There is so much going on in the cruise industry and at Cruise Industry News we are doing our best in each issue to give our readers an overview of the news, the trends and the future, while also providing some exclusive insight and looks behind the scenes.
Innovation: The cruise industry never seems to stop innovating, reinventing itself and improving. We are seeing impressive efforts from the executive offices to the ships, where crew and officers seem more dedicated than ever. Most contemporary ships today vastly outpace land-based resorts and hotels in terms of service, variety of foods, entertainment and cleanliness. In addition, ships are safer – without access for anyone but passengers and crew, and onboard security measures.
Gem: We sailed with Norwegian Cruise Line this spring as we wanted to freshen up our Freestyle experience from a few years ago. We found the Gem to be enjoyable and relaxing, exactly what we were looking for. There were many choices of restaurants and we found venues that suited our tastes and preferences for dining, entertainment and relaxation in a friendly, service-oriented atmosphere.
F&B: The food and beverage area is evolving continuously with cruise lines keeping up with the latest trends – from offering diversity and broad appeal to experimenting with sustainable local sourcing and raw foods. Passengers can eat a lot on cruises, they can also eat very well and healthy. In addition, they can explore a variety of bar concepts.
Shorex: In this issue, we have also had the opportunity to discuss shore excursions with executives at different cruise lines representing small and big ships, both in Europe and North America. It is worthwhile to note the creativity that goes into these programs and how the brands are able to design them for their respective passenger demographics.
Europe: Europe is our market focus and after years of steady growth, 2012 is at best turning out to be a challenging year in light of the economic downturn in most of the markets, although more severe in some countries combined with changes in political directions. Meanwhile, the cruise industry is demonstrating its business savvy by adapting to market environments, continuing to grow and planning for the future. The malaise will not last forever, and Europe will be back on its growth course.
Profiles: We have profiled several companies and extend our congratulations to Regent Seven Seas Cruises, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in May, and talked to several niche operators and start-ups. Their existence supports the broad appeal of cruising and its further growth potential.
Technical/SMM: A special technical section, which will be distributed at the SMM show in Hamburg in September, covers fuel saving technologies, the latest regulations, and state-of-the-art galley equipment. In addition, we are preparing a special edition for the Cruise Shipping Asia show in Singapore, also in September.
Keeping pace, keeps us going.
Angela Reale Mathisen & Oivind Mathisen