Will there be a 2021 European cruise season?
“Yes. It won’t be the same and a lot depends on some of the regulatory hurdles we are dealing with today,” said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group, speaking on a webinar on Wednesday.
Fain pointed to successful restarts in Europe from TUI Cruises, as well as industry peers MSC and Costa.
“You see us announcing our operation from Israel to Greece (on the Odyssey),” he continued. “Greece is going to be a big destination.”
Fain said the 2021 summer season in Europe would not be normal, but bookings are so far exceeding expectations.
“Because it takes months to activate a ship, we not only need permission to be doing things, we need that permission sufficiently in advance to enable us to prepare for it,” he explained. “Late permission is equivalent to a denial.”
In Alaska, the 2021 season is a little less clear with Canada’s cruise ship ban and a bill introduced by Alaska Senators to save the season appearing to be stalled.
“We and others are working on it,” Fain commented. “I don’t think I feel confident on it to make a prediction.”