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Phillygirl3

Frightening number of new ships on the Horizon

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I just finished reading about the number of new cruise ships coming between 2020-2027and it is a little scary.  I posted earlier in the year about the number of ships that are in port on any given day and how it impacts the enjoyment of that port.  Santorini years ago was a most pleasant and beautiful port.  The last time we cruised there, about 3 years ago, the number of people in port was so ridiculous that that it was difficult to walk.  We were so disheartened that we decided to walk  down the donkey path, even though it meant dodging donkey mess.  We couldn't wait to get back to the ship.  It was so sad.  There were only three ships in port but when a 5,600 behemoth is docking with one other large ship and then a medium sized ship, it can mean the difference between a pleasant port visit and a very uncomfortable one.    Viking, alone is introducing 11 new ships between 2019-2027.  MSC (huge ships) will be introducing a whopping 14.  I can't wrap my brain around how this number of ships on our oceans will impact the cruise experience.  I wonder when cruise ships will reach their saturation point?  Perhaps, I'm being too negative, but I wonder how the continued expansion of cruise lines fleets of ships will impact the love of cruising.

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21 minutes ago, Phillygirl3 said:

I just finished reading about the number of new cruise ships coming between 2020-2027and it is a little scary.  I posted earlier in the year about the number of ships that are in port on any given day and how it impacts the enjoyment of that port.  Santorini years ago was a most pleasant and beautiful port.  The last time we cruised there, about 3 years ago, the number of people in port was so ridiculous that that it was difficult to walk.  We were so disheartened that we decided to walk  down the donkey path, even though it meant dodging donkey mess.  We couldn't wait to get back to the ship.  It was so sad.  There were only three ships in port but when a 5,600 behemoth is docking with one other large ship and then a medium sized ship, it can mean the difference between a pleasant port visit and a very uncomfortable one.    Viking, alone is introducing 11 new ships between 2019-2027.  MSC (huge ships) will be introducing a whopping 14.  I can't wrap my brain around how this number of ships on our oceans will impact the cruise experience.  I wonder when cruise ships will reach their saturation point?  Perhaps, I'm being too negative, but I wonder how the continued expansion of cruise lines fleets of ships will impact the love of cruising.

I agree that this is becoming a major problem and why many port cities are starting to put restrictions on the number of ships/passengers who can dock on any one day.  There have been protests against cruise ships  in ports like Venice by the local residents.

 

What bothers me even more than the number of ships is the size.  So many of these ships are starting to look like "big box" stores.  They don't even look like ships, inside or out.  We took our first cruise in the mid 80's and can't believe what has happened over the last 30+ years.  I think this is why Viking is so appealing as they are going back to  cruising as it used to be.  Unfortunately, this doesn't solve the problem of being in port with ships carrying 4-6K people.  I was appalled to see several lines add these big boxes to their Alaska itineraries over the last couple of years.  These wonderful inside passage ports just can't deal with so many people on any one day, and have it be an enjoyable experience.  

Edited by Ready to Sail!

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I wonder how the cruise ship industry thinks they are going to fill all these ships?  Is there a huge waiting list now for people wanting to cruise but cannot because there is no room?   I just cannot imagine that many more people will be jumping on the band wagon to go cruising??

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We had the same experience in Santorini last May. The narrow streets were crowded and the queue to get down to the port on the cable car so long that one of the larger ships had to delay their departure otherwise many passengers would have been left behind.  We also walked down the path dodging all the slippery spots!!  Dubrovnik and Venice are also overcrowded with cruise passengers. Of course the only way to avoid this is to limit the number of ships in port or tendering. 

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There are many untapped markets in Asia. The huge untapped middle class markets of China, India and Indonesia. 

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More ships will mean more competition for the cruising dollar and better prices with more promotions all good for us the consumers. Bring them on!!

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8 minutes ago, terrydtx said:

More ships will mean more competition for the cruising dollar and better prices with more promotions all good for us the consumers. Bring them on!!

 

And then there will be Viking, the outlier, doing it their way regardless of what the other companies are doing.

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There will probably be more consolidation and possibly some lines closing down due to too much competition. Only so much they can grow the annual number of cruises. I strongly hope Viking remains independent and finically sound. 

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I think Viking will do well  especially if they maintain the "anti mega ship" mentality.  The big crunch will be for trained personnel.  From Cook to Captain all these new builds will be raiding everywhere for licensed and unlicensed personnel.  Another consideration is dock and shipyard space.  All these ships have to go somewhere.  Many cruise destinations are already crammed.  Even Asian ports are crowded already.   And every cruise ship needs scheduled by regulation haul outs in shipyards as well as the inevitable boo-boo that happens to ships.   I see large backlogs of work here.  As has been mentioned there will be those older ships retired and even if there are mergers, there will still be this glut of ships.  It will be interesting, especially since a major cruise demographic will be aging out of the market by 2027.  Time will tell.  Only 180 or so days till Viking Sun!🍸

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One strategy is to go slightly off-season. We did Mediterranean Odyssey the first week of April. In Dubrovnik, the guide mentioned that in three or four weeks the open areas we were walking in would be totally packed with people. 

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1 minute ago, Richard2 said:

One strategy is to go slightly off-season. We did Mediterranean Odyssey the first week of April. In Dubrovnik, the guide mentioned that in three or four weeks the open areas we were walking in would be totally packed with people. 

This has been our strategy for a few years now, and also try not to book during school holidays/vacations.   Our last mistake was doing the Baltic cruise in June (we thought better than July or August) and on a newer Princess ship with 3600 passengers.   Most of the ports were packed, especially St. P.  where there were probably 6 other ships both days we were there.  Unfortunately this cruise has a short window of sailings, as do other itineraries.   So yes, strategy is important.  Off season, not around school breaks and certainly smaller ships to try to minimize the overcrowded ports.   We are doing Empires of the Med the first of April.  Weather may be a bit off but better than swarms of people and excessive heat.  We are the only ship in Santorini and one of three in Dubrovnik but with a total of less than 4K (one of the other ships is the Jupiter).  We are hoping our strategy pays off.

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I read an article showing the growth in number of passengers year over year is increasing faster and faster.

Millennials are much more apt to spend on experiences and they are an important driver.

According to CLIA, 30 million passengers are expected to cruise in 2019 (ocean only). Compared to 17.8 million in 2009.

 

Interesting article in Forbes:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/joemicallef/2018/09/01/the-cruise-industrys-boom-is-primed-to-continue/#24ce70412d89

 

If you look into the increase in number of cruisers---it will make you think about which ports you want to visit and when.

 

 

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Just about everywhere we went on last year's Inaugural WC was very crowded.  Except Egypt which we had basically to ourselves.  The new order book will make places even more crowded but the next decade will be a great time to be a 40ish Licensed Officer with a clean record.😎

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As Terry DTX points out--more ships, more competition and possibly lower fares.  However, lower fares will create more passengers to fill the behemoths and, again, a nightmare in ports.  My brother just sailed, for the first time, to the Caribbean and he is a world traveller.  Thought he would scratch it off his bucket list.  Said it was a "one and done" deal--especially since the day that only one shop was open in port and thousands of passengers from ships in port that day descended on that one shop.  Excursions cancelled, so nothing to do.    The Caribbean was great 30 years ago, not so much anymore.  I guess there's not a whole lot we can do about it aside from not cruising during peak times and choosing smaller ships that can often travel to and dock in ports that are not mainstream ones.

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Along with the increased competition for sailors, hotel staff and dock space and passengers, where will Viking get the required number of high quality, experienced, knowledgeable, English-speaking tour guides for their "included" tours, as the good ones will likely be reserved for the "paid-for" more-profitable excursions?  Other cruise lines will be chasing them too.  And where will Viking get the experienced, knowledgeable shoreside and home office staff and supervision to devise, design and put in place top class tours and excursions for us, especially with the expansion over the next years which Viking promises?  There are several threads in which customers suggest strongly that Viking is not doing at all well in these areas at the moment, especially on the new cruises in the Far East, so in the future what can we expect . . . . ????

 

If they want to continue as a port-oriented cruise line, perhaps Viking management should concentrate on consolidating and improving what they have at the moment, and overcome their evident "non-ship" and excursion weaknesses rather than plunging into continued expansion which may well be difficult to sustain against larger expanding rivals.

 

The competition might just also have some T&Cs which Viking could look at and benefit from adopting, to make their packages more appealing to Joe Public.

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This very subject has been discussed frequently, since the cruising lifestyle took off. One of the factors that hasn't been mentioned is that ships, especially cruise ships don't last for ever. Many of the 2nd hand tonnage cruise lines will be scrapping their older tonnage from the 50's through 80's and purchasing the mainstream line's older tonnage.

 

While the order book may include about 100 ships, it includes every type of cruise ship from mega ships to expedition ships. This does not mean we will see an additional 100 ship vying for port space, as an increasing number of ships will be scrapped. As regulations change, especially in areas of emissions, it will be cost prohibitive to upgrade or operate much of the older tonnage.

 

As the cruising demographics change, I predict less demand for what I call the classic liner. The average millennium is looking for glitz, with the ship being the star attraction of the holiday. Back in my days on cruise ships, new cruisers were sold by visiting 6 ports in 7 days. As the ships continue to grow in size and gain additional glitz and activities, they are slowly transitioning to less ports, with the ship being the star attraction. This is already changing with some of the RCCL mega ships on visiting 3 ports during a week cruise from Miami.

 

As Jim correctly pointed out, some of the biggest challenges will be finding competent crews and drydock space for the mega ships. Lots of options for Viking size ships, but especially on the West Coast we have limited drydocks for mega ships.

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31 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

This very subject has been discussed frequently, since the cruising lifestyle took off. One of the factors that hasn't been mentioned is that ships, especially cruise ships don't last for ever. Many of the 2nd hand tonnage cruise lines will be scrapping their older tonnage from the 50's through 80's and purchasing the mainstream line's older tonnage.

 

While the order book may include about 100 ships, it includes every type of cruise ship from mega ships to expedition ships. This does not mean we will see an additional 100 ship vying for port space, as an increasing number of ships will be scrapped. As regulations change, especially in areas of emissions, it will be cost prohibitive to upgrade or operate much of the older tonnage.

 

As the cruising demographics change, I predict less demand for what I call the classic liner. The average millennium is looking for glitz, with the ship being the star attraction of the holiday. Back in my days on cruise ships, new cruisers were sold by visiting 6 ports in 7 days. As the ships continue to grow in size and gain additional glitz and activities, they are slowly transitioning to less ports, with the ship being the star attraction. This is already changing with some of the RCCL mega ships on visiting 3 ports during a week cruise from Miami.

 

As Jim correctly pointed out, some of the biggest challenges will be finding competent crews and drydock space for the mega ships. Lots of options for Viking size ships, but especially on the West Coast we have limited drydocks for mega ships.

Well, this is exactly the point(s).  These smaller ships are being scraped but replaced by mega ships, so maybe not anymore ships but certainly more passengers.  At our ages (mine and DHs,  not yours)  we don't want to cruise just to be on the ship playing on the water slides, LOL!!  On the up side(??) our cruising days will be coming to an end in the next 5-6 years.  If this trend makes the next generations happy, good for them as it will be their market.  We will happily spend more time in our RV during the rest of our "rusty years" enjoying our Western States and Canada, and with our dog!  This isn't meant to be negative, just realistic.  

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We have only done one cruise, with a second one later this month. Both are transatlantic so obviously not many port stops. So I recognize that I am not a typical cruise person.

We go to the Caribbean 2-4 times per year for land vacations. We typically visit quieter islands for 7-14 days. Nevis, Anguilla, Peter Island, Bequia, Little Cayman, and Caye Caulker off Belize. Have also visited more heavily travelled islands like St. Lucia, St. Martin, Antigua, Puerto Rico, etc. Over the last 10 years we have seen the increase in cruise ship visits on the bigger islands, and the impact (good and bad) on the local economies and environment. Our last visit to Nevis, our villa overlooked the St. Kitts port and we saw multiple mega ships per day coming and going. When I looked into the increase in visitors and the $ involved---it was staggering. Obviously it provides jobs and lots of cash coming into the local economy. But it also means that the islands with large ports turn into veritable DisneyWorlds with bad jewelry shopping, casinos and crappy restaurants catering to American burger and fries food.  Lots of local charm is lost. 6 hours in a port is not getting an island experience--at least to me.

 

I get that many people like cruising (and I do for specific itineraries), but the future does not look rosy to me for many ports. I am especially sad at what is happening in the Caribbean.

 

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This is an interesting question and one that goes beyond the simple supply and demand equation. One would have to think that cruise ship corporations and banks don’t spend hundreds of millions of dollars without doing their due diligence. 

The Baby Boomer generation still has another 20 years of filling cruise ships and Generation-X and even Millennials have caught the cruising bug. At the same time, more and more destinations are opening up. Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, I never would have dreamed that Russia, China, Cuba and Viet Nam would be prime destinations for US and EU cruisers. Will my grandchildren be among the masses stepping off cruise ships in North Korea and Somalia? 

Just look what commercial jets and deregulation did for tourist traveler the last 40 years. Lines to get into the Louvre, Saint Peters, Westminster and even the Forbidden City have become incredibly long but at the same time literally thousands of destinations have opened up for the average traveler.

It will be interesting to see how this all shapes up in the future but I agree with the above comments that Viking has developed a solid customer base who like the size of the VO ships, the service levels and the diversity of ports. Even if there is a "correction" in the cruise industry, the Viking customer base seems to have staying power.

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I read a Cruise Critic article in late August 2018 on new ship builds out to 2027.   

 

As a lover of detail and research, I spent some hours listing the new ships by year and their pax capacity.   I shared my research with a close cruising mate as we are both interested in cruising and the cruise industry. 

 

The Cruise Critic article listed 47 new ships with total pax capacity of 178,275.    I was aware of some glaring omissions in the article and added in the “missing” new ships I was aware of.   This would increase the total new pax capacity closer to 200,000.   

 

I then researched current total cruise pax numbers which were estimated at 27 million for 2018.     Now the new ships need to be filled for each cruise and one would need to know some “insider” information on average cruise length, break even pax percentage per cruise etc, but I reached the conclusion that the new ship numbers represented quite a small overall increase on current cruise pax numbers.    

 

My “quick and dirty” research did not include any older ship retirements or the strong possibility of some of the longer dated new ship orders being delayed or cancelled to better balance annual cruise capacity requirement. 

 

I reached the conclusion that perhaps the Cruise Line strategists, CEO’s and Board members know a lot more more on this issue then we mere cruise passengers do. 

 

I recall my final comment to my mate was the hope that the Cruise lines may get it wrong and any future overcapacity would lead to lower cruise prices for all.

 

I am not holding my breath awaiting any price reduction.  

 

Happy cruising all.    We embark Viking Orion in Hong Kong in 64 days time for our cruise to Vancouver.    Can’t wait.  

 

Rod 

 

 

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Think about what the increase in all types of ships will do to our oceans.  Collisions with ships are one of the primary threats to marine mammals, particularly large whales, along the U.S. West Coast and around the world  (www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov). 

 

I really enjoy traveling on a cruise ship, but I also want the Cruise Line executives

to be aware of the impact of more and larger ships on our oceans.

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Aussie Cruise Nuts said:

 

 

Happy cruising all.    We embark Viking Orion in Hong Kong in 64 days time for our cruise to Vancouver.    Can’t wait.  

 

Rod 

 

 

 

 

An excellent piece of research. Thankyou. Our cruise is 98 days away - we are embarking in Vancouver as you are arriving. 

 

Now, some more research needed. I think we are tendering for disembarking and embarkation in Vancouver. What do you think?

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Hi Pushka.      Yes, the Vancouver arrival and disembarkation for us and your cruise embarkation looks challenging.   Seems Viking Ocean (the new girl on the block in Alaska) does not have a scheduled berth for 26 May.      “Evening Ops” is the formal note on the Canada Place Cruise Terminal schedule for Orion.    

 

My best guess (from my research and CC boards) is that Orion will arrive late evening on 25 May, which allows it to dock to unload our larger suitcases (and perhaps some loading of stores), then move back out to anchor in the harbour that evening/early morning  to allow the 3 scheduled cruise ships for 26 May to dock early am.     Our cruise will likely disembark by tender on morning of 26th with our hand luggage  and we will be on our way.    

 

I have noted timing amendments to our last few ports in Alaska to allow Orion to arrive in Vancouver Harbour late evening of 25 May in lieu of the original scheduled arrival of 7am on 26 May.   Sitka departure brought forward 2 hours and Ketchikan departure 3 hours earlier.     Not a worry to us as we have cruised Alaska previously and it may allow more daylight cruising of the inside passage after leaving Ketchikan.    Downside is an evening entry into Vancouver Harbour which is normally a beautiful early morning cruise in. 

 

Your cruise looks more challenging.   Perhaps your embarkation will be by tender, and it seems Orion will move back to the dock to finalise stores loading  late afternoon of 26th after that days cruise ships have departed.    I can see your cruise departure being well delayed into later evening and perhaps some knock-on impact for your first Alaskan ports.  

 

I did carry out some research on the three Canada dock pier  sizes and the 3 ships scheduled for 26 May.    Seven Seas Mariner and Viking Orion are both currently placed on North Pier, the smallest of the 3 piers.   Celebrity Eclipse is on East Pier and HAL Noordam on West Pier.     I first  hoped the 2 smaller cruise ships (Mariner and Orion) could perhaps share the North Pier as they are far smaller than the other two ships.  Regrettably, North Pier is the smallest of the 3 cruise piers and looks very unlikely to be able to dock Mariner and Orion at the same time.    So it certainly looks like Orion will need to anchor, use tender operations along with a little time on the dock prior to the arrival of the other 3 ships and again after their departure.  

 

Not the best outcome for your cruise and ours, however should be “interesting”.  

 

Having docked at Canada Place on two previous cruises, I have to say that this is an excellent cruise Terminal with very efficient operations, and I believe the Canadians will do their very best to ease our issues.  

 

Rod 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Aussie Cruise Nuts said:

Hi Pushka.      Yes, the Vancouver arrival and disembarkation for us and your cruise embarkation looks challenging.   Seems Viking Ocean (the new girl on the block in Alaska) does not have a scheduled berth for 26 May.      “Evening Ops” is the formal note on the Canada Place Cruise Terminal schedule for Orion.    

 

My best guess (from my research and CC boards) is that Orion will arrive late evening on 25 May, which allows it to dock to unload our larger suitcases (and perhaps some loading of stores), then move back out to anchor in the harbour that evening/early morning  to allow the 3 scheduled cruise ships for 26 May to dock early am.     Our cruise will likely disembark by tender on morning of 26th with our hand luggage  and we will be on our way.    

 

I have noted timing amendments to our last few ports in Alaska to allow Orion to arrive in Vancouver Harbour late evening of 25 May in lieu of the original scheduled arrival of 7am on 26 May.   Sitka departure brought forward 2 hours and Ketchikan departure 3 hours earlier.     Not a worry to us as we have cruised Alaska previously and it may allow more daylight cruising of the inside passage after leaving Ketchikan.    Downside is an evening entry into Vancouver Harbour which is normally a beautiful early morning cruise in. 

 

Your cruise looks more challenging.   Perhaps your embarkation will be by tender, and it seems Orion will move back to the dock to finalise stores loading  late afternoon of 26th after that days cruise ships have departed.    I can see your cruise departure being well delayed into later evening and perhaps some knock-on impact for your first Alaskan ports.  

 

I did carry out some research on the three Canada dock pier  sizes and the 3 ships scheduled for 26 May.    Seven Seas Mariner and Viking Orion are both currently placed on North Pier, the smallest of the 3 piers.   Celebrity Eclipse is on East Pier and HAL Noordam on West Pier.     I first  hoped the 2 smaller cruise ships (Mariner and Orion) could perhaps share the North Pier as they are far smaller than the other two ships.  Regrettably, North Pier is the smallest of the 3 cruise piers and looks very unlikely to be able to dock Mariner and Orion at the same time.    So it certainly looks like Orion will need to anchor, use tender operations along with a little time on the dock prior to the arrival of the other 3 ships and again after their departure.  

 

Not the best outcome for your cruise and ours, however should be “interesting”.  

 

Having docked at Canada Place on two previous cruises, I have to say that this is an excellent cruise Terminal with very efficient operations, and I believe the Canadians will do their very best to ease our issues.  

 

Rod 

 

 

 

 

Thats the thing. I have private excursions booked for the first port after Vancouver. Viking are providing no information about tenders on the website and any info I’m getting I have to extract by emails. The Vancouver port now shows it returning to berth at 6pm which is an hour after we are supposed to depart. I’m really unimpressed with that. I sent an email off to our Viking in Australia over a week ago and have no response. Not good enough. Might be our last cruise with them if they refuse to provide info. 

 

And I will totally flip if they try to blame weather or something at the time as a reason for being late or even missing a port when this is a known issue they are not addressing with passengers. And I’m thinking most are blissfully unaware of it. 

Edited by Pushka

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On 2/15/2019 at 8:08 PM, Ready to Sail! said:

I agree that this is becoming a major problem and why many port cities are starting to put restrictions on the number of ships/passengers who can dock on any one day.  There have been protests against cruise ships  in ports like Venice by the local residents.

 

What bothers me even more than the number of ships is the size.  So many of these ships are starting to look like "big box" stores.  They don't even look like ships, inside or out.  We took our first cruise in the mid 80's and can't believe what has happened over the last 30+ years.  I think this is why Viking is so appealing as they are going back to  cruising as it used to be.  Unfortunately, this doesn't solve the problem of being in port with ships carrying 4-6K people.  I was appalled to see several lines add these big boxes to their Alaska itineraries over the last couple of years.  These wonderful inside passage ports just can't deal with so many people on any one day, and have it be an enjoyable experience.  

 

We have sailed to Alaska twice, the first time in 1998 on the Celebrity Mercury.  It was amazing.  My husband was eager to go again in 2017, but I was very reluctant.  The size and number of ships cruising to Alaska had exploded in the intervening years and I couldn’t imagine how the small ports I remembered could  possibly handle the huge numbers of people that would be disgorged from all these huge ships.  My husband won and we sailed Celebrity Solstice in July 2017.  It was just as bad as I imagined, especially since our first visit was so incredible.  

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