Are “close to home” cruises the way forward for the cruise industry? Cruise lines continue to experiment with more and more ideas to try to find a way to safely travel amidst the coronavirus pandemic. For some companies, time is beginning to run out before they will need to consider drastic measures. For others, that time has already come, with many cruise lines being forced to lay-off employees, sell ships, or restructure themselves. This means that good ideas are needed, and they’re needed quickly. One concept that many cruise lines are trying out is that of “close to home” cruises.
What are “close to home” cruises?
Well, they’re pretty much exactly what they sound like. That’s it! Okay, fine, we’ll give you more detail. As we are all aware, many countries either currently have their borders closed or otherwise restricted in some way, making international travel and docking at international ports either very tricky or outright impossible. Even without considering international travel laws and bans, it may be unappealing for some cruise travelers to book a voyage that goes to another nation where they might be exposed to more people with the virus. This opens the door for “close to home” cruises that do not stray far from where the ship disembarks. This is less of a stressful option for travelers, and these itineraries are much more possible for the cruise lines themselves.
“Close to home” cruises in the present
This isn’t really just a theoretical idea; some cruise lines have already used this idea to cruise again during the pandemic. TUI Cruises recently had a three-day voyage that didn’t stray too far from Germany, and that allowed 1200 people to enjoy a small vacation. Variety Cruises did the same in Greece at the end of July. This is currently one of the only ways to sail, and it seems to have gone over well thus far.
“Close to home” cruises in the future
One of the main cruise lines that is promoting this idea as a safer way to travel is Princess Cruises. They are heavily promoting their British Isles itineraries as a great option for British travelers looking to get away for a bit. The British Isles in particular are seeming to heat up right now as “close to home” cruises start to seem more and more appealing.
We definitely like the idea of “close to home” cruises, and we expect to see them get pushed more and more by cruise lines that are getting back into sailing.