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Crew - River & Ocean Cruise - What to expect 2021?

All of us hope that we can work together again. But how - when - and under what conditions? Here are some of the confirmed changes and some predictions we all have to live with.

Business will be maximum 50% in 2021!

River and Ocean Cruising might differ depending on starting days. So of the 1 Million unemployed cruise workers only 500.000 will get a job this year!

Salaries, Bonus and Commissions will drop?

There are companies that say that there will be no salary cut! But A Salary drop of 15% to 20% has been announced by some companies. Why? Corona its just a too good excuse. Companies lost more than a year in Revenues.

On the other hand Companies like TUI got 3 Billion Euros in State support without any conditions! The fired more than 8.000 employees after receiving this bail out. They - like any other cruise company - will use Corona as a reason to pay less if they can get away with it. Of course they have to consider how much do they really want to cut on quality?

Less staff will be hired for more work

The hygienic measures and medical dress codes made our live hard this year and can be expected to continue. Disinfecting surfaces? It is proven now that Covid doesn't transmit this way but the measures are in place and we will have to do the job. Less guest are coming? Less crew will be hired. More work will have to be done!


Norwegian Cruise Line CEO, Frank J. Del Rio stated that he is considering a vaccination for guest. When he was ask what about the crew? For sure - no crew will work without vaccination for Norwegian Cruise Lines. With the vaccination problems right now we will see how fast he will change his mind. Saga Cruises announced that all Guest will have to be vaccinated before cruising. As we said there is still no vaccination pass in place - so how to proof? Saga also stated - and here it gets interesting - that crew will not be required to be vaccinated!

New ships will not open

All new openings have been postponed, delayed or even canceled. The only exception is right now Virgin Voyages with the Scarlet Lady that was original ready to have the first Voyages in March 2020. Now they hope to start 2021. Their second ship is also ready and should do the Virgin Voyages also this year. Good Luck to all!

Advise for crew?

Decide what is good for you! Already in June I wrote an article predicting this chances

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In normal times I would advise not to accept a cut but there are not many alternatives right now. 100 Million employees in Hospitality and Tourism are unemployed right now and you might have noticed that prices for everything are getting more expensive. 2021 will not be much better than the last year but at least it might improve.

Author: Stephan Busch, Academic Director at the State University for the Humanities Moscow RGGU, Faculty of Tourism & Hospitality and the Swiss International University earned his Master Certificate in Hospitality Management from Cornell University, USA. He has a diverse experience in launching operations, business development and service training- for hotel and cruise companies in Asia, Europe, Canada and Russia.,

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