‘Authority’ on Expedition Management

Jim Barreiro de León, president and CEO

Cruise Management International (CMI) has a growing fleet of ships under its umbrella, including a fleet of expedition vessels where it oversees technical management, said Jim Barreiro de León, president and CEO.

“We have become the authority on expedition cruising from operational logistics to dealing with compliance and regulations in remote areas,” he said, in the 2019 Expedition Market Report by Cruise Industry News. “We have captains that are ice and expedition experienced and know the areas inside and out.”

With a growing market, the focus is on keeping and recruiting qualified crew as well as developing more ice captains and bridge staff, in addition to small-ship experienced crew.

“We now have regular captains working alongside our ice captains,” said de León. “We are investing heavily to make sure we increase the pool of small ship- and ice-experienced captains.”

With the expedition fleet moving north for the summer, it also presented an opportunity in Las Palmas in April, where CMI had three ships in port and brought in its senior bridge leadership for a multi-day workshop to review the Antarctica season and talk about the future.

The overall CMI fleet should reach 19 ships by the end of the year, allowing for purchasing synergies.

With four ships in Antarctica last season, the company bought some 8,200 metric tons of fuel. For one client it resulted in an estimated savings of over $10,000 on the first bunkering thanks to volume savings.

The company’s port operation and vessel logistics department is behind the bunkering savings, and also assists with voyage planning and port operations.

Itinerary planning is done in close collaboration with the charter client.

“They give us the area of trading and a list of ports, and we check the feasibility of the itinerary, and whether they can do it in the intended days,” said de León. “We can come back with recommendations, coming up with exciting itineraries that are also economically viable, optimizing both the fuel consumption and the passenger experience.                        

"A lot of areas are uncharted, and ice keeps moving. We have a good understanding of when to go and where, and making sure there is the right support in the region.”

Based in Miami, de León has a staff of 45 overseeing technical management including operations planning, drydocks, maintenance, crewing and everything else that goes into running cruise ships.

“We are preparing for the future and all the newbuilds (40 plus small ships) coming online. We need to get ready to compete for the best crew,” said de León. “We want the crew to feel that with CMI, they work for an organization that cares about them. We want people knocking on our door to join us.”


About the Expedition Market Report:

The 2019 Expedition Market Report by Cruise Industry News is a comprehensive overview of the booming expedition market, profiling 39 operators, over 40 new ships and projecting capacity growth through 2027. The 196-page PDF is a deep dive into all aspects of the expedition cruise market.

Report Preview | Table of Contents | Download Now


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