It’s full steam ahead for cruise industry operations, according to industry leaders participating in the recent Seatrade Cruise Global Conference in Miami Beach earlier this month.
Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises and global chair of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), delivered the conference keynote address, and reported that the cruise industry expects to return to pre-pandemic 2019 passenger levels by 2023.
“Now, even before we enter the summer season, we can see the momentum building in our industry’s revival,” he said.
More than 80 percent of the world’s cruise fleet is back sailing and more than 95 percent of the global CLIA fleet will restart operations by July 2022. Some 280 ships will be sailing by that time.
Additionally, more than 100 countries around the world have now opened to cruise visitation including Canada and Australia. Vago stressed that every 24 cruise guests the industry books equate to one full-time job.
It’s “times like this where we value the industry,” he added, noting that unity helped the cruise lines, their industry partners and cruise destinations across the globe regain their footing. “Adversity brought us closer,” he stressed. “As the health emergency is behind us, we now must stay on course to capitalize on future activities.”
More than 2,000 cruise line executives, tourism leaders, cruise industry suppliers, shipyard owners and travel advisors attended the in-person conference.