More Predictions For The Cruise Industry. - Part II

Cruise industry return and future predictions
More predictions for the cruise industry future. When will cruises start up again?

These predictions are in addition to the prior predictions posted over a month ago. By the way most of the items predicted earlier are happening as you read this article. Previous Cruise Industry Prediction.

These predictions are based on my 49 years of experience with the cruise industry and cruise ships. 

Observing where we are at this point in time, the cruise industry is nowhere near returning to normal. This week Royal Caribbean and other cruise lines have drastically reduced staff. Crew contracts for many ships have been terminated early. Ships are being loaded with crew and will shortly head from Florida / Bahamas ports to China, Indonesia, the Philippines and other Southeast Asia ports where many cruise ship staff originate to bring them home since air travel arrangements cannot be made. These multi-month trips will remove these ships from being able to be readily activated for months.

Many cruise ports are prohibiting ships from returning so the cruise industry will be at the mercy of the destinations as to where they will be able to call. In addition securing food and supplies for the ships will be an issue since there is expected to be a shortage of certain food items and large ships require large amounts of food. Fuel should not be an issue, since the price of fuel has plummeted making it affordable and available.

Here are some additional projections:
  • Cruise lines will reduce / limit the number of passenger on large ships. The cruise lines will increase the passenger / space ratio by reducing the ship's capacity by tightly limiting the number of  3rd and 4th passengers allowed onboard. These 3rd and 4th passengers are  pure profit to the cruise lines so eliminating them will impact their bottom line.
  • Cruise ships built before 1990 run the risk that they will be scrapped. Older ships require more up-keep and are usually smaller and lack allot of the amenities that attract cruise passengers. These ship usually have higher operating costs and lower capacity.  For resale, there is no market for second hand ships (except the scrap yards of India, Turkey, China and Bangladesh) and probably won't be for years to come unless a newer ship encounters a catastrophic mechanical problem and needs to be replaced. In addition, if a cruise line is looking for quick funding / cash infusion - scrapping a ship can bring in some much needed funds for the company's overall survival.
  •  Cruise lines that normally rely on older cruise passengers will find it hard to lure back their prior clientele due to lingering  COVID 19 concerns. 

  • Medical facilities and medical personnel on cruise ships will become a priority.  The doctor's  competency levels and available tools will be increased and closely monitored. 
  • The sales of travel insurance will increase, but I am not really sure what can be done for a ship where all the surrounding ports refuse the ship and passengers to dock and disembark.  Perhaps a ship's passenger in critical conditions could be airlifted off. Under normal circumstances Travel Insurance is valuable - but under these circumstances - it may not be particularly useful.
My prediction is that the cruise industry will not be permitted to sail until September of 2020. At that time there will be a limited number of ships involved in the return - probably about 20% of today's capacity and returning passengers will take a conservative approach to returning to the sea.

Other Related Articles

Cruise Industry Predictions Part 1
Cruise Industry Predictions Part II
Cruise Industry Predictions Part III
Cruise Industry Predictions Part IV


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