Cruise may be one of the hardest-hit industries from COVID-19, but it appears it’s not putting holidaymakers off planning their next adventure on the high seas.
Reports out of the US reveal that one of the world’s biggest cruise companies, Carnival Cruise Lines, saw bookings with travel booking company Cruise Planners soar a staggering 600 per cent, after it announced it would begin taking passengers again from August.
That’s a 200 per cent increase over the same time period last year!
A Cruise Planners spokesperson said that people forward-booking cruises were “not a bit concerned about travelling at this time”.
Even more surprising, the spokesperson added many said they were healthy and looking forward to having fun after being in lockdown for months.
Not that Carnival is overly optimistic it will meet its August reopening.
In a statement, the company said: “We are taking a measured approach, focusing on the potential for sailing from a select number of homeports where we have more significant operations that are easily accessible by car for the majority of our guests.
“We continue to work with various government agencies, including the Centres For Disease Control And Prevention, as we introduce new onboard protocols, but there is no assurance of a return on August 1,” the statement read.
But the increase in interest is being shared by other cruise lines, as well.
Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) reported a 67 per cent overall bookings increase in the last three weeks, following the launch of its ‘Peace of Mind Booking Guarantee’.
According to a spokesperson from CMV, the majority of bookings over that period have been made by travel agents, with most opting to cruise in 2021 during the European summer season. However, domestic bookings by Australians still remain popular.
The cruise line said this indicates “a confidence in future travel” and that travellers want to have something to look forward to once travel bans are eased.
Meanwhile, a survey of at least 1,600 clients by Your Travel & Cruise (YTC) indicates that Australian travellers are ready to travel, including on a cruise, and COVID-19 hasn’t shaken their faith in travel agents.
According to YTC, nine in 10 of those surveyed said they would consider a cruise in the future on the condition stricter health and hygiene measures were in place.
Featured image: Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ Vasco da Gama in Santorini, Greece (supplied)