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Cruise lines struggle to adapt to new normal


Posted 28/04/2021

AFP The cruise companies try to erase from the collective memory the images of wandering ocean liners without a port to dock, and to reactivate the sector they announce "strict" health protocols, with vaccination, tests and preventive distance.

The year 2020 put an end to the irrepressible growth of the sector for a decade, reaching a peak in 2019, with 29.7 million passengers worldwide, of which 15.4 million of them were North American and 7.7 million European, from according to a report from the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA).

The pandemic meant the sector had $48,300 of losses, says Didier Arino, director of the Protourisme consultancy. "It is a sector that will not resume its normal activity until 2025", in his opinion.

Faced with a still uncertain health situation, the companies that timidly reactivate some ships are adapting their health protocols, advocating vaccines and tests.

The American Norwegian Cruise Line, which this summer enables three of its 17 ships on routes that depart from Greece and the Caribbean - US ports are still closed to them - will only accept "fully vaccinated" people to board.

"It is not one or the other, it is about vaccination and health protocol," said Harry Sommer, CEO of the company, in a press teleconference, citing as an example the tests both when embarking and disembarking ", sanitation protocols on board, air filtration, etc.

In the United Kingdom, the Ministry of Transport imposes on authorized cruises as of May 17 with a maximum capacity of 50% of passengers and a ceiling of 1,000, and mandatory residents in the United Kingdom. On board, gatherings of more than 6 people will be prohibited and ships must be limited to sailing in British waters.



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