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The Complete Package

In the cruise trade since the early 1980s and working with operators such as Cunard Line and Hapag-Lloyd, Colum-bia Ship Management (CSM) remains best known for its manning resources. “But the fact is, we offer a full range of ship management services,” explained Marketing Manager Paul Kerr, “and we can tailor- make a turnkey solution for whatever the customers’ needs.”

While its traditional strength has been deck-and-engine, CSM has signed an agreement with Hamburg-based Sea Chefs to complement its coverage on the hotel front. CSM - which currently provides services to 16 passenger vessels – has 8,000 employees in its offices worldwide with crewing recruitment centers in the Philippines and Northern and Eastern Europe. Sea Chefs boasts 600 employees in its European offices and provides hotel and catering services aboard 13 ocean and river-based passenger ships.

“The opportunities in ship management are much better now than they’ve been in the past,” explained Kerr. “A number of non-cruise companies, including tour operators, are interested in getting into the marketplace.” Players without the necessary expertise and cruise background, he explained, could use companies such as CSM to break in. It’s not a one-product- fits-all scenario, he stressed: “We look at where they’re strong, and where they’re weak, and put a program together that’s right for them.”

With services aboard 300 ships worldwide, CSM has access to competitive purchasing power otherwise unavailable to such newcomers, he added.

CSM likewise sees growth opportunities on the crewing front. Cruise companies large and small are finding it increasingly difficult to find qualified crew, both on the hotel and deck-and-engine side, Kerr said.

CSM provides crew with very high retention rates, he added, offering operators an alternative to attracting crew off competitors’ ships.

Ratings more commonly are sourced in the Philippines, said Kerr. And with Sea Chefs based in Hamburg and CSM itself primarily German-owned, the company is also particularly adept at sourcing European crew for German-based operators, he added.

The package would not be complete without new-building and refurbishment planning and supervision, which CSM also provides, again with the ability to offer a complete package covering both hotel and deck-and-engine alike.

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