Looking Forward to Cruising Again!

2021-01-26

Hello Again Everyone,

Welcome to this Captain’s Blog written for you and The World’s Greatest Vacations by Captain Peter Philpott, retired Captain of Queen Mary 2 of Cunard Lines.

When I retired from Queen Mary 2 and my sea-going career in late 2018, I could not possibly have imagined how, only a little over one year later, the Covid 19 pandemic would change the entire world, let alone the cruising world, so much.

My own career at sea had commenced in 1977 on cargo ships and in all my time I, of course, had not seen anything affect this and all other industries like this pandemic has done.

I vividly recall how, in the short periods of ship maintenance when the ship was not trading or carrying passengers, if we were as much as one day late returning to service the wrath of senior management was invariably incurred! It was simply unimaginable to consider the entire fleet of ships being forced to be out of service for what will be at least an entire year….

This prolonged “pause” in operations for the cruising industry has inevitably led to the earlier retirement of some of the older cruise vessels which were still in operation and this is always a sad event as many of them remained beautiful and well loved ships.

However, if this leads to a more modern and leaner cruise industry for the time when the ships start up again, then surely this is not such a bad thing, as I for one believe the pent-up demand for cruising will manifest itself very quickly indeed when we finally reach that “new normal” in all our lives!

Indeed many cruise companies, Cunard included, have brand new vessels either in the process of being built or almost ready to enter service as of now!

I consider myself very fortunate to have been in the cruising industry for 30 years and Captain for 12 of those years and I have seen first hand just how much cruising is loved by a huge cross section of people, all around the world.

There must be literally millions of people (like me!) who cannot wait to be walking up the gangway and back into that almost surreal world of luxury and relaxation where everything is taken care of for you and you simply don’t have to think about anything else, other than enjoying yourself!

I was moved to write this blog after reading the recent article in The World’s Greatest Vacations saying that Carnival Corp, which includes my own Cunard Line brand, was reporting that advance bookings for 2022 were outpacing the levels of 2019, before the pandemic hit. This is great great news and perfectly illustrates how, when the time is right, guests are out there waiting to return and cruising will surely reclaim its place as one of the most popular vacation choices.

I for one cannot wait!

Happy Planning and stay safe,

Peter Philpott
Captain (recently retired)
Queen Mary 2
Cunard Line.

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