Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning 2020

5 2 ASSOCI ATION HIGHL IGHTS New protocols for a ‘new normal’ By Jens Skrede, Cruise Europe Europe’s diversity and year-round opportunities, coupled with pioneering cruise lines, could speed up the return to normality of the continent’s cruise industry E urope is a diverse continent that has much to offer – its location and mild seasonal changes make it accessible year-round and enable our ports to offer a variety of opportunities to visitors. Our members are divided into four regions which all have their unique selling points: Atlantic Europe; the Baltic; UK and Ireland; and Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands. With the current challenges created by Covid-19, we are working to support ports, cruise lines and the broader industry in getting back to a ‘new normal’ where these opportunities are, once again, available to cruise guests. We aim to bring the positive and encouraging news of start-ups to our members and the industry in a time when we are all feeling the effects of the pandemic. As such, we are extremely excited for the 2021 Cruise Europe Conference in Edinburgh, UK, which will be our next opportunity to interact with our members. Themes at the event will likely include new protocols to safely operate in a post-Covid-19 world and sustainability. Of course, the resumption of cruising will also be a major topic at the event. We are in discussions with our host port regarding a suitable date and format which will be decided when national restrictions become clearer in the new year. The situation in Europe is currently changing on a daily basis. For 2021 and beyond, we hope to see a number of cruise lines returning to both Northern Europe and the Mediterranean, including TUI Cruises, Ponant, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, MSC Cruises and Costa Cruises. These brands are pioneering a return for the industry and their protocols are being used as a benchmark for other cruise lines, ports, regions and governments. If we were to see cruise numbers in 2022-2023 reach those of 2019, I think it would be a major achievement. It would give great assurance to the sector in terms of new vessels, port investment and general tourism. CFIP Jens Skrede is managing director of Cruise Europe Destinations such as Norway’s capital city Oslo are popular ports of call on European cruise itineraries Photo: VisitOSLO/Didrick Stenersen