Research: luxury cruisers want strict screening procedures
The latest research by cruise retailer Mundy Cruising found strong support for compulsory Covid-19 testing prior to embarkation.
The overwhelming majority of luxury cruise customers favour refusing boarding to guests from regions and countries with high levels of Covid-19 infection, a new survey has found.
Forty-three per cent stating that this would make their cruise much more enjoyable, with 23 per cent saying that it would make their trip a little more enjoyable.
The latest research by cruise retailer Mundy Cruising found strong support for compulsory Covid-19 testing prior to embarkation, with 44 per cent of respondents indicating that this would make their cruise much more enjoyable, and 12 per cent stating that it would make it a little more enjoyable.
The results represent the first findings of Mundy’s new Cruise Expert Panel, launched to coincide with the company’s 50th anniversary this month. The panel is comprised of 240 people, including Mundy clients and regular cruisers. The survey looked specifically at the extent to which new measures might affect clients’ enjoyment of their cruise.
It found the idea of cruises that don’t call at any ports (‘cruises to nowhere’) proved particularly unpopular, with 67 per cent 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 per cent expressing either strong or moderate opposition to the idea.
The survey revealed a lukewarm response to some of the measures outlined in the Covid-19 framework recently published by the UK Chamber of Shipping and Clia. Three quarters of respondents said that making face masks mandatory in public areas would make the cruise experience less enjoyable, and just over half felt that removing self-service buffets would have a negative effect on their enjoyment. The idea of limiting visits ashore to the ship’s own excursions was also unpopular, with 70 per cent responding negatively to this suggestion.
“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. The detailed proposals from Clia and others lay the foundations for the safe return of cruising, and while the measures proposed will of course take some getting used to, they will ensure that a cruise ship is one of the very safest places to be.”