Around this time last year, we ran a survey asking our readers when they expected to travel again. Europe, responded nearly 75 percent of river cruisers. On the oceans, Europe and the Mediterranean ranked first, with about 27 percent of the vote, followed by the Caribbean with 25 percent.
We figured this was a perfect time to run a similar survey, with Europe planning to open to vaccinated US travelers this summer and cruises starting back up in the Caribbean as soon as June. Here is what our readers had to say about their travel plans for 2021 and beyond.
Do you have a cruise booked this summer?
33 percent of river cruisers have a cruise booked for the summer, while just 16 percent of ocean cruisers have a cruise booked this summer. This makes sense, as 66 percent of our readers said last year that they would not feel comfortable traveling on a ship with more than 1,000 passengers. We anticipate a boom in small ship travel post-COVID.
Is your booked cruise in Europe?
Though it my seem surprising that 100 percent of ocean cruisers have cruises booked in Europe this summer, ocean cruises have not been able to resume as easily as river cruises have. Because of requirements put in place by the CDC, there have been capacity limits that have barred large ship cruising in US ports. Though the US hasn’t had many cruises over the past year, there have been large ship ocean cruises that have sailed successfully in Europe throughout the pandemic – most notably those run by MSC Cruises in the Mediterranean.
52 percent of river cruise will stay close to home this summer, likely opting to cruise the Mississippi or Columbia/Snake Rivers. American Cruise Lines and American Queen Steamboat Company have been sailing the Mississippi since the end of March. To see what sailing the Mississippi during COVID is like, see Live From American Countess: First Impressions.
Would you consider traveling to Europe this summer?
Almost a direct split, 48 percent of readers said that they would consider traveling to Europe this summer.
How do you feel about the vaccine requirement?
Vaccine mandates have been the subject of many controversies lately but our readers say these requirements will help them feel more comfortable when traveling. Small percentages of readers from both of our websites, 5 percent from River Cruise Advisor and 3 percent from Avid Cruiser, say that they will be less inclined to travel to Europe this summer because of the expected mandate.
What about us?
Both Ralph and I have been fully vaccinated for over a month now and we are slowly finding comfort in a new normal. (Very slowly for Ralph, he hugged me for the first time in over a year last week!) I hope to soon find the comfort of the new normal on board a cruise ship. More than that, I hope to start hearing about all of your travels again as you start to venture back out into the world.