Cruising Can Thrive Today

2020-11-09

Cruising has a unique opportunity to throw a life-line to covid weary, travel-hungry individuals. Even those elusive new to cruise consumers. Required is bold, correctly packaged messaging. Properly executed, cruise can not only survive but thrive, too.

Any individual ocean or river cruise brand can take this approach, but an industry wide initiative will be more effective for everyone. I recommend CLIA create a round-table of the ocean and river cruise stakeholders to create and fund this multi-channel campaign. It doesn’t have to be expensive. My company will provide media pro bono; I believe others will do the same, too. CLIA is missing from consumer messaging, now is the time to step up to the gangplank.

Similar to the bubbles that the NBA, NHL, MLB post-season, and US Open Tennis have very successfully used, so to can cruise lines. A ship is inherently already a self-contained community.
The highly credible Royal Caribbean-NCL Healthy Sail Panel established effective protocols to make the cruise experience safe while still allowing for a much-needed reality-escape for the consumer. Like the pro sports bubbles, individuals must prove they’ve been covid-free for at least two weeks…. That’s not hard to do as cruises are typically booked several weeks out. The work is done, so now effectively get the messaging out!

With less available cruise inventory for consumers to pick from + fewer than pre-pandemic, virus-free passengers + a highly sanitized environment which supersedes that of the outside world = a) peace of mind; and b) justifiably a higher ticket price.

Shorter, cruise-to-nowhere in a luxury, safe bubble, whether it’s the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Alaska, Asia, et al., will be a welcome respite to travel-hungry consumers. Airlines will partner getting consumers to port locations at discounted rates.

Consumers are now familiar with the bubble concept that now has some cache’ to it since it’s home to million-dollar athletes. The demand will be great, and our industry will get the life-line it needs.

Richard Shane

Founder and CEO The World’s Greatest Vacations

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