Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2022

doing what they do best – delivering amazing vacation experiences that meet and exceed guests’ expectations, while ensuring they stay safe and healthy.” However, Carnival Corporation cannot yet sail to all of the more than 700 destinations it visited worldwide before the pandemic. “Some still haven’t reopened their borders and others have such strict protocols that it would be impractical for us to plan itineraries there currently,” explains Donald. “For example, we’re not able to operate world cruises because there are too many uncertainties related to complying with requirements for entry to different countries.” To overcome these issues, Carnival Corporation’s brands are primarily offering shorter cruises. “We’ve mainly organised seven, 10 and 14-day cruises because we know we can manage these effectively in the midst of constantly changing protocols,” explains Donald. “We’re in constant communication with governments, healthcare authorities, port and tourism partners, and other key stakeholders in the destinations we visit to ensure we can understand and comply with the local Covid-related requirements. “We’ve also worked with each destination to map out detailed contingency plans for different scenarios so that all parties know how to handle any issues that may arise. For example, we’ve outlined what would happen if one of our guests tested positive for Covid before arriving in port, as well as what we would do if there was an outbreak on the vessel. This ensures a safe and seamless experience for guests, while protecting the local communities in the destinations.” Guests have been keen to travel to any destination after months of no travelling, but there has been particularly high demand in the drive-to-cruise market. “Most guests are looking for easy travel options, so they’re choosing cruises that depart from ports they can drive to in their own vehicles, rather than those they have to fly to,” says Donald. “Not only is it often quicker and more convenient for guests to drive to their embarkation port, but it also means they don’t have the stress of adhering to the airline’s protocols and figuring out whether they meet the entry requirements of the country they’re flying to. Hence, drive-to cruises are particularly appealing with travel, testing, vaccination, and other regulations changing constantly.” Carnival Cruise Line, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of its first cruise on 11 March 2022, has taken advantage of the surge in demand for drive-to cruises since resuming operations. “There’s always been a strong drive-to market in the USA and Carnival Cruise Line sails from multiple ports in the country, making its cruises easily accessible to a large source market of guests who live within driving distance of at least one of them,” says Donald. “The brand knows that guests love its Caribbean itineraries, so it has created additional sailings that are very similar to its pre-pandemic cruises in the region, and they’ve been incredibly popular. Carnival Cruise Line has been outperforming every other brand in the cruise industry since the pandemic.” The abundance of convenient cruises and the success of Carnival Corporation’s sailings are encouraging bookings from both repeat cruisers and new-to-cruise guests. “ Carnival Cruise Line has been outperforming every other brand in the cruise industry since the pandemic.” KEYNOTE AIDA Cruises’ newest ship AIDAcosma is one of several LNG-powered ships in Carnival Corporation’s fleet and began sailing in February 2022 1 4