2020 is not a year with which many of us shall look back with undiluted pleasure. In fact most of us are glad to see the back of it!
Many businesses have suffered terribly and many thousands have found themselves unemployed through no fault of their own, particularly in the hotel and pub trades. The various news media, both TV and print, have focused almost exclusively on the predicament the hospitality industry have found themselves in –
little, if anything has been reported on the fate of the travel industry. Almost no business has taken place since April of 2020 and unlike the hospitality industry we have had no respite, no opportunity to generate income for many months and very limited support from the government.
The cruise industry has been perhaps the worst effected, with sailings cancelled throughout 2020 and for most of 2021. Many companies big and small will not survive and many highly skilled individuals will have lost their jobs.
The Cruise Pro has faired better than most, we have thus far avoided any redundancies thanks to the governments furlough scheme, without which things would have been far worse. Without the understanding and patience of our loyal clients the story would not have had an happy ending. My staff and I owe you all a very heartfelt thank you.
The future is far from certain, much depends upon the speed with which countries around the world can vaccinate their populations and the effectiveness of the vaccine itself. The question I am asked repeatedly is, “When can we cruise safely”. The honest answer is I have no idea! The advice we are giving our clients is do not consider booking a cruise before July 2021 at the very earliest. Our customer service staff are continuously monitoring the situation not only here in the United Kingdom but around the world and are in constant touch and discussions with the Cruise Lines and the FOC so both we and our clients are fully aware of their future plans. 2021 will nevertheless be a challenge with anything approaching normality not occurring before the third quarter of the year. I am convinced that cruise lines, airlines and possibly hotels will require passengers to provide proof of a valid Covid 19 vaccination before being allowed to embark.
The situation will no doubt become clearer as time goes by and we will keep you all fully informed. We have removed a great many cruises from our website. Nothing is offered prior to July 2021 and in fact very little thereafter. Once we are certain beyond doubt, that the cruise will go ahead, only then will we offer it on our website. Some cruise lines and airlines have behaved badly in my opinion where refunds are concerned, whilst offering generous “Future Cruise Credits” in the case of the Cruise lines, obtaining refunds has been unnecessarily slow to say the least. Airlines being the worst offenders taking many many months in order to refund! We have no wish to see a repetition of this in the months ahead so until we are certain that your booking can be done safely and in certainty that your holiday will take place we will not advertise it on our website.
Thank you again for your support and we look forward to offering you the best cruises at the best prices in the years ahead.