Of the world’s cruise lines, Norwegian Cruise Line is among the best known. That it is well-known is a reflection of the company’s long and prolific history. Norwegian traces its roots back to 1845, when a merger created the world’s first trans-Atlantic passenger line. The company was bought by Royal Caribbean in 2000, which sold it to Star Cruises in 2006. Two years later, it changed its name to Norwegian Cruise Line.
While cruise lines and the cruise industry in general continue to grow in popularity and profitability, a new threat looms on the horizon.
Cruise lines have been steadily increasing the number of passengers they take on their ships. With a total of 2.4 million reservations made in 2017, there’s no doubt that the cruise industry is a booming business, and it’s only growing. The cruise industry is also touting the benefits of cruises, including the fact that they attract people who might not otherwise travel, and have lower rates of obesity and diabetes than other forms of travel.. Read more about royal caribbean alaska cruise updates 2021 and let us know what you think.
At Nassau’s Prince George Wharf, 520 cruise ship trips are planned through the end of the year. Until the end of the year, this equates to more than three cruise ships each day visiting the famous Bahamas port.
Despite the fact that cruise ships are sailing with significantly lower occupancy rates than they were before March 2020, Nassau’s cruise port General Manager Michael Maura believes the port will be able to welcome 1 million to 1.7 million guests this year alone.
In the next months, there will be a significant increase in traffic.
The cruise industry, as we’ve seen in recent weeks, is rapidly expanding its ship fleet. Only yesterday, Carnival Corporation stated that 75 percent of its fleet will be operating by the end of the year.
According to Michael Maura of Tribune Business, cruise companies are becoming more confidence in running boats under existing health regulations, and occupancy levels will gradually rise to 100 percent by 2022, up from the 30-70 percent that most cruise ships now sail with.
The Bahamas have long been a popular cruise ship destination due to its proximity to Florida’s main cruise ports. Even if ships arrive in the Bahamas with just 30% occupancy, the cruise port will be able to accommodate 500,000 passengers, making it the world’s biggest homeport and port of call. With occupancy rates approaching 100%, the total number of guests may reach 1.7 million.
“If the 520 boats maintained occupancy at 30%, we would get just over 500,000 passengers,” says Michael Maura, “but if they sustained occupancy at 60% until the year-end, we would welcome one million passengers during the final five months of 2021.”
The Bahamas is critical to the cruise industry.
The Bahamas has played a key role in reviving the cruise sector. The archipelago, which is home to several of the cruise line’s own islands, is crucial in the test trips that any ship operating without a vaccination mandate must do. Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas and Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Serenity both call the islands home.
In the Bahamas, several cruise companies have already begun operations. Carnival Corporation ships have already visited the islands, and Norwegian Cruise Line, Disney, and MSC, which completed its maiden test voyage to the Bahamas last week, will be joining them shortly.
“We speak to these cruise lines every day,” Maura added. When we talked with Disney today, they stated their Bahamas cruises will begin the first week of August. MSC will be revving up, and Carnival will be kicking off. On August 6, Carnival will debut the Mardi Gras, a liquefied natural gas (LNG) cruise ship that the company has touted as a commercial first. Royal continues to dump ships on top of us. Norwegian Cruise Line will not launch as quickly as the other lines, but we anticipate seeing them in October of this year.”
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/byvalet
While an increase in ship traffic is encouraging for the tourist sector on the islands, the risk of a rise in cases in the Bahamas is something that the islanders are well aware of.
Also see: THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN THE BAHAMAS
Despite this, cruise ship guests are not needed to buy and be accepted for a health travel visa. Because cruise companies currently require passengers to be completely vaccinated or provide evidence of a negative PCR test before sailing, this was done.
“The government, in my opinion, has not relaxed the health standards, whether you are completely vaccinated or must do a PCR test,” Maura said. According to the government, buying the health visa makes no sense unless the cruise companies agree to cover 100 percent of the ship’s health problems. “You are paying for insurance on top of what the cruise lines are doing at the same time.”
As things stand, the Bahamas is aggressively lobbying for additional cruise ships to visit Nassau, mostly to make up for a year of cruise ship absence. With almost a million cruise ship passengers, the islands may be well on their way to accomplishing that goal.
Cruise ports of call can be fraught with tension. When the ship pulls into port, it is very tempting for passengers to over-exert themselves by wandering around town, or grabbing a coffee at the nearest mocha cafe. And, if they’re not careful, soon they may feel tired or sluggish. In order to avoid this, all cruise lines have adopted a “curfew” policy, which mandates that passengers are not allowed to leave the ship before midnight. This is to ensure that the vast majority of passengers are in good shape when they set sail.. Read more about will there be alaska cruises in 2021 and let us know what you think.
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