top tip

Scenic has launched its 2021 Europe programme, adding cooking classes and foodie sailings in France, plus the option to change dates or itinerary up to 90 days before departure

sign of our support for travel agents, Silversea is protecting commission on both cancelled bookings and Future Cruise Credits, and we are proud to be supporting our valued partners in such a meaningful way in these challenging times.”

Q. My client doesn’t want to travel this year – what can I book for 2021 and beyond? A. Chris Townson, UK managing director, Uniworld: “Based on increased interest for 2021, we launched our 2021 preview collection earlier than usual, and our advice to agents and their clients is to book early to secure the cruise, date and room category that they want, because with pent-up demand and rebookings from this year, we expect capacity to be quite tight. Our full programme is available to book now, including Peru, which is new for us, and of course we have a number of new Super Ships on the Douro, Nile, Venice lagoon and the Mekong, so it will be an exciting time to sail with us.”

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A. Elaine Gillard, UK marketing director, Crystal Cruises: “We’re delighted to offer more than three full years of global itineraries. For ocean, we currently have 2020, 2021 and 2022 on sale, as well as our 2023 World Cruise and Crystal Serenity’s 2023 itineraries. Crystal Symphony’s 2023 itineraries will be announced in July and on sale soon after. Crystal Esprit’s itineraries are on sale up to Q1 2023, while anyone wanting to cruise Europe’s rivers can book departures up to 2022.”

Q. How can I reassure my clients about onboard hygiene? A. Lucia Rowe, managing director, UK and Ireland, A-Rosa River Cruises: “Health and hygiene measures being put in place for our restart include social distancing protocols for the entire ship, enhanced cleaning procedures, the wearing of mouth and nose coverings in public spaces, pre- screening and temperature checks prior to embarkation, meals served

Our ships are

already equipped with an air system that ensures cabins and public spaces are refreshed with separate air supplies

at tables at set times, and excursion participant numbers being reduced. A-Rosa ships are already equipped with an air refreshment system that ensures cabins and public spaces operate using separate air supplies.” A. Richard Fain, chairman and chief executive, Royal Caribbean International: “We are working on a Healthy Return to Service programme with four main focuses: upgraded screening prior to boarding, enhanced processes onboard, focus on the destinations we visit and procedures for dealing

with exceptions. It is tempting to start talking now about the individual components. However, we’re still taking guidance from our expert advisers. One thing that won’t change is our determination that we will not start operations until we are fully ready to do so with all the hygiene and health protocols solidly in place.”

Q.What if my clients don’t want to fly to their embarkation point? A. Geoff Ridgeon, head of sales, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines: “The majority of our sailings are ex- UK, operating from Southampton, Dover, Newcastle, Liverpool and Rosyth in Edinburgh throughout the year. This includes British Isles cruises, but we are also seeing demand for people travelling abroad next year – over a third of all searched-for cruises on our website in the past month have been in the Mediterranean, followed by Baltic and Arctic cruises. We have seen a significant year-on-year increase in bookings for 2021,

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