Energy: In order to get a good picture of what can be done to minimize energy consumption, we have gone to the experts and asked their opinions. They told us basically that the biggest savings can be had by simply slowing down the cruising speed, although there are also other, simple ways to conserve fuel. We also talked to Micky Arison of Carnival and Richard Fain of Royal Caribbean about the viability of alternative powerplants and fuels and how their companies are tackling the energy issue.
Newbuildings: There are an impressive 49 new ships on order or planned. However, the building pace is slowing down, and there aren’t any ships on the orderbooks after 2012. The reason is increased building and operating costs, combined with economic downturns in major markets. With cruise demand expected to continue to grow, the upside of fewer new ships entering the market is that the cruise lines may be able to raise ticket prices, thus compensating for higher costs. The downside is that the industry needs to continue to grow its fleet with new ships to generate excitement and more demand.
Shipbuilding: Is the shipbuilding scene in Europe due to change dramatically? The wild card is STX Europe, the new name for Aker Yards, after the company was acquired by Korean STX. Will the Koreans create a new and stronger shipbuilding company or will they become another in the line of many owners of these yards?
New Ships: We are taking a look at some of the new ships being built and have talked to project managers for shipyards and cruise lines, who have shared their insight into not only the building process, but new technologies being developed as well. And,we are taking a closer look at the Eurodam and the Solstice and the premium market – having also enlisted definitions and comments from travel agents.
Company Profile: Alan Buckelew, president and CEO of Princess Cruises, and senior management have discussed their brand with us, its unique market position and long-term strategy.
Ship Review: We have sampled the luxuries of the six-star Silver Wind.
Asia/Pacific, Indian Ocean: The industry continues to develop in the Pacific region, in Asia and Down Under, as well as in the Indian Ocean. Our editors take a closer look at Singapore, Korea and the Japanese operators.
There is much more: We have also talked to start-up Orient Lines, off-beat Canadian Sailing Expeditions, World Travel Holdings; food and beverage suppliers; and a variety of technical systems and equipment manufacturers for powerplants, propulsion, lighting, air conditioning, refrigeration, and more.
Excerpt from Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine: Fall 2008