by Donald Wood
Last updated: 12:30 PM ET, Fri October 15, 2021
U.S. News & World Report revealed new data taking an in-depth look into traveler sentiment about the cruise industry.
Announced during a Seatrade Global Conference, the study found that despite a rise in confirmed coronavirus cases, travelers are ready to get back to sea, with almost 25 percent of respondents saying they already booked a future voyage.
The U.S. News survey also found that more than 80 percent of past cruisers say vaccine requirements are important, while just nine percent are against vaccine policies.
First-time cruisers are excited to get on the water post-vaccine, with the total number of people who have never cruised before but would be interested in cruising sitting at around 61 percent. The total is down just one percentage point down from the same group polled before the pandemic.
"The coronavirus pandemic has had an outsized effect on the travel industry, especially the cruise sector, and the public's appetite for travel," U.S. News managing editor Erin Evans said. "However, interest in cruising has barely wavered over the past year and a half, and veteran cruisers are itching to get back out on the water while many are interested in taking their first cruise ever."
While the study results were overwhelmingly positive, some long-time cruisers revealed they won't be returning to the seas. Four percent of previous cruisers said they would never sail again, while 14 percent of respondents who were never on a cruise said they would never sail.
Due to stringent government requirements and rigorous health and safety protocols, the cruise industry has emerged as an especially safe way to travel at this time, according to TravelPulse cruise expert Theresa Norton.
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