Dear Travel Agents/Advisors,
Let me first disclose that I am a cruise lover and totally believe that the cruise industry will be stronger than before, and ready to accommodate all the requirements of the CDC and other health organizations once their ships are back out and about.
Unfortunately, science doesn’t yet understand all the details of how Covid-19 will act in the summer (northern hemisphere) or winter (southern hemisphere). No one knows how many ports will be open, and which countries will be accepting cruise lines.
It is still too early for cruise lines to announce a definitive date they’ll start sailing. Some have dates as early as August 1st. By booking those early dates, travel agents/advisors can easily set themselves for double the work (booking and rescheduling), plus spending hours on the phone and having their clients frustrated.
Cruise lovers who are concerned about crowded places but still love the freedom of having the “hotel” traveling with them without the hassle of packing and unpacking, should look into river cruises with a maximum of 200 cruisers.
Since rivers are different than the big sea, there are many short itineraries with very good prices for “tasting and trying” or like one of them is called, “Short and Suite!”
The river cruises will have the public areas disinfected, touch-free temperature checks and luggage disinfection prior to embarkation. They will strongly recommend passengers on tours use masks, which will be provided prior to departure of every excursion, along with gloves and hand sanitizing gel.
It is easier to control and check a smaller number of crew and passengers on a cruise ship, than a large one with 3,500 passengers.
Another important reason to choose river cruising is that medical services can be summoned easily from local hospitals, doctors and ambulance services, unlike ocean-going ships that must effectively act as their own hospitals until land can be reached. That can give some peace and tranquility to some cruisers.
I suggest learning more about river cruises when suggesting a vacation to your client.
As I said before, travelers are ready and eager to travel. Even the more skeptical ones just need some suggestions, opportunities, and clarification.