New research suggests that more than half (62 per cent) of luxury cruise clients intend to avoid countries with low Covid-19 vaccination rates.
The figure comes from Mundy Cruising’s latest cruise expert survey, which also found that 46 per cent of respondents are planning to travel on a smaller ship in 2022 compared to before the pandemic.
A total of 92 per cent said that Covid-19 policies were either very important or somewhat important when choosing a cruise ship, and 47 per cent thought that the risk from Covid-19 was lower on a cruise ship than an aeroplane, compared to 18 per cent who disagreed.
Overall, 93 per cent of luxury cruise guests plan to cruise at least once in 2022, with 49 per cent planning to visit the Mediterranean and 23 per cent considering a European river cruise.
The Caribbean, Baltic and British Isles also featured prominently on travel plans for this year.
The growing importance of sustainability was reflected in the fact that 41 per cent said hybrid or low carbon propulsion was important when selecting a ship, compared to 19 per cent who disagreed.
Mundy Cruising managing director Edwina Lonsdale said: “Our latest survey shows that travellers are unperturbed by the recent media frenzy around the omicron variant and their plans and priorities for 2022 reflect a growing sense that we are over the worst of the pandemic.
“While Covid policies on board and vaccination rates in destination countries are of course still front of mind, cruisers are also looking to the future, with more emphasis placed on sustainable travel and excitement around the next generation of luxury ships.
“It’s also no surprise to us that our clients believe cruising to be safer than other forms of travel, given the industry-leading protocols that the cruise lines, port authorities and other key players have put in place over the last two years to ensure that a cruise ship is the very safest place to be.
“We are confident that the burning desire of travellers to get back to normal, along with the news that the UK government has overhauled its onerous and unnecessary testing regime for overseas travel, mean that cruise will come roaring back in 2022.”