It seems travelers are prepared to batten down the hatches and sail close to the wind, as cruise bookings for 2021 are on the rise.
Analysts at UBS say booking volume for 2021 cruises has “gone up 9 percent in the last 30 days versus the same time last year,” despite many cruise ships currently quarantined amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“That includes people applying their future cruise credits from sailings that were cancelled this year, but still shows a surprising resilience in desire to book a cruise,” UBS equity analysts wrote in a March 31 report on cruise lines.
The analysis doesn’t show how much of the reported increase is actually people just optimistically re-booking their canceled cruise for next year, though.
Voyages to Asia and Alaska are seeing the highest numbers, according to the report.
Banished to the seas, cruises are without ports, unwanted and forgotten, meandering aimlessly along the coasts looking for someone, anyone, to take them in.
One such ship, Holland America’s Zaandam, which is scheduled to arrive in Florida this week with more than 200 sick passengers, has already been denied port in Chile, Peru and Argentina. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, meanwhile, told Fox News on Monday that his state “cannot afford to have people who are not even Floridians dumped into South Florida using up those valuable resources.”
The Zaandam’s sister ship, the Rotterdam, picked up passengers without symptoms to separate the guests, NBC reports. Now, both boats are headed for Florida, still stuck in limbo, hoping for a place to park. There are more than 300 Americans on board the ships and more than 1,200 total people.
“We started getting turned away by everyone,” Emily Spindler Brazell, a passenger from Tappahannock, Va., who was on the Zaandam but was later transferred to the Rotterdam, told NBC. “The world was closing its doors as we sat there waiting.”