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Cruise Ships Can Sail Again, With Strict Rules. Here’s What to Know.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday lifted its “no sail” order on U.S. cruise ships and set out a framework for how cruising could restart.

Under the new structure, cruise companies must demonstrate adherence to stringent health and safety protocols including extensive testing, quarantine measures and social distancing. If they meet these C.D.C. standards, first on a series of crew-only test sailings, they will eventually be allowed to resume passenger excursions.

The “no sail” order was originally issued on March 14 for all American cruises after it emerged that cruise ships played a major role in the initial outbreak of the coronavirus. The ships were remarkably efficient at spreading the virus: On board the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan in February, each case of Covid-19 was transmitted to approximately 15 other people. In Wuhan, China — the original epicenter of the virus — one person transmitted the disease to about four other people, a recent study published in the Journal of Travel Medicine found.

In September, the C.D.C. recommended an extension to the policy until February amid reports of outbreaks on ships in other countries, but that advice was overruled by a White House coronavirus task force.

The restrictions on sailings have ravaged the cruise industry with companies reporting billions of dollars in losses as their fleets have remained idled in open waters or in ports. In recent months, cruise executives have been scrambling to put together teams of scientists and health experts to devise comprehensive safety protocols that will allow cruising to return, and they gave a lengthy list of suggestions to the C.D.C.

On Friday, the C.D.C. said the benefits of the new framework outweigh the costs of not allowing cruise ships to sail, providing flexibility for companies that have taken necessary precautions to mitigate risk, while continuing to prohibit operations for those that fail to implement the necessary measures.

Here’s how the decision will likely impact cruises in the coming months.

In short, not soon.

The first ships to sail in U.S. waters will be simulated voyages designed to test a vessel’s capabilities to implement health and safety protocols and prove the cruise line’s ability to mitigate the risks of Covid-19 onboard.

Cruise lines will not be allowed to commence passenger operations until they meet all the requirements and are granted a conditional Covid-19 sailing certificate issued by the C.D.C.

Most major cruise lines have announced that they will not resume operations until 2021.

The largest cruise companies, including Carnival, Royal Caribbean and MSC have canceled their sailings through the end of November. Last month, Carnival canceled all its 2020 cruises, except for those between Miami and Port Canaveral, Fla., which are scheduled to restart in December.

The ships will be required to provide rapid laboratory testing of all passengers and crew on the day of embarkation and the day of disembarkation. Onboard testing capabilities will be developed in coordination with the C.D.C. to test all symptomatic travelers, including crew members and future passengers.

Under the new order, cruise ship operators must meet standards for hand hygiene, face coverings and social distancing for passengers and crew as well as ship sanitation. Meal services and entertainment venues will be modified to ensure that physical distancing can be implemented.

For the test cruises, the C.D.C. said that masks are one of the measures that “may be required by C.D.C. technical instructions or orders,” but it does not lay out where and when they might be mandated. Mask use was included among the suggestions from the industry executives to the C.D.C.

Passengers who test positive for Covid-19 before boarding a cruise ship will not be permitted to board. Those who test positive onboard a ship will be isolated and then transferred to a dedicated facility on shore. All remaining passengers and nonessential crew will also be required to go into quarantine. In the spring, some passengers spent weeks confined to their staterooms after cases broke out on board their cruises.

Cruise operators are expected to have the proper medical equipment, expertise and training to treat severely ill passengers who contract Covid-19 while on board until they can be safety transferred to onshore medical facilities.

Initially shore excursions will be closely controlled and limited to private and domestic destinations. Cruise operators are devising protocols to vet vendors for onshore excursions to ensure that they comply with health and safety protocols that are applied on board ships. The measures include physical distancing, sanitation, personal protective equipment, personnel screening and training.

On a recent sailing by the Costa Diadema, a ship belonging to the Carnival Corporation’s Italian cruise operation, cases cropped up despite testing after passengers took shore excursions on the Greek Islands. The guests were asymptomatic and tested positive upon re-entry into Italy.

Under the C. D.C.’s new requirements, cruise ships will not be permitted to sail with an itinerary that lasts longer than seven days. This period may be shortened or lengthened based on public health considerations.

The health agency’s framework applies to cruise ships that intend to operate in U.S. waters.

By: Ceylan Yeginsu
Title: Cruise Ships Can Sail Again, With Strict Rules. Here’s What to Know.
Sourced From: www.nytimes.com/2020/10/30/travel/cruise-ships-new-rules.html
Published Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2020 22:50:01 +0000

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Vacation

What could you order from Ansett Airlines’ inflight bar in the early 1970s?

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People have always liked to drink on board flights, especially people from Australia. Therefore, it should be no surprise to anyone that there was an inflight bar offering in the 1970s.

Ansett Airlines were a major player in the Australian domestic market up until their demise in September 2001. For many years, there were two domestic airlines, Trans-Australia Airlines (TAA) and Ansett.

Ansett’s Inflight Bar

At the time, Ansett operated Boeing 727s, Douglas DC-9s and Fokker F27 Friendships on domestic routes in the country. Airline tickets were quite expensive, with tariffs agreed upon by both airlines thanks to Australia’s weird two-airline policy at the time.

While tickets were expensive and food complimentary, you still had to pay for a drink at the bar. Here is an inflight bar menu from the era, showing the drinks available and their prices.

Clearly the pricing is astounding by today’s standards – 30 cents for a beer? I’ll have thirty-three please! I like how Australian gin is 35c while the imported gin is just 5c more. Which would you choose?

You can tell it is from another era as you can buy cigarettes on board. These price up at 45c, a far cry from the extortionate prices people in the west pay these days for a smoke!

Overall Thoughts

The on board offering is pretty comprehensive for internal flights, and I imagine you’d be hard pressed not to find something you might like. In those times, all payments would have been by cash as well, which would have meant a lot of coinage being handled on board.

Of course, things haven’t changed too much over the years. On many airlines you pay for your drinks just as they did back in the 1970s. Shame the prices aren’t the same of course!

Did you ever buy drinks on board flights from the inflight bar back in the day? Do you still? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by Daniel Tanner on Airliners.net via Wikimedia Commons.
Menu image by Ikara on Australian Frequent Flyer.

By: The Flight Detective
Title: What could you order from Ansett Airlines’ inflight bar in the early 1970s?
Sourced From: travelupdate.com/ansett-airlines-inflight-bar-menu/
Published Date: Thu, 19 Nov 2020 15:03:14 +0000

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These Shrimp Leave the Safety of Water and Walk on Land. But Why?

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The shrimp stop swimming at dusk and gather near the river’s edge. After sunset, they begin to climb out of the water. Then they march. All night long, the inch-long crustaceans parade along the rocks.

The parading shrimp of northeastern Thailand have inspired legends, dances and even a statue. (Locals also eat them.) During the rainy season, between late August and early October, tourists crowd the riverbanks with flashlights to watch the shrimp walk.

Watcharapong Hongjamrassilp first learned about the parading shrimp, and the hundred thousand or more tourists who come each year to see them, about 20 years ago. When he started studying biology, he returned to the topic. “I realized that we know nothing about this,” he said: What species are they? Why and how do they leave the safety of the water to walk upstream on dry land? Where are they going?

Mr. Hongjamrassilp, a graduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles, decided to answer those questions himself. His findings appeared this month in the Journal of Zoology.

Working with wildlife center staff members, Mr. Hongjamrassilp staked out nine sites along a river in Thailand’s Ubon Ratchathani province. They found shrimp parading at two of the sites — a stretch of rapids, and a low dam.

The videos they recorded revealed that the shrimp paraded from sundown to sunup. They traveled up to 65 feet upstream. Some individual shrimp stayed out of the water for 10 minutes or more.

“I was so surprised,” Mr. Hongjamrassilp said, “because I never thought that a shrimp can walk that long.” Staying in the river’s splash zone may help them keep their gills wet, so they can keep taking in oxygen. He also observed that the shells of the shrimp seem to trap a little water around their gills, like a reverse dive helmet.

DNA analysis from captured shrimp showed that nearly all belonged to the species Macrobrachium dienbienphuense, part of a genus of shrimp that live mostly or fully in freshwater. Many Macrobrachiumspecies spend part of their lives migrating upstream to their preferred habitats.

Most parading shrimp that Mr. Hongjamrassilp captured were young. Observations and lab experiments showed that these shrimp probably leave the water when the flow becomes too strong for them. Larger adult shrimp can handle a stronger current without washing away, so they’re less likely to leave the water.

Walking on land is dangerous for the little shrimp, even under cover of darkness. Predators including frogs, snakes and large spiders lurk nearby, Mr. Hongjamrassilp says. “Literally, they wait to eat them along the river.”

And the shrimp can survive on land for only so long. If the parading crustaceans lose their way, they may dry out and die before they get back to the river. A few times, Mr. Hongjamrassilp came across groups of lost shrimp dead on the rocks, their once-translucent bodies baked pink.

Yet most navigate upstream successfully, and scientists have spotted other freshwater shrimp around the world performing similar feats, scaling dams and even climbing waterfalls.

Leaving the water when the swimming gets tough may have helped these animals spread to new habitats over their evolutionary history, Mr. Hongjamrassilp said. Today, the number of parading shrimp in Thailand seems to be declining. He thinks tourist activity may be a factor, and learning more about the shrimp might help protect them.

The study’s authors made “some really excellent observations,” said Alan Covich, an ecologist at the University of Georgia who was not involved in the research. But understanding why the Ubon Ratchathani shrimp move upstream, and how far they travel, will require more research, he said.

“The most surprising thing to me was that it attracted so many tourists,” Dr. Covich said. He doesn’t know of any other example of people gathering to appreciate a crustacean in quite the same way.

“We have crayfish festivals, we have all kinds of things,” Dr. Covich said, “but generally it’s people eating them, not watching them move.”

By: Elizabeth Preston
Title: These Shrimp Leave the Safety of Water and Walk on Land. But Why?
Sourced From: www.nytimes.com/2020/11/18/science/shrimp-parade-thailand.html
Published Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2020 17:02:07 +0000

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Will Aer Lingus launch transatlantic flights from Manchester?

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There are reports that Aer Lingus have applied for 1,500 slots at Manchester Airport for the Summer 2021 season. This will allow the airline to base four aircraft there and service flights to the United States.

At present, there have been no press releases from the airline stating what is going on. Even so, it probably makes sense for the Irish airline to do this in the current market.

Aer Lingus And Manchester

From what is known, there will be three Airbus A321LRs and an A330 based at Manchester. These will operate non-stop services to New York JFK, Boston, Chicago and Orlando, and the season starts on 28 March 2021.

With Thomas Cook having gone out of business, there is likely space for another competitor. New York and Orlando will see competition from Virgin Atlantic, while the other two routes have no airline flying at the moment.

Aer Lingus has been connecting passengers over Dublin very successfully from the UK regions for a while now. Due to this, they will have visibility on traffic patterns, potential yields and more, making this an informed decision.

I imagine they also hope to cream off some of the connecting traffic that routes through London Heathrow on British Airways and Amsterdam on KLM among others. It would prove to be quite successful.

Transatlantic Joint Venture Approval

The US Department of Transport has tentatively given its approval for Aer Lingus to join the oneworld transatlantic joint business. This is operated by American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia and Finnair.

These airlines coordinate schedules and pricing, share revenues and expenses. For the consumer, it means more choice – those making a booking on British Airways across the Atlantic will also see options on American Airlines on the BA web site as one example.



Theoretically, it would allow people seeking flights on the British Airways web site to automatically be given options to fly non-stop with Aer Lingus, along with the Manchester-London Heathrow-US city connecting itinerary.

Whether Aer Lingus will join the oneworld alliance, even in a oneworld connect capacity remains to be seen. Frequent flyers would welcome it, especially those in Ireland.

Overall Thoughts

No doubt the boffins have been working behind the scenes to see if the business case for transatlantic flights from Manchester stack up. As things have proceeded as far as a slot application, I would guess chances are good that it will go ahead.

Either way, let’s see if this happens and if it does, whether Aer Lingus will stay for the long haul. If they can make more money elsewhere, they’ll up sticks and leave. Regardless, it is an interesting development in European aviation.

What do you think of Aer Lingus starting transatlantic services from Manchester? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by N509FZ via Wikimedia Commons.
Aer Lingus A321neo LR by Pitmanaaron via Wikimedia Commons.
Business class cabin via One Mile At A Time.

By: The Flight Detective
Title: Will Aer Lingus launch transatlantic flights from Manchester?
Sourced From: travelupdate.com/aer-lingus-manchester/
Published Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2020 18:03:48 +0000

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