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Ovation of the Seas Pax Possibly Injured in Volcanic Eruption

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On 12/12/2019 at 2:32 PM, twangster said:

 

 

 

324665260_RCIShoreExVolcanoCx.thumb.jpeg.7a95b5b30fbf33c95b47fa523d562131.jpeg

 

At the end if you start like that, we will end up with the cruise line eventually not able to offer any excursions anymore. All tours are outsourced to local tour operators who are responsible to operate the tours safely. RCCL has to relly on them to decide if a tour is safe to operate or not. On top of it, when you go Ziplining, visit a actve volcano or go on a excursion in the wilderness in Alaska there are certain risks that something could happen and each individual themselves needs to be aware themselves and based on that decide if they want to do such tour or not.

 

The event is very tragic however was fully beyond the control of RCCL, if such tour would be offered by them or not.

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1 hour ago, xpcdoojk said:

 

New Zealand has their equivalent to Yellowstone (ie a bubbling smoking caldera) at the same port stop.  On our first cruise that stopped at Tauranga, we visited the thermal features near Rotorua.  White Island the Bay or Plenty Rotorua are all part of the same gigantic volcanic feature.

 

They sell a book describing the various ways dumb tourists have died in Yellowstone.  

 

jc

 

We are visiting Rotorua in April. It’s a very beautiful place with lots of thermal features. Will look out for the book

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1 hour ago, dianajo67 said:

I don’t think cruise lines should stop offering excursions.  I do think they should emphasize that they are offering tours as a “convenience” only and that all excursion providers are outside agents.  Hiding it in the the small print is my issue.  I don’t care if RC makes a profit for providing marketing services etc.  Just be clear with the guests...taking advantage of the “typical” oblivious guest might be legal but it’s not really an ethical approach.

 

Most tours come with the statement:

 

THIS TOUR IS OPERATED BY A TOUR OPERATOR THAT HAS BEEN THIRD-PARTY VERIFIED TO AN INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED SUSTAINABILITY STANDARD.

 

This is literally in all caps in the cruise planner.   

 

Excursion tickets have the name of the local tour operator in large font.

 

You don't have to go very far in internet cruise forums for people to advise not to to book through the cruise line, the same tour is offered less expensive locally.

 

It's pretty well known Royal doesn't operate any tours (other than at their private destinations). 

 

Many people just don't pay attention and make assumptions.

 

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30 minutes ago, Esilef said:

 

We have also done a lot of travelling and love going to New Zealand every Easter holidays plus are doing another cruise there this time next year.

 

i totally agree with your comments. That said I’m spending 12 nights in Rotorua over Easter as New Zealand is a great land based holiday and its relaxing. 

 

the port from Dunedin is a bit of a drive the whole area is very pretty but I found the Taeri Gorge train to be good but not worth the worry if you miss it. I got bored on the train.

 

Milford sound is beautiful but entry to the sounds can be cancelled at short notice depending on the seas and weather. You are not guaranteed of seeing it.

 

all of this said I love going to New Zealand on holidays. It’s a beautiful place to visit and the people are wonderful. There is so much to see and do that a cruise tour just doesn’t give you enough time to really enjoy.

 

qantas and Air New Zealand are really pushing the boundaries of long haul flights. In the next couple of years we are going to see changes to the way we fly with will make it easier and more enjoyable to fly to the other side of the world.

 

 


I agree.  I have definitely nearly cried over some missed activities and landings in the past.  Fjordland National Park and Taeri Gorge would not be one of them.  That being said I’ve been to NZ twice now and enjoyed greatly both times.  Next time I go back I’d like to do an independent land vacation for two weeks so I can see more.

 

Qantas just stated that if they end up doing the SYD-JFK 19 hour route they will use 12 A350-1000 for the route.  They haven’t ordered them yet,  but they are getting there.  It was between that and the new not yet launched 777x, but the A350 won our.   Big win for Airbus there.  World is getting smaller by the day.

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People die in natural disasters all over the world.  
 

In America we let people build houses in flood plains of major rivers then we see pictures on the news of lives lost and homes destroyed in floods... whose fault is it?

 

It is terribly unfortunate timing.  It could have been me.  I would have boarded the White Island Tour boats just like the victims did.  I could declare New Zealand unsafe since the government “let this happen” and therefore what else isn’t safe there but it isn’t that simple or fair to draw conclusions from one event.  
 

It’s tragic and very sad.  No government can always keep us safe from natural disasters. 
 

Lessons will be learned, changes will be made.  I’ll continue with my upcoming visit to New Zealand thinking about the victims and their loved ones as I do.  

 

 

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3 hours ago, dianajo67 said:

I don’t think cruise lines should stop offering excursions.  I do think they should emphasize that they are offering tours as a “convenience” only and that all excursion providers are outside agents.  Hiding it in the the small print is my issue.  I don’t care if RC makes a profit for providing marketing services etc.  Just be clear with the guests...taking advantage of the “typical” oblivious guest might be legal but it’s not really an ethical approach.

 

One of the things about these excursions, and why people take them, is that because you are buying it through the cruise company, they guarantee to you that the ship will not leave without you if the tour is running late. That’s one of the big enticements they use to get people to book these tours through them and not independently through an outside vendor.

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7 hours ago, CruisingAlong4Now said:

There are still excursions up Mt. Etna also.

Also, Yellowstone is a super volcano and science suggests that it is overdue for an eruption. Last time it erupted was 640,000 years ago. It is very closely monitored but Mother Nature has a mind of her own. The initial kill zone covers parts of 4 states. Yet thousands of people flock to Yellowstone every day, hoping the inevitable next eruption is hundreds of years away (a blip in a volcano's lifetime) and not the day they visit.  Should all the tours at Yellowstone be responsible if she blows tomorrow?

 

The victims and their families are in my prayers.

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Perhaps we can tone down the exchange so the thread isn’t closed again. 
 

We all have valid opinions but let’s be respectful of the victims as we express them and exchange our thoughts. 

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In NZ, hard questions are beginning to be asked:
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12293369

 

Other NZ media articles are also raising the question of having possible manslaughter charges being eventually laid (White Island Tours), once the inquest process is done. One chilling video, made public a couple of days ago, is of one of the deceased guides sharing with a tourist, on an much earlier tour, about how these volcano tours made him nervous.

 

No tourists should have been setting foot on this specific volcano, ever, not by boat nor by helicopter. The eruptions are frequent, and the superheated steam vents regularly. So this is not even comparable to a “maybe, if, one day...” type of risk level. Mother Nature is actually quite clear about her ongoing involvement with this island.
 

But “greed” and “want” supersede nature, no??

Of course, the tour company would have had to price a boat-only tour to view the island from the water at a much-cheaper price point. Plus, the owner of the Island could not have been charging for landing rights either.
 

As long as clueless tourists clamour for their next selfie opportunity, there will be an operator ready and willing to part them with their money. It was the same with Shane Turpin (tour boat owner) who took his ill-fated lava boat tour too close to the lava flow ocean entry off Hawaii last year, resulting in a serious injury.

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5 minutes ago, snowglobe said:

In NZ, hard questions are beginning to be asked:
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12293369

 

Other NZ media articles are also raising the question of having possible manslaughter charges being eventually laid (White Island Tours), once the inquest process is done. One chilling video, made public a couple of days ago, is of one of the deceased guides sharing with a tourist, on an much earlier tour, about how these volcano tours made him nervous.

 

No tourists should have been setting foot on this specific volcano, ever, not by boat nor by helicopter. The eruptions are frequent, and the superheated steam vents regularly. So this is not even comparable to a “maybe, if, one day...” type of risk level. Mother Nature is actually quite clear about her ongoing involvement with this island.


*snip*
 

As long as clueless tourists clamour for their next selfie opportunity, there will be an operator ready and willing to part them with their money. It was the same with Shane Turpin (tour boat owner) who took his ill-fated lava boat tour too close to the lava flow ocean entry off Hawaii last year, resulting in a serious injury.

 

Truth.

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13 minutes ago, snowglobe said:

In NZ, hard questions are beginning to be asked:
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12293369

 

Other NZ media articles are also raising the question of having possible manslaughter charges being eventually laid (White Island Tours), once the inquest process is done. One chilling video, made public a couple of days ago, is of one of the deceased guides sharing with a tourist, on an much earlier tour, about how these volcano tours made him nervous.

 

No tourists should have been setting foot on this specific volcano, ever, not by boat nor by helicopter. The eruptions are frequent, and the superheated steam vents regularly. So this is not even comparable to a “maybe, if, one day...” type of risk level. Mother Nature is actually quite clear about her ongoing involvement with this island.
 

But “greed” and “want” supersede nature, no??

Of course, the tour company would have had to price a boat-only tour to view the island from the water at a much-cheaper price point. Plus, the owner of the Island could not have been charging for landing rights either.
 

As long as clueless tourists clamour for their next selfie opportunity, there will be an operator ready and willing to part them with their money. It was the same with Shane Turpin (tour boat owner) who took his ill-fated lava boat tour too close to the lava flow ocean entry off Hawaii last year, resulting in a serious injury.

Of course they will ask question and probably will place White Island permanently off limits, just as NZ stopped doing site seeing flights to Antarctica after the crash in 1979. Australia still does them.

 

Of course no one thought it was a hazard prior to the eruption.  Even though it has been operating for years through many eruption cycles. Part of the its been safe so it should always be safe mentality  that carries on in most places.

 

NZ is a relatively small country and disasters like this one tend to have very long lasting impact.

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36 minutes ago, npcl said:

Volcano tourism is pretty extensive and is pretty low risk. But not pretty when something does happen.

 

White Island is somewhat unique in that one could access the crater without climbing a peak.  Since it is accessed by air or by boat you can have an eruption and the crater is just as accessible after the eruption ends as it was before,  Unlike most of the other craters where an eruption will take out the roads or trails used to access them.

 

 Kilaue'a has been erupting pretty continuously from 1983 until 2018 with a few explosive events in that time frame including one in 2018 that sent an ash plume 30,000 feet in the sky.  I visited the crater two weeks ago.  While it is not erupting now, the dropping of the lava level at the end of the last eruption actually raises the risk of a future explosive event if the level has dropped below the water table on the mountain.  Compare pictures of the crater prior to the most recent eruption to a few years ago.  The difference in the floor is very interesting with entire sections looking ready to drop..  The video of the plume cloud from the recent eruption is also stunning.  

 

How about Arenal in Costa Rica. The centerpiece of 30,000-acre Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica’s most active volcano is also one of the country’s top tourist attractions. Lava has flowed since Arenal last erupted in 1968.

 

 

 

I mean, that's the difference.  Kīlauea[edited] has mostly effusive eruptions.   Whereas white island has had a history of explosive  eruptions, even ones that have killed people way back when.  White island has had multiple eruptions in the past 20 years, where if there were tourists in the crater there would have been fatalities.  Like, there's a difference between seeing some lava flows and peeking at a crater vs walking down into a crater of an active volcano where even a minor steam eruption would kill you.  Like, how many people do detailed research into these mass tourism options, I wouldn't have thought that this level of danger would have been permissible without some SERIOUS warnings.  Even with gas masks I would assume that it's just toxic fumes, not that this volcano has erupted multiple times in the last decade.

 

Like, I don't understand.  In 2016 they had an eruption that wasn't completely predicted.  It just so happened in the middle of the night.  If it was during the day, it would have killed people similar to this one it looks like.  How is that an acceptable level of risk?

Edited by UnorigionalName

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7 minutes ago, npcl said:

Of course no one thought it was a hazard prior to the eruption. 


On the contrary. This had come up in the past, several times, but the singular status of the island made it a grey area (and exploitable.).
 

Although still a jurisdictional grey area, that status is bound to change now.

Edited by snowglobe

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Just now, snowglobe said:


On the contrary. This had come up in the past, several times, but the singular status of the Island made it a grey area. It still is.

But not sufficiently to stop it.  Even more interesting if concern has been official been raised in the past, and after study decided to allow it to continue.  

 

Again the corresponding authority has substantially invested in monitoring the mountain and no one expected the event. Has the equation changed now that the event occurred, certainly, but even with the decision to put in data for monitoring it was still allowed.

 

In the US we have on average 27 people die each year due to avalanches . It is a pretty certain risk that one can expect 27 people to die each year.  It is easily preventable just ban mountain climbing, back country skiing and  snow machine activity in mountain areas when snow is present. Doubt that the activity will be banned though.

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1 hour ago, npcl said:

But not sufficiently to stop it.  Even more interesting if concern has been official been raised in the past, and after study decided to allow it to continue.  

 

Again the corresponding authority has substantially invested in monitoring the mountain and no one expected the event. Has the equation changed now that the event occurred, certainly, but even with the decision to put in data for monitoring it was still allowed.

 

In the US we have on average 27 people die each year due to avalanches . It is a pretty certain risk that one can expect 27 people to die each year.  It is easily preventable just ban mountain climbing, back country skiing and  snow machine activity in mountain areas when snow is present. Doubt that the activity will be banned though.

 

I mean, they never really predicted any of the previous eruptions either... I don't think they stopped tourists from going before any of the recent eruptions, only afterwards for a bit.  what's the point of monitoring for safety if it doesn't actually create any safer conditions?

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2 hours ago, livingonthebeach said:

 

Very interesting statements in this article:

 

  • Bill Hodge, a retired law professor at the University of Auckland, says the system of absolving operators from the threat of lawsuits had given rise to a “cutting-edge” adventure tourism industry in New Zealand.
  • Simon Milne, a tourism professor at Auckland University of Technology agreed: “There’s no question about that.”
  • “Our accident compensation system has basically underwritten and enabled the development of adventure experiences and products that would have difficulty in being established elsewhere around the world.”

If this is indeed the culture in New Zealand it runs contrary to many other developed nations as they so noted.  While other nations seem to have a culture erring on the side safety, it seems New Zealand favors adventure experiences.

Edited by twangster

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Quit.  People like to do things that are exciting and dangerous.  Quit being our nanny.  Quit judging.  

 

You are condemning people to your crappy lives where you sit and never do. Where you judge but never accomplish.

 

Quit

!!!!!!!!

 

seriously, take a chill pill.

 

jc

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5 hours ago, rimmit said:


I agree.  I have definitely nearly cried over some missed activities and landings in the past.  Fjordland National Park and Taeri Gorge would not be one of them.  That being said I’ve been to NZ twice now and enjoyed greatly both times.  Next time I go back I’d like to do an independent land vacation for two weeks so I can see more.

 

Qantas just stated that if they end up doing the SYD-JFK 19 hour route they will use 12 A350-1000 for the route.  They haven’t ordered them yet,  but they are getting there.  It was between that and the new not yet launched 777x, but the A350 won our.   Big win for Airbus there.  World is getting smaller by the day.

I simply cannot imagine being in any aircraft that long. Have to break the trip up.

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Oh Great!:classic_rolleyes:  I don't want New Zealand and other countries to become a nanny state like California is. This was a horrible tragedy, but I appreciate the fact that people can do things and experience and enjoy things in other countries without safety first and bullet proof regulations that we have here.  We appreciate travel in other countries and even other states where people are responsible for themselves. 

 

Not at all similar to this tragedy, but I thought the Vatican museum was awesome. It is like your aunt's attic, where you can actually walk over ancient mosaics and get up close up and see things. In the US everything is roped off and restricted access. 

Edited by Coralc

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We have a trip planned to Yellowstone next year.  With a healthy dose of respect for it's dangers. Stay on the boardwalks near the geothermals, do not touch the hot water, stay far away from the bison. Carry bear spray and be mindful of food when picknicking.   Too many tourists do stupid things there and make the news every year.  I do not expect the NPS to be accountable when they do.  The signage is clear and there are risks in nature. 

 

 

Edited by sr4mjc

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I think that, for some people who chose to defy the signage, etc., it's a belief that bad things happen to other people, but likely never to happen to them, and so gotta get close to the edge of the cliff to get that just-right selfie and so forth.....

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14 minutes ago, sr4mjc said:

We have a trip planned to Yellowstone next year.  With a healthy dose of respect for it's dangers. Stay on the boardwalks near the geothermals, do not touch the hot water, stay far away from the bison. Carry bear spray and be mindful of food when picknicking.   Too many tourists do stupid things there and make the news every year.  I do not expect the NPS to be accountable when they do.  The signage is clear and there are risks in nature. 

 

 

Stay on the boardwalks. You don't need bear spray. And you can watch the bison and bears from wherever. Just don't get too close. The infrequent tourist incidents do make the news. 

Edited by Coralc

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We are doing a Med cruise next year on Celebrity. The ports visit three volcanic areas, Mt Etna,  Vesuvius and Santorini.  We have been to the volcanic excursions offered to Mt Etna and Santorini (the volcanic area is located across the caldera to Santorini proper). I checked today in the cruise planner and all the excursions that ventured into these volcanic areas are no longer available to book. Fortunately these ports offer a multitude of excursion options. Pompeii tours are still available. 

Edited by Pushka

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