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Cruise industry crisis  threatens Panama

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Bound for the acrap yard

Posted 01/08/2020

The  cruise industry is devastated worldwide and with the Pullmantur shipping company scrapping at least two of its vessels a cloud hangs over the future of its homeport in Colón.

The Monarch had a capacity of 2,333 passengers and in recent years had made 52 departures from  Colón 2000.

Pullmantur reported that the Monarch and Sovereign vessels, two of the three ships that made up its fleet, will be dismantled and the future of the company that accepted the Spanish bankruptcy law is unknown after the coronavirus pandemic erased earnings it had made in the recent past.

The company announced in late June that operations would resume in November, but made no specific mention of departures from Panama.

Last year the company reported that it transported 406,000 passengers and 53% of its turnover was obtained in the European market, while the rest was contributed by its operation in the American continent.

The Colón 2000 port, has no information about the future of Pullmantur's operation, and the Panama Tourism Authority (ATP) has not responded to inquiries.

Industry sources suggest  that a third ship, the Horizon, will also be scrapped and that there is the possibility that the company  will operate some ships  used by Royal Caribbean  but to date, there is no certainty

With the prospect that  Copa Airlines will operate with less than 10% of its fleet in the short term, it will be difficult to market a cruise ship leaving Panama in the coming years, so the future of the home port is uncertain.

Ovr  50% of the passengers that boarded Colón were South Americans (Colombians, Argentines, Ecuadorians); followed by Americans, Canadians, and Mexicans.

The Cruises Investment Holding fund and Royal Caribbean Group (RCL) own 51% and 49% of the shares of the Spanish shipping company, respectively. This week they announced Ernst & Young in Andalusia, Spain as administrator of the bankruptcy in an attempt to revive the company.

Economic loss
It is estimated that the departure of each cruise ship from Colón 2000 represented an economic injection of 750,000, which means that, the Panamanian economy is losing  $3 million  in foreign currency each month

In 2019 the ATP signed a contract with NCL (BAHAMAS) LTD, owner of the Norwegian cruise line to make departures from the port that is being built on Perico Island, in the Amador Causeway. The agreement will be effective from 2021 until 2023and  establishes that the company will depart from the new cruise port and, will transit the Panama Canal, will a tour of 7 or 9 days through the Caribbean, and end at the Colón 2000 terminal.

At the end of that tour, the cruise  ship will start a new journey departing from Colón, it will travel  through the Caribbean islands, and back to the  Canal to  dock in Amador, but  in the current environment nothing is certain,

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/travel/cruise-industry-crisis-threatens-panama

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Crew exchange keeps door ajar for return of cruise ships

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Posted 14/09/2020

The Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) reported that this weekend, the technical staff supervised the exchange of 205 crew members both in the Pacific and the Atlantic, of ships of the Princess Cruises and Holland America Line companies of the Carnival Corporation based on the requirements established by the Ministry of Health (Minsa)

For the exchange, the AMP said that it coordinates with the Minsa, the Ministry of Public Security, the National Migration Service, the Civil Aviation Authority, the Tocumen International Airport SA, the National Customs Authority, among others.

The vessels, of various types and under the Panamanian flag, are at the Balboa anchorage. It is a technical-commercial strategy used by the AMP to attract passenger ships, offering them the calm waters of the Bay of Panama so that they can carry out their crew changes, in addition to using the services offered by the auxiliary maritime industries.

One of the objectives is to attract these vessels to Panama and for the country to serve as a destination port for its routes when the reactivation of the industry takes place, said. the AMP.

For the time they remain anchored in Panamanian waters, they receive only auxiliary maritime services,  operations that do not require direct physical contact between the service providers and the crews of the vessels. It refers to the supply of fuel, provisions, supplies, among other basic products for the operation of the ship.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/travel/crew-exchange-keeps-door-ajar-for-return-of-cruise-ships

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  • Moderator_02 changed the title to Cruise Industry Crisis Threatens Panama

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