Fleet of the future

By Lantimar

There are two very different trends that are shaping the way cruise lovers look at cruises right now. Some are going for the low-risk options, while others are planning on taking on trips that are beyond their expectations; some want to dip their toes in with no-fly and short-haul itineraries that carry minimum risk, while others are jumping in at the deep end, booking once-in-a-lifetime trips as their return to the world of travel. A bucket-list mentality is developing post-COVID, as cruisers are reevaluating their priorities in lockdown and longing to make some new memories.

The sector is facing the return to business with optimism and is working to be as safe as possible, focusing on innovation, sustainable tourism practices and the renewal of its fleets.

During the last few years of uncertainty, the entire industry learned how to manage the COVID-19 scenario and strengthen cruise health and safety practices on a daily basis. Regular touch-free temperature checks, meticulous behind-the-scenes sanitisation, mandatory table service, and super high-tech air filtration systems that circulate fresh air rather than recycling it between cabins have all been introduced to help ensure a safe, healthy, and comfortable cruise experience.

Masks are still required in some situations, but on the bright side, lower occupancy means fewer crowds in shared spaces, and no self-service buffet restaurant means personal waiter service.

The cruise industry has continued to lead the way in sustainable tourism management by demonstrating how city authorities, industry, and local communities can collaborate for a common goal.

According to Tony Roberts, Vice President of Princess Cruises, its Medallion-class cruise ships have cabins that open automatically as you approach and contactless payment that allows you to order anything to any part of the ship.

The industry is also committed to a more sustainable future and to lowering its carbon footprint. This translates into a $23.5 billion investment in ships with new technologies and fuels, promoting the use of LNG, advanced wastewater treatment systems, and connections to the land electrical network.

In short, cruise activity has returned, and it is safer and cleaner than ever. However, a return to normalcy is anticipated by 2022. Welcome back!