Cruising to return. The cruise industry predicts it will have 80% of its worldwide fleet cruising again by the end of 2021. By then 200 ships should be cruising the oceans.
The executive chairman of MSC Pierfrancesco Vago who is the global chair of cruise trade body Clia said 16% of the industry fleet sailed in June.
Currently 56% of ships are operating that should rise to 80% by the end of December. He told the Seatrade cruise global conference in Miami.
Delegates heard that 30 million passengers cruised annually in pre-pandemic times. Since operations resumed in summer 2020, it has taken two million customers on cruises.
Bookings for winter are weaker. Because the vaccination programmes in the southern hemisphere are lagging behind those in the north.
Richard Fain, Royal Caribbean group chairman and chief executive, told the conference that he expects his company’s ships in core markets to be back at 100% occupancy by the end of this year.
He said, “Also, word of mouth is important; people are coming back from these cruises and raving about them.”
Arnold Donald of Carnival corporation also spoke. He said the sector is heading for a “bright future”. Customer satisfaction scores are higher than ever and the health and safety protocols are working.
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