Cruise & Ferry Review - Autumn/Winter 2021

Overcoming the Covid-19 crisis Eager to capitalise on the demand for vacations close to home, ferry operators are resuming passenger services. CFR ’s Ferry Business expert Simon Johnson explores the state of the ferry industry T he global ferry sector has proven itself to be extremely resilient over the years and the same has been true over the past 18 months, despite the Covid-19 pandemic being one of the biggest challenges it has ever faced. In the short-term, the industry has become a disruption expert. Ferry lines have adapted their operations, flexed their fleets, managed their costs, comforted anxious customers and provided a valuable lifeline to the communities they serve. Although the ever-changing travel restrictions, uncertainty and confusion remain, there are clear indications of strong pent-up consumer demand. Consequently, ferry operators are recognising the need to be prepared to seize the moment when people want to travel again and be in shipshape condition. From our interviews with executives from Brittany Ferries and Interislander in the following pages, it’s clear that operators see a big opportunity on the horizon for the rebirth of ferry travel and the chance for the sector to surpass other travel modes. Both Brittany Ferries and Interislander have dealt with the here and now, but they have also kept one eye firmly fixed on the future to prepare to welcome customers back. Their vision paints a picture of an exciting time when we will be able to experience a new modern, efficient, greener and most enjoyable form of travel with our loved ones. CFR FEATURE: STATE OF THE FERRY INDUSTRY “ Operators see a big opportunity on the horizon for the rebirth of ferry travel” 7 2