Good morning, afternoon, evening everyone,

Entering into week three, this way of working really is now starting to feel like that infamous ‘new normal’ we keep hearing about. Zoom has raced into the number one spot on my iPad usage stats … surpassing even Netflix, which takes some doing.

It has been an incredibly busy week and very different from the last few. We are now working around the clock to organise repatriation of our crew members from all our ships to their homes and families. This is proving a very challenging exercise and involves chartering planes and seeking permissions at the highest levels of various governments (e.g. Philippines, India).

We’ve also had to start really focusing on our costs as the pause in operations means we have no incoming revenue just now. Earlier today, we spoke with around 270 UK colleagues who will be furloughed shortly. Before COVID-19 I barely knew what the word meant. I’m sure it now needs no explaining.

Like many other UK companies, we are starting to make use of the government furlough support programme, with CUK topping up those impacted to full pay. This is a really good way to help keep cash in the business while the work load decreases temporarily in some areas. To all those being furloughed – thank you, it’s a very real way of helping the company. The financing for Carnival Corporation announced last week was fantastic news, but while we are not sailing and not earning revenue, we still need to be super careful with money.

As for our ships, QV remains in the UK. We’ve been concerned for a small number of crew who have been unwell and wish them a very speedy recovery (thankfully tests for COVID-19 have been negative).

On QM2, we’re still looking after 264 Guests and we’ll be getting them safely home next week (QM2 is scheduled to arrive in Southampton on Wednesday 15 April). Given all that the ship has been through, there should be fireworks and a big band on the quayside playing her in… sadly port workers in PPE will be the order of the day.

QE has finally moved out of Australian waters as the Australian government was concerned that cruise ships could become a potential burden on its health system. QE has been ‘clean’ for some weeks now so really was not a risk but there were no exemptions. QE is now sailing north from Cairns out of Australian waters. More on this next week.

Talking of Australia, the local Aussie press really has been very rough on cruise over the last ten days or so. Hang in there Ryan, Katrina and all the team – it will pass!

For those in the UK and Germany, tomorrow at 16.15 (UK time) we have another team Zoom call. I’ll give a short update on the past week and what’s ahead, before doing Q&A. Please do have a think of any questions you’d like to ask. Nothing is off limits. We’ll do as we did last week and have questions go to Lee over the chat.

Pic of the week – below is a photo I snapped at a magical time on one of our ships. There’s a bottle of wine (delivered to your door as a prize) for the first person to email me with both the venue and, more specifically, the occasion. I think it’s a tricky one, so even the ship teams can enter!

Lastly, to those of you who have been looking forward to the long weekend over Easter – do take the opportunity to step away from work. It has been a really tough few weeks with many stresses to manage, so do be sure to recharge.

And to everyone, keep looking after yourselves. Safe travels QM2 and QE, stay safe QV, and all very best wishes to your teams onboard.

Simon Palethorpe
President, Cunard

Read all of Simon’s updates here

Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry


Leave A Reply