Majority of Aussies want cruising to resume

It’s no secret Aussies love a cruise. We’re one of the world’s biggest cruise hubs and, per capita, Australians have the highest number of cruisers in the world.

Little wonder they want cruising to resume – and soon.

But it’s going to take a lot more than low fares and good intentions to get cruisers back onboard.

One thing is for sure: they want all passengers and crew to be fully vaccinated.

A Cruise Passenger sentiment survey reveals that 91 per cent of respondents will receive a vaccine once it is available and 93 per cent want guarantees that full crew and passengers are all fully vaccinated before considering their next cruise.

Read: Cruising is back: The first post COVID cruise from the UK

More than eight in 10 (83 per cent) want a resumption of cruising, with over 83 per cent backing Cruise Lines International Association Australasia’s idea ships based in states and sailing with only intrastate passengers.

The survey revealed that cruisers just want to get back on the water, with over 42 per cent answered wanting to sail “immediately” – a huge vote of confidence in the health protocols that cruise lines have put into place – and 57 per cent said they were planning on booking in 2022.

While half of respondents want all passengers and crew to be vaccinated, some larger lines, such as those like Royal Caribbean, may find this difficult to ‘enforce’.

Read: Travel SOS: When will cruising restart in Australia?

Hygiene and safety protocols are second on the list and flexible booking and cancellation policies are the third most important item to get cruisers back on board. Just 5.3 per cent considered low prices the most important fact in booking.

Respondents also think all treatment and tests on board should be free and eight in 10 want to know they’ll have those facilities once at sea.

Over 50 per cent said they would of respondents said they’d stick with their usual cruise line, while 10 per cent said they would definitely change, and 35 per cent weren’t sure.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, smaller ships were the big winners, with just under 40 per cent saying they’d prefer to sail on smaller ships.

Read: How cruising will change

Australia and New Zealand also stand out as favourite destinations, sharing 85 per cent in destination preference ratings. Europe was next at almost 20 per cent and Asia at 16 per cent.

And in what could be interpreted as a nod to the cruise industry, 83 per cent said the industry handled the COVID crisis very well.

What would it take to get you back on a ship? Why not share your thoughts in the comments section below?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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