Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2022

1 0 0 Clean, green and convenient Michael Grey highlights why ferries are fast becoming a popular form of transport for people who are looking to travel in the wake of the pandemic COMMENTARY Image: Viking Line MICHAEL GREY Michael Grey is a master mariner turned maritime journalist and has edited both Fairplay and Lloyd’s List in a career spanning more than 60 years. Aircraft can get people where they want to go faster, but in the aftermath of a pandemic, air travel is not without its stresses – from muffling in a mask for the trip itself, to the bureaucracy and less than hygienic crushes in the queues for the various regulatory processes as they get on and off the plane. However, in what he described as the “battle of the modes”, Interferry CEO Mike Corrigan said that ferries “ranked highly as a safe form of travel”, while his organisation’s recent surveys suggest that the public now have a “much more positive view” of this mode of transport. It is perhaps not difficult to see the advantages of a less fraught and frenetic way of travelling, with passengers having access to more space, better onboard services, more opportunities for social distancing and access to fresh air on ferries. Consequently, there is clearly an opportunity for operators to capitalise on their advantages of ferry travel post pandemic, particularly with the growing pent-up demand for travel among a public largely confined for the past two years. Ferries also offer the convenience factor, which might be seen in the emergence of new ferry routes that will help travellers to circumvent land borders which have become more onerous to pass since the pandemic and political changes in Europe. At the beginning of April 2022, for example, a new route will Viking Line’s recently launched vessel, Viking Glory, is powered by LNG and electric propulsion systems to operate sustainably