They are 90,000-ton floating cities: self contained resorts, shopping malls, swim parks, casinos, and nightclubs, offering passengers everything from art auctions to Botox. In the $30 billion cruise business the journey is the destination, but in an increasingly punishing economy, the industry is sailing in rough waters.
In the CNBC Original, “Cruise Inc: Big Money On The High Seas” premiering Tuesday, March 24th at 9PM/1AM, Correspondent Peter Greenberg and his crew investigate the strengths and weaknesses of the fastest growing segment of travel, as they spend seven days aboard the Norwegian Pearl, one of the newest ships in Norwegian Cruise Line’s fleet. Fourteen stories tall and more than three football fields long, The Pearl is home to more than 4000 passengers and crew, and Greenberg was granted extraordinary access above and below deck to document the inner workings of the ship and the business itself.
Greenberg investigates the intricate pricing structure of the cruise industry, starting with the most luxurious accommodations, which go for $26,000 a week, butler included. He explains the huge gap that exists between the baseline cabin fee and the actual cost of indulging all the ship has to offer. The report also explores common perceptions and misperceptions about safety and security at sea, and takes viewers behind the scenes as the crew of the Norwegian Pearl train for worst-case scenarios. CNBC gets a rare look at the Pearl’s state-of-the-art security operation, where officials use 1100 surveillance cameras to monitor the ship 24/7.
“Cruise Inc: Big Money On The High Seas,” is CNBC’s first original HD production. The documentary will repeat on Sunday, March 29th at 10PM
On CNBC.com, the dedicated web page cruiseinc.cnbc.com, will offer web-extra videos including a galley tour by a resident chef, a profile of a family of five and what they spent on the cruise, a behind-the-scenes look at safety and security systems and, a profile of an onboard entertainer. Additionally, the web page will feature two slideshows: “Deck by Deck,” (a tour the 14-story Norwegian Pearl from top to bottom) and “Money Boat” (a photo essay that follows the passengers’ money trail, onboard and off).
Ian Paisley and Alison O’Brien are the Senior Producers of “Cruise Inc: Big Money on the High Seas.” Mitch Weitzner is Executive Producer. Jonathan Wald is Senior Vice President, Business News at CNBC.