Cruise Ships Are Being Dismantled For Scrap Metal As The Industry Struggles To Survive

Container port and container ship transportation

By Mayukh Saha / Truth Theory

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted many sectors of the economy. It is the healthcare system and hospitality industry that have suffered the worst blows. With no hopes in the foreseeable future, cruise ships are being dismantled to be sold as scrap metal.

Drone footage from Turkey recently showed windows, walls, railings, and floors being ripped open from several docked cruise ships in Aliaga. After the initial 5 ships, work will begin on another 3. 

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Kamil Onal, the chairperson of a ship recycling industrialists’ association mentioned how the ship-breaking yards in Turkey mostly worked with container ships and cargo. Ever since the pandemic struck, more and more cruise ships have been docking at Aliaga. Ships have been coming in from the US, Italy, and Britain.


The Horror Of The Pandemic On Cruise Ships

Some of the earliest clusters of the novel virus were on cruise ships. In February, more than 150 Australians were evacuated from the Diamond Princess ship, off the coast of Japan. In a few weeks, the Australian government banned all foreign ships on Australian waters. This ban will be in place till 17th December, as of now. The Ruby Princess cruise ship that had special permission to dock in Sydney led to at least 28 deaths. In March, the US government also put a no-sail order on all cruise ships that is still in place. 

Mr. Onal explained how usually 2500 people work in the yard, and it takes the teams about 6 months to dismantle each passenger ship. Reclaimed steel is expected to rise to 1.1 million tonnes by the end of 2020. This is in contrast to the 700,000 tonnes in January, for the shipyard.

Image Credit: Anek Suwannaphoom

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