The Costa Concordia tragedy has not dampened the enthusiasm of those whose preferred holiday is a cruise, hoping they may even get better deals.

Others, however, believe the accident will have an adverse effect on the whole industry, not just on Costa Cruises.

Maritime consultant Reuben Lanfranco, who has been watching the case carefully, maintains many have already cancelled their trips and that Malta, being a hub, could be affected.

He said: “Cruise liners had a relatively good track record in terms of safety. After 9/11, the numbers shot up, with tourists preferring to avoid flying.”

But that could all change.

On the other hand, Capt. Lanfranco said that as the number of clients fell, prices could dip, meaning tourists would opt for a cheaper cruise as their holiday.

Ronny Agius, who regularly enjoys cruises with his family, has no plans to stop after the Costa Concordia ran aground off the Italian coast last week.

So far, 11 passengers have been certified as having died when the vessel that carried about 4,200 people hit a reef and was beached close to the island of Giglio, off the Tuscan coast.

Rescue operations on the tilted watery grave stopped on Thursday due to further shifts and hope is running out. Another 21 persons are still unaccounted for as tragic human stories surface of the passengers’ fears on the night.

“It is shocking but I would definitely go again and have not been affected by what happened,” Mr Agius said, referring to the cheap family holiday he looks forward to and describing the Concordia as a one-off incident.

“Flying is riskier.”

Ray Gregory, who also enjoys his yearly cruises, is “not at all put off” either. “You have to take into account the thousands of vessels that sail the seas and consider that the sinking of the Costa Concordia boils down to human error,” he said.

“ You can get hit by a bus or the roof can fall down on you as we speak,” he said.

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