This year has seen a resurgence in popularity for leisure cruises; more passengers are opting to take a cruise than ever before. At the same time, there is a cloud that hangs over the industry, with the upcoming UK vote for whether to leave the European Union. Will UK passengers continue to flock to Europe’s shores? What impact will the UK’s exit have on the UK’s ability to attract tourists to its waters?
Looking to escape the crowds or simply want to escape the average tourist destination? Then book your tickets for one of the latest destinations to welcome back leisure cruises, the Caribbean. As the world’s romantic retreat, the Caribbean’s ship-based leisure cruises are the perfect way to make waves and experience a new side of the world. Luxurious and relaxing, with a vast array of stunning ocean views, the Caribbean is a haven for all passengers, whether you’re travelling with children, couples or a small group.
The leisure cruise industry has undergone a few changes in the past few years, and it appears that 2018 will be no exception. The newly rebranded P&O Leisure Cruises has announced that it will embark on a 15-week period of ‘restructuring’, starting March 2018, with the provider putting all of its senior managers on ‘sick leave’. Meanwhile, tour operator Thomas Cook has announced that it will be ending its three-year joint venture with Royal Caribbean Cruises, which offered cruises that featured the Caribbean, Mexico, Cuba, Panama Canal, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Turks & Caicos, St Lucia, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico, Jamaica, Jamaica, Jamaica, Jamaica
Passenger cruises have made their first post-pandemic appearances in certain locations that haven’t seen such activity in 17 months, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic stopped cruising worldwide.
While the main East Coast cruise ports have mostly resumed operations in recent months, eager to capitalize on the summer season, West Coast sailings seem to be getting off to a slower start.
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Riviera Maya, Mexico
Carnival Panorama was the first cruise ship to begin sailing from California on August 21, marking the sector’s first departure from Long Beach Harbor in the Los Angeles region since the worldwide halt began in March 2020.
Over the last week, the Panorama set a number of post-pandemic firsts by calling on ports along the Mexican Riviera that hadn’t seen passenger cruises in almost a year and a half.
It was the first cruise ship to be greeted upon its return to Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán, and Puerto Vallarta, where it stopped on its seven-day journey. The Panorama is scheduled to sail along the same itinerary every week for the rest of the season.
The Vista-class Carnival Panorama is sailing at 75 percent capacity on its maiden trip, with about 2,750 guests, at least 97 percent of whom are completely vaccinated. The ship can accommodate 4,008 passengers and has a crew of up to 1,450 people.
Long Beach’s cruise port has an unique geodesic dome. (picture courtesy of CopaDave on Flickr)
Out of Carnival Cruise Lines’ 24-ship fleet, this is the carrier’s eighth ship to return to service, after others that are currently operating from Miami, Orlando, and Galveston. The Long Beach Post stated that two additional Carnival ships, the Carnival Miracle and Radiance, will be homeported in Long Beach, but their return dates have not yet been confirmed.
Fernando Hoyos, the head of the Los Cabos Integral Port Administration, said his agency hopes to welcome 50,000 cruise passengers over the next four months.
Other cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas, Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Bliss, and Holland America’s Koningsdam and Zuiderdam, are expected to return to sailing the Mexican Riviera before the end of the year, according to Cruise Hive.
The colonial architecture of Cartagena. (Charly Boillot/iStock/Getty Images Plus picture)
Other locations, like Colombia, where the first post-pandemic cruise landed at the Port of Cartagena on August 24, are also welcoming the return of international cruising to their shores. The ship was Windstar Cruises’ Star Breeze, which had 312 guests and 190 staff members on board and was on its way to the Caribbean for a 14-day trip.
According to Cruise Mapper, 122 cruise ships are expected to dock in Cartagena this season, which began on Tuesday with the arrival of Star Breeze and will end on June 14, 2022.
ProColombia stated in a news statement that 26 cruise lines are scheduled to visit Cartagena this season as part of their itineraries, and seven in Santa Marta, which is also located in the country’s Greater Caribbean area. Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America, MSC Cruises, Princess Cruises, and Royal Caribbean are among the cruise lines that have previously announced stops in Cartagena, while Norwegian is planning a call in Santa Marta.
View of Bonaire’s capital, Kralendijk. (iStock/Getty Images Plus/DonFord1/iStock)
Bonaire, in the Netherlands Antilles, is ready to welcome its first visiting cruise ship since the epidemic shut down the industry. Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Equinox is set to arrive in Bonaire’s city of Kralendijk on September 2 after departing Fort Lauderdale on a nine-day round-trip journey that includes stops in the Bahamas, Aruba, and Curacao.
New health standards for cruise ship passengers have been implemented on the Dutch Caribbean island. Passengers who have been fully vaccinated must provide evidence of vaccination as well as their original pre-boarding PCR test results, while those who have not been immunized must demonstrate a negative antigen test performed no more than 24 hours before to arrival on Bonaire.
The Caribbean Journal quoted Hennyson Thielman, Bonaire’s Commissioner of Tourism and Economic Affairs, as saying, “We are pleased with the resumption of cruise tourism; this will imply the restart of greater economic activity on our island following the epidemic.” “Our aim is to keep the cruise business alive while making a few adjustments to better manage crowds and attract the kind of tourists who can spend more money on our island. The one-call-per-day policy is one of the improvements, as is a greater balance in the number of cruise ships throughout the extremely high and low seasons.”
If you haven’t been to a cruise ship in a while, you may have a hard time understanding why a cruise line would want to bring back a product that has been so overshadowed by a new product. That’s because the cruise ship industry has been down since the late 2000s, and it’s been a long, uphill battle. In the past few years, there have been a few signs that things are turning around. The first was the introduction of the Carnival Vista, which was the first cruise ship to offer a casino, Royal Caribbean’s Infinity, which was the first to offer a private island, and Carnival’s new Lido deck, which was the first to offer a full-length pool.. Read more about travel and leisure group and let us know what you think.
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