During a Port Canaveral Commission meeting today, CEO John Murray spoke about the recovery of the cruise industry following the coronavirus pandemic, saying that Port Canaveral will be in a good position.
Murray speculated that the public would be apprehensive initially, so cruise lines will have to rely on shorter itineraries to get guests back on ships.
I think when it ramps up, there’s a credibility issue that’s going to have to be overcome. I think that’s going to drive the industry to dominate on three- and four-day cruises just to get started.
People are going to need to develop that comfort factor, that ‘I’m getting on a ship on a Friday, back on Monday. I didn’t get sick. I feel good. That was fun. I want to do it again.’ It’s almost taking the industry back to their roots, and I think that’s where it’s going to start.
Murray added that because over 60% of Port Canaveral’s passengers arrive by car, they are in a better position than other ports that cater to international passengers that arrive by plane.
The proximity of the private islands and beaches of several of the cruise lines, Murray said, is also to Port Canaveral’s advantage, as destinations that can be controlled will be important.
The private islands are basically secured by them. They can be isolated by them. They can maintain certain safety standards, protocols, etc. at the islands that you don’t have at some public berth somewhere.
Finally, Murray said that Port Canaveral will likely see increased traffic as cruise lines look alternative ports and itineraries following the cancellation of many cruises to Alaska and Europe. Two cruise lines that normally use Port Canaveral are already in talks to move at least one ship there.
Currently, ships from Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line, and Norwegian Cruise Line call Port Canaveral home, and Murray said that while no commitments have changed yet, things could shift as a reopening date nears.
Source: Orlando Sentinel