More cruise lines get approval from Cuba

In early December two more cruise lines announced that they had received permission from the Cuban authorities to include cruises to Cuba in their programmes for 2017. There are now six lines that have received approval: Norwegian and her sister companies Oceania and Regent Seven Seas, Royal Caribbean, Azamara and Pearl Seas. This development followed the announcement earlier this year that the Cuban authorities would be lifting their ban on Cuban-born people entering and leaving the island on commercial vessels.

norwegian-skyNorwegian Cruise Line initially stated that its first cruise would be from Miami to Havana, sailing on 7th March 2017. This has since been modified: Norwegian Sky will operate this 4-day cruise, calling at Havana and then the Bahamas. Five dates are planned, through May 2017, and the first bookings are already being taken.

Royal Caribbean has announced that its inaugural sailing to include Cuba will be on the Empress of the Seas, sailing from Miami in April 2017 on a 5-night cruise.

U.S. Carnival cruise ship Adonia, the first cruise liner to sail between the United States and Cuba since Cuba's 1959 revolution, arrives at the Havana bay Cuba, May 2, 2016. REUTERS/Enrique de la Osa

Currently the only  vessel  sailing to Cuba is Adonia, operated by  Fathom, a subsidiary of Carnival Corp. Adonia was running bi-weekly voyages but has struggled to find enough passengers. Carnival recently announced the trips would stop in Spring 2017.


Large floating drydock arrives at San Diego

ca-drydockThe largest floating drydock in California recently arrived at the San Diego shipyard of BAE Systems. It is 950 feet long. The company has planned a $100 million investment to develop the yard ahead of the anticipated development of the US Navy along the West Coast of the US.

The yard was towed in by the Polish tug Terasea Eagle. A team from BAE will take two months completing the final assembly and testing of the dock, after which it will be certified as ready for use. It is hoped to be fully operational by early in 2017, and already the first ship, USS New Orleans, is booked in for servicing.

The heavy lift vessel Blue Marlin passes through Astoria, Ore., on its way to Portland, Aug. 24, 2014. Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary personnel, working with local law enforcement, provided an escort for the ship to ensure the safety of boaters along the Columbia River. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Klingenberg)

Whilst this is big, the largest floating drydock in the United States is the Vigorous, at 960 feet long. This is based at Vigor Industrial’s shipyard at Portland, Oregon, and has an 80,000-ton capacity. It was designed to meet the requirements of the US Navy’s military standards as well as the American Bureau of Shipping. The drydock was delivered aboard the heavy lift vessel Blue Marlin in 2014.