Few images capture the coronavirus’ crushing impact on the travel industry better than those of cruise ship passengers lining their balconies, awaiting return to a land quite changed from the one they left.
But soon those images may represent a form of travel from a bygone era.
As cruise companies embark on a raft of improvements to save their reputations, it could change the face of cruising as we know it.
“Lots of changes will occur before ships are permitted to resume service,” The Cruise Guy’s Stewart Chiron, an industry analyst who has been on 276 cruises, told CNBC.
Indeed, some of those changes have already played out. Strict medical protocols were implemented when a series of major cruise liners went into lockdown following outbreaks onboard.
Others changes will be more gradual. But they will need to be in place by the time travel returns.
UBS predicts “meaningful” cruise operations will resume by 2021 — and already, the demand is there. Reservations for next year are up…