Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2022

5 9 which sets us up very well for the next couple of years.” When CFR spoke with Ludlow in early February, Iona, Britannia, Azura and Ventura were sailing with Aurora due imminently and Arcadia in March. Newbuilding Arvia will join the fleet in December 2022 and sail a maiden Caribbean season. While Ludlow had no crystal ball vis a vis the best way to restart operations, the decisions he took last year to sail UK waters, cancel world cruises and not attempt international sailings turned out well. “Looking back, we got those restart decisions right. As part of the build-back plan, we had the foresight to see which destinations would be back online before others. We realised we had to do things right and not rush. Thankfully we had the financial stability to ensure we made really considered decisions and that has paid dividends ever since.” Opening up this year to northern waters, the Mediterranean and Caribbean has required close collaboration with destinations. “We are very mindful and conscious of adhering to local protocols everywhere we visit,” says Ludlow. “Each country visited is in a different stage of recovery from the pandemic and we have to be sensitive to that, both in terms of ship operations and guest behaviours ashore. We work very closely with destinations to understand what they need us to do. Through that close collaboration it has meant that calls have gone very well.” “ As an industry we will see an improvement in demand and a willingness to spend more on the holiday” Iona visited the Scottish island of Iona during her maiden voyage in August 2021