Cruise lines decimated by dramatic losses amid ‘serious concerns’ for future sailings

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A report from Statista states that the global cruise line industry will suffer a 71.6 percent year-on-year decrease in 2020 revenue to reach $7.79 billion (£5.84 billion).

Although some cruise lines, including MSC and TUI, managed to restart some sailings in Europe, the wider industry remains concerned about the risk of spreading coronavirus onboard.

“The cruise sector, with Government support, has spent the last seven months learning lessons from the pandemic and putting in place new protocols and industry guidance to create a COVID-19 safe environment onboard,” stated the latest DfT report.

It continued: “However, since then there has been a significant rise in COVID-19 cases in the UK and abroad.

“Against this context, it was rightly considered that now is not the right time to see the resumption of cruise operations from the UK and the FCDO continues to advise against sea-going cruise travel based on the latest medical advice.”

The US CDC has issued a “Framework for Conditional Sailing Order” which outlined conditions in which cruises will be allowed to retract.

These include testing and additional safeguards for crew members while building laboratory capacity needed to test guests and crew in the future; simulated voyages to test a cruise ship operator’s ability to mitigate COVID-19 risk; certification for ships that meet specific requirements; and a phased return to guest voyages in a manner that mitigates the risk of COVID-19 transmission among guests, crew and communities visited.

Royal Caribbean is among cruise lines to put forward plans for simulated sailings.

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