Veteran ship captain: Cruises safest vacations

Capt. Evans Hoyt
Capt. Evans Hoyt, of the Norwegian Cruise Line's Pride of America, on "CBS This Morning: Saturday" on Jan. 21, 2012

A captain of a cruise ship with more than 30 years experience says that, despite the grounding and capsizing of the Costa Concordia off Italy, taking a cruise is "the safest vacation that you could take."

Capt. Evans Hoyt, of the Norwegian Cruise Line's Pride of America, says cruising is "a well-controlled and well-managed operation."

Hoyt's ship sails from Honolulu every Saturday and is the only ship to sail to the four islands of Hawaii.

Special coverage: Wreck of the Costa Concordia

He spoke with "CBS This Morning: Saturday" co-host Jeff Glor from the Pride of America's bridge.

Hoyt says there are "many layers" to his job, "from the actual ship handling to the management of the overall operation," and most people don't realize how complex running a ship is.

He says, while operating a vessel has become highly computerized, "During the maneuvering process, it's all manual. And at sea, the officer of the watch is managing the maneuvering ... (via) a vessel management system."

When he first went to sea, Hoyt points out, the sexton was the main mwans of navigation!

How close should cruise ships get to shore, and what alarms go off in the event danger is at hand? What changes are still needed in the industry?

Click on the video above for Hoyt's answers.