Cruise & Ferry Review - Autumn/Winter 2020

1 0 4 Staying safe Simon Johnson asks five executives about the benefits of travelling via ferries and finds out what new measures their companies have introduced to protect passengers and crew against Covid-19 ROUNDTABLE P reviously in CFR , our ferry executives told us how the industry was embracing technology, making significant investments in R&D and innovation, lessening its environmental impact and excelling in customer experience. The ferry sector has proven itself to be extremely resilient and this groundwork will no doubt pay dividends in helping it bounce back faster from this crippling pandemic ahead of other travel modes. Built on the foundations of a socially distanced service for the communities we serve, there is an opportunity to capitalise on the desire of people to travel again. Personally, I will not hesitate to travel safely by sea. Why is ferry travel so well positioned for a faster recovery than other forms of overseas travel? DB : Air travel is the primary alternative to ferry travel, and the advantages of the latter during a pandemic are immediately clear. The physical dimensions of a Marine Atlantic ship allow for social distancing far beyond what an airline can offer – passengers can get outside in the open air or isolate in their own cabin. Plus, they can wait in their vehicles at ferry terminals and they don’t have to collect their luggage from crowded baggage halls like they would at an airport. FC : Ferries enable customers to travel safely and social distance during their journey, thanks to fresh air circulating throughout the vessels and the outer decks. There is also less need for interaction and indoor spaces when checking in and departing from terminals, making the experience more relaxed and socially distanced. JC : Data suggests that people are looking to travel domestically or take short trips to nearby countries because they want to be able to get home quickly if necessary and Brittany Ferries does just that. Our ports are located outside of major cities, but within easy access to smaller tourist destinations, which is ideal for people who want to holiday in a beautiful place without huge crowds. MK : Ferries often provide a vital transport link between islands and the mainland, so their services are key to daily life and the economy. Jadrolinija will be pivotal in helping Croatia recover swiftly from the effects of the pandemic. In addition, we’ve seen that tourists feel much safer vacationing on islands because they’re quiet. WR : We have diverse types of customers and a solid domestic fan base who are keen to escape the lockdown and reconnect with family and friends or explore their own backyard. Our three-hour journey takes our guests through our capital harbour, the Cook Strait and the Marlborough Sounds. We’ve learned from experience that the domestic market is the first to recover DON BARNES Vice president of customer experience at Marine Atlantic FRAN COLLINS CEO of Red Funnel Ferries JOËLLE CROC Director of customer experience, product and onboard sales at Brittany Ferries ML ADEN KOTUROVIC’ Executive director of general affairs at Jadrolinija WALTER RUSHBROOK Executive general manager at Interislander S IMON JOHNSON Director of Shipshape Consulting The panel: The host: