Positive news on the development of vaccines has increased confidence among luxury cruisers, according to a survey by Mundy Cruising.
The specialist retailer said 81% of respondents to a survey were planning to cruise next year, but the majority said their plans would be dependent on being vaccinated before travel.
Just under half (47%) of respondents said they would cruise only when they and the majority of the population had been vaccinated, with 39% saying their own vaccination would suffice.
Just under one in 10 (9%) said a vaccine would make no difference to their plans and they would be happy to cruise regardless.
Just under one in three (30%) respondents expect to cruise in the second quarter of 2021, with 22% anticipating a return in Q3 and 18% in Q4.
The proportion of respondents expecting to take an ocean cruise before a river cruise increased, with 74% planning an ocean cruise and 14% planning a river cruise, compared to 55% and 30% respectively in a survey carried out in June.
A trend in the June survey towards smaller ships continued, with 51% preferring a ship carrying 50-500 guests.
Edwina Lonsdale, managing director, said: “Our most recent survey has given us a lot of food for thought, but the overriding sentiment is one of cautious optimism regarding the resumption of cruising in 2021.
“Mundy clients are a well-travelled, well-informed and pragmatic bunch, so it’s no surprise to us that their responses are grounded in a realistic appraisal of where things stand.”
She added: “We know that a vaccine will take time to roll out, which is why the cruise lines are pressing ahead with their detailed and exhaustive plans to ensure that cruising post-Covid is safer than ever.
“Nevertheless, the recent flurry of good news has clearly given our clients a much-needed boost, with bookings significantly up since the vaccine announcements from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and now Oxford-AstraZeneca.”