This year's Seatrade Cruise Shipping Seminar, held in Miami Feb. 25 and 26, attracted record attendance of more than 450 delegates and 60 exhibitors.
In his opening remarks, Kirk Lanterman, President of Holland America and Chairman of CLIA, tried to set an optimistic tone. He said that capacity will grow by an average rate of 7.2 percent per year, and that passenger growth will exceed 10 percent per year. "If anything," Lanterman said, "the cruise industry today is scrambling to stay ahead of the game."
Other cruise line executives voiced more cautious optimism. Pericles S. Panagopoulos, Chairman, Royal Cruise Line, asked if it could be that the body count is up but per diems are down. He said he did not mean to temper the enthusiasm expressed, but said the point is to collect per diems to justify the investment in ships. One executive admitted that publicly cruise line executives express optimism, but express concerns about bookings privately.