ALIAGA, Turkey (Reuters) – Business is booming at a sea dock in western Turkey, where five hulking cruise ships are being dismantled for scrap metal sales after the COVID-19 pandemic all but destroyed the industry, the head of a ship recyclers’ group said on Friday.
Cruise ships were home to the some of the earliest clusters of COVID-19 as the pandemic spread globally early this year.
In March, U.S. authorities issued a no-sail order for all cruise ships that remains in place.
On Friday, dozens of workers stripped walls, windows, floors and railings from several vessels in the dock in Aliaga, a town 45 km north of Izmir on Turkey’s west coast. Three more ships are set to join those already being dismantled.
Before the pandemic, Turkey’s ship-breaking yards typically handled cargo and container ships, Kamil Onal, chairman of a ship recycling industrialists’ association, told Reuters.
“But after the pandemic,