Author Archives: Rick Deutsch

ByRick Deutsch

The Port of Dubrovnik is overloaded with tourists

Dubrovnik

Fairy tale Dubrovnik from the air

Dubrovnik is one of the neatest old towns in the world. I’ve been there twice on cruise ship speaking gigs.

It’s a medieval city, complete with a wall that protected the population  inside. While there are others – Rothenburg in Germany comes to mind – Dubrovnik is a real living city. All the shops, restaurants, churches and infrastructure to keep the 1,500 residents happy.

The ‘”fortress” was involved in the 1990’s Bosnian War decades ago and shows bullet holes to prove it. It is a World Heritage Site. For a few bucks you can walk around the 15-ft top of the authentic barrier wall. It runs about a mile and you get some spectacular views of the Adriatic Sea.

Like many of the world’s “neat” historical sites, it’s being overrun by us – tourists. As a storybook locale for movies, many are filmed here: – Game of Thrones, Star Wars and Robin Hood. More bodies and heavy equipment to crowd the narrow walkways.

It’s a favorite of tourists. Last year, 529 ships with upwards of 3,000 people each sent out tenders to drop folks into the town. In 2015, the number was 475 and 463 in 2014. We’re now talking about 800,000 people jamming the limited space of Dubrovnik. Hey, you’d think the locals would love the business! The truth is that visitors only get a few hours to sight-see, so they don’t stroll the shops and buy anything. Food is free onboard, so the restaurants suffer.

 

Locals are moving out. They are tired of gawkers looking in the windows of their little cottages.  Doing business “downtown” is a major chore. Every summer day it’s a zoo.  The Dubrovnik Port Authority and the local government are thinking of limiting the cruisers to 8,000 per day.

Read about the Problems in Venice

Many other World Heritage sites are also suffering from massive crowds – Machu Picchu, Venice, Galapagos and the Pyramids among them.

Tune in each week for more cruising news. You’re working and don’t get exposed to stories like this….we’ll keep  you covered. It’s a good touch to be able to converse with your audience when you do speaking onboard.

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ByRick Deutsch

Replica Titanic project in jeopardy – might not happen

Clive Palmer

Australia’s Clive Palmer

Word out of Australia is that Clive Palmer, the billionaire who announced plans to build a sailing replica of the Titanic, has run into financial straits.  It’s not directly related to the ship building effort. Rather, he is being sued for $66 million Aus in entitlements for workers fired from his Queensland Nickel refinery.

He is now involved in court proceedings. He has stated that he has had nothing to do with the plant. He has said the managing director, Clive Mensink, should be the one involved. Under his control, the company went bankrupt and then liquidation. Creditors were owed $300 Million Aus.

So the good ship Titanic 2 may not happen.  We’ve followed this effort from the beginning.  Get up to speed by checking out past blogs. Also, read about the Chinese project to also build one.

The design was water tested in Germany and Parker’s plan was initially to sail it from England to New York, but that plan changed to being berthed in Saudi Arabia. The break-keel date has slipped continuously. It was to be identical to the original, save for modern underpinnings…..and radars to look for icebergs! Tickets would be sold as in 1915 – First class, second class and steerage. Those down below would have to share restrooms.

Compounding the drama, he has told reporters that he is suffering from pancreatitis and had earlier undergone a gall bladder operation. My bet is that it won’t happen. Cuba is next on my list.

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ByRick Deutsch

An update on the Titanic: It’s going away molecule by molecule

It’s called rust…oxygen attaching to iron.  The wreck has been down over a hundred years now. The ship is about 12,000 feet below the surface, but that’s no protection from the “elements.” Fuzz called “rustsicles” now cover the ship.  Rust will slowly cause the ship to vaporize.

It’s been over 13 years since humans visited the gravesite. And that’s what it is….not a tourist attraction. It’s a cemetery. While it’s way, way too deep for people to actually swim on it, deep diving submersibles were pulling off material to display and make a buck. These subs tend to bump into the ship in the pitch blackness.  The photos we’ve seen of the ship were taken under intense lighting and are computer stitched together to present a continuous surface.

iceberg

REAL photo of the iceberg that the Titanic hit

Human remains don’t survive – not even bones. But glasses, shoes and other personal items lay on the bottom. Yes, the ship is disintegrating; and fast. Now we hear of a Euro company called Blue Marble Private. They announced they will be offering trips to the public down into the deep to see the ship. They hope to start in 2018 and will charge a blink over $100K.

 READ the back-story

Some researchers have directly blamed the use of submersibles for causing damage to the ship by bumping into the Titanic during dives and landing on unstable areas of the ship during expeditions.

Their promotion says that “Passengers may be able to view the ship’s main deck and grand staircase.” I don’t think so. The staircase was obliterated during the flooding and subsequent sinking and crash into the bottom.

For decades, the ship has been open season since it is in international waters. Visitation is now monitored by the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage. Since 2010, Titanic has been protected by UNESCO, stopping unscientific or unethical visits.

See the movie. It’s pretty accurate – except the romance.

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