Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2022

7 8 mask-wearing and other requirements, and encouraging or mandating booster vaccine doses for eligible guests. At the height of the Omicron surge, the hospitalisation rate on cruise ships was more than 80 times lower than on land in the USA. The PBI Research Institute’s analysis from 30 December 2021 to 12 January 2022 shows only five hospitalisations occurred among the more than 416,000 passengers and crew sailing in US waters – equivalent to 34 per 100,000 Covid-19 cases. In stark contrast, there were 269,067 new landbased hospitalisations in the USA during the same period, equivalent to 2,786 per 100,000 Covid-19 cases. Hence, those aboard cruise ships demonstrably faced vastly less risk of hospitalisation from Covid-19 than those on land in the USA. The industry has all the measures and response mechanisms in place to keep sailing responsibly, and to execute contingency plans as needed to help keep people happy and safe as we resume operations around the world. Do you think Covid-19 measures are here to stay on cruise ships? We’re monitoring the circumstances around the pandemic closely and continue to make decisions by prioritising public health. While there is no crystal ball, I can tell you that the enhanced protocols are here to stay for the foreseeable future. I can also tell you that in January 2022, cruise ship review site Cruise Critic surveyed 1,563 travellers who had taken a cruise in the previous 90 days – during the peak of the Omicron wave – and 96 per cent said they felt safe onboard, while 88 per cent said they would sail again under the same circumstances. How do you predict the global cruise industry will evolve? Are you confident that we will soon be back to normal? The cruise industry has proven its resiliency throughout its more than 50year history, and as operations continue to responsibly resume, passenger demand remains high. In the baseline forecast, passenger volume is expected to recover and surpass 2019 levels by the end of 2023. And in the upside forecast, passenger volume is expected to recover to 101 per cent of 2019 levels by the end of 2022. In both scenarios, passenger volume is projected to recover in excess of 12 per cent above 2019 levels by the end of 2026. Thanks to the support of an incredibly strong community, the future is bright. Cruising is accessible, responsible and experiential – making it the best way to see the world for people of all ages and interests. CFR CLIA has been working closely with cruise line members to protect the welfare of crew members such as Celebrity Cruises’ Captain Kate McCue (pictured) throughout the pandemic