American, British, and Italian luxury cruise ships are being dismantled for scrap metal in a dock in Turkey as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to sink the industry.
On Friday, Five hulking cruise ships were pulled apart and dismantled. Around 25,000 people are working in teams, they stripped walls, windows, floors, and railings in the port of Aliaga, a town 45 km north of Izmir on Turkey’s west coast. To take apart a full passenger ship, it takes approximately six months.
Among these luxury ships was the Carnival Fantasy, a newly-refurbished cruise ship that was recently sold by Carnival Cruise Line, after it reported a loss of $4.4 billion in the second quarter of 2020. Three more ships are set to join, according to Kamil Onal, chairman of a ship recycling industrialists’ association.
Early this year, cruise ships housed some of the earliest clusters of COVID-19 as the pandemic spread globally. By March 25 there had been coronavirus outbreaks on 36 cruise ships. Therefore, in March, US authorities issued a no-sail order for all cruise ships that remain in place. This had a devastating impact on the industry.
Kamil Onal said that before the pandemic, the Turkish ship-breaking yard handled cargo and container ships.
“But after the pandemic, cruise ships changed course towards Aliaga in a very significant way, there was growth in the sector due to the crisis. When the ships couldn’t find work, they turned to dismantle,” Onal said.
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The shipyard is aiming to increase the volume of dismantled steel to 1.1 million tons by the end of the year, from 700,000 tons in January. “We are trying to change the crisis into an opportunity,” he said.
“Hotel operators come to the yard to buy useful materials, this way even the ships’ non-metal fittings do not go to waste,” he added.
Reference: reportdoor.com | Media Credits: Daily Mail – YouTube
Source: Maritime Shipping News