Image by: Seven Seas, Explorer spa infinity pool, aboard the Regent Seven Seas.
Want to know what the future of cruising might entail? One of our favourite travel writers, Andrea Black, has summed it up perfectly.
All aboard: What is the future of cruising?
Andrea Black February 4,2021
Like any keen cruiser, I can’t wait to step on board a ship again when it’s safe to do so.
Whether it’s a luxury yacht, an ocean liner, a river-cruise ship, or expedition ship, there really is a vessel that will appeal to every taste, and then there are the incredible destinations. There’s a lot to be excited about when charting the future course of cruising.
One of the joys of cruising is there’s such a range of activities to do on board, depending on the ship and the itinerary. I have fond memories of spotting puffins in the Arctic with world-renowned wildlife experts on an APT expedition cruise in Norway, roller-skating and skydiving on Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas, diving off a Star Clippers tall ship into the Mediterranean in the Greek Islands, and being invited to visit the Queens Grill duplex on Queen Mary 2 to toast a newly-wed couple, who met on board and spent a good portion of their year cruising with Cunard. All of this before even entering port.
I like to linger as long as possible in a destination, so will look for itineraries that offer late departures or overnights in ports to really get to experience the culture.
Cruise lines have got savvy to the fact that cruisers don’t want to step off a ship and onto a coach tour; we’re keen for a more bespoke experience tailored to our interests. Some highlights from my adventures include a Princess Cruises’ Local Connections Program on Maori meeting grounds at Waitangi in New Zealand’s Bay of Islands after paddling a waka taua (war canoe) across the water and an Azamara Local Immersions tour visiting artist Cezanne’s home in Provence.
Building a bridge
Like travel on land, it makes sense that cruising can progress to a responsible restart within Australia using crew and ships that have gone through all the required quarantine procedures. Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) managing director Australasia Joel Katz has welcomed the Australian government’s statement that it’s working with the industry and state and territory agencies to develop a framework for the staged resumption of cruise ships in local waters.
Already, Australian-flagged cruise lines such as Coral Expeditions have been sailing around the Great Barrier Reef with seven-night itineraries on board Coral Discoverer. And this month Coral Expeditions has new itineraries exploring South Australia, the Great Australian Bight, and the coral reefs and islands of Western Australia and Queensland with guests capped at under a hundred. Meanwhile, luxury cruise line True North is sailing along the Western Australian coast at the moment.