The nature of river cruises puts them in a better position for recovery in comparison to ocean cruises. Early signs already suggest that there is a growing demand for river cruises, despite the severe impact Covid-19 has had upon the industry.
River cruises have particular advantages over ocean cruises when it comes to post-Covid-19 recovery. They generally tend to sail in one or two countries, meaning quarantine laws and travel restrictions will not have such a significant impact on business. This will allow river cruise companies to be up and running in countries that relax restrictions fairly quickly.
Secondly, river cruises generally have a smaller number of passengers than ocean cruises. This makes health and safety procedures more manageable, and will also allow companies to react more effectively if passengers onboard become ill. Having a smaller number of passengers may also make customers feel safer. They also tend to be shorter than their ocean counterparts. This could be reassuring for customers who want to return to cruising but do not want to commit to a lot of time onboard. All of this may lead to cruise-goers opting for river cruises over ocean cruises.
River cruises are beginning to reemerge
River cruise operator A-ROSA has resumed cruises on the Rhine. A ship departed from Cologne with a ten-day ‘Experience the Northern Rhine and Moselle’ itinerary. Meanwhile, the French Government will allow river cruises to restart operations from 11 July.
Furthermore, Scylla Cruises has completed the first river cruise with new Covid-19 safety regulations. The ship docked in Dusseldorf, Germany, after a 13-day sailing itinerary. The ship set sail on 1 June with regular temperature checks carried out on passengers and crew, and a one-way system in corridors to maintain social distancing. The success of this voyage will give reassurance to companies and customers that river cruises are safe when the necessary procedures are in place.
The cruises beginning to return is wonderful news for the industry. The early signs are positive and if ships can stay coronavirus-free, there is every chance of a successful recovery.
River cruise companies have still been hit hard by Covid-19
Things look like they are beginning to improve for river cruise companies. However, that does not mean they have not been hit extremely hard by the pandemic. There have been redundancies and a considerable period of little to no revenue for companies, which could still result in significant losses within the industry. However, the industry is beginning to recover.