PREDICTIONS: The Future of the Cruise Industry
|Predictions on the future of the cruise industry post coronavirus|
Here is my prediction of the future impacts of the coronavirus on the cruise industry in the months / years ahead. Basically the damage has been done and it will be a long time before cruise passengers have confidence to return to the ships.
In the near term 1-6 months:
- When cruise lines resume operations after a temporary suspension, a good number of their ships will remain laid-up. They just will NOT be able to fill all the ships right away.
- The number of cruise ports that prohibit cruise ship calls will increase. Bergen, Norway just joined the list of destinations saying - "No Thanks" to the cruise lines.
- Ships will be laid up due to the lack of demand.
- Itineraries will be altered based on the health of those onboard. Potentially sick passengers will cause ports to be skipped or passengers to be quarantined.
- Cruise capacity in Europe will be ratcheted back significantly.
- Additional cruise lines will sporatically lay up ships, especially in seasons where demand is normally low. (Early December).
- Cruise lines will defer or cancel options for new cruise ships not yet built.
- And finally, some cruise lines may file for bankruptcy or for financial protection.
- The cruise industry now knows it is under a microscope and any issues are going to cause unwanted media attention. Some anticipated changes will be:
- Extensive screening of passengers at the time of embarkation for signs of illness.
- The cruise lines will develop an aggressive cleansing program to sterilize the ships, passenger areas and common surfaces.
- More frequent anti-bacterial mandatory hand washing.
- Increased use of single use items - plates, glasses and utensils.
- Elimination of buffets OR the crew will dispense all food. You will NOT be able to touch the serving spoon or utensils.
- Cruise lines will beef up the ability to handle large scale illnesses onboard.
- Crew will be assigned to as single ship and not moved between ships in the fleet.
- Additional Passenger - Cruise Passenger release statements - releasing the cruise industry from liability for health related situations and results.
- Less demand for cruises in Europe and Asia causing ships to become available for reassignment.
- More ships will be based in the United States including New York.
- Close to home cruising will become more popular since people will want to avoid air travel and minimize their risks should a cruise get cancelled.
- Some older ships will remain laid up or sold for scrap.
Only time will tell if any of these items will prove true but I believe the items above will have a high probability of occurring.
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