Change, A Force of Life

Ships in CozumelThe cruise industry is forever changing. As we have entered a new year, executives we have interviewed for this issue tend to bring up different themes than were brought up only a year ago.

This is the good side of evolution as the cruise companies move forward, improve and adjust their products to market demands.

Among the more notable changes and a big part of our spring issue is itinerary planning. Going forward, planners seem to be tasked with working more late and overnight port stays into their sailing programs. They also have to compensate for destinations that become off limits because of geopolitical events, while venturing into new ports and sailing areas. At the same time, the fleet is growing and as ship deployment tends to be concentrated in the most popular areas, congestion becomes a potential issue.

Thus, where to deploy is literally a moving target with plans being laid several years in advance. The one factor that remains constant is the revenue and cost optimization of each itinerary.

On the other side of the coin, destinations that were upgrading their port and tour infrastructure only a few years ago to handle ships in the 3,000- to 4,000-passenger range, are now upgrading to handle bigger ships and more passengers.

The luxury market is also changing. These brands are now focused more on delivering experiences and creating memories. And the expedition market is taking off with established operators and new-comers, including some of the luxury brands.

With change come challenges and opportunities. Cruise Industry News was recently given a Hawksbill Sea Turtle sculpture by the Port Authority of Acapulco, which said it “represents a force of life in a highly competitive environment.” We could hardly have said it better – on behalf of the port and ourselves. Thank you for this honor.

A positive aspect of the industry is the diversity of product, whether in terms of ships, deployment, ports, or the people working in or with the industry, enabling many voices, so to speak, and its inclusiveness of stakeholders, suppliers and supporters. That is something we hope will never change.

Bon Voyage

Angela Reale Mathisen & Oivind Mathisen

Publishers

Excerpt from Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine: Spring 2017

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