It will take at least until 2023 before the cruise travel market has recovered from the corona crisis. This is what the top executive of the world’s largest cruise line, Carnival Cruises, said in an interview with the Financial Times. Travel restrictions caused virtually all cruise trips to be cancelled a year ago, and virtually all cruise ships are still at anchor.
As lockdowns against the spread of the coronavirus continue, Carnival chief executive Arnold Donald says it will be until the end of this year before the group’s entire fleet will be able to sail. It will take even longer for revenues to return to pre-pandemic levels, partly because Carnival has sold nineteen ships to strengthen its balance sheet.
Carnival, which includes Holland America Line, AIDA and Princess Cruises, suffered a loss of USD 2.2 billion in the three months to November. The company did report recently that demand is rising for cruise trips scheduled for 2022. This mainly concerns regular customers who want to book a trip again.
The coronavirus also damaged the reputation of the cruise industry. On one of Carnival’s ships, the Diamond Princess, the virus spread rapidly in February 2020, trapping passengers on board for weeks.
Picture by former SWZ editor H.R.M. Dill.