Freight News, Sea

Port of Virginia Provides Berth Space to Idle Cruise Ship

[ March 20, 2020   //   ]

Port Providing Berth Space at Portsmouth Marine Terminal to Idle Cruise Ship Bliss With No Passengers Aboard, Vessel Scheduled to be at PMT for 30 Days NORFOLK, VA – The Port of Virginia® will provide a berth at Portsmouth Marine Terminal to the cruise ship Bliss beginning Thursday morning where the vessel will temporarily dock during the industry’s voluntary suspension of U.S. cruise operations.
“The cruise industry has been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 outbreak and this is one way we can help a member of the larger maritime industry,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “We have told the cruise industry that we stand ready to help, to the extent that we can. This vessel needs a home where it can get fresh water, restock food and service its systems. We’re happy to provide it a temporary place to call home.”
The 1,092-foot-long cruise ship is owned by Norwegian Cruise Line and has been in the Caribbean for the last two months. The vessel does have its 1,700 member crew, but no passengers. All crew members have been tested for the virus and the tests have come back negative. In addition, the crew will be required to stay aboard the vessel. Bliss is scheduled to remain at PMT for 30 days.
Since the outbreak of the virus, empty cruise ships have been seeking temporary berth opportunities at multiple ports, with Florida taking the greatest share of the vessels. For a cruise ship it is more economical to idle at a port rather than at sea because it does not burn as much fuel and provides easy access to service the vessel and its crew. The vessels and their crew must be cleared by the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection upon their arrivals in Virginia, which is standard procedure.