It appears the uncertainties over COVID-19 and the testing regimens, in the end, were responsible for UnCruise Adventures’ highly-publicized misadventure that saw the first and only attempt to restore cruising in America end just days after it began. The company has won praise for its response to the virus while they highlighted that they had been successful in managing the uncertainties and ensuring that there was no transmission of the coronavirus on their ship.
At the beginning of the month, just four days into its first cruise, the line’s Wilderness Adventurer abruptly canceled its cruise, instituted its Covid contingency plan, and brought its 36 passengers back to Juneau, Alaska to begin a virus-related quarantine. The series of events was triggered when one of the passengers was told that they had tested positive for the virus at the airport in Alaska. Under the company and state’s protocols, passengers had to test before departing for Alaska and were retested on their arrival in the state. That passenger reportedly tested positive on the second test but only learned days later in the middle of the cruise.
With the attention of international media following their every move, and coming amid the Hurtigruten COVID-19 incident in Norway, UnCruise announced they had canceled the cruise and their attempt to resume North American cruising. Yesterday, UnCruise owner and CEO Captain Dan Blanchard provided an update on the events that followed.
After the passenger notified the captain, the ship immediately asked everyone to self-isolate while they returned to Juneau. That same day, the passenger along with their four traveling companions were retested and the following day all of the passengers were moved to a hotel for a quarantine while the crew remained in isolation on the ship. UnCruise working with Alaska arranged for everyone to again be tested.
In the end, everyone received a negative test. After just two days in the hotel, Alaska greenlighted 30 of the 36 passengers to be released and the following day passengers started traveling home. However, out of an abundance of caution, the passenger who tested positive once and negative twice was asked to complete their isolation along with the traveling companions.
Many people have tried to term the positive test as a false positive for the one passenger. Captain Blanchard however refused to say that instead responding that the science needs to be respected while doctors reviewing the situation said it was still possible that the individual was asymptomatic at the airport but positive and the way the virus runs that they were negative four days later.
The events around the testing and the uncertainties yet again underline the challenges faced by the cruise industry or the broader travel and tourism sector to resume operations. Several other cruise lines announcing their plans to resume operations have also sought to ensure potential customers saying that they would be conducting testing. The president of Royal Caribbean International was even quoted this week as saying it increasingly appeared that rapid testing would become an element of the industry’s near-term health protocols.
Blanchard’s message was that the protocols established worked. The company managed a difficult situation and no transmission of the virus resulted due to their careful planning. Unfortunately, no one will ever know if it was the testing or the virus that sunk the efforts to relaunch cruising in North America for the time being. UnCruise confirmed that the Wilderness Adventurer is on her way back to lay-up in Seattle.
In June, a UK Royal Navy destroyer and Dutch Royal Navy ship safely moored in Odessa, Ukraine, were spoofed to locations off-shore of a Russian naval base on Crimea. One week later, it was a US Navy ship moored in the same port that was spoofed (above). These are interesting cases in several ways. First, how […]
A massive fire broke out at the Port of Beirut on Thursday, incinerating a warehouse full of tires and oil within the port’s free zone. The same area was heavily damaged in the ammonium nitrate explosion that leveled the central port area and the adjacent waterfront on August 4. According to Lebanon’s civil defense agency, […]
Over the course of the past five days, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority arranged a medical intervention for an injured aboard a freighter in the Indian Ocean. On Saturday evening, the Spliethoff tweendecker Dolfijngracht called for assistance while under way about 1,000 nauical miles off the coast of Western Australia. A crewmember had sustained serious […]
The UK government’s new post-Brexit tariff regime will result in both winners and losers. The new regime is set to replace the European Union’s Common External Tariff from the end of the Brexit Transition Period on December 31, 2020. The UK’s commitment to the ongoing Brexit process and ending the UK’s transition from EU membership […]
The First DP2, Twin-Hulled SOV in the World, NB72 Groene Wind met the Sea on September 29. 2020 in Yalova, Turkey. The Groene Wind will be directly chartered to Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy for the maintenance of the Rentel and Mermaid & Seastar (known as SeaMade) offshore wind farms in Belgium. This is the first DP2, […]
The U-Freight Group (UFL), with its considerable involvement in eCommerce logistics, says that the latest statistics showing that global e-commerce sales hit $25.6 trillion in 2018 are a further vindication of its decision to enter this sector of the international freight market several years ago. The latest available estimates, up 8% from 2017, were recently […]
DSV Belgium has solid experience in the transport of pharmaceutical products for different customers. With a pharma hub based at Brussels Airport a lot of experience and know-how has been built up over the years. Last weekend, the forwarder handled one hundred million mouth masks, an important milestone for its Belgian organisation that has put […]
With close to 100 daily cargo flights operated to a destination network spanning more than 65 cities across six continents, Emirates SkyCargo is delivering essential supplies and commodities to people around the world. The air cargo carrier is currently operating 11 Boeing 777 freighter aircraft, each with a capacity to transport about 100 tonnes of […]
Operators can continue to use pilots and other crew members who have unable to comply with certain training, recent experience, testing, and checking requirements due to the COVID-19 outbreak in support of essential operations. Additionally, this Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) provides regulatory relief to certain persons and pilot schools unable to meet duration and […]
The naval forces of the US and Bahrain recently staged a joint force training exercise which showcased the interoperability between coalition warships operating I the Arabian Gulf. Coalition Task Force Sentinel executed combined exercise Sentinel Shield supporting Sentry and Sentinel patrols in the coalition’s area of operations. The guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones and […]
Astral Aviation has increased its intra-African network with cargo freighters during the pandemic. While there has been a reduction in capacity to, from, and within Africa, which has been caused by a stoppage of passenger flights and limited frequencies on freighter aircraft, Astral Aviation continues to operate cargo freighters from its Nairobi hub to 13 destinations […]
Callan Marine is serving as the prime contractor to the Texas Department of Transportation for a maintenance dredging project located at the Bolivar Ferry Terminal, in Galveston, Texas. Work began in May and is estimated to be complete in late July 2020. The project consists of the removal of 600,000 cubic yards of material and […]
Best known as a leading passenger airport serving Germany’s most populated federal state North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf has become transformed into a vital distribution point, during the COVID 19 pandemic, for medical equipment and other life-saving goods, mostly from China. Gerton Hulsman, managing director of cargo operations, reports that the handling teams are working hard to […]
Emirates SkyCargo has expanded its weekly scheduled cargo flight operations to cover 75 destinations across six continents. Through its wider reach, Emirates SkyCargo is able to transport essential commodities and other urgently needed cargo more rapidly across the world, allowing exporters and importers across markets to benefit from direct access to widebody cargo capacity. Some […]
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a Marine Accident Brief about an accident that occurred on April 15, 2019, involving the towing vessel DeJeanne Maria which struck the end of a submerged dredge pipeline while pushing two spud barges to the Gulf of Mexico. The incident occurred on the Mississippi River in Pass […]
Global commercial aviation charter company Albion Aviation Group is reporting that it is seeing a considerable uptake in its professional cargo broker training courses from the current global pandemic crisis and surge in charter demand. “We have completed a number webinar courses for a whole of host of companies, looking to manage their own cargo […]