The past week we’ve been in Miami Beach for Cruise Shipping Miami 2014, an annual cruise industry conference bringing together everyone involved (or remotely involved) in the cruise industry. The conference this year brought some announcements by cruise lines, a year-in- review by cruise executives and many educational panels divulging information on cruise trends and statistics.
Here are the highlights:
The event kicked of on Tuesday morning with the Global State of the Cruise Industry and ended with an executive cruise panel given by four cruise line executives, Richard Fain of Royal Caribbean Cruises, Kevin Sheehan of Norwegian Cruise Line, Arnold Donald of Carnival Corp. & plc, and Pierfrancesco Vago of MSC Cruises. Moderated by Katty Kat of BBC World News, the main message of the morning was the cruise industry remains resilient. Arnold Donald of Carnival Corp., summed it up best with, “We’re probably more cost-effective than visiting your relatives, and depending on your relatives, a lot more fun.”
Windstar Cruises unveiled the names of two of their newly purchased luxury cruise ships Star Legend and Star Breeze. The 212-guest vessels were purchased from Seabourn and enter service May 2015. The first ship, Star Pride, will be christened on May 5. 2014 in Barcelona. All three of the new Windstar ships are identical.
Detailed article about Windstar’s new line-up from TravelPulse.com here.
Norwegian Cruise Line recruited wildlife conservationist and artist Guy Harvey to paint the hull of the upcoming Norwegian Escape. Guy Harvey, who is known for his wildlife artwork told us that this is his biggest canvas yet and can’t wait to see how Norwegian will execute it. The 4,200-guest Norwegian Escape will be based year-round in Miami, Florida, starting November 2015. Hear our interview with hull artist Guy Harvey on this week’s episode of Cruise Radio.
During a Family Travel session it was reiterated how multigenerational cruise travel is here to stay. Cruise lines are embracing the surge of family travel by creating more age-fitting programs. Ken Muskett, Senior VP of Sales and Marketing for MSC Cruises told us, “MSC Divina is doing great based out of Miami and the kids sail free program is very successful.” Jim Berra, Chief Marketing Officer at Carnival Cruise Lines said families are looking for experiences onboard that they can experience together. While family travel and millennial travel (early 1980s to the early 2000s) are the main growths for Avoya Travel.