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January 10, 2021, 12.43 PM

And industry analyst Illes says that, for the overwhelming majority of passengers, discovering foreign destinations in combination with sea travel remains the main attraction. On the “cruises to nowhere,” he says, passengers are so limited in their individual freedoms that many would never even think of taking a cruise under those circumstances.

Without vaccination, no recovery

Whether the cruise industry can truly recover in 2021 will depend above all on the effectiveness of vaccination. Until now, financial backers are still on board, because they know how profitable the cruise business is under normal circumstances.

And customers are remaining loyal as well. “There is still a demand for cruises,” TUI Cruises confirmed to DW.

But without concessions from the health authorities, a new start for the cruise industry will continue to be delayed.

Countries such as Greece, the US and Spain have blocked their ports to cruise liners until further notice. Only the Canary Islands are currently open to the liners. But there, too, the number of infections is rising: the German Foreign Office, for example, has now issued a travel warning for the Spanish archipelago, and German ports also remain closed to cruise ships.

“Politically it was and still is unthinkable to allow thousands of people to take cruises while nobody else can stay in a hotel or eat in a restaurant,” says analyst Thomas Illes.

No more money for environmental protection?

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, cruises no longer enjoyed the best reputation. The industry was heavily criticized for its negative effect on the environment — and ultimately, though reluctantly, it became a pioneer within the entire shipping industry.

Also readAirAsia Indonesia Hikes Flight Frequency of Lombok-Jakarta Route


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