Travel Editor STEPHEN SCOURFIELD tests the waters in our safe and sensible guide to ocean cruising for 2021/22 and beyond.
What happens now?
In 2020, we are facing the cautious start of interstate travel, with all the faltering moments that will keep us sensible, though not scared.
For 2021, the cruising industry is edging towards a careful, gradual restart, first in regional waters.
After Australia, in December but mainly next year, will come New Zealand, with Auckland potentially as a pivotal port.
This is being revealed as a phased, measured resumption of cruising with strict COVID-19 protocols.
It will begin in Australia with locally flagged then home-ported vessels sailing Australian and then New Zealand and South Pacific waters.
And so, we offer this comprehensive round-up of the situation as it is evolving. We are not, of course, by any stretch of the imagination, suggesting that anyone jump on a cruise ship tomorrow. But we report on what cruise lines have planned for 2021, 2022 and beyond. And we also report on how the pandemic has led the cruising industry to changes in their ships, itineraries, and in the terms and conditions they offer.
For cruise lines which are part of the Cruise Line Industry Association (all the main players) are backing up their deals with financial safeguards — deals with low deposits, which allow late cancellation and changes, and future cruise credits. The cruise industry is taking refunds and credits seriously.
And they have significant health guards in place — from pre-embarkation checks, to daily COVID checks, to cleaning and sanitation, fogging with hypochlorous acid and installation of medical-grade H13 HEPA air filters.
Read the full story here.
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