Narasi.net — Good news is slow to come for the shipping industry. Yes, shipping resumes in July 2021 from US ports after being suspended for over a year, but normally slow to return.
Now, all major cruise lines sailing from US ports, which include Royal Caribbean International (RCL) – Get Royal Caribbean Group Report, Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL) – Get Carnival Corporation Report, and Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) – Get Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Reports have returned to their ship capable of accommodating a full load of passengers. Being able to sail a full ship and actually sail at capacity requires that the demand be there.
And while all three cruise lines have made positive statements in terms of demand, prices for many cruises are below historical averages. Now, both Royal Caribbean and Carnival executives have also noted that onboard spending has increased (meaning revenue may be the same) but demand is driving the entire industry.
Now, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has stopped tracking covid aboard cruise ships. This comes after the federal agency dropped the mask mandate. The move paves the way for shipping lines to drop pre-shipping covid testing (which some cruise lines have done, but not the top three) and may eventually relax or drop vaccine requirements.
The voyage, aside from the vaccine requirements, masked crew, and pre-cruise testing looks a lot like it did before the pandemic and new surveys suggest that demand could recover.
Cruise Ship Customers Want to Come Back
A new survey from Cruiseline.com and Shipmate shows that the vast majority of those asked — admittedly people who are members of these cruise-focused brands — intend to set sail relatively soon.
“Of the travelers who participated in this survey, 91.4% reported that they plan to take a cruise within the next year, 2.5% said they would not be sailing next year, and 6.1% are currently undecided whether they will. sail in the next year,” the survey shows.
Most of the people surveyed (69%) said they had made seven or more previous voyages while another 17% had sailed four to six times, and 8% had made two to three voyages. That’s kind of a biased group, but it makes the most sense that seasoned cruisers will return before new customers choose to set sail.
“The numbers from our survey clearly show that travelers are comfortable sailing once again and are taking the next step to research and book upcoming trips,” said Cruiseline.com General Manager Jamie Cash. “Despite many obstacles, the cruise industry has come a long way in the last year, and this data provided by our community shows that consumer demand for cruises is strong.”
This News Is So Good For Carnival, Royal Caribbean
Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Norwegian are all mass market family-friendly cruise lines. They need a lot of people to be willing to set sail for a return to profitability and survey results show that their customers are ready to come back.
“More than 60% of all participants have previously reported sailing on Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean, more than 40% have sailed on Norwegian Cruise Line, and more than 30% with Princess Cruises. 89% of participants have sailed in the Caribbean region, with other previously explored destinations being Alaska, the Pacific Coast (Mexico) and Europe,” the report said.
The survey also shows that experienced cruisers seem poised to return:
- Over 34% of participants will be sailing in the next two to four months.
- 30% will sail within the next five to twelve months, and under 30% have a cruise booked within the next 60 days.
- 46% of these travelers book between two and four upcoming cruises.
Demand also appears to be fairly even with 37.9% saying they will cruise with Carnival Cruise Line, 35.9% with Royal Caribbean International, 21.45% with Norwegian Cruise Line, 17.5% with Celebrity Cruises (a Royal Caribbean brand), and 17% with Princess Cruises (Carnival brand).