After such a large-scale and heavily publicized disaster like the Costa Concordia, one can’t help but wonder if the cruise industry as a whole has been affected. I wondered the same thing, and decided to find some information.
Carnival Corporation (which owns Costa Cruises), as well as Royal Caribbean, have both experienced double digit declines in cruise bookings since the January 12 accident. These declines have been seen in the United States, but were more pronounced in Europe, where media coverage of the disaster was even more extensive.
If you’re looking for the silver lining of this maritime disaster, it can be found in an announcement made last week by various cruise industry associations. New safety standards are being implemented in hopes of preventing another incident like the Costa Concordia. Cruise liners are now required to conduct their safety drills and briefings before leaving port. In Ft. Lauderdale, FL, a man was kicked off a cruise ship for “non-compliance” during one of these muster drills, a sign that cruise companies are taking safety more seriously.
While the Costa Concordia disaster certainly makes many potential passengers wary, the cruise industry has weathered a wide variety of obstacles over the years. The new safety standards are here to stay, but I’m placing my bets that soon enough the industry will bounce back.