The cruise industry, which is silent due to the epidemic, seems to have ushered in a turning point in recent days. On March 21, a reporter from Beijing business daily learned from MSC Mediterranean cruise that the cruise company announced that it would provide a series of mini routes and a week-long voyage for local tourists in the UK. In fact, in recent years, Royal Caribbean, Viking cruise and P & amp; o cruise have announced that individual routes or regions will resume. In the view of the industry, this seems to be a positive signal for the cruise industry. In the Chinese market, cruise companies are also further communicating with relevant departments, looking forward to market recovery. However, whether there will be a turn for the better depends on the situation of epidemic prevention and control in various countries.
Some regional routes restart
With the arrival of spring, the cruise market seems to have a sign of recovery. Beijing Business Daily reporter learned that at present, many cruise companies in the global market have begun to restart some regional routes.
According to MSC Mediterranean cruise’s announcement, the cruise company announced that it will provide a series of mini routes and a week-long voyage for local tourists in the UK, including seven night routes and strictly protected shore sightseeing activities. The cruise line also said that all the voyages of this resumption are open to British families and guests of all ages, and guests can board the ship whether they are waiting for the new crown vaccine or have completed the vaccination.
Gianni Onorato, chief executive officer of MSC Mediterranean cruise, said that since its restart in the Mediterranean region in August last year, MSC Mediterranean cruise has accumulated relevant experience and a lot of knowledge and data on safe resumption. Since its resumption, it has served more than 50000 guests and taken them to Italy, Malta and Greece. Next, MSC Mediterranean cruise will ensure the health and safety of the guests, whether on board or during the whole process of strictly protected shore sightseeing activities.
In fact, not only MSc Mediterranean cruises, but Royal Caribbean, as an industry giant, also announced that it will restart regional markets in Israel and Bahamas in May and June this year. Royal Caribbean said that the Caribbean route, which will be restarted in June, is another regional market that Royal Caribbean will restart in the world after Singapore’s smooth resumption in 2020 and Israel’s departure plan in May, which was announced not long ago. In addition, including Viking cruise and Carnival group’s P & amp; o cruise also plans to resume. According to the relevant requirements, all passengers boarding the ship will be tested for the virus. Meanwhile, new air purification technology has been put into use. In addition, the ship will be equipped with additional health examination, disinfection and social distance measures. Beijing Business Daily also learned that P & amp; o cruises have also strengthened health measures.
According to the relevant person in charge of a cruise company, from the current state of cruise companies in various countries, they are preparing for the resumption of flights, and the recovery of some regional routes is also seen as a positive signal for the cruise industry.
Delayed recovery plan
As a matter of fact, as early as last year when the epidemic broke out, cruise companies planned to resume their flights in the first half of this year. However, due to the changes in the epidemic situation, the originally scheduled plan can only be postponed again and again. A few days ago, Norwegian Cruise group also announced that the suspension period of its global routes will be extended for another month to June 30 on the basis of June. At the same time, Demark, senior vice president of the group, also said in a statement that in order to fight the epidemic and have more time to prepare for the recovery of the cruise industry, its cruise lines will not resume in the short term.
Not only that, but also news points out that Carnival group, the world’s largest cruise company, has postponed the resumption time, cancelled all US routes before May, and even postponed some routes to the end of June. In addition, Royal Caribbean, another major cruise company, has also made corresponding adjustments, cancelling spring routes, including all routes of “ocean spectrum”, which has been sold before and will resume in mid February. At present, the only one remaining is “ocean quantum”, which only operates short-distance routes in Singapore. Beijing Business Daily also learned that it is far from only these large international cruise companies to maintain a cautious attitude towards the resumption of flights, and some other cruise companies have also been affected by the epidemic and announced to postpone the resumption of flights. Previously, crystal cruise, Disney Cruise, etc. have extended the resumption time to the end of may or early June.
At the same time, in order to reduce cash expenditure, some cruise companies have to take positive measures. Previously, Carnival group said that in order to further enhance its liquidity, Carnival group and its brands announced layoffs, temporary layoffs, reduced working weeks and company wide salary reduction measures, including senior executives. In addition, the carnival group also sells ships to cut costs. This year, Royal Caribbean also adjusted its brand, including the sale of its Azamara. In the view of industry insiders, a series of actions are bringing non cash losses to cruise companies.
According to the relevant person in charge of a cruise company, many staff members of the cruise company have left their posts one after another. At present, the cruise company is operating at a low cost and hopes to arrange the resumption of the cruise as soon as possible.
The industry is looking forward to recovery
“If the global epidemic situation is further improved, it is expected that the cruise market in the second half of the year will be significantly better than that in the first half of the year. At present, we are also watching the domestic market, and ready for the resumption of the Chinese market at any time. ” A person in charge of the company said frankly. The relevant person in charge of the international cruise company also said that with the recession of the epidemic, there will be more and more good news for the cruise industry. Beijing Business Daily also learned that a number of international cruise companies are further preparing to restart routes in other overseas markets.
Zheng Weihang, executive vice president and Secretary General of ccyia, said that in the first half of this year, the international cruise market was resuming sporadically. It is expected that more regions will restart in the second half of this year, and it will take at least 1-2 years to realize the full resuming.
Speaking of the revival of China’s cruise market, Wang Xingbin, senior researcher of China Academy of culture and tourism industry of Beijing International Studies University, said that the international cruise company’s route involves the outbound business after all, and whether it can be released eventually depends on the policy of the departments concerned in the outbound travel. Judging from the current overseas epidemic, it still takes time to resume the voyage.
However, Beijing Business Daily also learned that at present, in the domestic market, the Yangtze River Cruise has been restored, and the “dream of the South China Sea” cruise also opened the Xisha route before the Spring Festival. Recently, the first luxury cruise ship “Viking sun” of China Merchants Viking cruise Co., Ltd., which is a joint venture between Viking cruise and China Merchants Shekou, has also safely berthed at Shenzhen Shekou cruise home port. It is reported that after berthing, the cruise will carry out the work of changing the ship’s nationality according to the plan. After the change is hoisted as the five-star red flag, the cruise will set out from Shenzhen in the second half of this year according to the plan to open domestic tour routes along the coast. However, the relevant person in charge of Viking cruise also said that the follow-up specific operation also depends on the policies of relevant departments.
For the domestic cruise market, some international cruise companies said that although there is no timetable for the resumption of cruise routes in China’s home port, they are ready to communicate with the government health department. In addition, it will also pay more attention to the operation of Chinese Cruise Lines in the domestic market, so as to participate in the resumption of work and production in the Chinese cruise market as soon as possible.
Guan Zichen, Beijing Business Daily
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