The International Maritime Organization's chief is pressing for a clear, concise response to the Costa Concordia incident and said IMO's credibility depends on it.

If all goes to plan, the capsized Costa Concordia may soon be raised from its precarious perch off the island of Giglio. The operation to right the ship was given the go-ahead for this month by Italy's Civil Protection Authority during a meeting Friday in Rome.

Not surprisingly Costa Concordia dominated Cruise Shipping Miami’s State of the Industry panel but the discussion—about safety, environmental practices and corporate citizenship—seemed targeted at a more general audience than those in the room.

Cruise lines were clearly eager to present a responsible and capable united front to the public and regulators at this time, more than ever before.

US lawmakers were riveted by a Massachusetts couple’s account of their chaotic and terrifying evacuation from Costa Concordia and pressed cruise line officials for actions taken and lessons learned to prevent such a disaster happening again.

US lawmakers have jumped ahead of Italy’s marine casualty and criminal investigations of the Costa Concordia disaster and the International Maritime Organization’s Maritime Safety Committee’s May session in scheduling hearings today and Thursday in Washington.

A Massachusetts couple who survived the Costa Concordia capsize are among the witnesses scheduled to testify in the US House of Representatives Subcommittee hearing on cruise ship safety.

Cruise Lines International Association’s Christine Duffy, industry critic Ross Klein and PortMiami director Bill Johnson are among the witnesses scheduled to testify before the Senate Commerce Committee’s hearing on Costa Concordia.

The hearing follows, by one day, a House Subcommittee hearing on cruise ship safety.

The House of Representatives’ Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, chaired by Rep. John Mica, a Florida Republican, has scheduled its previously announced cruise ship safety hearing for 10 a.m. Feb. 29.

As the Italian government begins detailed consideration today of new rules covering cruise ships operating in sensitive sea areas, Venice’s port community has proposed changes to the routing of cruise ships that will at least halve traffic levels at the heart of the city.

The cruise industry is calling on the International Maritime Organization to undertake a comprehensive evaluation from the findings of the Costa Concordia investigation.

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