A cruise in the Baltic Sea enables guests to visit destinations such as Karlskrona, Sweden’s only baroque city
In spring 2020, Covid-19 hit the entire experience economy like a hammer, but the cruise industry fared particularly badly, with all operations being shut down around the world. Some media outlets are now speculating whether this is the end to cruising as a vacation concept. However, most people working in this industry know that cruising will bounce back – and it will most likely be stronger than it was before the pandemic. In fact, several cruise lines have slowly, safely and successfully resumed services again in the Baltic Sea and in the Mediterranean, despite the fact that Covid-19 is still prevalent worldwide.
Although we cannot predict what the situation will be like when the spring 2021 cruise season begins in the Baltic Sea region, the Cruise Baltic association is convinced that ships will be able to start sailing again. However, there will need to be restrictions and procedures in place to protect guests, crew members and locals.
All 30 Cruise Baltic destinations and ports are working closely together to create a unified health protocol for cruising, which will make life simpler for cruise lines. The network is still in the process of being established, but Cruise Baltic is confident it will achieve this vision before the cruise season kicks off in March 2021.
Luckily, the 10 countries in the Baltic Sea region have not been too badly hit by the virus because local authorities have actively implemented restrictions to minimise the risk of it spreading. Although this has had a significant negative impact on hotels, restaurants and attractions, it has successfully limited the spread of the virus. Therefore, the Cruise Baltic ports and destinations are among the safest in the world. This, combined with the fact that cruising is the safest and most enjoyable way to travel, makes a cruise to the Baltic region an appealing prospect for many operators and their guests.
By this time next year, we expect that the Baltic ports and destinations will be able to look back at a great cruise season with happy guests and crew and, most importantly, no instances of Covid-19 on cruise vessels.
Claus Bødker is director of Cruise Baltic
This article was first published in the 2020 issue of Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.
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