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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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ByRick Deutsch

New Panama Canal Locks open and operating

Over 100 years since it first opened (1914), the Panama Canal has been enlarged. There are now 2 new entrances to the long haul across the continent.  The route is 50 miles, but huge ships could not fit into the locks.

Although behind schedule, the new locks have opened and are taking larger ships. The very first passenger ship through was Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Wonder. It went in a southbound direction from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.

Cruise ship

Ship passing through the Panama Canal

For years, container ships grew to the point that they could not fit the locks!  The Expanded Canal allows for vessels up to 1,200 feet long and so called Panamax ships can now fit in. It is wider than the old locks also. This means the gigantic Harmony of the Seas COULD fit the locks, but it sits too high to go under the new Bridge of the Americas. Good planning guys.

By October 1, it’s estimated that over 200 cruise ships will go through the new locks. The “OLD locks” are operating in parallel with the new ones. Once the entrance locks are navigated, the ships will sail the large Gatum Lake. To accommodate larger ships, the canal at the Culebra Cut was also enlarged.

Learn more about the Canal

Manual Noriega was held in a prison on the canal. He just died last week, ending a major era in Panamanian history. Panama has controlled and operated the Canal since President Carter turned it over to them. The US can still get navy ships thru it should a crisis arrive. Not all can fit – even with the new canal entrances.

Tune in regularly for more darn interesting stories about the cruise industry. And sail for free! We can show you how.

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ByRick Deutsch

Is “Melody of the Seas” the name of the next Royal Caribbean Oasis-class ship?

Royal Caribbean is busy building more colossal ships. The 5th in their offerings will be called the Melody of the Seas. – Well, that’s the buzz. They have not officially  named it. Industry pundits are picking up vibes that the ship’s moniker will be the Melody. Folks, these are floating cities, literally. They can hold more people than live in most Iowa towns!

larger cruise ship

OASIS class Royal Caribbean cruise ship

How does 8,500 humans sound?   Hope everyone wears name tags to keep things intimate. Gosh, you could get lost for weeks on one of these.

It is years away but is in line to be constructed. Look for it in 2021.

The 4th in what they call their “OASIS” class is the Symphony of the Seas.  It is being built at the STX shipyard in France. Push-out is about a year away. It will be 230,000 gross tons…..and the Melody will be even bigger.

If you are keeping score, there are the 3 existing (aka sailing) ships in the Oasis Class:

Harmony of the Seas
Allure of the Seas
Oasis of the Seas

Oasis has been out since 2009 and got spiffed up in a 2014 dry-dock.

Read a summary of the Oasis class

Anyone out there been on one of these ships?   I’d love to take a trip – just to see it.

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