AFTER ALMOST 18 dormant months in the age of Covid 19, cruise lines are increasingly beginning to sail again. American Cruise Line launched from Florida in March. Crystal Cruises resumed operations, with two vessels sailing in the Bahamas, in July. The Norwegian Jade is cruising the Greek Isles, with many Americans on board. At the end of August, Oceania Cruises’ Marina set sail from Copenhagen, and its sister ship, the Riviera, is scheduled to travel from Istanbul to Trieste in October. The 2022 itineraries on Viking Ocean Cruises are almost fully booked. Clearly there is demand, and passengers are willing to climb aboard. The question is: Is it safe to cruise now?
Are Cruise Ships Safe?
Public perception that the answer is yes significantly increased in recent months according to a July survey by the travel marketing firm MMGY Global. And grim images of giant virus-riddled boats marooned off shore had been fading—at least until August when coronavirus infections were identified aboard the Carnival Vista cruise ship sailing out of Galveston, Texas. (A 77-year-old passenger, treated onboard and then evacuated to an Oklahoma hospital, later died. The ship was able to prevent further spread of the virus.)