Find out all the latest news from the top cruise lines, as well as how the industry is responding to the current travel climate. In this Cruise News Round-up, we look into how cruise lines are helping charities during the coronavirus; when we can expect ships to resume operations and how the interest in cruising is still strong.
- Research shows strong interest in cruising
- Anthem of the Seas expected to return to the UK in 2020
- Carnival Cruise Line to resume operations in August 2020
- P&O Cruises donates fresh produce to food banks
Research shows there’s still a strong interest in cruising
A twice-yearly research consumer survey by CLIA has revealed that 75% of respondents are ‘very likely’ or ‘likely’ to cruise again in the next few years. For those in the UK who are yet to go on a cruise, 66% said that they were also ‘very likely’ or ‘likely’ to cruise.
The survey reveals that, in spite of the coronavirus pandemic, the interest in cruising is robust and offers a ‘view of sentiment during the Covid-19 crisis”.
Commenting on the CLIA survey, the UK and Ireland Director, Andy Harmer said: “We have seen a small and modest shift in sentiment and we understand that. […] And it shows there is still strong consumer interest in taking a cruise holiday when the time is right.”
Cruise118 has also conducted a similar survey with customers, with insights showing that 77% of people either already have a holiday planned for 2021, or plan to book for next year. Respondents also indicated that the first places they are planning to visit include the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, or the United States.
Both pieces of research show that, despite many of us feeling nostalgic about our plans, the appetite for travel remains positive and we are looking forward to what lies ahead for our future holidays.
Read more: CLIA survey [Cruise Trade News]
Anthem of the Seas to come back to the UK
EMEA Vice President, Ben Bouldin has said that he is expecting Anthem of the Seas to return to the UK in 2020 and to enter dry dock in Europe once the shipyards reopen. The ship was due to return to the UK in summer, sailing from Southampton on a selection of European itineraries before the coronavirus outbreak.
Speaking at Royal Caribbean’s first Cafe Royal webinar for trade partners, Bouldin said: “I do expect it to have a marine dry dock in Europe although we are of course at mercy of when they open up currently. When that’s done, we can evaluate what’s left in the season and the opportunities we have in terms of sailings. It’s difficult to say when exactly she will be back, but I will keep you posted. No one would like to see her back this summer more than me so we are working on it.”
Anthem of the Seas was due to undergo a refurbishment in April 2020, including some of the Royal Amplified additions to her renovation. As the shipyards are currently closed, this has been postponed, though Bouldin added that he was ‘very confident that we will have Anthem in great shape for 2021’.
Carnival to resume sailings in August
Carnival Cruise Line has informed guests that it is planning to resume cruises on eight of its cruise ships from the 1st August 2020.
Carnival Dream, Carnival Freedom and Carnival Vista will sail out of Galveston; Carnival Horizon, Carnival Magic and Carnival Sensation will sail out of Miami; and Carnival Breeze and Carnival Elation from Port Canaveral.
Commenting on the plans, the cruise line said: “We are committed to supporting all public health efforts to manage the Covid-19 situation. We are taking a measured approach, focusing our return to service on a select number of homeports where we have more significant operations that are easily accessible by car for the majority of guests.”
The eight ships are expected to offer a range of four- to eight-day sailings across the Caribbean and the Bahamas. Carnival also stated that they will be using the time to “continue to engage experts, government officials and stakeholders on additional protocols and procedures to protect the health and safety of guests, crew and the communities”.
P&O Ventura donates fresh produce to charity UK Harvest
P&O Cruises’ ship, Ventura, has been supporting the charity UK Harvest during the coronavirus outbreak. So far, the ship has donated 8.5 tonnes of fresh produce to groups across Bognor Regis, Portsmouth, Worthing, and Brighton, as well as food banks across the UK.
The charity distributes surplus food from businesses to homeless centres, refugees and youth centres. In a statement posted on social media, P&O Cruises said that it was “proud to be supporting UK Harvest”.