Lithuania’s Golden Lion-winning performance at the 2019 Venice Biennale, which drew snaking lines around the pavilion, is going on a world tour.

Sun & Sea (Marina), a poignant live performance that sees opera singers and volunteers sing songs that address our delicate relationship to the planet, will travel to the U.S. after its showing in Berlin this weekend.

The performance will premiere at the Brooklyn Academy of Music from September 15 to 26. (Tickets go on sale July 27.) After its New York run, the production will tour Arcadia Exhibitions in Philadelphia, the Momentary in Bentonville, Arkansas, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, ARTnews reported. (Dates beyond New York have yet to be confirmed.)

The collaboration between Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė, and Lina Lapelytėm, struck a chord with the public as they looked down from a balcony to watch performers stretch out on an artificially sandy beach, bake in fake lights, and sing harmonies about their mundane existences, which the pavilion’s curator Lucia Pietroiusti described as “songs of worry and of boredom, songs of almost nothing.”

Only slowly does the reality of climate change set in for the viewer, as a wealthy mother brags about seeing the “bleached, pallid whiteness” of the Great Barrier Reef and a young man complains that it did not snow on Christmas, and instead “felt like it could be Easter.”

Co-Artistic Directors, Helen Turner and Pablo Wendel with their dog Coal in the Bauhaus swimming hall, which will be the location of the <i>Sea & Sun</i> performances in Berlin this weekend. © Lukas Korschan for The FACE.

Co-Artistic Directors, Helen Turner and Pablo Wendel with their dog Coal in the Bauhaus swimming hall, which will be the location of the Sea & Sun performances in Berlin this weekend. © Lukas Korschan for The FACE.

The performance is likely to resonate even more after the pandemic, a time when our anxieties about natural calamities reached a fever pitch and immersive performances were impossible to stage.

The Berlin chapter, set to take place July 17 and July 18 at an abandoned Bauhaus swimming pool outside of Berlin, sold out in two days. (Walk-ins may be accommodated, organizers say, but there are no guarantees.)

“It’s been two years in the making, and after four postponements, it’s completely surreal that its finally happening,” said Helen Turner, the director of E-Werk Luckenwalde, which is organizing the event. “The piece is powerful, especially in the location we have, an abandoned swimming hall, which speaks to ecological catastrophe and increasing feelings of fragility and vulnerability.

While 5,000 people normally would have been able to attend, social-distancing restrictions will limit that number to 1,500. Masks must be worn on site.

The performance is well-suited to the E-Werk location—an arts center that doubles as an electrical power station, fueling both the surrounding area and its own art projects.

But even with clean energy, the production is… quite the production. For just two days, it cost €130,000 (around $153,500) to get off the ground, according to Turner, and involved 60 performers and cultural workers (not to mention tons of sand, which was carted in from nearby). Organizers in Venice estimated the original version cost $3 a minute 

As cruise lines begin to set sail again this summer after a 15-month pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, would-be passengers will find a rapidly changing set of new travel policies and health protocols to navigate—including mandatory travel insurance requirements in some cases.

Key Takeaways

  • As they begin to sail again this summer, cruise lines are instituting new rules for vaccinated and unvaccinated passengers.
  • Royal Caribbean and MSC are the first two cruise lines to announce travel insurance requirements, and Carnival Cruise Line joined them in recent days. Others are expected to follow soon.
  • Cruise lines continue to navigate between CDC regulations and Florida law in setting on-board protocols and in-port policies.
  • Rules are still evolving, so travel experts say keeping in touch with the cruise line and your travel advisor are essential.

Piloting COVID-19 Precautions

Many cruise lines are requiring proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to board, but vaccine requirements can vary by cruise line, ship, and departure port/destination. And new health and safety practices—along with added insurance rules—distinguish between vaccinated and unvaccinated cruisers in many ways. They reflect current guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which require U.S-based ships to complete trial cruises to test health and safety protocols if the cruise line expects to return to sailing with less than 95% fully vaccinated guests or crew.

At the same time, cruise lines are attempting to adhere to Florida law, which currently prevents companies operating in the state from requiring proof of vaccination. Royal Caribbean International and MSC Cruises are the first two lines to outline insurance protocols for vaccinated vs. unvaccinated U.S. passengers, experts say, but others may soon follow suit.

Those protocols include:

  • Royal Caribbean International now requires unvaccinated guests over age 12 on cruises departing from Florida homeports to have special travel insurance that covers at least $25,000 per person for COVID-19-related medical expenses should they test positive on board and $50,000 per person for quarantine and medical evacuation. The mandatory insurance applies to cruises from Aug. 1 through Dec. 31, except bookings made between March 19 and June 28.
  • Carnival Cruise Lines is now requiring proof of at least a first vaccine dose 14 days or more before departure date or for unvaccinated passengers to carry at least $10,000 in medical expense and $30,000 in emergency medical evacuation insurance for any Florida-based cruises.
  • MSC Cruises also requires unvaccinated travelers (and those who don’t provide proof of vaccination) on U.S. cruises to buy the cruise line’s Travel Insurance and Covid-19 Protection Services policy. Fully vaccinated passengers booked for sailings on or before Oct. 31 get MSC’s COVID-19 Reassurance protections at no charge.

“Right now, those are the only three cruise lines that have announced that policy,” Chris Gray Faust, managing editor of the industry news and review site Cruise Critic, told Investopedia. “What the three have in common is that they are both family friendly, with a higher percentage of children who are unvaccinated because they are not eligible,” she

TRAVERSE CITY — Brittni Moore went from working as a camera assistant on the set of “The Walking Dead” to pursuing a degree as an engineering officer in Northwestern Michigan College’s Great Lakes Maritime Academy.

The 30-year-old already has a degree in filmmaking, but during a hiatus one summer she worked on a tall ship for two weeks. Two years later she was still there.

“I just fell in love with sailing,” said Moore, who also adds “The Blacklist” and “Nurse Jackie” to her credits. “I love the feel of being in a program where everyone has to work together in a very concrete goal of moving the ship.”

Moore was one of 50 cadets aboard the T/S State of Michigan training ship when it left its berth at the Hagerty Center early Tuesday.

Jerry Achenbach, superintendent of the Maritime Academy, said NMC is seeking to add women to its maritime engineering program in which only 8 to 12 percent of enrollees are female.

“We need more diversity and we need more engineers,” Achenbach said.

As the state maritime academy of Michigan, the GLMA educates and trains deck and engineering officers for the U.S. Merchant Marine. Jobs for graduates are plentiful and pay $70,000 to $80,000 a year in the high demand field, Achenbach said. The downside is that those who work on ships are away from home for about six months of the year, he said.

The academy usually has two training cruises per summer, but this year four cruises will take place through October to give 140 to 160 cadets the opportunity to earn sea time. The first four-week cruise will take them to Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair, Lake Erie and the Detroit and St. Mary’s rivers.

The pandemic shortened last year’s sailing season and has made it more difficult to find berths aboard commercial vessels. Cadets who normally share staterooms were also limited to one cadet per room.

The extra cruises allow all cadets to accrue some sea time, while also giving those who could not sail last year because of COVID-19 to make up for that missed time, Achenbach said.

There are about 200 cadets at the academy who must earn 360 days of required sea time during their four-year program.

“By having the training ship and flexible program we will be able to give cadets the opportunity to graduate when they were scheduled to, rather than them having to spend more time at the academy,” Achenbach said.

Daniel Flores is 35 and said his fellow cadets range from 19 to 40 years old — which is something he likes.

Originally from Peru, Flores now is starting the second year of the engineering program, where he’s learning how to take care of ships from stem to stern.

“It’s everything from installing hand sanitizer to pulling apart an engine,” he said.

Flores has worked on a cruise ship and will go back “to his element” as an engineer when he graduates.

Cadets and crew were required

(CNN) — American student Nicole Erickson was about to embark on an epic round the world trip. Ahead of her lay two years of adventure that could change her life forever.

But fate had different ideas. The life-changing event happened before she’d even departed: she encountered a total stranger on a ship, and something unexpectedly clicked.

It was the summer of 1999 and 24-year-old Erickson, having just finished a two-year Fulbright scholarship in Germany, was in no hurry to head home.

“I wanted to travel around the world,” she tells CNN Travel today. “So, I took all my savings and packed the backpack and bought a ticket.”

While planning her journey and counting down the days to departure, she took the opportunity for a smaller trip — a week’s sailing vacation organized by the Fulbright Alumni Association on board a tall ship in the Baltic Sea.

Which is how, in September that year, she found herself boarding the wooden schooner Albatros in the Baltic port of Kiel, the only American among a group of around 25 mostly German former Fulbright scholars.

Among the group was Jürgen Guldner, a 29-year-old engineer who’d spent his Fulbright year at the University of California at Berkeley.

“In California I sailed a lot there, on all sort of ships,” recalls Guldner. “So, I thought that was a very interesting nice little adventure to go on a sailing trip on the Baltic Sea.”

Guldner knew a few friends from his time in the United States who were also on board. In fact, a lot of the travelers knew one another.

Realizing she was the odd one out, Erickson immediately introduced herself to everyone, including Guldner. She shook his hand and grinned at him.

“I liked her smile,” Guldner recalls now. He was also impressed, and intrigued by, Nicole’s extroverted, friendly nature — introducing herself to everyone right away seemed very American.

The ship weighed anchor and left the orange roofs of Kiel behind. The travelers got the rundown of the ship, and a reminder from the handful of crew present that they’d all be embracing the spirit of the adventure and helping with the ship’s upkeep.

For now though, the group could relax and gain their sea legs. There was luminous sunshine that first day and Guldner set himself up on deck.

He had just begun reading the book he’d brought with him — “Sophie’s World” by Norwegian author Jostein Gaarder — when Erickson, wandering the deck, stopped to chat to him. Coincidentally, she’d brought the same novel for the trip.

It was the perfect ice breaker and they soon moved away from talking about books to his time in the United States and hers in Germany — and what they were doing next. Erickson spoke excitedly about her round-the-world trip.

It wasn’t love at first sight, says Erickson. But something clicked for them both, and they realized how well they got on.

“Neither of us ever finished the book,” says Guldner, laughing.

Life on board

After nearly three decades of successful semester-at-sea programs, Proctor Academy is expanding its popular ocean classroom offerings with a new eight-week winter program voyaging around Florida aboard the Maine schooner Harvey Gamage.

The program will include a voyage from Charleston, S.C., to Mobile, Ala., with a focus on slavery and racism in America.

“Any time you can collapse the distance between theoretical and hands-on learning, you create powerful opportunities for growth and character development. The lessons stick,” said Proctor Head of School Mike Henriques. “We have been doing this both on and off campus for decades, and this new partnership will allow our students to both better understand the collaboration and skills required for maritime travel and the very real, undeniable history that is woven into the fabric of this country.”

In January 2020, the winter program was created to give students who may not have been able to participate in the fall semester-at-sea program aboard the Roseway schooner owned by the World Ocean School based in Boston.

Interest in Proctor’s fall semester program aboard schooner Roseway has increased beyond the capacity of one sailing ship. So they will now be working with two ships, Roseway and Gamage, to enable additional students to access the adventure of going to sea.

Director of Communications & Strategic Initiatives Scott Allenby said the school had 77 students apply for this past year’s fall semester at sea, which has only 20 spots.

The Harvey Gamage will sail from South Carolina around Florida, through the Caribbean and end up in Alabama. A big focus will be studying race, the history of slavery and the economics of Southern ports, Allenby said.

While voyaging between Charleston, S.C., and Mobile, Ala., students will be on a continuous watch rotation and take over full operations of the ship as crew. In addition, they will learn the scientific principles of meteorology and marine biology as well as the history of the region while earning academic credits.

When the ship arrives in Mobile, the crew hopes to meet with members of the Africatown community, which was founded by descendants of the slave ship Clotilda, an 86-foot schooner that illegally brought back 110 people from Benin, West Africa, in the spring of 1860, almost 50 years after the slave trade was outlawed in the US, according to school officials.

“It is very exciting that Proctor is expanding it’s winter off-campus experiential learning opportunities by offering a program to our students and those from very different backgrounds,” said Proctor Academy Ocean Classroom Director Brooks Bicknell. “This mixes adventure, authentic challenge, hardship and skill building, while being immersed in the study of our watery planet. I am also very excited the program will have a strong historical focus that delves into not only general maritime history, but the exploration of the economic and historical roots of slavery in America.”

Allenby said many students that have participated in the ocean classroom program go on to study marine biology in college, some attending Maine Maritime Academy.