Sixty-six per cent of consumers who have never cruised before would be “very likely or likely” to take a cruise in the next two years, according to new Clia research.

This compares to 71% when asked in autumn 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Of those who had cruised before, 75% said they were very likely or likely to take a cruise in the next two years when asked last month, compared to 79% who said the same last autumn.

The survey was of 500 respondents who have taken an international holiday in the last two years.

Clia UK director and vice president of membership, Andy Harmer said the results were encouraging.

“It is not a massive drop and so suggests that cruising is still robust. Once the time is right and people can travel again, this shows that people will cruise again.”

He added: “There is still a lot of uncertainty but this survey shows that we need to continue to do the right thing, building back trust with consumers and travel agents, but the sentiment towards cruise is still in the right direction.”

The survey results coincided with the launch of a new Clia online education module, called ‘Cruise Champion’, covering health and safety, security and the environment, plus information on some of the institutions that govern the cruise sector.

Harmer explained: “It’s an opportunity to talk about some of the regulations already operating in the cruise sector. Cruise is one of the most heavily-regulated sectors already, so this is about explaining the current situation, then putting a line in the sand and adding information and detail about all the new protocols that will be put in place once there’s a restart plan.”

He said all those agents who take the course would then be contacted by Clia every time new technical innovations or new health and safety protocols are introduced or updated.

“Completing the course now will mean they are kept up-to-date with all the relevant developments going forward,” said Harmer.

Webcast: Clia’s Andy Harmer