In recent years, the cruise sector has played a significant role in developing jobs and economic opportunities. With a market value of $150 billion in 2018, cruises were the fastest-growing segment in the tourism industry. Besides, the cruise industry appeared to be on course for a record-breaking year in 2020, as it welcomed more than 32 million passengers on board. Passenger numbers would ideally double every decade, but Covid19 changed everything.
Following the onset of the pandemic, economic activity associated with cruising dropped by 77 billion USD between March and September 2020. Over 500,000 jobs were lost, according to a study conducted by Statista about the loss of daily cruise jobs lost worldwide last June 2020. The research also estimated that cruise operations suspended for each day due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic resulted in a loss of approximately 2,500 jobs worldwide.
Every closed day resulted in a loss of around 800 jobs in the sector across Europe. In the U.S. and the UK, it was estimated that approximately 600 and 140 jobs were lost, respectively. The figure may appear catastrophic for employees, but it was far worse for the cruise industry.
According to the New York Times, the Norwegian Cruise Liner spent about 7.6 million dollars more on digital media ads between January and March of 2020 than they did the previous year during the same period. Competitors also spent their earnings on advertising, but unfortunately, these promotions alone could not help them this time. Attempts to resume cruising in November were thwarted when the viral mesh resurfaced on board. Continuous non-operations eventually led to the collapse of several cruise liners across the world.
Will the cruise industry recover? The answer is most likely “Yes!”. The relaunch has begun, according to Emrys Thakkar’s blog on Cruisehive.com. She added, “The return of cruise operations has already begun by companies, and more will begin resuming operations during the remainder of 2021.”
The two major cruise companies, Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean, have already resumed operations with a restricted number of ships from the United States. This is indicative that the situation there is moving forward quickly.
The Royal Caribbean group’s Celebrity Edge cruise ship was the first to resume regular passenger services from the United States, departing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on June 26. The Freedom of the Seas was the first cruise ship to be cleared for a test voyage at the end of June. The yacht then resumed its voyage out of Miami, Florida, on July 2, 2021. When it comes to Carnival Cruise Line, three ships have already resumed sailings as of July 21. Carnival Vista was the first ship to re-enter the fleet, departing Galveston, Texas, on July 3, 2021. Carnival Horizon was the second to resume operations when it sailed from Miami, Florida, on July 4, 2021. Finally, Carnival Breeze was the third ship to resume operations on July 15 from the Port of Galveston. In addition, numerous countries, including Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom, will open their ports in the following months.
The Cruise Lines International Association supports the resumed operations with precautionary measures in place such as Embarkation & Testing – 100% Passenger testing, 100% Crew testing & Additional screenings, Onboard Procedures – Mask Requirements, Physical Distancing, Ventilation Strategies, Medical & Public Health – Enhanced Communications, Health Evaluations & Pre-arranged Response Logistics and Shore Excursions — Strict Protocols, Coordination with destinations & Denial of boarding for violations.
This restoration of the travel industry operations, particularly cruise lines, is becoming for everyone, as many individuals require employment.