Whilst it is true that the “new normal” for cruise guests will be somewhat different to what we have experienced in the past, it is clear that everything possible is being done to minimise the impact on passengers, at the same time as keeping everyone as safe as possible.
With so many of our clients being cruise aficionados, we are please to offer an update – and are delighted to advise that a number of cruise lines are now, tentatively, venturing back to sea. They are giving us an idea of what Covid-normal cruising in 2021/22.
This is the most common cruise question the team at Liberty Tours is being asked. But it is not the easiest of questions to answer.
We are keeping abreast of what is happening with regard international travel, and are pleased to see that in some parts of the world local borders are opening, tourism is booming, and some cruise lines are even sailing! At the same time, the Australian Government still has restrictions on international travel and current thinking is that borders will not open until the middle of next year. Bur for most of our clients that does not seem to be a barrier as the timing is likely to coincide with the widespread availability of a vaccine.
Hurtigruten resumed limited sailings around Norway in June and MSC Grandiosa set sail last month for EU-residents only. Paul Gauguin has been sailing around French Polynesia, and some Silversea cruises are set to sail again in November.
Amadeus resumed European river cruising in July, and while we cannot yet venture outside of our Great Southern Land, in South Australia, Captain Cook Cruises have been taking travellers down the Mighty Murray for a couple of months now (with Australia holidaymakers from ACT, NT, QLD, TAS and WA currently able to enter South Australia directly without restriction).
And we are so hoping that the world cruise aboard the Sea Princess will still be departing from Australia in late May 2021 as scheduled!
So, as international travellers slowly gain the confidence to setback on board, it would be nice to understand what Covid-normal cruising might look like. For the foreseeable future it will be a little different to what we have known in the past, as some levels of COVID prevention will be imposed, and social distancing will continue to impact all aspects of our lives.
The CLIA (Cruise Line Industry Association) has been doing a great deal of work to ensure that its crews and passengers are safe, and as most major cruise lines are now members of CLIA, its reassuring to know that most travellers will be cruising with a uniform level of protection, regardless of which line you cruise with.
We already know that it is likely that you will need to provide evidence of a COVID test (with a negative result of course) that has been done a few days before you leave home. The details vary slightly depending on your home country and destination.
On board you will see that the familiar buffet has gone, or at least been modified so that crew will handle the food and pass your order to you. There will be some level of social distancing required in public places and the number of people seated in theatres will be reduced. However, the shows will still be offered and the bars and restaurants will still be open.
Keen to find out more or enquire about your own upcoming cruise plans?
We encourage you to contact one of our cruise professionals on 1300 221 550.
Use the form below to request the detailed itinerary – complete with departure dates and pricing. Alternatively, call us on 1300 221 550 to speak to one of our travel consultants about this or something a little different.