Cruise ship markets in everything

As the ongoing coronavirus epidemic disrupts cruise operations throughout Asia, Lindblad Expeditions, the cruise operator for National Geographic Expeditions, announced Thursday that it has become “the first self-disenfecting fleet in the cruise industry.”

The company has implemented a disinfectant coating solution developed by Danish company ACT.Global, which uses the photocatalytic properties of titanium dioxide to generate free radicals from airborne water molecules. When exposed to light, the coating converts airborne H20 into OH- ions, which break down bacteria, viruses, mold, airborne allergens and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The coating can be applied to all surfaces to give them self-disinfecting qualities, including food-contact surfaces.

According to Lindblad, ACT.Global’s coating creates a cleaner, healthier ship while reducing impact on the environment. The antibacterial spray is transparent and odorless, and it purifies and deodorizes the air for up to one year.

Here is the full story, via Anecdotal.


Wonder if it's patented? In the Philippines, they market a paint that's got antibiotic qualities even when dry, since it has particles in it that kill pathogens on contact. Probably it's some metal like titanium dioxide. Metals are also used in anti-cancer drugs.

Bonus trivia: a silver spoon placed in a bowl of water will kill the bacteria in the water.

Maybe! But can you be sure? Would you drink the water?

@Emu - of course! Dude I was born with a Ag spoon in my mouth and it didn't hurt me.

Is there an aerosol version, for hosing down, and coating, fellow cruise passengers? :-)

The nice thing about cruise ships is that they can become floating quarantines in case of epidemics like the Diamond Princess situation in Japan. Best case scenario: You get an extra two weeks vacation on a cruise! Worse case: You die.

From the Mish Shedlock site today: "3,711 on the ship quarantined, 273 tested, 61 now confirmed infected. About 3,400 awaiting a resolution." Do the math: 61/273 = 22%. So 22% of people will get 2019-nCoV if confined to close quarters? The same site reports Prof. Neil Ferguson, Vice Dean Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College in London, estimates 50K new infections per day, with peak infections a month from now. The worst is not over.

Isn’t the math 61/ 3711, or ~ 2% infected.

273 tested, which suggests ~ 75% of those tested didn’t have the virus, had some symptoms, or enough stroke or critical ship board function to test without symptoms.

What does “awaiting a resolution” mean? In quarantine waiting for symptoms / no symptoms status at end of quarantine period?

@Engineer- methinks you made a simple math error, think about it. Only the people that are tested can be in the group of infected or not infected.

Isn’t Titanium dioxide highly toxic to coral reefs? How will a cruise ship coated in this not devastate the ocean life everywhere it goes?

Why are cruises so popular? There seem to be loads of additional risks by having so many people packed together versus say staying in a regular hotel, plus on top the risk of seasickness and even sinking if bad storms. Can someone who likes cruises comment?

I personally hate cruises but seeing a number of world cities on a floating buffet line might be appealing for many. But every year it seems there's always some sickness or other on those darn things.

A cruise is like an all-inclusive resort that travels on the ocean. Food/entertainment/amenities are all accessible in the same place, like an all-inclusive resort. No need to figure out logistics/transportation. Yet, unlike a land resort, the ship travels to many different ports/cities, typically at night. So, each morning you wake up in a different port and can visit that city. Again, no need to arrange inter-city transportation and lodging.

Also, many people enjoy being on the ocean.

Ooh free radical-laced cruise ships, where do I sign up??

The folks in Wuhan had the chance to escape after the outbreak and before the quarantine (5 million escaped), although escape to what one might ask. I went on a one-week cruise in 1970 and have not been again; sea prison is what I call it. Cowen being clever, I assume this blog post is actually about any area that is shared, whether a cruise ship or a city. Would Noah's Ark save humanity today, what with all the viruses and diseases and defective DNA to be shared among the fellow travelers. In the Biblical story, Noah celebrates the end of his cruise by planting a vineyard, making wine, and getting shit-faced drunk, lying naked for all to see him in his stupor. Maybe Noah wasn't celebrating the end of his cruise, but punishing himself for his mistake.

A question for you state capacity folks. China built a hospital in 10 days, how many days would it take for the US to do the same? Heck, how long would it take to receive a "certificate of need" to even begin talking about it?

How big is this hospital?

The hospital was not built to Western standards. It was more like a series of prefabricated modules that are little better than placing curtains around beds placed in a stadium, which also has been built in Wuhan.

Exactly, closer to a MASH unit composed of shipping prefab boxes.

You do relieve that CoNs are anti-competitive obstacles put in place to favor existing companies, and increase the leverage for corporate corruption opportunities, not some liberal zoning thing?

The China example s an example of what an authoritarian regime is willing to do with low standards, full control of the suppliers, and no sympathy for whining from existing companies.

Passengers aboard any vessel of the Lindblad fleet thus need not concern themselves with any spread of noroviruses, either? (Noroviruses seem to've become part of the standard commercial cruise package over recent decades.)

For the commercial cruise industry that would mark . . . a sea-change.

It is not that simple. Yes, titanium oxide will create free OH radicals that will destroy organic materials including all living materials, but that action is driven by ultraviolet (UV) light with the frequencies in the visible range being of little use. Only with direct sunlight or UV lamps will it be effective.

The actual titanium oxide particle has to be on the surface where it is exposed to both bacteria and UV light. Just white pigment in paint won't do even though the white pigment is often titanium oxide.

Copper and silver surfaces also work but also need to be kept clean as a very thin layer of dirt between the bacteria and the surface will protect the bacteria.

It sounds more like a claim by a politician or a PR agency approach to a real issue of biosecurity on cruise ships. They are notorious for spreading around norovirus (aka two buckets intestinal disease).

Following this story, I've been reminded of Conversations with Tyler episode with Ezra Klein where you discussed the best form of government for colonizing Mars. I believe Tyler said something to the effect of "cruise ships work pretty well." Not sure if this case will prove the point one way or the other but my thinking at the time was, "cruise ships work pretty well for 5-10 days at a time..."

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