Passengers tendering in to Portofino.

There is an impressive line-up of new ships being introduced, taking the cruise experience to a new level in terms of facilities and activities offered.  More like floating resorts, these new ships will appeal to a broader audience and thus help grow markets around the world.

It is not only new hardware that drives industry growth, however. We are convinced that the professionalism and dedication of officers and crew also play a major role in the industry's success. To help prepare hotel crew, more cruise lines are running their own schools and offer continuous training onboard. Many ships also have dedicated human resource personnel on the ships. In addition, the Maritime Labor Convention will soon enter into force, setting standards for working conditions, pay and benefits for all seafarers. However, the cruise lines have long ago recognized that they need to hire the best personnel and treat them well.

In this issue, we have visited the two new Costa ships, the Pacifica and the Luminosa, and have reviewed the Cristal of Louis Cruise Lines. In addition, we have talked to Royal Caribbean International and STX about the Oasis of the Seas, about how that ship is breaking both technical and service barriers. And, in our interior design section, a number of architects and designers are sharing their design philosophies for AIDA, Carnival, Costa, Cunard, MSC and Royal Caribbean.

In addition to hardware and service, another key to success is sourcing, and we have talked with John Meszaros, vice president of supply chain management for Carnival Corporation, who has shared some of his insight and strategy with us.

We are also covering the leading European cruise lines, which tend to target different markets and have different business models. Each has let us in on their strategies and new developments.

Our destination focus is Europe, and we have talked to the major port associations, as well as several of the leading cruise ports and destinations. There are a number of challenges being discussed as the cruise fleet continues to grow and demands ever better facilities and services, while the ports are looking for returns on their investments.

Our special focus is on Turkey, which is building up its infrastructure to attract more and bigger ships, and has a number of ports and a variety of attractions for passengers.

We wish our advertisers, subscribers and supporters a good summer.

Angela Reale Mathisen & Oivind Mathisen

Excerpte from the Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine: Summer 2009

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