November 25, 2020- 12:01 AM
Below are the mini-cruise news stories on ships sailing from Ports beyond New York. Stories below include new ship construction progress, ship sales, Itinerary changes, coronavirus updates, port of call news and more.
November 23, 2020—American Cruise Lines is pleased to announce the successful launch of American Melody last week at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, MD. American Melody, is the 4th new riverboat in American’s acclaimed Modern Series, and is on schedule for its inaugural Mississippi River cruise season beginning in summer 2021.
Once complete,American Melody will have 5 decks, and accommodate 175guestsin 91 staterooms. American Melody will highlight the Line’s new interior design while also continuing to feature the gorgeous architectural hallmarks of American’s innovative modern riverboats—showcasing a grand, multi-story glass atrium at the center of the ship, 100% private balcony accommodations, and a patented opening bow and retractable gangway.
All American’s new modern riverboats have been designed with sweeping expanses of glass throughout. Like previous sister ships, American Melody will offer unparalleled panoramic views both inside and out;as well as huge guest accommodations in all-balcony staterooms, suites,and singles. The new riverboatwill also include:a casual outdoor caféas well as a signature Grand Dining Room with river views from every table;numerous spacious sky-lit lounges; several open-air & shaded sun decks; Library;Chart Room;Game Room;FitnessRoom&Yoga-Wellness Studio; as well as elevator access to all decks
November 24, 2020— Italy's Fincantieri signed a letter of intent with Mexico's Yucatán state to participate in the design and construction of a new ship repair, conversion and maintenance yard in Progreso, Mexico. The facility will be located approximately 22 miles from the state capital of Mérida.
The project envisages two masonry dry-docks, the largest in the Americas, able to handle ships up to 400 meters/1,312 feet, particularly cruise ships, large cargo ships and oil and gas carriers. The yard will also have a lifting platform for units up to 150 meters/492 feet, about 1,000 meters/3,281 feet of docks, plus cranes, workshops, special equipment, offices and warehouses.
Yucatán state will initiate the creation of the yard in the first half of 2021, in phases, with completion planned for 2027. Once the shipyard reaches full operational capacity, it will be able to support an estimated 700 full-time jobs, and supply a downstream network involving up to 2,500 workers during peak times. The new yard hopes to capitalize on the convenient location to cruise operators in the United States as well as commercial vessels.
November 22, 2020 - AIDA Cruises' new AIDAcosma is a step closer to completion at the Meyer Werft Shipyard. The bridge of the 183,900 ton, 5,400 passenger ship was placed on the ship in the yard's covered building hall. The shipyard located in Papenburg, Germany, constructs the majority of the ship indoors to protect the workers from the harsh cold of the winter.
The Liquefied Natural Gas powered ship is a sister to the AIDAnova, and the older sister of another ship expected to be delivered in 2023.
The AIDAcosma is scheduled for a spring 2021 delivery. Her cruises are expected to sail to the Baltic and to the Norwegian fjords followed by a planned deployment to the Middle East for 2021-2022.
November 19, 2020 - Celebrity Cruises held the traditional coin ceremony and laid the keel for the Celebrity Beyond, which is due for delivery in spring 2022
Currently Under construction at STX France, being built at a cost of $900,000,000 the ship is 117,000 tons with an occupancy of 2,900 guests (double).
The Celebrity Beyond is the third vessel in the new Celebrity Edge class of ships. Identical sister include the Celebrity Edge, Celebrity Apex and the upcoming Celebrity Beyond.
November 19, 2020 - The Disney Wonder is sailing to Port Canaveral fresh off a drydock in France. The ship, which was at the ship yard in Brest, France, was accompanied by a number of her sisters. As part of her relocation to the US, the Disney Wonder made a technical stop for fuel and provisions in Funchal. The ship had no passengers on-board and just 205 crew, according to local authorities. The crew was not permitted to leave the ship - but only take on supplies before beginning its transatlantic voyage to Cape Canaveral, Florida - Expected to arrive on November 27, 2020 at 6:00 AM (estimated).
November 19, 2020 - The Star Breeze, now stretched, has been delivered back to Windstar Cruises from Fincantieri in Palermo, the first of three ships to be stretched and modernized as part of the Star Plus Initiative.
The program, valued at $250 million and involving the the Star Breeze, Star Legend and Star Pride, calls for the installation of a new 25.6-meter-long mid-body section; new engines and an extensive modernization of public areas, passenger cabins and open decks.
Before the work, the Star Breeze was 134 meters long, 10,000 tons and had capacity for 212 guests. She is now 160 meters long, 13,000 tons and has capacity for 312 passengers.
November 18, 2020 - Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line has announced the sale of their ship - the Grand Celebration to undisclosed buyers. The AIS of the ship, which left Freeport in the Bahamas on November 12, 2020 showed the ship was headed for Alang, India. Alang is the major scrapping are in India which has dismantled thousands of ships over the years. It appears that the ship may have been resold since the new destination has been listed as Port Louis. The AIS reports that the ship is headed to Port Louis Guadeloupe but based on the arrival date of December 27, 2020 Port Louis Mauritius (an island off the coast of Africa). The ship has not had its location updated in over a week - wo it will be interesting to see where she surfaces. Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line has stated that the ship has NOT been sold for scrap.
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line has stated the sale of the vessel is part of their plan to resume sailing and that they have decided to focus on their one remaining ship - the Grand Classica. Some sources are stating the sale of the vessel was required for the cruise line to settle a lawsuit for back wages owed to crew members who have not been compensated
The 1,900-passenger Grand Celebration joined the newly formed Bahamas Paradise in 2014 and has sailed from the Port of Palm Beach, Florida, since then, on short jaunts to Freeport. Grand Celebration was built in 1987 as Celebration for Carnival Cruise Line. In 2008, it went to another brand in the Carnival Corp. family, Spain's Ibero Cruceros, sailing as Grand Celebration for several years before transferring to Costa Cruises as Costa Celebration.
In the world of COVID, the sale of the Grand Celebration did not yield a top-dollar, making it possible for the new owners to potentially flip the vessel at a profit.
Hopefully Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line will begin accepting reservations soon and return to service.
November 13, 2020 - Princess Cruises' Sea Princess was handed over to her new owners on 11/13/2020 in Manila. V.Ships Leisure and sister company Oceanic Catering have been selected by China's Sanya International Cruise Development (SICD) for ship and hotel management of Charming, the former Sea Princess.
As of November 23, 2020, the Charming is now registered in Liberia and is currently sitting at anchor off of Manila in Philippines and not expected to return to service until 2021. Little details are available about the ship at this time or it's planned operations. It is expected that the ship will cater to Chinese clientèle - probably offering cruises to nearby destinations from major Chinese ports.
V-Ship helped to transition the ship between owners due to the COVID 19 and travel restrictions in place. They will continue to be an active partner in the ship's introduction and daily operation.
November 11, 2020 - Disney Cruise Line has announced that the introduction of their 6th and 7th ships have been delayed to 2024 and 2025. The original plan was for the ships to be delivered in 2022 and 2023. The delay is primarily related to the pandemic and the anticipated lack of demand in the immediate future.
Construction continues on the Disney Wish, currently under construction at Germany’s Meyer Werft Shipyard in Papenburg, Germany and is expect to be delivered in the Summer of 2022 (originally scheduled for late 2021).
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