European economy shrinks by historic margin: Live business updates

New York Times: The European economy tumbled into its worst recession on record in the second quarter, as quarantines in countries across the continent brought business, trade and consumer spending to a grinding halt. From April to June, gross domestic product fell from the first quarter by 11.9 percent in the 27 member states of the European Union, and by 12.1 percent in countries that use the euro currency, according to figures released on Friday by Eurostat, the bloc’s statistics agency.

New port brings tourism hope and pollution fears to Alaskan town

Reuters: It was supposed to be the Alaskan port town’s biggest tourist season yet. Ketchikan was expecting more than a million visitors this summer, many of them arriving at a newly built dock that juts out into the frigid waters of Ward Cove, the site of the town’s old pulp mill. Then the novel coronavirus hit, triggering a global shutdown of travel, tourism and, specifically, cruise ships, which became notorious as mass incubators and carriers of the disease.

Hygiene theater is a huge waste of time

The Atlantic: In May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidelines to clarify that while COVID-19 spreads easily among speakers and sneezers in close encounters, touching a surface “isn’t thought to be the main way the virus spreads.” Other scientists have reached a more forceful conclusion. “Surface transmission of COVID-19 is not justified at all by the science,” Emanuel Goldman, a microbiology professor at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, told me. He also emphasized the primacy of airborne person-to-person transmission.

Would you pay $100,000 to go on a cruise around the world?

Forbes: While most of of us are stuck at home daydreaming about all of the places we’d like to travel to one day, Viking Cruises has announced a new around the world trip that will tick off some of your top bucket list destinations and then some. Scheduled to set sail in December 2021 aboard Viking Star, Viking World Cruise will depart from Fort Lauderdale before calling on ports in Mexico, Colombia, The Panama Canal and Costa Rica. From there the ocean vessel begin to make her way across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii, French Polynesia and Tahiti before setting off for the South Pacific to the Bay of Islands, New Zealand, Australia and Indonesia.

Carnival addresses rumors they’re selling two cruise lines

Cruise Radio: A day after confirming the name of two more ships it would be selling, Carnival Corporation shot down rumors that they would also be getting rid of two entire cruise lines. Carnival Corporation has been in the news quite a bit over the past few months with regards to various assets they are selling. In fact, it was only Wednesday that financial documents revealed that the company intended to sell two more ships, in addition to the 13 already announced and/or disposed of.

Florida’s idled maritime industry lobbying for federal bailout

The Center Square: Seaports have been largely idled during the COVID-19 pandemic with Florida’s ports particularly devastated by the shutdown of the cruise and tourist industries and the decline in demand for steel and automobiles. The American Association of Port Authorities and its state chapter, the Florida Ports Council (FPC), is among groups lobbying to secure relief for the nation’s maritime sector as part of the COVID-19 stimulus assistance package being debated by House Democrats and Senate Republicans this week in Washington, D.C.

River pilots seeking pay raise to nearly $700,000 annually despite shipping, economic decline

The Advocate: Despite a decline in shipping and the economy, the river pilots who shepherd vessels from the mouth of the Mississippi River to Canal Street in New Orleans want a 28% pay bump to nearly $700,000 annually. The Crescent River Port Pilots Association Inc., called CRPPA and based in Belle Chasse, is one of the most politically active trade associations in the state and it argues its pilots should be paid as much as the river pilots in charge of vessels going between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, as well as other shipping pilots at ports around the country.

Compare: Princess vs. Holland America cruises

Cruise Blog: Choosing between Holland America or Princess cruises is no easy task, particularly because these two lines offer similar casual-but-elegant onboard vibes and levels of quality. They compete fiercely with one another in all markets, but they’re particularly well matched when it comes to Alaska sailings. But how do they compare in areas like dining, cabins and onboard activities? Read on to find out.

Cruise ships head off as Tropical Storm Isaias approaches

Cruise Hive: Tropical Storm Isaias is heading across the eastern Caribbean and towards the Bahamas and even though cruise lines have suspended operations, cruise ships will still need to move out of the way to remain safe. Since cruise line suspended operations many cruise ships have been anchored in the Bahamas near private islands and popular ports such as Freeport and Nassau. Many vessels have also been off the coast of Florida near major homeports such as PortMiami, Port Everglades, and Port Canaveral.