Find out the latest news across the cruise industry and how cruise lines are responding to the current travel climate. In this Cruise News Round-up, we look into the future of travel including what changes we can expect from airports; what people are looking for in their future travel plans and the benefits of using a travel agent.
- How are cruise lines preparing for the future?
- What changes can we expect from airports?
- What are the popular future travel plans?
- The benefits of using a travel agent
How are cruise lines preparing for the future?
Boutique river cruise line, Uniworld has escalated measures on-board ready for return including health screenings for guests; ensuring gloves, face masks and hand sanitiser are readily available; requiring contactless payments on-board; and undergoing health and hygiene training (HACCP) for all crew on-board.
Meanwhile, Avalon Waterways has released its resumption plans in the new Avalon Assurance program which features the cruise lines dedication to cleanliness, health, and safety. Standards include implementing mandatory health screening, new technologies to ensure cleanliness, replacing self-service stations with crew, and reducing ship capacity to allow for social distancing. Speaking on the new protocols, CEO Giles Hawke said, “the world has changed by what remains certain is out steadfast commitment to our guests’ safety, comfort and peace-of-mind”.
Crystal Cruises has adopted further preventative measures to offer confidence for customers, including health screenings and advanced cleaning procedures. While the fleet operations have paused, the cruise line have shared that they are working on new policies to ensure future sailings remain relaxing and pleasurable, as well as safe and healthy. It stated, “our guests’ and crews’ safety is our number one priority and we will resume service only when our expert team as well as global health and government authorities indicate that it is safe to do so”.
Speaking on the resumption of cruises and devising new protocols, CLIA UK & Ireland Director, Andy Harmer shared, “one of the great things about the cruise industry is our ability to adapt. We are very innovative, we invest a lot in our customer experience in our technology and if you compare ourselves to some other leisure and hospitality businesses, we go way beyond in terms of protocols.”
What changes can we expect from airports?
It’s not just the cruise lines that are preparing for changes in travel, the airline industry is also taking significant measures to provide travel safety once the world begins to return to normality. Digital technologies and automation especially will play a critical role in the future of air travel, with the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) stating “the ‘new normal’ at major airports, such as Heathrow, JFK and Singapore Changi will include almost exclusive use of online check-ins, and contactless payments”.
Other implementations we might see include the adaption of spaces to encourage social distancing and adding touchless solutions to the boarding process. UK airline, Ryanair, has already revealed it plans to restore 40% of its flight schedule from July, with requirements including all passengers and crew to wear face masks and pass temperature checks. With many of us ready to book for 2021, we’ll watch closely how these changes evolve.
Read more: Ryanair plots July return
What are the popular future travel plans?
Our sister company, Cruise118.com, recently conducted a survey asking customers about their future holiday plans and which destinations are top of the list to visit first. The results concluded that many of us are longing to travel as soon as we are safely able, with over 75% of customers responding that they have either already booked or are planning a 2021 holiday. It seemed that late 2020 bookings were also in high demand with over 50% also stating that they still intended to travel this year, if they are able to.
As for destinations, the first place most people are packing their suitcase for is the Mediterranean, with other destinations proving popular including Asia and Northern Europe. Many respondents also confirmed that the current climate made them more likely to book a once-in-a-lifetime holiday to a bucket-list destination, with some customers stating they ‘want to visit as many places as possible’, ‘life is too short’ and they ‘have missed travel during lockdown’.
A third of customers also agreed that being able to travel freely and explore a new place were top reasons they were looking forward to their next holiday. Despite the current climate temporarily halting many of our travel plans, the results prove that the appetite for exploring the world and travelling is still very much present and we all can’t wait to set sail again soon.
Read more: Cruise118.com Recent Customer Survey
The benefits of using a travel agent
We recently asked our customers what they look for in a travel agent with many agreeing that booking security and exclusive discounts are the top reasons agents offer value. Travel agents have direct access to suppliers which can offer them perks like free upgrades or on-board credit that direct bookings simply can’t match. Meanwhile, ATOL and ABTA protection have never been so important in offering reassurance and financial security when planning your holiday.
These relationships are held across the hospitality industry, with hotels, cruise lines, flight operators and more, they are at the core of all things travel. These links are vital in ensuring your own travel agent can take care of all your holiday needs in one simple call, tailoring your package to your individual preferences.
In the current climate, having to cancel separate elements of a holiday requires patience and much of your personal time. With a travel agent, they can offer reassurance and will do all the hard work to make it right, whether that involves cancellations or rebookings. Additional expertise on health and documentation requirements is also something a travel agent provides, saving you the effort of your own research.
What most people are seeking is more time and less stress, and a travel agent can provide exactly that. Leave it to the experts to arrange your next holiday of a lifetime and look ahead to your future getaways with your personal travel agent by your side.