2020 brought the cruise industry to a complete halt. According to the Cruise Lines International Association, in Europe alone, more than 200,000 jobs that depend directly or indirectly on the industry have been lost since March 2020. The cruise companies, like the rest of the travel industry, are pinning their hopes on the vaccines that have been developed, so that the ships could set sail in increasing numbers starting in summer.
A successful restart of cruise lines requires much more than just meeting new Covid-19 hygiene standards. What is also of paramount importance is building trust with guests and destinations and of course significantly increasing efficiency.
The cruise industry must face many challenges and changes due to the new demands to avoid a further Covid-19 spread. The ships will host less passengers than before, since it is not permitted to reach their full capacity and the prices will decrease due to overcapacities in the market. On the other hand, cruises have the advantage of being a closed system, which could facilitate tracing contacts in case of an outbreak.
All in all, people seem to miss cruises and can’t wait for new adventures. Especially now that so many approved vaccines are being used in most countries, we all hope that ships are very close to setting sail.