Cruise Industry Changes & Improvements during the COVID Pandemic

The Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has extended the No Sail Order for cruise ships through September 30, 2020, and cruise lines have been using this time to make improvements to their cruise ships. Some ports and destinations may have already had plans for improvements, but there have been new plans made and significant progress in these empty ports and destinations. As we have seen in most of our cities, construction has not stopped, and this is the same for the cruise industry. Cruise ships have also had time for extra cleaning and maintenance and even newbuilds are still proceeding.

Even though cruise lines have new builds on order, and they are getting ready to sail, they are also looking for ways to cut costs. Large brands like Carnival Corporation are reassessing their business models, and instead of covering such a broad spectrum, they are cutting back to become ‘leaner and stronger’. Arnold Donald, CEO, Carnival Corporation said, “Right now, we have no revenue. We have to slim down. We have to reduce overhead and we have to reduce our cash flow.”

Carnival Corporation has AIDA back in Germany with only German ports of call, but as borders open in Europe, this is sure to change, keeping itinerary planners very busy. Another of Carnival Corporation’s brands that is expected to start sailing soon is Costa, which is a start of revenue flow for Carnival Corporation. Donald expects the company to return to Pre-COVID capacity levels in 2022 at the earliest.

Valletta Cruise Port is also taking this pause to invest in projects to enhance their iconic Maltese port showcasing the old and new. Their investment in fabric canopies respect the historic setting while also playing a practical aspect to this treasured destination.

On the other side of the Atlantic the work continues. With the cruise pause in the United States being extended and now the Bahamian government closing its border to US travelers, the Bahamian islands are taking advantage of this time to make improvements. One of the more notable upgrades is the $250 million redevelopment and expansion plan for Nassau Cruise Port.  Global Ports Holding (GPH) will oversee implementing this redevelopment to Nassau Cruise Port. Their plan includes making Nassau a ‘state-of-the-art port and waterfront destination’ with integrating the port into downtown.

Despite the tough situation the cruise industry might be facing during the COVID pandemic, there are opportunities all around us, and some are taking this time to make improvements for when things start up again. #wewillbeback

This post was written by cruise expert, Shannon Mckee, founder of Access Cruise Inc. Access Cruise Inc is a Miami based cruise marketing and sales consulting group, specializing in product and business development within the cruise industry.

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