The future of cruise ships – Your say

By Hannah Turner, Michael James and Akira Kato

The future of the cruise ship industry is all at sea due to the Covid-19 crisis. The luxury liners are being referred to as “floating petri dishes” due to the ships being responsible for more than 600 of Australia’s coronavirus cases. Travel industry experts fear the industry may never recover and the question of what to do with redundant ships is emerging.

We asked nine Australians how ships should be repurposed, if the demand for the industry continues to decrease after the pandemic is over.

Megan Hawes, Perth WA

Megan Hawes

“They should be repurposed to be prisons. It would ensure maximum security and isolation to separate negative influences from society. The luxuries would need to be removed though in order to maintain punishment and allow for rehabilitation.”

Ethan Coleman, Perth WA

“They should be repurposed to be rehabilitation centres for current drug and alcohol abusers. This would prevent relapses due to complete isolation and lack of access to drugs.”

Georgia Saunders, Melbourne VIC

Georgia Saunders

“Cruise ships should be repurposed as hospitals and quarantine areas for people who need to be isolated or people who are having to come back from international travel and need a place to isolate and possibly be looked after.”

Tyson Brough, Sunshine Coast QLD

“Maybe we could repurpose the cruise ships by sinking them in the ocean and use them as a tourism attraction for deep-sea diving …  like some of the old ships. So, people can go snorkelling or scuba diving for them. We can use them as a drawcard.”

Andre Towie, Sunshine Coast QLD

Andre Towie

“The ships could be repurposed as floating hospitals. The [ship] is already fitted out with multiple segregated rooms, industrial kitchen, and already has the general ability to service many people with the basic necessities required of a hospital. It would have the advantage of being able to run independently and be useful during periods of war or natural disaster.”

Tonia Gould, Sunshine Coast QLD

“Maybe the cruise industry companies should approach their governments to see if they could use their ocean liners as temporary housing, this way they would still be able to collect some kind of revenue instead of no money at all.”

Amy Turco

Amy Turco, Sunshine Coast QLD

“Could they be repurposed as floating hospitals possibly? You can have them kitted out with medical equipment and they could go to third world countries and help people. There are actually floating hospitals already, and they can use more. I suppose some of them could be made into hotels as well.”

Alana Riley, Sunshine Coast QLD

Gabrielle King

“They should shift to trying market party cruising, as I feel like young people seem to be the least concerned with getting back on boats. You can sell the tickets for cheap and make it all back in alcohol and food because we love eating out.”

Gabrielle King, Sunshine Coast QLD

“There was already an issue with cruise ships prior to covid-19. I think repurposing is not economical, the best options would be either floating resorts that are constantly docked or turning the ships into scrap metal and spare parts.”

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