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      Happier New Year







        We all know the reasons why this year is going to be Happier – 2020 is over
        and to contain Covid19, India has started the nationwide vaccination drive from
        January  16,  2021.  The  stock  markets  are  volatile  but  the  government  is
        expected to deliver a people friendly & consumption driven budget for the next
        financial  year.  The  die-hard  travellers  have  started  vacationing  to  driveable
        distances  for  weekends  and  some  are  also  flying  to  limited  international
        destinations open for tourism. It would continue to remain another challenging
        year  but  strong  indications  are  that  2022  would  be  the  “Bounce  Back”  year.
        Most  cruise  companies  have  scheduled  their  trial  cruises  in  the  upcoming   Nishith Saxena
        months. Safe outcome of these trials and opening of international borders would                           R
        determine the pace for future bookings as well. So, there are enough reasons to
        be “Happier in the Hope Year 2021”.
        Last year, CDC has provided a long list of “must haves” for cruise lines to start. CLIA has also played a very
        vital role in providing standardized guidelines for onboard sanitation, hygiene & safety – this is in addition to
        already existing strict protocols followed in the cruise industry. These conditions were established when there
        was no Covid19 vaccine available – but 3 months hence, several Covid19 vaccines with upto 90-95% efficacy
        are already in play. An idea worth considering would be to make it mandatory for all cruise passengers & crew
        to be vaccinated atleast 6-8 weeks in advance of their voyage departure and carry a Vaccination Certificate for
        their  international  travel.  This  one  idea  may  make  redundant  a  lot  of  requirements  for  infra  changes  &
        restructuring onboard the ships and would accelerate the return to normalcy.
        As such, passenger & crew safety is already ingrained in cruise lines DNA. It is time that we pull back and take a
        serious look at situation pragmatically to understand what Do’s & Don’ts could help us revive normalcy in its true
        sense. On a slightly different note, while most cruise ships remained anchored in 2020, there is a sizeable line
        up of 15 new ships, which would be delivered to various cruise lines in 2021. Some of the new ship previews
        indicate mind boggling innovations which would be sure to surprise and excite all cruisers. This brings us to a
        question, how & what different cruise lines are doing to fill the new as well as the existing capacity. We have
        picked  a  few  promotions  announced  publicly  by  some  of  the  cruise  lines,  which  are  mainly  focussed  on
        regaining passenger’s interest and providing the flexibility of payment & cancellation if passengers book early.
        You will find these details in the CruiseTalk section, but for now, let us focus on another interesting cruising
        destination for which every Bollywood & Hollywood star has a soft corner – no guesses, it is Greece. Not only
        numerous Bollywood directors have used Greece in the movie shoots, the latest fad amongst Indian love birds is
        to  use  romantic  locales  and  picture-perfect  backdrops  in  Greece  for  their  wedding  proposals  and  nuptial
        celebrations. Social media is flooded with such videos and it is very heartening to see such an expression of
        love by Indian youth.





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