Gerd Lübbren sees a trend toward a wider variety of shore excursion selection on AIDA Cruises vessels, offering guests more specific tours, activities and exclusive experiences.

As director of destination management for the German line, Lübbren told Cruise Industry News that all excursions have to meet the company’s safety and security standards.

“We also analyze as to whether new tours fit into the overall program and match the particular expectations of AIDA guests,” he said.

Constantly working to renew and enrich his tour program in all ports, Lübbren said the shore excursion offering was targeted not only at passengers visiting a destination for the first time, but also at guests returning and looking for something new.

One challenge, however, has been to find enough German speaking guides.

“Sometimes tour operators could have a stronger focus on innovation or provide a more developed infrastructure and preparedness and think out of the box,” he added.

“For AIDA, a successful shore excursion takes our guest to touristic highlights, provides them interesting insight into a country and its people, exceeds their expectations and conveys the feeling of safety and security all the time,” Lübbren said.

Excerpt from Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine: Summer 2015