0 Shares 58 Views

Photos of abandoned, stripped cruise ships show how deeply the cruise industry is sinking

Nov 22, 2020
0 59
Ship breaking cruise ships turkey
After the shipbreaking process, not a single scrap remains. Mehmet Emin Menguarslan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
  • Photos of unused cruise ships getting stripped for parts show how the cruise industry is struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Maintaining cruise ships that aren’t in use is very expensive, so many cruise companies are selling part of their fleet for scrap.

  • Since the pandemic hit, the number of cruise ships being dismantled for scrap has increased. 

  • Because many shipyards had to close due to lockdowns, there’s a waiting list for cruise ships to get dismantled around the world.

  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The travel industry is hurting as the coronavirus pandemic ravages on, but the US cruise industry, in particular, has been hard hit.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a no-sail order in March, which it changed to a “conditional sailing” one on November 1. This means that cruises could accept passengers, but only after making significant changes to their health and safety protocols. Most cruise companies voluntarily renewed the no-sail order through 2020 as they figure out these new measures.

Ahead of the coronavirus pandemic, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the world’s largest cruise industry trade association, which represents 95% of the global cruising industry, projected that 32 million passengers would set sail in 2020 and that the industry was creating an economic impact of $53 billion in the US, and $150 billion worldwide.

The CLIA now estimates that “each day of the suspension of cruise operations in the US results in a total loss of approximately $110 million in economic activity and up to 800 American jobs.”

For the shipbreaking industry, however, this means big business.

Photos of cruise ships being dismantled into scrap metal at bustling shipbreaking yards around the world illustrate just how deeply the cruise industry is hurting right now.

Photos of unused cruise ships getting stripped for parts show just how much the cruise industry is struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Cruise ships ship breaking yard TurkeyCruise ships ship breaking yard Turkey
An aerial view of cruise ships being broken down for scrap metal at the Aliaga Ship Recycling Facility in Turkey. Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Nicola Mulinaris, the communication and policy officer at NGO Shipbreaking Platform, told Insider that they’ve seen an increase in the number of cruise ships getting scrapped since the pandemic hit.

Cruise ships ship breaking yard TurkeyCruise ships ship breaking yard Turkey
The Aliaga Ship Recycling Facility in Turkey is currently dismantling five cruise ships. Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Source: NGO Shipbreaking Platform

He explained that cruise ships can be “extremely costly to maintain if they’re not operational.”

Cruise ships ship breaking yard TurkeyCruise ships ship breaking yard Turkey
Two of the five cruise ships at the Aliaga Ship Recycling Facility in Turkey have already started getting scrapped. Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Consequently, cruise companies, many facing financial troubles, are downsizing their fleets.

Cruise ships ship breaking yard TurkeyCruise ships ship breaking yard Turkey
Cruise ships are scrapped by hand. Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Source: WESH

Carnival lost $2.9 billion last quarter, the New York Times reports. It has canceled trips into 2021 and is cutting 18 of its ships, per Good Morning America.

A worker uses a blowtorch to cut metal from a ship at a ship-breaking yard on the bank of the Yangon River in Yangon on May 26, 2018.A worker uses a blowtorch to cut metal from a ship at a ship-breaking yard on the bank of the Yangon River in Yangon on May 26, 2018.
A worker uses a blowtorch to cut metal from a ship at a shipbreaking yard in Yangon, Myanmar. YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images

Source: The New York Times, Good Morning America

Three of those ships, the Inspiration, Imagination, and Fantasy, are being dismantled at the Aliaga Ship Recycling Facility in Turkey, alongside two other cruise ships.

Cruise ships ship breaking yard TurkeyCruise ships ship breaking yard Turkey
Carnival is cutting 18 ships from its fleet as a result of the pandemic. Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Almost 2,000 people are working to dismantle the five ships in Turkey, according to the New York Times.

Workers demolish old ships at a shipbreaking yards Kalibaru in Jakarta, Indonesia on September 27, 2018.Workers demolish old ships at a shipbreaking yards Kalibaru in Jakarta, Indonesia on September 27, 2018.
Workers at a shipbreaking yard in Jakarta, Indonesia. Anton Raharjo/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Source: The New York Times

Mulinaris said that because many shipyards had to close due to lockdowns, there’s even a waiting list for cruise ships to get dismantled around the world.

Cruise ships ship breaking yard TurkeyCruise ships ship breaking yard Turkey
Cruise ships are so large they can take many months to break down. Chris McGrath/Getty Images

In the past, cruise companies sold their ships to smaller companies, but because of the pandemic, no one can afford to buy them — nor would they want to.

Cruise ships ship breaking yard TurkeyCruise ships ship breaking yard Turkey
A side-by-side view of two cruise ships in different stages of demolition at the Aliaga Ship Recycling Facility in Turkey. Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Cruise companies are also afraid of strengthening the competition, said Mulinaris, “so it becomes quite appealing to recycle the vessels and get money out of it.”

The dismantled steering cabin of a French navy vessel is seen the Galloo ship recycling plant in Ghent February 25, 2015.The dismantled steering cabin of a French navy vessel is seen the Galloo ship recycling plant in Ghent February 25, 2015.
The dismantled steering cabin of a French Navy vessel at the Galloo ship recycling plant in Ghent, Belgium. Francois Lenoir/AP

Generally speaking, cruise ships will sell their ships to scrap dealers through a broker. These will then pay the shipyards for their work, and make money selling scraps.

A worker welds part of a ship at a ship-breaking yard in Mumbai, India on 23 September 2019.A worker welds part of a ship at a ship-breaking yard in Mumbai, India on 23 September 2019.
A worker welds part of a ship at a shipbreaking yard in Mumbai, India. Himanshu Bhatt/NurPhoto/Getty Images

According to Mulinaris, 90% of a conventional vessel is steel, which is recyclable. But machinery and furniture can also be sold.

Labourers work without protective gear to separate parts of a ship for scrap metal at ship-breaking yard in Gadani, Baluchistan provinceLabourers work without protective gear to separate parts of a ship for scrap metal at ship-breaking yard in Gadani, Baluchistan province
Workers at a shipbreaking yard in Gaddani, Pakistan. AKHTAR SOOMRO/AP

“It’s a treasure chest in there,” an antique store owner told the New York Times about cruise ship interiors. “These are not regular ships; they are luxurious floating museums with many precious items inside.”

Ship breaking in TurkeyShip breaking in Turkey
Looking deep into the bowels of a cruise ship in the middle of getting dismantled in Turkey. Mehmet Emin Menguarslan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Source: The New York Times

Depending on where the ships are sold and scrapped, cruise ship companies could be paid between $150 to $400 per ton.

Labourers transport supplies to a ship by a makeshift cable carriage to separate it into scrap metal at the Gaddani shipbreaking yard early in the morning, about 60 km (37 miles) from Karachi November 25, 2011.Labourers transport supplies to a ship by a makeshift cable carriage to separate it into scrap metal at the Gaddani shipbreaking yard early in the morning, about 60 km (37 miles) from Karachi November 25, 2011.
A makeshift cable carriage at a shipbreaking yard in Gaddani, Pakistan. Akhtar Soomro/AP

Carnival sent its ships to get scrapped in Turkey: While the prices there per ton are on the low end, according to Mulinaris, the working conditions are better and the recycling process more environmentally friendly.

Cruise ships ship breaking yard TurkeyCruise ships ship breaking yard Turkey
The shipbreaking process usually starts in the ship’s bow. Chris McGrath/Getty Images

A cruise ship can take up to 10 months to dismantle, but it depends on both the vessel and the shipyard.

A worker gains a metal from a demolished old ships at a shipbreaking yards Kalibaru in Jakarta, Indonesia on September 27, 2018.A worker gains a metal from a demolished old ships at a shipbreaking yards Kalibaru in Jakarta, Indonesia on September 27, 2018.
A worker at a shipbreaking yard in Jakarta, Indonesia. Anton Raharjo/NurPhoto/Getty Images

“Everything is taken out piece by piece, from the light bulb to the piano and swimming pool to the golf course,” Kamil Onal, chairman of the Ship Recyclers’ Association of Turkey, told the New York Times.

A worker carries a metal sheet dismantled from a ship at a ship-breaking yard on the bank of the Yangon River in Yangon on May 26, 2018A worker carries a metal sheet dismantled from a ship at a ship-breaking yard on the bank of the Yangon River in Yangon on May 26, 2018
A worker carries a metal sheet dismantled from a ship at a shipbreaking yard in Yangon, Myanmar. YE AUNG THU/AFP via Getty Images

Source: The New York Times

Usually, ships are cleaned, stripped of anything that can be sold, then cut into small blocks, taking care to avoid hazardous materials. These pieces are then usually lifted away by crane, one by one.

A crane is seen lifting a container near a French seismic vessel which is soon to be dismantled at the Galloo ship recycling plant in Ghent March 23, 2015A crane is seen lifting a container near a French seismic vessel which is soon to be dismantled at the Galloo ship recycling plant in Ghent March 23, 2015
A crane helps dismantle a ship at the Galloo ship recycling plant in Ghent, Belgium. Francois Lenoir/AP

Sometimes they are carried away by hand.

Workers carry a metal sheet dismantled from a ship at a ship-breaking yard on the bank of the Yangon River in Yangon on May 26, 2018.Workers carry a metal sheet dismantled from a ship at a ship-breaking yard on the bank of the Yangon River in Yangon on May 26, 2018.
Workers carry a metal sheet dismantled from a ship at a shipbreaking yard in Yangon, Myanmar. YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images

Shipbreaking is dangerous work.

ShipbreakingShipbreaking
A worker uses a cutting torch on a large block cut from a vessel at the Galloo ship recycling plant in Ghent, Belgium. Francois Lenoir

Besides the obvious risks of sustaining injuries from operating heavy machinery, getting crushed, or falling, ships are also filled with flammable gases that can cause explosions and toxic elements like asbestos and lead.

A Painter paint on a long ship at Keraniganj, Dhaka, Bangladesh on 18 February 2018. When it comes to shipping, Bangladesh is known mostly as a shipbreaking nation, with dozens of ageing container vessels heading towards its southern coast for scrap. However, in recent years it has also emerged as a shipbuilding country.A Painter paint on a long ship at Keraniganj, Dhaka, Bangladesh on 18 February 2018. When it comes to shipping, Bangladesh is known mostly as a shipbreaking nation, with dozens of ageing container vessels heading towards its southern coast for scrap. However, in recent years it has also emerged as a shipbuilding country.
Workers at a shipbreaking yard in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Maruf Hossain Rafi/NurPhoto/Getty Images

According to data by NGO Shipbreaking Platform, there have been 397 deaths in shipbreaking yards since 2009.

Workers climb down from decommissioned Indian Navy Ship INS Vikrant at a ship breaking yard in Mumbai Workers climb down from decommissioned Indian Navy Ship INS Vikrant at a ship breaking yard in Mumbai, India, November 24, 2014.Workers climb down from decommissioned Indian Navy Ship INS Vikrant at a ship breaking yard in Mumbai Workers climb down from decommissioned Indian Navy Ship INS Vikrant at a ship breaking yard in Mumbai, India, November 24, 2014.
Workers climb down from decommissioned Indian Navy ship at a shipbreaking yard in Mumbai, India. Danish Siddiqu/Reuters

Source: Off the Beach

Shipbreaking is also bad for the environment. As it can be difficult to contain pollutants, oil spills, sludge, and heavy metal, contaminated debris are common side effects.

A man takes photo of his colleague with a mobile phone on the burning oil tanker at the ship-breaking yard in Gaddani A man takes photo of his colleague with a mobile phone on the burning oil tanker at the ship-breaking yard in Gaddani, Pakistan, November 2, 2016.A man takes photo of his colleague with a mobile phone on the burning oil tanker at the ship-breaking yard in Gaddani A man takes photo of his colleague with a mobile phone on the burning oil tanker at the ship-breaking yard in Gaddani, Pakistan, November 2, 2016.
A burning oil tanker at a shipbreaking yard in Gaddani, Pakistan. Akhtar Soomro/Reuters

Governments and organizations such as Mulinaris’ NGO are working hard to improve working conditions for shipbreakers and to ensure more environmentally sound practices.

Workers dismantle a ship at a ship-breaking yard on the bank of the Yangon River in Yangon on May 24, 2018.Workers dismantle a ship at a ship-breaking yard on the bank of the Yangon River in Yangon on May 24, 2018.
Workers dismantle a ship at a shipbreaking yard in Yangon, Myanmar. YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images

Cruise companies are working to turn things around, however, and are working to get passengers on the ocean as soon as safely possible with measures like mock cruises to test safety measures.

A worker welds a part of an old Ship to get a metal at a shipbreaking yards Kalibaru in Jakarta, Indonesia on September 27, 2018.A worker welds a part of an old Ship to get a metal at a shipbreaking yards Kalibaru in Jakarta, Indonesia on September 27, 2018.
A worker at a shipbreaking yard in Jakarta, Indonesia. Anton Raharjo/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Read the original article on Insider

You may be interested

Official sources: Iraq trains US-sanctioned militia leader for army position
News
27 views
News
27 views

Official sources: Iraq trains US-sanctioned militia leader for army position

Webby - November 27, 2020

The Iraqi military is training a former member of an Iran-backed militia, who is under US sanctions for killing protesters, to become a high-ranking officer in the…

News
14 views

Exclusive: Iraq trains U.S.-sanctioned militia leader for army position – sources

Webby - November 27, 2020

By John Davison, Ahmed Rasheed5 Min ReadBAGHDAD (Reuters) - The Iraqi military is training a former member of an Iran-backed militia, who is under U.S. sanctions for…

Trump plans trip to Georgia amid his election battle
News
31 views
News
31 views

Trump plans trip to Georgia amid his election battle

Webby - November 27, 2020

President Trump said he likely would travel to Georgia on Saturday to campaign for Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue ahead of their runoff elections. He called the Georgia…

Leave a Comment

Most from this category