A large majority of customers surveyed by agency Mundy Cruising has said anti-Covid measures would be detrimental to their holiday.
Three-quarters of those surveyed by the retailer said mandatory facemask wearing in public areas would make the cruise experience less enjoyable, and just over half felt removing self-service buffets would have a negative effect.
The idea of limiting visits ashore to the ship’s own excursions, as tested on MSC cruises this summer, was also unpopular, with 70% responding negatively to this suggestion.
The survey of 240 clients was in response to some of the measures outlined in the Covid-19 Framework recently published by the UK Chamber of Shipping and Clia.
There was strong support for compulsory Covid-19 testing prior to embarkation, with 44% of respondents indicating that this would make their cruise much more enjoyable, and 12% stating that it would make it “a little more enjoyable”.
The survey also revealed an overwhelming majority of luxury cruisers favour refusing boarding to guests from regions and countries with high levels of Covid-19 infection, with 43% stating that this would make their cruise much more enjoyable, and 23% saying that it would make their trip a little more enjoyable.
The findings are from Mundy’s new Cruise Expert Panel, launched to coincide with the company’s 50th anniversary this month.
Another Covid concept, “cruises to nowhere”, which do not call at any ports, proved particularly unpopular, with 67% believing this would make their next cruise much less enjoyable.
Those surveyed were also not keen on the prospect of cruises being limited to ex-UK and short-haul itineraries, with 71% expressing either strong or moderate opposition to the idea.
“This survey shows that luxury cruise buyers are concerned about what the experience will be like on board when operations resume, and I can understand that – cruising is such a sociable way to travel,” said Mundy Cruising managing director Edwina Lonsdale.
“However, we also know from conversations with our clients that safety is paramount, and this is reflected in the desire for testing and pre-departure health screening. We have already seen these measures successfully deployed by cruise lines in Europe this summer, creating a safe bubble at sea.”