I recently heard from a friend and fellow cruiser that Cruise Travel Magazine was ceasing publication as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. I believed her but, of course, I had to go see the news for myself, directly from the source. Sure enough, the magazine's home page contained a single paragraph:
"Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus pandemic, lack of advertising and the current and uncertain future of the cruise industry, we are forced to cease publishing Cruise Travel magazine. The COVID-19 virus pandemic has taken quite a toll on the cruise industry and it has affected our ability to continue publishing the magazine. From all of us at Cruise Travel, we want to thank you for your loyalty over these past 40+ years and are wishing you all happy sailings in the future.
We have been able to secure a travel magazine to fulfill your subscriptions. They will be contacting you directly in the near future."
So it was true. The beloved 40-year-old publication was no more, and this makes me sad. I had been a faithful reader since planning my first cruise back in 2001. I had a travel agent for this first voyage, but not a great one. She wasn't there for my million and one questions, so I turned to books and magazines, of which Cruise Travel soon became my favorite go-to source for everything cruise related. What did I love about this great cruise rag? Everything, including:
- Featured ship of the month, usually a brand new vessel or a renovated or re-imagined one. It always made me happy to see a ship grace the cover that I would soon be sailing. For a renovated vessel, I couldn't wait to see the changes and improvements since I last sailed her. I'd immerse myself in the deck plans and photos.
- Cruise of the month, sometimes a longed-for itinerary or one I could only dream about.
- Port of the month, an overview of a port on the itinerary or perhaps a home port, with indispensable information and recommendations for planning purposes.
- Extra features. My favorites were ones where Cruise Travel took us back to the good old days of cruising and the classic old ships that took us around the world. Of recent and relevant interest was the feature about small-ship cruising and its advantages, especially in a Covid pandemic world.
- Letters to the Editor. I loved reading opinions of people. They were honest and helpful, unlike the harsh social media comments of today.
I will miss Cruise Travel's arrival in my mailbox every other month. While there are a hundred ways to obtain cruise information on the web, it's not the same as leisurely thumbing through a paper issue.
The good news for fans of Cruise Travel Magazine is the option to purchase 40 years of digital archives, allowing readers to enjoy hundreds of past issues. As I did not have the foresight to save all the issues I received, I may take advantage of their digital archive subscription service. I'm sure they will be a nice addition to my Kindle! And for readers who still have time remaining on their subscription, Cruise Travel will fulfill these with a different yet-to-be-named travel magazine.
There are still a few paper magazines out there from which I can get my cruise news fix, but none as concise and informative as Cruise Travel. I will miss it.