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TTC special: Reopening: Innovations keep cruise ships afloat

Photo: Xuanworks/Pixabay.

By Frank Martin

It’s really true. Tides of the pandemic are still high and the turmoil of war strengthening in the European seas, but tourist cruise ships are already floating thanks to innovations that they have been working on for almost a couple of years.

Experts around the world say are perceiving despite challenges, the large hotel-ships maintain an increasingly extensive presence in the world’s seas, sailing towards a future that may not be so hypothetical and risky.

New cruise ships in 2022 are from a number of large companies such as Norwegian Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Virgin Voyages, Princess Cruises and Celebrity Cruises.

Among these new ships there is one that is the protagonist. She is the largest cruise ship in the world launched by Royal Caribbean.

The world is plagued by dense analyzes about the future of the global tourism industry, but that does not mean that pessimism prevails.

Challenges abound, experts say, but so do answers, especially among cruise companies needed to take a financial breath.

A crucial common point among the big maritime firms is that some have already agreed on two things: strengthen security measures on board their ships as much as possible and establish very high standards to benefit passengers and compensate them for the limitations that they always exist.

This is what Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and the Royal Caribbean Group have done, which have already been associated since July 2020 to form the “Healthy Sail Panel”, an entity interested above all in the health and comfort of its clients.

The recommendations of the Healthy Sail Panel could be indeed a stimulus to navigation driven by health as well as by engines and wind.

This is a surely boost to the industry. From the first document published on the subject, the international tourism branch, at that time very fearful of the pandemic, was helped to find a new path.

It was and it is now a “new normal” of navigation with more than 70 recommendations, many of which are applicable to navigation.

Among others, the detection and risk reduction tests, sanitation and ventilation on ships, the execution of contingencies, the planning of destinations and excursions and especially the mitigation of risks for crew members were defined.

In this way the navigation of these huge pleasure boats stopped for a tense time, but not the innovations to set sail again.

The results can already be seen in many areas of the world especially in the Caribbean Sea, where destinations are still prepared to continue opening in this complicated 2022.

In these years new cruises have been equipped by new mechanisms and innovations to face a business that has been forced to change in favor of sanitary programs and methods.

On the new ships “born of the pandemic” so to speak, innovations are not limited to health, but innovated concepts of accommodation and gastronomy.

Experts have brought all these novelties together under the classification of Freestyle Cruising, which allows guests to enjoy their vacation in their own way by giving them the option to decide when and where to dine.

This means that guests can further “personalize” their stays on the cruise, at moderate prices and adjusted to the conditions including Wi-Fi, special dinners and shore excursions.

They are excellent omens, although a storm still threatens.


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