If boats weren’t already normally a hassle, cruises would feel like a relic from long ago in these wild times. A place where thousands of international strangers congregate in small places for days at a time? That may as well be Narnia at this point. If for some reason, you find yourself missing cruises, you can indulge in that longing by taking a tour of the Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas, a now empty, out-of-service cruise ship currently moored off the coast of England. Sounds like a great spooooooooky and COVID-safe Halloween activity for any boat lover.
The ghost (cruise) ship and the ferryman
The Drive reports a trend emerging for these recently defunct cruise ships to invite some people to enjoy the ships. The former captain of the similarly-ghostly P&O Aurora, Paul Derham, had the bright idea to use these massive, dormant ships by ferrying people to ship and giving tours of the ghost ship.
Derham first posted his idea to offer tours on Facebook in July, according to The Drive. Within hours, every ticket was sold out for the coming weeks. People love the abandoned ship so much that Derham has already ferried nearly 7,000 people at $25 a pop since then.
Hard times for the cruise industry
As most of us know, the cruise ship companies have been rocked by the COVID pandemic. Not only have COVID regulations killed the industry’s ability to operate, but the disease walloped passengers on ships at the start of the pandemic.
The Drive says many ships experienced high levels of infection due to the confined nature of cruise ships. Not only did many people get sick, but people were stuck on ships for weeks and even up to a month as to limit infection spread once on land.
The fear surrounding cruise ships at this time is going to be tough to overcome in the foreseeable future. So coming up with another safer option to profit off of these massive ships is of the utmost importance to these companies.
Something is better than nothing
A typical tour usually consists of a slow circle around the massive floating cities. At this point, there are several ships moored off-shore. The tour wanders past the Allure and the Aurora and Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas and Jewel of the Seas; P&O’s Arcadia; the Carnival Valor, and Cunard’s Queen Mary 2.
Tour-goers revel at the emptiness of the colossal cruise ships. There is an odd fascination in seeing something so large and dominant being rendered useless. The ghost fleets aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, but I hope the tours can begin to include exploring the ships’ decks as well.
I’m sure an on-board tour would require much more complicated logistics, but seeing the ins and outs of a desolate cruise ship sounds exciting and creepy. Carnival, if y’all are listening, make it happen. You have all the ingredients for a money maker.