Offer the word 'cruise' to me and I think enviously, nostalgically, of sailing on a yacht on an ocean, most of them, in fact, as I did very happily, and very satisfyingly for so many years of my life.
|Anyone remember the, er, lockdown? ... Another feast anyone, and you must have more champers. Home must seem far off on a cruise, though - sadly - it's cruises themselves that are rather far off. Many thanks to Norwegian Cruise Line for the reminder of a very different world.|
And it's of dressing up for dinner and enjoying boozy shipboard society and occasionally perhaps even peering out at vast oceans.
For ship-owners, however, the closedown of public life of most populations conjures up a very different picture.
I experienced big ship interpretation of cruising as a child when my parents emigrated to New Zealand. 'Migrated,' my grandmother would correct me. 'We paid for the fares ourselves.'
The ship was the good ship Orontes, 20,000 tons, and to a child a mighty vessel when seen from the deck, and a vast, gigantic cave when viewed below. She seemed huge, more monstrous than huge.
|... most of the cruising fleet are moored in a cruise ship purgatory, unable to sail commercially for the foreseeable future ...|
Huge cruise-liners are also suffering a similar fate, reports Fran Golden writing in Bloomberg dot com.
'Since mid-March, only a small handful of the world's 400-or-so cruise ships have been able to accept passengers.'
Docked till 15th September - at least
She found that most of the cruising fleet are moored in a cruise ship purgatory, unable to sail commercially for the foreseeable future.
In the US, the industry has agreed not to resume business at least until 15th September, she writes.
'As with airplanes, the first issue with maintaining an idle cruise ship is simply finding a place to park it.'
As many as 16,000 planes have been grounded in the pandemic, hiding out in dry and rust-proof places that range from hangars and airport tarmacs to desert boneyards.
'Ships are similarly scrambling to find the right conditions to weather the storm.'
Ms Golden reveals the staggering cost of mothballing the monsters.
Carnival Corporation, the world's largest cruise company, tallied up losses of $4.4 billion in the first half of the year, she discovered.
Somehow her revelations make acute frustration with Lockdown and its current remnants seem a bit less agonising and - hopefully - ease your understandable frustrations, at least a little, too.