Bros.)

There’s a barge full of reasons why many operators turn to ATBs.A  mainstay of the U.S. coastwise dirty and refined products trades, articulated tug barges (ATB) have increasingly filled a void left as the fleet of Jones Act tankers (with crew complement requirements exceeding that of tugs) has aged out. With the cargo capacity of the larger ATBs – some with barges exceeding 300,000 barrels capacity – rivalling that of workhorse tankers that had served oil consuming regions, the concept certainly makes sense from a supply and distribution perspective.With 50…

18 Feb 2020

Robust Dredging on America’s Inland Waterways

(Photo: Inland Dredging Company)

Inland Dredging Company helps keep commerce flowing on America’s inland waterway system.Dyersburg, Tenn. based Inland Dredging Company completed dredging projects spanning eight states and across four U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Districts. Beginning in July and finishing in December (2019), Inland Dredging crews dredged ports and harbors along the Mighty Mississippi River, Ouachita River, Red River, Black Warrior River, Atchafalaya River, Tennessee–Tombigbee Waterway, and the Gulf Intercoastal Waterway from Apalachicola to Morgan City.Richard Jackson…

12 Feb 2020

Stephens Elected PVA President for 2020

Colleen Stephens (Photo: PVA)

Colleen Stephens, President of Stan Stephens Glacier & Wildlife Cruises will be President of the Passenger Vessel Association (PVA) for 2020, the trade association announced.Elected during the PVA Annual Convention at MariTrends 2020 held February 3-6, 2020 in Tampa, Fla., Stephens reaffirmed PVA's commitment to continuously improving safety in passenger vessel operations as well as the association's engagement in being good stewards of the environment. "PVA's Green WATERS program…

07 Feb 2020

Study: How Changes in Shipping Patterns Affect Whales

Blue whale in the Pacific Ocean. Photo credit: Jessica Morten, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, National Ocean Service, NOAA

Understanding how changes in shipping traffic and distributions of fin, humpback, and blue whales in the Pacific Ocean affect the risk of whales being struck by ships is the focus of a new study published in the scientific journal, Frontiers. The findings also have implications for highly endangered North Atlantic right whales in the Atlantic Ocean.Dr. Jessica V. Redfern, an Ecologist, Senior Scientist, and Chair of the new Spatial Ecology, Mapping, and Assessment Program (EcoMap) at the New England Aquarium’s Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life, is the lead author of the study.

30 Jan 2020

Kirby to Acquire Savage Inland Marine Fleet

(Photo: Savage)

Houston-based Kirby Corporation said it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Savage Inland Marine's towboat and tank barge fleet for approximately $278 million in cash and the assumption of leases.Kirby will acquire Savage's inland fleet consisting of 46 towboats and 90 tank barges with approximately 2.5 million barrels of capacity, primarily used for transporting petrochemicals, refined products and crude oil on the Mississippi River, its tributaries and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.

20 Jan 2020

GMT Invests in Argo Travel Group

Image: Argo Travel Group

Global Marine Travel, a Florida-based travel management company to the maritime industry, has partnered with the Greek travel firm Argo Travel Group to enhance its travel offering, particularly in terms of service delivery and driving growth in the Greek and international markets."In Argo, Global Marine Travel, gains a marine partner with an experienced team and a strong reputation for service delivery, that will drive the growth of the business in Greece and other international locations…

17 Jan 2020

Crowley Awarded $21m Government Deal

Crowley Government Services, Jacksonville, Florida, wasawarded a $20,771,542 firm-fixed-price contract with reimbursable elements extension by invoking Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 52.217-8 “option to extend services” to continue the operation and maintenance of five Tactical Auxiliary General Ocean Surveillance (T-AGOS) vessels; and two missile range instrumentation ships (T-AGM). This option includes a 365-day base period of performance, four one-year option periods, and a Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 52.217-8 “option to extend services” option period for up to six months, which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $375,202,948. Work will be performed at sea worldwide and is expected to be completed by July 21, 2020.

09 Jan 2020

Seacor Borrows $200M for SEA-Vista

 Eric Fabrikant, Chief Operating Officer. Photo: Seacor Holdings

Florida-based marine services company Seacor Holdings said that its indirect wholly-owned tanker subsidiary SEA-Vista entered into an amended and restated $200 million credit agreement, which refinanced its existing credit facilities, with a syndicate of lenders led by JPMorgan Chase.The agreement provides for a $100 million revolving credit facility and a $100 million term loan facility, both of which mature in December 2024. The agreement allows SEA-Vista to use the borrowings for general corporate purposes…

08 Jan 2020

US to Invest in Marine Highways

Photo: U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao

The US Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) has will invest $7.5 million in nine Marine Highway projects as it looks to make the movement of cargo and people at sea and on land more efficient.The funding, provided by MARAD’s America’s Marine Highway Program, will go towards enhancing existing services in Florida, South Carolina, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.“This $7.5 million investment will improve our country’s vital fuel-efficient waterway transportation system…

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