Dec 09, 2021
For many of us, the dreams we had for travel in 2020/21 were quickly turned upside down with the arrival of an unexpected global health crisis. The travel industry was challenged in ways we could never have imagined, and one of the hardest hits was taken by the cruise industry, making international headlines as COVID-19 outbreaks took place at sea. Now, cruising is making a very welcome comeback. And although it may look a little different, in many ways a luxury holiday at sea has never looked better.
Prior to 2020, cruise holidays were recognised as one of the best ways to see the world. Super competitive prices meant that the porthole had been opened for more and more people to experience the pleasures that only a cruising holiday can offer. Indeed, for many travellers, cruising had become a way of life. According to a recent report from CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association), the year 2019 welcomed almost 30 million passengers, created 1.8 million jobs and contributed more than $154 billion to the world’s economy. In stark contrast, cruise lines completely ceased worldwide operations in mid-March the very next year.
The industry has since worked very hard to propel itself forward and set sail once again for global horizons. Confidence has steadily been rebuilt with enhanced health protocols and procedures, cutting-edge maritime environmental technologies and sustainable tourism management, inspiring hope for a future where cruising is once again a top holiday choice.
The appeal of a cruising holiday is multi-layered: it’s not only about visiting a destination; it’s about journeying there with a sense of style.
Once thought to be tailored solely to honeymoons or 50th wedding anniversaries, cruising changed with the times to become known as an exciting holiday choice for everyone. Smart modern ships with flexible itineraries now offer passengers freedom from former at-sea traditions such as set meal times and serious dress codes. However, the original appeal of cruising is enduring – an all-inclusive holiday offering hassle-free relaxation in a safe environment.
Modern cruise holidays are tailored to ensure that every moment of your day could be packed with activity, if you so desire. A fusion of luxury hotel, exclusive shopping district and entertainment complex, you’ll be spoiled for choice. And with no driving, no constant unpacking and repacking, no cooking and no washing up, a cruise is maximum pleasure for minimum effort.
ARE ALL CRUISES AND SHIPS SIMILAR?
Far from it. Big ships, small ships; warm water, glaciers; four nights, four months; cost-conscious or exclusive indulgence – as the cruise market expands, so do your options.
From day cruises to wineries or overnight stays at coral reefs, to extended explorations of Pacific Ocean coastlines, unique Antarctic expeditions, adventures in exotic Asian locations, luxury months-long trans-Atlantic voyages, exciting Caribbean cruises, journeys along Alaskan or Canadian waterways or through the winding canals of Europe, a whole world of possibility awaits on water.
Whichever way you go, choose your cruise wisely and you will never look back.
IS CRUISING GOOD VALUE?
Yes! Your fare generally includes all meals, your cabin, onboard activities and entertainment, so there are no extra day-to-day expenses you’ll need to contend with (other than shopping of course!). You will be able to find a cruise option to suit every wallet – from budget conscious and short trips, to the ultimate in oceanic luxury and voyaging.
CAN I EXTEND MY CRUISE HOLIDAY?
Pre- or post-cruise holiday packages can be arranged at the same time you book your cruise. In many cases your airline ticket will include options for stopovers and date changes to help you make special arrangements either side of your cruise dates.
IS IT SAFE TO CRUISE?
A loaded question in the current landscape of travel, the answer will vary for every individual based on personal health status and tolerance for risk, coupled with the most recent information provided by cruise companies and health experts.
However, you can find security in knowing that immediately following COVID’s first outbreaks, the cruise industry rushed to engage leading experts and government authorities in order to strengthen already robust public health protocols. Their level of safety is considered unrivalled in most other businesses. Most cruise lines now operate vaccinated cruises and have on-ship medical facilities and procedures for testing and dealing with COVID, as well as measures in place for sending passengers home if required.
There’s no doubt that the era of COVID is constantly changing the way we look at travel, so we recommend you keep updated with the most current information to help you make better-informed choices. Cruise lines generally offer detailed information on their websites explaining their specific health requirements.
TRAVEL TIP: As a general rule, cruisers will need to allocate a good deal more time for planning and organising than ever before, specific to the preparation of health-related documentation. It’s a good idea to start your research early – or connect with a Discover Holidays representative who can do a lot of the research for you!