Royal Caribbean Group boss Richard Fain has pledged to learn from the “small sample” of cruise lines that have restarted operations in recent weeks.
Speaking to travel agents on a webcast on online trade hub RCL Cares, Fain, the group’s chairman and chief executive, highlighted lines such as Tui Cruises and MSC Cruises, which have both started sailing again.
Fain said that it had been “encouraging” to see their return, adding that Costa Cruises appeared to be “a few weeks” away from joining them.
Fain said: “We are not through this yet but there are more bright spots and bits of good news than there have been for quite a while.
“We are closer to the other side of this crisis every day. It is also encouraging to see cruising start-up in other parts of the world.
“In Germany, our joint venture company Tui Cruises has been operating cruises since late July. In Italy, MSC Cruises started operating there just last week and has attracted a lot of really very positive publicity.
“We understand that Costa Cruises is operating there in just a few weeks. While this is just a small sample, we always said that we’d start slowly and methodically and we’re going to learn from these early efforts.”
Fain also used the webcast to introduce Dr Calvin Johnson, the group’s recently appointed head of public health and chief medical officer.
Asked by Fain why he had decided to apply for the role, Johnson said: “I saw the opportunity to apply my skills in a really meaningful and substantive way during probably the most significant health crisis in our time.
“It is the nature of the work. It is the opportunity to serve 75,000 crew and to protect their health and to serve four to six million guests a year and to protect their health. I am all focusing on the protection of health.”