The return of cruise to the UK market will naturally follow the sector’s revival in the US, the president and chief executive of Celebrity Cruises has forecast.
Lisa Lutoff-Perlo told a Travel Weekly webcast that the UK government’s decision to advise against cruise ship travel last week was “a little disappointed”.
But she noted that the effective ban on cruise, that a government minister warned could be in place until October, was “not surprising”.
Speaking from Miami, Lutoff-Perlo said: “There was not great news from the UK. But I wasn’t surprised by it. It’s just indicative of the uncertainty right now.”
She noted that, despite the UK government’s cruise ban, other European countries, such as Germany have “approved cruising”, which she said means Celebrity’s joint venture with Tui can start at the end of the month for German customers.
“Country by country, they [governments] will decide when they feel that the protocols are good,” Lutoff-Perlo added. “Tui will start with short cruises to nowhere but at least they’re starting and it’s a positive sign and we’re really wishing them well.
“If we can get some start-ups of cruising, others will follow. The UK will probably, as always, sort of follow the US in this as to when they think that the time is right.
“So while it was a little disappointing, it wasn’t surprising. Hopefully, over the next few months, that [advisory against cruise travel] will change.”
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