The second annual Cruise Shipping Asia-Pacific conference and exhibition will feature two master classes on the topics of localizing the shipboard product to different markets and cruise line/airline cooperation. The event is scheduled for Sept. 17-18, 2012, at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore.

Scheduled to participate in the "Localizing the On-Board Experience and Revenues" master class are Naohiko Yamaguchi, director, group leader Onboard Service Management Group, for Mitsui OSK Passenger Line; Ole-Kristian Sivertsen, senior vice president, business development & chief evangelist, for Maritime Communications Partner, and Lisa Vogt, director, global brand business partner (Asia Pacific), for Royal Caribbean International.

In describing the content of his master class, Yamaguchi points out differences in Japanese passenger behavior.

"Japanese cruise guest behavior on board may be different from other nationalities in many ways," said Yamaguchi. "They are relatively quiet on board and pleased with what is included in the cruise fare. However, they do not hesitate to pay for optional tours and local souvenirs, as they think destinations are more important. Cruise operators must understand ‘sense of fairness’ to cater to Japanese guests."

Sivertsen says that new mobile technology is driving the passenger experience.

"Smartphones is the fastest spreading technology in human history, and a revolutionary shift in how people consume digital content, connect and communicate," said Sivertsen. "How can cruise lines tap into the opportunities of this mobile revolution in order to connect with existing and new customers, enhance passenger experience and increase onboard revenue?

"This session will explore revenue opportunities represented by mobile devices, mobile social media and mobile marketing," Sivertsen continued. "References and success stories will be shared to deliver key takeaways that can immediately translate into action and powerful results in the cruise industry."

Vogt points out that Royal Caribbean has been successfully operating in the Asia-Pacific region for years, and has adjusted its product to meet guest expectations.

"Royal Caribbean International is committed to the Asia Pacific region and has focused on customizing the onboard experience and vessel hardware to maximize guest satisfaction," said Vogt. "These efforts have been met with strong regional growth, industry recognition and customer loyalty to further strengthen our dedication to this market."

The second master class session, "Partnering with Airlines to Develop the Air-Cruise Model," examines the necessity for airlines and cruise lines to work together — along with hotels and trains — to integrate operations.

Participating in that session are Buhdy Bok, vice president Asia Pacific and China, for Costa Crociere, and Sheldon Hee, head of marketing communications and development, for Singapore Airlines.

Hee suggests that it is essential for cruise lines and airlines to focus on strategic partnerships.

"We must find synergies beyond tactical promotions by studying opportunities to expand the air-cruise partnership," said Hee. "We must seek to create an integrated value proposition for the customer, while leveraging the natural strengths and advantages of each partner."

Also slated to speak at Cruise Shipping Asia-Pacific are Christine Duffy, president and chief executive officer of Cruise Lines International Association; Ann Sherry, chief executive officer of Carnival Australia; Gianni Onorato, president of Costa Crociere; Roberto Giorgi, president of V.Ships, and Dr. Zinan Liu managing director China and Asia for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.