Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2022

2 1 challenging parts of the cruise comeback is that our industry seems to have been singled out for more criticism and held to a higher standard than almost every other sector but it’s not clear why,” says Donald. “We’ve always had rigorous health and safety standards, and historically, we’ve been better at dealing with this type of health crisis than wider society. The data shows our protocols are working and cases on cruise ships are low compared to elsewhere.” Donald is determined that Carnival Corporation will lead the way in driving regulatory changes, particularly because he is acutely aware of how many people worldwide depend on the cruise industry reopening successfully. “The cruise sector supports half a million jobs in the USA alone, and there are nation states that are totally dependent on travel and tourism. We’re obligated to honour the duty we have as a responsible corporate citizen to prepare the data and communicate with various authorities around the world to show that cruising is safe and enjoyable.” Despite these challenges, Donald remains resolutely positive that the cruise industry – and the wider travel sector – has a bright future. “We’ve always said the industry would survive, and the road forward is now clear and we’re on a positive trajectory,” he says. “Two years ago we had no ships operating at all, one year ago we only had a few sailing with low occupancy, and now we’ve got eight brands and 75 per cent of our fleet capacity back in service. By our summer seasons, we hope to have the majority – if not all – of our vessels back in service.” While he concedes that new variants pose a potential risk, Donald is cautiously optimistic that the virus is becoming less threatening. “Omicron seems to have been mild for most and has caused significantly fewer hospitalisations and deaths, plus vaccination rates are higher and treatments have advanced,” he explains. “This is prompting destinations to open up and is giving people confidence to socialise and travel again. Hence, we expect to soon be able to go back to ‘normal’ operations and offer guests itineraries to destinations worldwide within the next 12 months. We’re hopeful that 2023 will be great for both the cruise industry and guests.” CFR “ We want to engineer more shipboard and shoreside diversity, equity and inclusion across all ranks and departments by 2030.” Carnival Corporation is investing in LNG and other alternative fuels and technologies to accelerate its journey towards decarbonisation