‘Rigorous’ changes to cruising after coronavirus calamities

Penny Burfitt
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer

Cruising is set to undergo a huge series of changes in the wake of the industry's devastating coronavirus outbreaks onboard ships.

After major player P&O announced cruising would be suspended until at least mid-July it seemed certain cruising would not escape the pandemic unscathed, and now the UK company has confirmed cruising will look very different going forward.

Cruising is headed for major changes after coronavirus. Photo: Getty Images

In a statement to the Press Association, president Paul Ludlow explained a series of major changes which the organisation would roll out when boats hit the seas once more.

The company confirmed that ships would reduce their capacity and number of passengers allowed on board. 

Self-service buffets will be a thing of the past, devastating news to anyone enamoured with the make your own pancake station, and one-way systems will be implemented onboard.

In addition, passengers will be screened ahead of time to prevent any infectious illnesses making it on board.

“These new stringent measures which may, no doubt, encompass rigorous pre-embarkation screening, changes to the onboard experience for guests and also working with our shore experience operators and ports of call, will be in place as soon as we reintroduce our ships,” Paul Ludlow said in a statement.

Planned changes to cruise travel will transform the industry. Photo: Getty Images

He predicted that though the changes seem drastic, passengers would adjust in the same way rigorous airport screening and security became a normal part of international travel in 2001.

It comes after fans of cruise travel confirmed they would stick with the experience going forward, with cruise companies reporting a 40% hikes in sales despite devastating coronavirus outbreaks onboard ships throughout the pandemic.

The new measures look to emulate predicted airport changes that could see international flying altered forever.

Planes are predicted to fill only every second seat while your temperature could become as important as your passport when it comes to passing through security. 

The news comes after the arrival of the Ruby Princess cruise ship in Sydney Harbour sparked a spike in coronavirus cases, with 19  of the passengers who disembarked the ship dying.

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