After a transitional 2021, in which 50% of the world's cruise fleet has resumed sailing with some the most rigorous and safest protocols to be found anywhere in the world, the second half of 2022 is expected to be close to pre-pandemic levels.
The most important international professionals of the cruise industry will be meeting on 17 and 18 November in Madrid, to celebrate the eleventh edition of the International Cruise Summit, the prestigious congress that analyses the current status of the sector every year.
After a hugely successful hybrid live/virtual edition in 2020, the International Cruise Summit 2021 will be held completely live, following all the necessary health and safety protocols, at the Hotel Meliá Castilla in Madrid, making it the first face-to-face international cruise event since the beginning of the pandemic in Europe.
The coronavirus pandemic hit the cruise industry hard, forcing it to come to a complete standstill in March 2020. Since the summer of 2020, but more intensively in 2021, cruise lines have been painstakingly resuming operations with health and safety protocols that far exceed the standards of other industries and governments. Thus, all passengers embarking on cruise ships are now required to have passed a coronavirus test beforehand, and for many cruiselines, only fully vaccinated people are allowed to board.
Companies are seeing an exceptional level of bookings for 2022, especially in the second half of the year, because after two summers of travel restrictions and difficulties living with the virus, consumers are keen not only to travel, but also to travel lavishly, indulging in luxuries with the money they have saved.
Throughout this time, shipyards have completed and delivered the ships scheduled for 2020 and 2021, and have continued building new units for delivery in 2022 and beyond. Environmentally sustainable ships, using the latest technologies to minimise their impact, or using alternative fuels such as Liquefied Natural Gas. In addition, over a dozen older, less efficient ships have been scrapped, mainly in Turkey.
Top executives, international cruise line executives, port authorities, travel agents and companies and experts from the sector will be present at one of the most important cruise congresses in the world. The event will feature speakers from the top management of cruise companies such as Mario Zanetti, President of Costa Crociere; Roberto Martinoli, President and CEO of Silversea Cruises; Ferdinand Strohmeier, CEO of Mystic Cruises; Ben Bouldin, Vice President EMEA of Royal Caribbean International, Jo Rzymowska, Vice President and Managing Director EMEA of Celebrity Cruises; and Bob Dixon, Director EMEA & Latin America of Cunard Line, among others.
During the two days, several panel discussions and presentations will debate the recovery of the cruise industry and tourist destinations, the challenges to re-recruit all the workers the sector needs and how to recover the pre-pandemic levels of sales and prices.