The coronavirus pandemic has hit the multibillion-pound cruise industry, which usually transports 30 million passengers a year through the world's oceans and rivers.
After ports were closed, countries were locked down, and international travel was halted, more than 300 ships were docked or left floating aimlessly at sea, reports the Independent.
The no-sail ban in the United States was recently extended until October 31, although the UK government continues to warn against travelling by ocean ship.
During the crisis, shares in the major operators – Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean Group, and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings – have plunged by up to 80% as they burned through $1 billion every month.
However, there are some improvements in the works.
The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), an industry trade group, has promised that all passengers and crew will be checked before boarding.
Current fleets would have to be adapted to ensure a healthy atmosphere, with new initiatives on board to maintain social distance and hygiene, as ships take years to design and construct.
Here's how the coronavirus could affect cruising's look and feel, as well as future design.
The availability of rapid and accurate testing for Covid-19 at embarkation will be a key factor in the secure resumption of cruising.
It has safely transported 16,000 passengers – about half of the ship's size – without incident. "We've shown you'll be better going on a cruise than going to the supermarket," said Rick Sasso, president of MSC Cruises (USA).
Masks and social distancing
Half-full cruise ships can accommodate thousands of passengers, so steps have been taken to ensure that social distancing is maintained in places like theaters and lounges. As a result, more shows are being produced for smaller audiences.
Tables, benches, and loungers are being pushed further apart, and fewer people will be allowed in pools and hot tubs, while passengers are encouraged to spend more time on deck in the open air.
Masks are often worn in places where social distancing isn't guaranteed. The ship's boarding and disembarkation are also phased.
In port, the chance to go ashore on the likes of MSC Cruises is being restricted to official excursions where hygiene, distancing and masks can be enforced.
The Healthy Gateways interim advice on cruising, published by the European Union, also suggests that activities on cruise ships could be organised by age group to ensure older, more vulnerable people are separated from younger passengers.
Royal Caribbean says its heating, ventilation and air conditioning system supplies 100 per cent fresh, filtered air from outside to all indoor spaces, with the atmosphere changed up to every six minutes in staterooms and every four in public spaces. Upgraded filters will be fine enough to capture coronavirus aerosols.
Qingyan Chen, a professor of mechanical engineering at Indiana's Purdue University, has suggested that on future ships air should enter the room through the floor, then rise as it comes into contact with people and warms up, before being expelled from the ceiling, Fast Company reports.
Cruising has always been known for having hand sanitisers at every restaurant. They will now be everywhere. Plus, UV-C light is being used to kill 99.7 per cent of microbes on MSC Grandiosa.
Robots may also be used to spray areas, according to research analyst Clare Lee of Euromonitor International.
Cabins should have fewer loose items such as magazines and kettles and may be changed less often, the Healthy Gateway proposals recommended. Laundrettes may also be closed, according to the Framework for UK Cruise Operations During Covid-19, drawn up by the UK Chamber of Shipping.
Changes in dining
The free-for-all buffet, a beloved part of many people's cruise experience, is being replaced by table service to cut down the risk of contamination and opportunities for close contact. Passengers are asked to book in advance during longer dining times and only eat with their own household or travelling companions – a major disadvantage for solo cruisers.
Erik Schobesberger, a vice president of Almaco ship contractors, said in a blog: "Cruise lines will have to redesign their old buffet restaurants and catering areas. It will not just be about serving food in a safe way, it will also be about conveying a sensation of safety to the customers."
More use of technology
Cards to open cabin doors and pay for drinks on board were already being replaced on many lines with wearable technology. Now it's being used to control the spread of contagious diseases such as coronavirus.
If a passenger were to test positive on MSC Grandiosa, for example, data from their electronic wristband could be used to trace anyone who has spent more than 15 minutes within a metre of them during the voyage.
Princess Cruises offers similar technology called Ocean Medallion. Tony Roberts, the line's vice president for UK & Europe, said: "Truly touchless embarkation, payments and on-board food and beverage ordering are just some of the ways we are keeping our guests safe."
Wider trends in cruising
Despite innovations to appeal to younger holidaymakers, cruising still largely attracts older clientele who are more likely to be affected by – or worried about – coronavirus.
Jennifer Holland, a cruise researcher at the University of Brighton, said even loyal cruisers are anxious about boarding a ship. She added: "People will be cruising to what they see as 'safer' destinations closer to home for at least the next year.
"Although some research indicates holidaymakers want smaller ships at the moment I think long term they will return to the big ships with the wow factor. The big question is can cruise lines sustain financial viability if they only have 30 to 40 per cent capacity?"