A vaccine has been discussed as the main way for the cruise industry to make a full return to service since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. While multiple strategies have been tried out to keep the industry afloat, most people acknowledge that a sense of normalcy isn’t possible until the spread of the coronavirus is severely restricted. With a vaccine (or multiple vaccines) potentially on the horizon, things are starting to look up. A survey from Mundy Cruising has confirmed that a vaccine is the key to making people feel comfortable to sail again.
This survey was administered by Mundy Cruising, a small luxury cruise line based in the U.K. They focus on offering expedition cruises to far flung destinations. The survey is therefore potentially skewed to people that represent Mundy’s target audience of more wealthy and dedicated travelers, but it’s not a stretch to assume that many of the same results would apply to the general public as well.
The results from the survey are very encouraging. The most promising figure to come from the survey is that 81% of the people who took the survey planned to sail in 2021. This question wasn’t directly related to the vaccine, but this number was surely bolstered by recent news from companies like Pfizer and Moderna. Additionally, questions that specifically asked about the vaccine found that it was a major factor for many of the respondents. 47% of people said that they were only planning on sailing in 2021 once they and most other people had received the vaccine. Only 9% of people said that they would sail under current conditions in 2021 (assuming no vaccine is available).
It’s pretty clear from all of this that travelers are hopeful about cruising in 2021. It does seem that this hope hinges intensely on the prospect of a vaccine, though. Many are assuming that a vaccine will come and allow them to sail safely again. Most people (52%) are assuming that this will happen some time between the second and third quarter of 2021. This means that a proper vaccine rollout will have a huge effect on whether the cruise industry can be running successfully next year. The earlier vaccines are available, the sooner the industry can restart.
While not all recent events have pointed towards a smooth 2021, the potential for multiple vaccines next year still remains a beacon of hope, both in the industry and beyond. We’re hoping to see safe cruising again as soon as possible!