Now that the CDC has lifted the no sail order in U.S. waters (albeit with strict conditions and new protocols), North American travelers are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s the start of a potential travel rebound, and with it, hope is rising that, “Yes, we just may be able to head out, after all, in 2021 on that cruise we’ve been longing to take!”
As a travel advisor, your clients are looking to you to help them start dreaming again and to book for the 2021 and 2022 seasons.
Consider that when people do return to cruising, destinations that are a little off the beaten path are likely to be more popular. These could be remote destinations where no or few human settlements exist or smaller ports in places less affected by COVID-19.
Keep in mind that only the smaller cruise ships can access the smaller ports, which will be appealing to travelers and give them a greater sense of safety. Large ships simply cannot dock in smaller ports, so guests on a small ship may find that theirs is the only ship in port on any given day. Also knowing that the megaships carrying thousands of people did not visit the port in the days and weeks leading up to their arrival allows them to breathe a sigh of relief.
To help travel advisors with their selling efforts, here’s a cruise wish list of where to go in 2021 and 2022 to share with clients.
1. The Galapagos
The first destination that comes to mind is the Galapagos. Ecuador is relatively close to home for U.S.-based travelers, with little or no time change involved. A Galapagos luxury expedition is a nature lover’s dream, a living museum of natural history offering an extraordinary abundance of wildlife - and it’s one of the only places on Earth where the wild creatures have no fear of humans. Furthermore, the islands are remote; have a very small population; and have reported a relatively minor exposure to COVID-19.
Called the Earth’s last great wilderness frontier, Antarctica is a place untouched by humanity and filled with wonder. Expeditions there give travelers the gift of reveling in the stillness, power and beauty of Nature, as they cruise across a sea of glass, pass by giant prisms of ice riding on an ink-blue sea, and gaze at the bellowing elephant seals and raucous penguins. The destination is, again, remote with a small population and lack of exposure to the virus.
3. The Arctic & Greenland
During the brief summer thaw, an expedition to the magical land of the Arctic and Greenland is a true bucket-list experience. Travelers marvel at spectacular icebergs and tundra, polar bear roaming freely, seals and walruses perched on outcrops, vast colonies of birds on rugged cliffs, whales spouting and breaching, all in one of the most inspiring (and once again, remote) places on the planet.
4. Smaller island nations (Japan, New Zealand, Iceland)
The next category is the smaller, island nations that have larger populations than #1-#3 on our list, but that have handled the coronavirus outbreak well - and in many ways, where life has mainly returned to normal. Consider Japan, with its modern cityscapes and ancient sacred sites, snow-capped soaring peaks and sun-drenched beaches and its traditional culture. Another option is New Zealand, with its Lord of the Rings stunning landscapes, wide-open ocean wonderland, and amazing biodiversity. One more place to suggest to clients is Iceland, known for its ice, fire and natural wonder; as well as the bustling Reykjavik, a port that has claimed a prominent spot in recent years as once of the must-see places in our world.
5. Transoceanic voyage
For seasoned clients whose inner navigator is calling, the act of crossing the Atlantic in a luxury ship on a transoceanic voyage is the experience (rather than a cruise focusing on its destinations and ports). As the ship winds through the Aleutians, or over the Bering Strait through Arctic waters, or on a Cape to Cape voyage at opposite polar extremes, for instance, guests while away their time enjoying the amenities onboard, in the common areas of the ship, or in their suites and on their private balconies.
6. World cruise
Having lived through a global pandemic that shut down the entire world for months on end, once restrictions lift and life returns to some semblance of normalcy, some sophisticated clients will be ready for the quintessential cruise experience in 2021/2022: The world cruise. Encircling the globe (or part of it) on a small ship with an intimate cast of close-knit travelers is a lifestyle of sheer indulgence and uber luxury. While sailing to the most spectacular places on Earth, these voyages are known for impeccable service, spacious suites, superb gastronomy, eminent guest lecturers, and the burgeoning of friendships with bonds that last a lifetime. This is a bespoke experience for travel connoisseurs who are ready to give themselves the penultimate reward.
FROM THE SPONSOR: Every Silversea voyage brings unique discoveries and destination immersion along with our usual standard of luxury. Our upcoming expedition seasons include some of the most incredible sailings yet, featuring Solar Eclipse Voyages in Antarctica; exploring the King George Falls on a Kimberley, Australia voyage; or our 59-day “Mediterranean Grand Voyage” visiting 17 countries; or even a one-of-a-kind Silversea “World Cruise,” visiting all seven continents over 150 days. This is just a glimpse of Silversea’s upcoming voyages, making it evident that any type of sailing your clients desire, they should choose the cruise line that goes above and beyond. For more information, visit www.Silversea.com.