When the pandemic hit the world in 2020, the cruise industry was one of the most affected. Thousands of passengers were preparing to revel in the sun and visit amazing ports of call, but passenger cruise ship travel was canceled. In 2021, the industry made deliberate efforts to get back on track by putting safety measures in place, yet cruises still faced some disruptions. With the 2022 summer cruising season set to be underway, business operators and travel enthusiasts are keeping a close eye on signals for how the season may turn out.
While it is difficult to predict what the world will look like in a few months, there is growing optimism that the cruise industry will make a comeback in 2022, and people will have the chance to explore their dreams once again. The cruise industry is cooperating with the CDC to have an uninterrupted year, cruise operators are reporting high demands for cruises, and new cruise ships are ready to set sail. With the fate of the 2022 season unknown, this post examines the position of the CDC on the omicron wave of COVID-19, the demands of travelers, top destinations, and other necessary factors to have a near-accurate prediction of the 2022 summer cruising season.
The CDC and Safety Concerns
After increasing the risk level for cruise ship travel to its highest level late in December 2021, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised everyone to avoid cruising regardless of vaccination status. Many travel advisors were convinced that the announcement would disrupt the 2022 summer cruising season, but things changed quickly. A few weeks after the announcement, the CDC lifted the Conditioning Sailing Order, giving everyone in the industry optimism.
The quick changes make it difficult to say what will happen this season, but the latter development means cruise lines are getting set for the 2022 showdown, and there is an increase in passenger flows. Cruise lines are taking safety measures seriously. In addition to reporting the daily number of coronavirus cases, companies on the cutting edge are utilizing innovative solutions like the netTALK Maritime cruise technology for shipboard passenger and crew health monitoring and real-time communication of issues onboard.
Demands Are High
There are reports that demand for cruising in 2022 is high. For example, a cruise operator, Uncruise Adventures, has reported robust demand for cruises to Southeast Alaska this year. Dan Blanchard, the CEO of Uncruise Adventures, suggests that people want to go out and travel, but not at the expense of their health.
The world’s largest cruise company, Carnival, reported that it had recorded more bookings for the first half of 2022 than in 2019. The CEO explained that despite the extended pause in operations, minimal advertising efforts, and negative global news, the demand for cruising is robust, and travelers will stop at nothing to explore different parts of the world this year.
Early in 2022, AIDA joins the cruise lines to express optimism after reporting that bookings are developing “very positively .”Like other cruise lines, AIDA is putting everything in place to meet the needs of travelers.
The growing pent-up demand for cruising in 2022 can be credited to a few reasons. Perhaps, the most significant being many people see cruise ships as one of the safest vacation environments due to the strict vaccine requirements and rigorous testing protocols.
Technology To The Rescue
Due to the pandemic, touchless solutions are penetrating all industries, including the cruise market. Turbo-charged by the pandemic, the use of technology onboard will increase, and cruise operators that successfully maximize the latest technology are likely to attract more customers than others.
Passengers will not be willing to walk to the reception desk for every inquiry; therefore, cruise operators may need to incorporate in-cabin voice-activated artificial intelligence. Also, passengers will be hoping they can track their relatives and communicate with them in real-time. In this case, netTALK Maritime communication solutions is one of the most technologically-advanced tools to utilize.
Cruise operators are already offering digital daily planners, giving passengers access on the phone. Stay glued to the paper daily planner left on the bed at your own peril.
Are you willing to get ahead of the curve by maximizing a technologically-advanced communication solution onboard? netTALK MARITIME has some solutions for you.