Into month two of 2021 and still no indication from the government as to when its ocean cruise ban will be lifted. Yet for all the frustration, cruise chiefs remain steadfastly optimistic.
In our February issue, TTG hears how, despite government radio silence, cruise lines are busy getting their businesses and staff ready for the future.
This is certainly the case for the new owners of Azamara who, after announcing the acquisition of a fourth ship, have now hinted at even greater expansion. Perhaps this is why president Carol Cabezas says former chief Larry Pimentel is “over the moon” about the purchase of the line by private equity firm Sycamore Partners.
Elsewhere, it’s been heartening to note that despite the huge pressure on cruise companies, bosses have been lending their support to TTG’s Get Travel Talking mental health pledge, with Celebrity’s Jo Rzymowska, Royal Caribbean’s Ben Bouldin, Princess’s Tony Roberts and Hurtigruten’s Anthony Daniels among those promising to champion mental wellbeing this year.
TTG also examines the heroic efforts of maritime charity Sailors’ Society which, alongside cruise lines, has been supporting crew – who are often many miles away from home and loved ones – keeping ships afloat during the pandemic.
“I don’t think we’ve ever seen a humanitarian crisis like this within the maritime industry,” Sailors’ Society’s Melanie Warman explains.
Cruise might still be in choppy waters, but the industry remains united. And that can only help lead to brighter horizons.