Summer time is travel time. Or not this year?

There was lively southbound traffic on the A3 on Friday. Germany is in vacation and short-time working mode. It is travel time, even if the goals appear exotic this year. Fichtelgebirge instead of Egypt, Sauerland instead of Turkey. Quite a few stayed in their own country. For reasons of reason and fear of infection abroad.

The Wilhelm Tham on the Göta Canal near Trollhättan
The Wilhelm Tham on the Göta Canal near Trollhättan

At the same time, old forms of travel are experiencing a renaissance. Family vacation by car instead of airplane. Your own vehicle is considered a safe haven from infections. The motorhome industry is booming, the mobile snail shells promise mobility and safety. Corona has changed the world and its travel habits.

As it seems, not just for a short time.

Do habits change permanently now? Is the trend towards more sustainability? Vacation in Europe, at the neighbor around the corner instead of booking a short trip to Saigon? Doubts are in order. Notable news hit the media this week.

The cruise industry is starting again.

Unfortunately, this does not apply to the historic, incredibly stylish steamers with which you can travel in a small circle over the large lakes from Gothenburg to Stockholm. It's about the return-oriented mega-crusaders, which were designed for the holiday of the masses. The big ships made headlines at the start of the pandemic. They proved to be superspreaders, had serious problems getting their passengers on board, and some were quarantined.

But people are forgetful. Aida, Hapag-Lloyd and TUI Cruises announce the restart for the coming weeks. A little hesitant, with few ships and reduced occupancy. A comprehensive hygiene concept and short trips are intended to provide supplies to customers.

The tender hope that the excesses of the cruise ship industry would also disappear with the crisis does not seem to be fulfilled. Instead, they will burn heavy oil again, the pollutants will go far into the country. Only one cruise ship of the current fleet was environmentally friendly while a daily CO2 emission of 84.000 cars was calculated for the majority of the floating hotels. Emissions - exclusively for fun and leisure, mind you.

The Juno passes Trollhättan
The Juno passes Trollhättan

It remains to be seen whether the cruise industry will restart. For environmental reasons, hardly anyone will cancel a trip on one of the huge ships. You don't have to build the illusion at all. But maybe the potential customers are more careful than you think. But it is more likely that a cruise with a limited program and hygiene concept is not fun.

Where would we have traveled this year?

Mark and I would have gone to Sweden. A week on the trail of Saab. We had planned it last year, the hotels had already been booked. We canceled it at the last minute - for professional reasons. Sweden is currently not an ideal travel destination. Even if it no longer lights up red on the map, travel warnings still exist. The neighboring country Norway relaxed them on Friday - a little bit.

Tourism in Sweden is suffering. With historical Steamers how to drive Juno or Wilhelm Tham into the great lakes via the Göta Canal? A Swedish summer dream that couldn't be more beautiful. May you forget in 2020. Corona chains the ships. Hygiene concepts on board the veterans, some of whom are more than 100 years old, are out of the question.

Trollhättan, the Saab Museum? Spoiled by success since 2011 with increasing numbers of foreign visitors every year. The Saab cult stands out. This year unfortunately not an issue for us. Maybe in 2021 if there will be a vaccine. If not, then things are looking bad with upcoming major events like the Saab Festival.

The Saab Festival is our big topic in the new week. It was directed by Spyker 10 years ago. Saab was considered free and saved, big dreams were on the way. Unfortunately the dream was too short, the time is still worth remembering. We will travel to Trollhättan at least virtually, review old ideas and impressions. Our readers take me to the Swedish wonderland.

6 thoughts on "Summer time is travel time. Or not this year?"

  • 84.000 cars a day

    This really stimulates thinking and numbers games.

    With 2.000 guests (I don't want to name them because they didn't book a passage, but booked a stay on board), each of them also consumed the annual energy requirement of their car within 8,7 days.

    And yet, I would find it difficult to deal with prohibitions. For sailors, shore power is a matter of course and is part of every investor. Although it is always the last "line" to be deployed, it is also always the first step in every port after the pier and required mooring lines.

    Oh, if the fat pots had it so easy. Then all the machines would stand still during the layover period and the air in port cities would be better.

    Things can always change.
    But it's similar to a car. Shore power for big pots and an infrastructure for alternative drives are not an option.

    For almost every port in the world, it is better not to use an alternative drive. It would be something like trying to cross the Sahara with a cyber truck regardless of charging stations.

    It is not without reason that our beloved Baltic Sea ferries stink. They hardly have any running decks on starboard or port. Aft warning signs of the soot, you can smell the drive clearly and stay outside (legally) at your own request and at your own risk.

    So the problem is much bigger than the cruise industry. It would be nice if a solution could be found. But I have doubts that this can be achieved sensibly under a regime of (thinking) prohibitions ...

  • Not only Euro 4, but also Euro 5 are affected by the ban in HH! So also my resource-saving 2011 SportCombi. 🙁

    I think the seafaring (and of course especially the sailing) is just wonderful, but these mass-slingshots are just terrible. (I also get anxiety with any kind of mass-people amusement or the like).

    But the problem lies elsewhere. Even if it is totally unsocial to say that: The problem here too is quantity instead of quality. In the past, a cruise was unaffordable for most people or something you saved your whole life on, for example to cross the Atlantic with Cunard, maybe for a golden wedding or something. Most of them could never afford that. This still applies to most of the elitist Hapag ships with “only” 300 or 500 passengers and a daily price of around 1000 euros. If only these few elitist tours existed, air, water and climate would not be a problem at all.

    Today, however, many pensioners go on three cruises or more for ridiculously low prices each year and the younger ones at least once a year. It's so cheap and convenient, you can afford that. Air travel is just as perverse for the weekend to Mallorca or Barcelona for 29 euros, eating meat every day, cheap cheap, etc. etc. The same everywhere!

    It's all way too cheap! Why does the legislature not act and price the environmental damage? Or - much better - finally bans such types of drive ?! That was also possible with cars: regulated catalytic converters, particle filters, etc. were required by law. The EU could regulate this uniformly and prohibit cruise ships with heavy oil propulsion from entering. No shipping company could afford to ignore all of the dream destinations across Europe.

  • A large part of the population loves to move around in "the herd": HH-DOM, narrow city festivals, Oktoberfest, Hansa / Europe parks, etc. Those who feel comfortable there may also go to such a floating mudslinger. But, again possibly, the belly is too voluminous, and such a ship is simply comfortable with a beautiful view. There are probably more reasons to use such a ship ... but I can't think of these reasons. Change of subject.
    The old saying: Why wander into the distance when the good is so close ... is still true today.
    After cycling thousands of kilometers a year, I know my natural surroundings pretty well. I know bathing lakes, beech forests, good mushroom-picking spots, small nature conservation oases, etc. I ask my neighborhood about these "enchanted places", silence. No idea. This is not supposed to be a reproach, but it shows that we often have to move AWAY in order to be supposedly happy. Too bad. Will that change ??? I remain cautiously optimistic ...
    Nice rest Sunday!

  • @ Black Swede
    The "Greta-Kids" cannot take care of EVERYTHING ... 😉
    But in fact, the whole thing is not logical for the city of HH and its citizens.
    I don't need these floating air polluters.

  • In Hamburg, they block roads for Euro 4 diesel. Meanwhile, the cruise ships are in the harbor and blow their filth into the city. That doesn't seem to bother anyone, not even the Greta Kids. Is that going to happen again? Understand who wants.

  • Written class.

    I like these articles, which are thought-provoking and let us readers think outside the box, that of Saab or even that of the automobile as a whole.

    I like the sea and shipping, but I can't do anything with modern cruise ships. The exorbitant energy consumption per person is also immediately apparent.

    Why do ships have to move a shopping mall and amusement parks?

    All of this is available stationary (and more environmentally friendly) on land. Those who like the sea only need a railing and a good view of the waves ...


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