Cruise Travellers ready to set sail once more in 2021
In February 2020, the entire world tuned in with bated breaths as the Japanese government first announced the first Covid-19 outbreak onboard a cruise ship – the Diamond Princess which had docked at Yokohama. For weeks, the ship was the site of the biggest outbreak outside of China – earning even a spot-on Channel News Asia’s Covid-19 tracking map.
The Diamond Princess was but the first of several cruise ships that reported multiple outbreaks of Covid-19 on cruise ships this year. While many cruise companies have been forced to anchor their fleets, some companies have taken on a proactive approach to aiding their customers during these trying times. Sedunia Travel’s partner, Ponant had arranged flights for 900 of its passengers after repatriating 1,000 passengers from four vessels in Cape Town, Australia, Seychelles and Martinique. Ponant has no suspected case of the virus on any of its ships at time of writing.
Yet, despite the grim outlook for the cruise industry, cruise companies are seeing a rise in bookings for cruises in 2021. In the past month, cruise booking site, CruiseCompete.com has seen a 40% increase for its 2021 bookings in comparison to its 2019 bookings. Heidi M. Allison, the president of CruiseCompete.com shared that based on the available data, the demand for booking post-pandemic cruises is still strong, an encouraging sign for cruise lines.
This is further supported by a recent analysis by Swiss Bank UBS that revealed that the number of cruise bookings for 2021 has gone up by 9% and this included a considerable number of people booking brand news cruises and not just re-booking cancelled cruises. Interestingly, Asia and Alaska are popular cruise destinations next year indicating that Asia to be a key feature. UBS also reported that 76% of those with a cancelled cruise this year has opted for accept credits for a future trip next year over a refund.
“There’s still thousands of future cruise credits out there that hasn’t been used and those people are in the wait and see game,” Michelle Fee, CEO and founder of Cruise Planners said. “People are just waiting for the bans to be lifted and get back to travelling.”
Because at the end of the day, this is not a cruise ship illness, it’s global pandemic that has affected every sector of businesses and daily routines. Travellers understand that and true to their nature, are just rearing to travel once more when it’s all clear. The loyalty of cruise lines customer base and the rise in bookings even in the midst of a pandemic that spread on cruise ships show a sliver of hope for an embattled industry.
If you're wondering where to cruise off to, check out these themed cruises or why not tick Antarctica off the bucketlist with Ponant?
Starting to explore your cruise options? Then talk to Sedunia Travel, the preferred wholesaler for Ponant Cruises.