THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE CRUISE INDUSTRY FIRST QUARTER 2019
Sleepy Town Awakens as Cruise Giant:
COSTA MAYA Innovative CREW TRAINING, Tech-Savvy PASSENGER PROCESSING & Groundbreaking ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITMENT New SHIPS, TECHNOLOGIES & TRENDS Propelling Cruise Lines Updates from the CARIBBEAN, LATIN AMERICA, AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND New AUDIENCES Across Borders
ADAM GOLDSTEIN Shares How Competition Involves Cooperation
MICKY ARISON Tells His Storied History & Previews a Bright Future
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ON THE COVER
THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE CRUISE INDUSTRY FIRST QUARTER 2019
Sleepy Town Awakens as Cruise Giant:
COSTA MAYA Innovative CREW TRAINING, Tech-Savvy PASSENGER PROCESSING & Groundbreaking ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITMENT New SHIPS, TECHNOLOGIES & TRENDS Propelling Cruise Lines
SPOTLIGHT 10 Micky Arison Recounts History in the Industry “from the Ground up” and Forecasts a Future of Success The chairman of Carnival Corporation & FCCA takes the time portal to 1972, tracking the industry’s evolution—along with how guests & destinations/stakeholders drive adaptations—while looking ahead to continued growth through an innovative & global approach.
Updates from the CARIBBEAN, LATIN AMERICA, AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND New AUDIENCES Across Borders
ADAM GOLDSTEIN Shares How Competition Involves Cooperation
MICKY ARISON Tells His Storied History & Previews a Bright Future
On the cover Port of Costa Maya Mahahual, Mexico
07, 09 President’s Letter
14 Adam Goldstein Shares Past, Present and Future as Royal Caribbean’s Vice Chairman, FCCA’s Chairman and CLIA’s Global Chair With the benefit of perspective & witnessing drastic changes since joining RCL in 1988, Goldstein believes, “We’ve only scratched the surface of the possibilities…” and there is “tremendous opportunity for responsible growth…if we collaborate well with the relevant stakeholders.”
LET’S GET TECHNICAL 18 How Innovative Crew Training Is Reducing the #1 Cause of Marine Accidents New research & methods of education & training for crew are charting the course to safety, tell Capt. Bill Anderson, founder & director of SeaSentries, & John Stifling, principal of Broad Reach Maritime. 22 Bringing Passenger Processing into the 21st Century 23 Cruise Industry Commits to Reduce the Rate of Carbon Emissions Globally by 40 Percent by 2030
Travel & Cruise Magazine © 2019. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part, in any form, electronic or otherwise, without written permission of the FCCA is prohibited. To subscribe or change your address, please send requests to email@example.com Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) 10390 USA Today Way Miramar, FL 33025 Phone: (954) 441-8881 Fax: (954) 441-3171 Published by:
In Partnership with:
The information in this publication is provided “as is.” FCCA, CLIA and its Member Lines disclaim all representations and warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to any information, services, products and materials contained herein. FCCA, CLIA and its Member Lines will in no event be liable for any damage or losses as a result of your use of this publication.
FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 3
DR CRUISE TO #
Catedral Primada de AmĂŠrica Santo Domingo
Features 39 Officially Open for Business, Virgin Voyages Reveals The Beach Club at Bimini 41 Trends in the Luxury River Cruise Sector 43 2019 Travel Trends
ON LAND 46 CLIA Education: New Audiences Across Borders Head of International Training & Development Peter Kollar shares “the enthusiasm & thirst for networks & knowledge” of new markets & audiences. 50 How the Sleepy Town of Mahahual Awoke as the Cruise Tourism Giant of Costa Maya 54 St. Maarten: Remarkable Recovery of the “Destination of Choice” 57 Taino Bay to Cement Puerto Plata’s Status as a Powerful Cruise Destination
MEETINGS & EVENTS 24 Business and Relationship Development Hits High Gear on the High Seas FCCA Platinum Members embarked on a weeklong journey packed with meetings & networking with nearly 30 highlevel cruise executives.
35 Oceania Cruises Introduces New Allura Class 35 The Dawn of a New Celebrity Millennium
58 Costa Rica’s World of Ways for Travelers to Find Wellbeing 61 Underwater Enthusiasts Welcome to Saint Lucia’s DiveFest 2019
MEMBERS & TRAVEL AGENTS 37 Meet ZOE, the World’s First Virtual Personal Cruise Assistant Powered by Artificial Intelligence
64 Updates from FCCA Partners in the Caribbean & Latin America
27 Cruise Industry Celebrates Down Under 29 CLIA Launches New Community for Hotel Operations, Food & Beverage 31 Maximizing Seatrade Cruise Global: Easy as FCCA
ON BOARD 33 AIDA Cruises Welcomes HistoryMaking AIDAnova The first cruise vessel powered at sea & in port by low-emission LNG marks a “new era of environmentally friendly cruising,” per Michael Thamm, CEO of Costa Group. 34 Regent Seven Seas Cruises Expanding Luxury
FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 5
YOUR PASSENGERS’ U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS STORY STARTS HERE Shopping, beautiful beaches, awe-inspiring attractions and exciting activities await those arriving at one of our USVI ports. Our ports are designed to keep passengers and crew happy and to meet the needs of our partner lines. For more information on the ports of the U.S. Virgin Islands, visit www.viport.com and www.wico-vi.com.
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#US VIStillNice v i s i t USVI .co m ©2018 U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism
PRESIDENT’S LETTER: FCCA
“ALONE WE CAN DO SO LITTLE; TOGETHER WE CAN DO SO MUCH.”
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Micky Arison FCCA CHAIRMAN CHAIRMAN CARNIVAL CORPORATION Michael Bayley PRESIDENT & CEO ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL Adam Goldstein VICE CHAIRMAN ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES LTD. Jeff Vahle PRESIDENT DISNEY SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES Richard E. Sasso CHAIRMAN MSC CRUISES (USA) INC. Andrew Stuart PRESIDENT & CEO NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE
FCCA STAFF Michele M. Paige PRESIDENT Adam Ceserano SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT Terri Cannici VICE PRESIDENT, OPERATIONS Omari Breakenridge DIRECTOR, DIGITAL STRATEGY & CREATIVE SERVICES Mario Aguirre DIRECTOR, MEMBERSHIP EVENTS & PROGRAMS Justin Paige DIRECTOR, CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS & STRATEGIC MARKETING PARTNERSHIPS
This is an exciting time to be in the cruise industry, with a record 30 million expected to cruise in 2019 and new vessels and groundbreaking innovations announced almost daily, and this issue of Travel and Cruise tells all about it. Micky Arison, chairman of Carnival Corporation and Michele & Albino Supino di Lorenzo, MSC Cruises USA VP FCCA, shares how focusing on of Operations & FCCA Operations Committee Chairman, those guests’ wants and needs present U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Albert Bryan, Jr. with has led the industry to what a commemorative crystal ship at the PAMAC Cruise Summit it is today—and why destinations and stakeholders should take the same approach by understanding the diverse and global passengers and cruise lines—while reflecting on his history “from the ground up” and looking to a bright future with cruising continuing to grow as a mainstream option. Adam Goldstein, vice chairman of Royal Caribbean Cruises and CLIA global chair, also observes some of the transformational changes he has witnessed during his tenure – and previews the industry’s potential in further penetrating its currently small global market share, along with the role that synergy with destinations and stakeholders through CLIA and FCCA plays in that long-term plan. Both share a common theme: the importance of destinations and stakeholders in driving the industry’s record success. Those mutual benefits are the foundation of FCCA, and some of the ways we help build them are showcased in the following pages. The PAMAC Cruise Summit article recaps one of our exclusive annual events joining Platinum Members with cruise executives for meetings and networking, and we will have plenty more of those opportunities for our members or anyone at Seatrade Cruise Global with a revamped event calendar including a “modernized” welcome reception and our exciting “newbuild”—LIVaboard!—serving as the gangway to embark on business and relationship development with more than 100 Member Line executives. Hopefully this issue also provides knowledge or inspiration for you to grow synergistically with this burgeoning industry. After all, success for any of us means success for us all! Respectfully yours,
Jessica Lalama EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Vanessa Gutierrez ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT
Michele M. Paige President, Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 7
VENTURE BEYOND THE ORDINARY.
The very moment your guests disembark onto Caymanâ€™s shore, theyâ€™ll be greeted not only with the breathtaking sight of our stunning shades of blue, but with the warmth and hospitality of Caymanian culture. From award-winning restaurants to local historic sites and incredible shopping, the Cayman Islands promise so much more than a luxury island retreat.
PRESIDENT’S LETTER: CLIA
CLIA GLOBAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Adam Goldstein CLIA GLOBAL CHAIRMAN VICE CHAIRMAN ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES LTD. Arnold Donald PRESIDENT & CEO CARNIVAL CORPORATION & PLC Micky Arison CHAIRMAN CARNIVAL CORPORATION & PLC Pierfrancesco Vago EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN MSC CRUISES Frank Del Rio CEO NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE HOLDINGS Richard Fain CHAIRMAN & CEO ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES LTD. Manfredi Lefebvre CHAIRMAN SILVERSEA CRUISES, LTD.
CLIA STAFF Kelly Craighead PRESIDENT & CEO Megan King SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS & RESEARCH Mike McGarry SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, PUBLIC AFFAIRS & GOVERNMENT RELATIONS Caroline Johnson SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, MEMBERSHIP OPERATIONS
Welcome to this edition to Travel & Cruise, the official magazine of the global cruise industry. I hope that your year is off to a prosperous start. I am excited to work in such a dynamic, innovative industry. In this issue, we share with you exciting trends that reflect the intersection between experiences travelers seek and cruise industry innovations. Luxury river cruises are launching larger ships to fall more in line with ocean cruises. Travelers want to see the world in a more conscious and mindful way. And technology is being implemented to make embarkation faster and safer. Next, you can read about CLIA’s first-ever Hotel Food and Beverage (HFB) Conference held in conjunction with November’s Executive Partner Summit. The aim of this new community is to bring together key cruise line procurement and supply chain executives with suppliers from the food and beverage and hotel operations categories to foster an even more collaborative industry. We shine a light on the industry’s continued sustainability efforts. CLIA Cruise Lines have committed to an initiative to reduce global fleet emissions by 40 percent by 2030. The reduction will be fueled by innovative technologies for energy efficiency in ship design and propulsion. Cruise is proud to be a maritime industry leader in making a joint carbon emissions commitment to sustainability on the seas. The constant growth and innovation we are seeing is a direct result of the great work that valued members of our community have done. I am honored to have joined such an incredible organization and am excited to watch this success continue through 2019 and beyond. On behalf of everyone at CLIA, we thank you for your continued support. Best,
Kelly Craighead President and CEO
Brian Salerno SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, MARITIME POLICY Joshua S. Good SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, GLOBAL FINANCE
FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 9
Micky Arison Recounts History in the Industry “from the Ground up” and Forecasts a Future of Success By Micky Arison, Chairman, Carnival Corporation & plc and Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA)
t was not too long ago, or at least it does not seem like that much time has passed, when in 1972 I decided to join Carnival Cruise Line’s sales team to learn the business from the ground up. At the time, the cruise industry was just getting started, with only a few ships and pioneers leading the industry and its couple hundred thousand passengers with limited destinations and options. Time and positions indeed flew by, from getting a vantage point of our guests and products through my first sales position and subsequent promotion to reservations manager in 1974, to further concentrating on operations after being named vice president of passenger traffic in 1976, implementing initiatives including pricing plans and packages to make cruising more inclusive and attractive for younger and first-time cruisers – part of why even now cruising’s unique vacation experience is offered at such a great value, even better than land-based vacations. Things moved even faster after being appointed as president in 1979, when the contemporary cruise industry began to evolve after Carnival Cruise Line launched 10 FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
the world’s largest purpose-built cruise ship that same year, and then added three more vessels in the mid-1980s that were groundbreaking at the time, with a focus on offering guests distinct and innovative onboard vacation environments, such as streetcars serving as dining cafés, along with different nightly shows, bands and orchestras, multi-
“I HAVE ALWAYS
BELIEVED IN MAKING EVERY PLACE WE TOUCH BETTER.” ple pools and shopping options, full casino, discotheque and more to make these “Fun Ships” while sailing three-, four- and seven-day cruises to the Bahamas, Caribbean and Mexican Riviera. Fast-forward to today. Carnival Corporation sails to more than 700 ports
around the world with more than 100 ships and nine cruise line brands, including some of the most-recognized brands in North America, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and Australia, while featuring a broad product selection geared to suit every conceivable taste, price preference and target market—including contemporary, premium and ultra-luxury—and catering to the desires of different cultures, offering multiple languages and countless entertainment, dining and vacation preferences. Overall, the cruise industry has more than 270 ships visiting nearly 1,000 ports, with 30 million people projected to cruise this year. The industry makes a remarkably positive impact on communities around the globe by sustaining over 1.1 million jobs with $45.6 billion in wages and salaries and $134 billion total output worldwide in 2017. Those numbers are significant to me because I have always believed in making every place we touch better. This happens through economic benefits, especially in places the some of the Caribbean islands where cruise tourism provides the over-
Spotlight whelming majority of their GDP and every cruise call truly makes a positive impact. But as critical as economic benefits are, all of us in the industry also share the common objective to protect and maintain the environment, as well as generally improve people’s lives. I could not be prouder that the industry also continues to show its care for the human element, as was abundantly clear following our united efforts after the Caribbean’s historic hurricane season in 2017, and that its evolution has led the way in numerous environmental initiatives, from pioneering technologies like advanced air quality systems and low-emission Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to sustainable sourcing, elimination of single-use plastics, restoration of coral reefs, and other policies and practices that regularly exceed standards while fostering a safe, secure, healthy and sustainable cruise ship environment. Yet the numbers do carry some extra weight for me personally because entering new markets and having global brands is what I envisioned as Carnival Corporation’s growth strategy in the 1990s. As a testament to the global environment that cruising has become, more than 11 million cruise guests, and 41 percent of the 26.7 million global ocean cruise passengers, hailed from outside of the US in 2017. That includes 2.4 million from China, up more than 14 percent compared to 2016. That also shows how much opportunity exists, as the industry still only represents about 2 percent of travel, and every market in the world is underpenetrated. For instance, those 2.4 million cruise guests from China only reflected 1.9 percent of China’s 2017 outbound tourism market. Additionally, North America continues to grow alongside the industry, with cruisers from Canada increasing 15 percent and United States-sourced guests rising nearly 4 percent from 2016-2017. Aided by a strong economy, a consumer shift from material goods to experiences, and cruising becoming a mainstream option, there are no signs of slowing. Understandably, this is part of the reason cruise lines are bullish when planning 10 years out and why the order book finds its pages filled with 72 vessels on order between 2019-2027 from FCCA Member
Lines as of February 1, adding more than 240,000 lower berths and representing an investment of $57.6 billion. They also reflect another key factor driving the industry: differentiation. That is clear by everything ranging from
“…EVERY MARKET IN THE WORLD IS UNDERPENETRATED.”
the various sizes and categories of ships to ever-evolving onboard offerings that include exciting experiences like rollercoasters to celebrity chefs, award-winning entertainment and ultimate pampering through multi-level spas and all-suite staterooms. While much of the book features vessels large in both features and capacity, with 16 vessels to sail with 5,000 or more guests, it also shows the growth of sectors like luxury and expedition, with 14 ultra-luxury and expedition ships on order. It also underscores the industry’s initiatives for sustainability, with 23 of the newbuilds having LNG capability. Now I did not want to share all of this just to sing the praises of Carnival
FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 11
Corporation, the industry and myself, but instead because there has been something else underlining all of the industry’s success that needs recognition and attention: the destinations and stakeholders providing the memorable experiences our guests want most. Believe me, we know what our guests want. We spend quite a bit of time and money to understand our guests and find ways to showcase the experiences that would interest them and then pair them with a fitting ship and trip – but we cannot take all the credit because travel agents play a critical part of that matchmaking process, which we consider a necessary ingredient in creating memories that will last a lifetime, and travel agents have also proven essential in both communicating new products and helping us navigate our guests through new markets. Our guests’ pulse is at the heart of all the advancements listed above – and plenty others, like innovative technologies including the award-winning OceanMedallion, which allows guests to personalize their experiences and maximize their valuable vacation time through reduced friction points. Industry-wide, through analysis after analysis, destinations continue to top the list in driving booking decisions, and in numerous studies cruisers have indicated 12 FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
“OUR GUESTS’ PULSE IS AT THE HEART OF ALL THE ADVANCEMENTS…” they are excited to sample multiple destinations with the aim of potentially returning for a stay-over visit. Thus, working with destinations and stakeholders toward mutual success—e.g. providing the best possible experiences correlating to higher ratings and satisfaction for cruise lines, along with higher passenger spending and likelihood of return visits and positive word of mouth marketing for destinations—is not only rewarding on a human level, but simply good business for cruise lines. That win-win situation between cruise lines, destinations and stakeholders has been the pillar of the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) since its foundation in 1972. I have been a staunch advocate since then, seeing countless examples of the positive impact from fostering partnerships with private and pub-
lic sector representatives throughout the Caribbean and Latin America and maintaining an ongoing dialogue with them, while also joining them directly with key players from Member Lines during multiple events and meetings – not to mention the association’s numerous other initiatives, such as training, site visits and input on destination products to maximize guest experience; resources like this publication and town hall meetings to provide mutual understanding between stakeholders and cruise lines; and even philanthropy to give back to the destinations and people. So I am honored to again serve as FCCA chairman, optimistic about the great potential in store for destinations and stakeholders to continue growing alongside this booming industry. But to do so, destinations and stakeholders must realize times are changing, and have the willingness and ability to change with the times, trends and guest desires. For instance, in the Caribbean there is a clear need for guides fluent in languages such as German, Italian and Spanish for many of our brands and global passengers. The increasing desire for immersive and experiential excursions and luxurious and exclusive experiences can also be further catered to, and many destinations could enhance the opportunities for—and potential benefits from—guests exploring on their own and providing options for crew, who serve as onboard destination ambassadors and recommend things for guests to see, do and eat. To truly tap the immense opportunity in this globalized and competitive environment, destinations and stakeholders should use a similar philosophy as the industry, which despite all the advancements and new technologies, remains rather easy on the surface: understand what our diverse guests want across every market, and then find the best possible way to deliver, while planning for the short-, mid- and long-term futures. One size certainly no longer fits all, but I know that FCCA takes the same approach in working with its destination partners while also providing one of the best ways to learn what our guests want by finding out directly from us, the Member Lines. I look forward to continuing to support the FCCA’s mission and working with our Member Lines to continue our remarkable success.
Adam Goldstein Shares Past, Present and Future as Royal Caribbean’s Vice Chairman, FCCA’s Chairman and CLIA’s Global Chair
dam Goldstein enjoys the benefit of perspective. With over 30 years in the cruise industry, all of them in executive roles at Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL), he’s seen a lot. When Goldstein joined RCL in 1988, 3 million people per year took cruises, nearly all of them Americans. Shoot ahead to today, and 28 million people are cruising per year, only about 50 percent from the U.S. “The cruise industry is nearly 10 times as big as it was then,” says Goldstein, vice chairman of RCL and newly ensconced in his second go-round as chairman of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). This comes on the heels of his having chaired the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), where he still serves on the executive committee. “Many people, including all the men and women who have ever worked on cruise ships, have a lot to be proud of in that respect.” Yet Goldstein is quick to point out that “on the other hand, total international border crossings by individuals in a year is now approaching 1.5 billion, so our sector still only represents about 2 percent of the world’s travel market. There’s tremendous opportunity for responsible growth of the cruise market, especially if we collaborate well with the relevant stakeholders.” During a break from his globetrotting to meet with governments, destinations, distributors and suppliers on behalf of RCL and/or CLIA, Goldstein sat for an interview with Travel & Cruise to discuss what he sees today – with the benefit of perspective. 14 FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
T&C: To start, talk about the advantages of collaboration over competition in certain areas. AG: Cruise lines compete with one another in the marketplace for customers and advantage. That’s the reality. However, there are areas where we are allowed to cooperate, by which I mean primarily safety, the environment, security, medical and public health.
Caribbean, where many countries are islands with relatively small populations heavily reliant on tourism, where service excellence training, insurance programs for tour operators and so on are critical. Yet FCCA also covers Mexico, which has multiple levels of government and farflung destinations, and recently added most of Latin America, where there are larger populations, economies and needs for operational information. CLIA and FCCA, each in their own way, bring together cruise line members and third parties with significant interests in the cruise sector and work for the common benefit of all stakeholders.
“OUR SECTOR IS IN THE SWEET SPOT OF WHAT PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR TO ENHANCE THEIR LIVES.”
T&C: Has there been an instance that crystallized collaboration by the industry’s players not only for their mutual benefit but also, as you say, for the benefit of the destinations? AG: By far the most significant events during my tenure as FCCA chairman were Hurricanes Irma and Maria in the fall of 2017. The simultaneous impacts on several principal Caribbean cruise destinations was unprecedented in my 30 years. This posed a tremendous challenge to, first of all, the people who live in those destinations and their governments, and second, to industries like ours with whom the destinations have close relationships. While under duress themselves, our cruise line members had to figure out how we could work together for the immediate response and then, longer term, in the recovery effort.
Our two industry associations each possess multiple skill sets that are very beneficial to our sector. For example, CLIA has particular expertise in technical and regulatory matters and in travel agent training, whereas FCCA excels in destination operations and service training. CLIA’s territory is most of the world, including many large countries, where we need to call attention to the economic benefit and job creation our sector contributes as well as to our commitment to sustainability. FCCA focuses on the
T&C: Those efforts received a lot of great press for the cruise business. Why do you think that was? AG: A lot of credit is due to individual cruise line leaders who made key decisions to the benefit of the destinations, e.g., making ships available to bring first responders in or to take people with medical conditions out, or to make contributions to critical charities that facilitated response services. The governments were profoundly thankful. This was one of the times when a family is really tested and when people come back to first principles of how interdependent they are and how much they value each other. There’s nothing to do but recognize we’re in this together and we really need to apply ourselves to recover and to rebuild. Within a few months, ships started to return to the principal cruise destinations, and now we’re back in all of the destinations. At the same time, FCCA communicated through its “Caribbean Is Open” and “Caribbean for Everyone” campaign that the vast majority of Caribbean destinations were not affected by a hurricane. T&C: You referred to testing “the family.” Cruises tend to create tighter bonds. Is there a different tone in member cruise lines’ relationships? AG: The tone at the two FCCA annual conferences that have taken place since Hurricanes Irma and Maria was clearly more positive. The profound thankfulness from the U.S. Virgin Islands, from the governments of Puerto Rico, St. Maarten and the other affected destinations, is greatly appreciated by the FCCA and its member cruise lines. The destinations know we’re there for them should anything happen in the future that requires our support and involvement. T&C: To change tack, let’s address growth and development. Where is the industry headed and why? AG: CLIA’s projections foresee robust industry growth. Those projections are underscored by the many cruise ships under construction. Today’s consumers are more interested in acquiring experiences as opposed to buying things. Our sector is in the sweet spot of what people are looking for to enhance their lives.
We’ve only scratched the surface of the possibilities, which is why you see such remarkable and ongoing differentiation of cruise lines and products. From the largest lines with the largest ships to luxury and expedition ships exploring nearly all of the world’s coastlines, opportunities for new experiences abound.
“THERE’S NOTHING TO DO BUT RECOGNIZE WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER…” T&C: How did these experiential desires come about? AG: Several reasons, including the sophistication of today’s consumer, natural limits on the consumption of material things, a desire to create memories and the ever-increasing information about what experiences are attainable. With the help of professional travel agents, when consumers investigate the range of available vacations, cruising has become an attractive option for fulfilling their desires.
“WE’VE ONLY SCRATCHED THE SURFACE OF THE POSSIBILITIES…” T&C: Is there now more of a public understanding about what taking a cruise means compared to earlier in the industry’s history? AG: Definitely, but there’s a binary aspect to our sector. Either you’ve cruised or you haven’t. There’s nothing in between. So, for someone who hasn’t cruised, our sector hasn’t yet been able to get that person to go for it. We continue to rely heavily on professional distribution to spread the
word about our products and services and why they’re worth experiencing. That’s why CLIA continues to invest in and deliver training certification programs to travel agencies and individual travel agents. Not only are there millions of consumers who haven’t yet experienced a cruise, there are many travel agents around the world who haven’t either. We will continue to invest in making them knowledgeable and motivated. T&C: Your optimism for cruising is very apparent. What do you foresee as a challenge to overcome in achieving continued growth? AG: The world is rightfully concerned about sustainability. Our sector must be a positive contributor in this regard. There is a profound hunger across virtually all of humanity to experience the world. The best example of this is China, which was not involved in international travel 30 years ago and is now the world’s number one outbound travel market. Travel and tourism broadly defined is approximately 10 percent of world GDP. Tourism companies need to devote time and resources to sustainability and responsible growth. A clear example of our commitment is CLIA’s recent announcement that the cruise sector has embraced the International Maritime Organization’s preliminary 2030 target of improving the rate of carbon emissions by 40 percent versus a 2008 baseline. It’s equally clear we need to partner with a variety of destinations to support their sustainability efforts. T&C: Any final thoughts? AG: Yes, I want to acknowledge the leadership teams at both associations. FCCA President Michele Paige has built profound relationships with the heads of state and tourism ministries throughout her region. Michele, Adam Ceserano and the rest of the FCCA team have propelled the Caribbean cruise industry forward by being relationship-minded, entrepreneurial and nimble. Meanwhile, I very much look forward to working closely with CLIA’s new CEO, Kelly Craighead, and her talented global team, building on the excellent leadership that Kelly’s predecessor, Cindy D’Aoust, provided during her tenure. FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 15
Let’s Get Technical
How Innovative Crew Training Is Reducing the #1 Cause of Marine Accidents By: Captain Bill Anderson, Founder & Director, SeaSentries, LLC / Former Director, Maritime Institute of Technology & Graduates Studies - Pacific Maritime Institute West Coast Campus (MITAGS-PMI) & Director, NSAP® and John Sifling, Principal, Broad Reach Maritime, LLC
n January 13th, 2012, the Costa Concordia, with 4,229 persons on board, grounded on Scole Rocks, near Giglio Island in good weather. Thirtytwo persons lost their lives as a result of this tragic incident. Although the factors contributing to the casualty were numerous, the human element, and related training shortcomings, played a prominent role. Some examples of human error cited in the Italian Government’s investigation report include: poor navigational practices, excessive speed in light of prevailing conditions, flawed bridge resource management, and confusion/inattention amongst bridge crew. The investigation concluded that the human element was the root cause of the casualty and cited “poor proficiency by key crew members.” The first of three prominent recommendations stemming from the investigation was to “…mitigate the human contribution factor with education, training and technology…” (our emphasis).1 The human element has often been attributed to as many as 80 percent of all marine casualties. However, there is a great deal of complexity in determining such a figure, as it relies on both direct consequences (such as those listed above), as well as indirect (for example, poor design). Nevertheless, an enlightening report by the UK government’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency in 2010 noted that 65 percent of maritime insurance claims “were for incidents in which humans played the dominant role” and that 60 percent of incidents involving “the serious or total loss of vessels over 500gt…were due to human error.”2 Given the data, the 80 percent figure is likely close to the mark. In 2017, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released a report analyzing 41 prominent marine accidents investigated by the agency dating to mid-2015, including the October 2015 sinking of the cargo vessel El Faro and subsequent loss of 33 crew members. Of the 11 Lessons Learned 18 FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
in the report, eight had training implications including: Heavy-Weather Operations, Fatigue, Bridge Resource Management, Cell Phones and Distraction, Anchoring in High Water and Strong Currents, Safety Management Systems, Monitoring Rudder Order Response, and Vessel Abandonment. There are multiple citations of various training failures noted in the NTSB report, and the conclusion emphasizes that “the real action to address them must come from vessel owners, operators, and crews.”3 With these facts in mind, this article will focus on how an effective company training program can be deployed to mitigate human error, the most significant cause of marine casualties. Among the unique challenges cruise lines face in providing crew member training include: comparatively large numbers of crew (as compared to other sectors of the marine industry), geographic diversity of crewmembers’ countries of residence, contracts of up to nine months or more, periodic internet connectivity issues on board ships, and the demands of non-safety related duties requiring a high standards of customer service. In light of these challenges, many cruise lines have shifted toward a Blended Learning strategy. In a Blended Learning program, traditional face-to-face (classroom) instruction is combined with self-paced online instruction to leverage the most effective elements of each. A 2010 meta-analysis completed by the U.S. Department of Education looking at 1,000 learning studies concluded that: “Instruction combining online and face-toface elements had a larger advantage relative to purely face-to-face instruction than did purely online instruction.” This underscores two important points. First, that well-designed online training is, on average, more effective than training delivered in a traditional classroom setting. This is good news for cruise lines, which make extensive use of
online learning due to the many logistical challenges previously noted. In addition to flexibility, the study also noted: “The effectiveness of online learning approaches appear quite broad across different content and learner types.” This is also good news, considering the high diversity of cruise industry crew culture, education, economic background, and other factors. The second point revealed by study is that Blended Learning, involving both in person and online instruction, proved to be the best overall approach, across any discipline. In person instruction and job shadowing provide firsthand direct view of duties and responsibilities, which is effective for consolidating knowledge and skills, while classroom and online courses provide training consistency and standardization. To cite an example, over the course of seven years, Marine Learning Systems Inc teamed with BC Ferries on a transition to a Blended Learning approach, in conjunction with a comprehensive program to improve safety by instilling a “just culture.” A just culture—in contrast to one that is blame oriented—treats incidents such as accidents and near misses as learning opportunities. While employees are not blamed for honest accidents, they are held accountable for behaviors that violate law, regulation or company rules (for example, reporting to work intoxicated). As a result of the program, time loss injuries dropped from 360 to 150, days lost due to injury declined from 12,000 to under 4,000, and insurance claims cost dropped from $3.5M to $800K. An important aspect of any training program is the ability to measure/assess results. In the maritime mode, assessments are typically focused on mariner competence and compliance with local or internationally accepted standards of skill performance. Assessments may be conducted at maritime academies/training institutes using simulation or other testing tools in order to replicate the “live” working envi-
ronment typically found onboard a vessel. This allows for independent third parties to provide an unvarnished and objective measure of compliance with accepted standards. Assessments can also be performed aboard an underway vessel, allowing both mariner and assessor to measure performance during routine sailing operations. Generally speaking, assessment programs use a set of accepted standards that are based on an inventory of actual and required skills. It is these standards that are the basis of measurement. For example, advanced simulation-based assessment creates a portfolio of “situations,” which allow desired skills to be identified, demonstrated and measured. The situations are then assembled into a sequence representing an expected operation (for example, a vessel maneuver such as overtaking and passing another vessel). Mariners operate the simulated vessel within the context of the provided situation while assessors observe, take notes, and measure performance relative to the established standards. The outcomes are
then assembled and reports provided, pointing out both strengths and weaknesses and—in some cases—offering suggestions and a plan for skill improvement. Experience has shown that combining different assessment techniques provides a more standard, objective, and comprehensive assessment process than could be provided by any single assessment technique alone. The BC Ferries assessment process involves written multiple choice exams to test knowledge (for example, the location of firefighting equipment), oral scenario-based exams to test ability to communicate effectively and assimilate knowledge into a plan of action, and demonstrative activities to assess critical skills (for example, the ability to don a firefighting suit). Finally, a meeting with the vessel master allows for the hard to quantify human assessment that an experienced professional master can contribute. An example from the cruise industry involves the innovative application of a new assessment technology. At Carnival Corporation’s Center for Simulator Maritime Training (CSMART), train-
ing staff employ a custom created drill/ simulation mobile application for standardizing assessments. “Skill Grader,” a joint development of Marine Learning Systems Inc and Carnival Corporation, is a first-of-its-kind tablet-based application used to assess skill performance for teams and individuals. It provides objective and detailed measures of skills that can be used to identify performance gaps and inform continuous improvement. Crucial to effective training assessment is consistency. This is achieved through the use of standard assessment guidelines/ templates, proper training (there’s that word again!) of assessors, and detailed/accurate reporting of assessment data/results. It is important to collect accurate data so that weakness can be identified, and trends analyzed. Fortunately, tools such as Skill Grader now exist that can help by automatically highlighting areas that require additional training. Accurate and standardized skill assessment provides a comprehensive view of company risk related to the performance of skills and identifies paths for remedial train-
FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 19
Let’s Get Technical
ing and/or mentorship, while also allowing the comparison of outcomes and success strategies across different industries. The outcomes from a strong assessment program are also powerful contributors to corporate success, providing hard data upon which to: make informed decisions, engage in constructive risk mitigation, and provide justification for a shift in training budgets toward greater returns on investment that may include new mariner training programs targeting specific skills needing improvement. Importantly, use of both pre- and post-assessment provide an objective measure for determining whether training programs are achieving expected results and are a cost-effective investment. To illustrate the impact of effective training assessment, a major petrochemical production and shipping company experienced a more than threefold drop in mariner induced issues as the result of specific, targeted training created through the outcomes of MITAGS-PMI Navigation Skills Assessment Program® (NSAP®). NSAP® is based on over a decade of research, testing, and assessments of more 20 FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
than 2,000 mariners from over 40 leading global maritime companies, including cruise vessel operators. As with any skill learned in life, maritime safety related skills are perishable and degrade with time if not maintained, and skills not typically encountered on a daily basis are among those most quickly forgotten. Furthermore, bad habits formed early tend to persist, and can cause cascades of understanding failures in other knowledge/ skill areas. Finally, time and money pressure are pushing many mariners to feel that they need to cut corners, even when correct procedures are known and understood. Therefore, skills assessment and continuous improvement should be viewed as an ongoing process rather than a task that is completed and then scratched from a to-do list. In closing, it is worth noting that the cruise industry has made significant progress in recent years bringing new technologies to bear in order to improve safety and vessel management. Some examples are direct data links between shoreside operations centers and ship safety systems, along with Fleet Operations Centers staffed 24/7. These
innovations allow shoreside staff to provide real time support to ships in both routine and emergency situations, essentially becoming “part of the bridge team from afar.” As a result, training and assessment programs have been evolving to incorporate certain shoreside staff with these responsibilities. While cruise lines have fostered an admirable safety record overall, proactive measures such as those discussed in this article will be a continuing theme as the industry’s training programs continue to grow and evolve. REFERENCES: 1 Ministry of Infrastructures and Transports, Marine Casualty Investigative Body, Cruise Ship COSTA CONCORDIA, Marine Casualty on January 13, 2012, Report on the safety technical investigation 2 The Human Element, A Guide to Human Behaviour in the Shipping Industry, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, April 2010 3 National Transportation Safety Board, Safer Seas Digest, Lessons Learned from Marine Accident Investigations, 2017 4 Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning, A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies, U.S. Department of Education, Revised September 2010
A new partner on board brings more choices on shore. Two paths coming together with a steady goal can broaden horizons for all. Through a shared vision and passion for the cruise industry, Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) and ExcursionInsurance.com have joined paths. As the new administrator of the FCCA Global Tour Operator Insurance Program, ExcursionInsurance.com provides tour operators with the coverage they need to grow their businessâ€”and enhance the destination experience.
To learn more, contact our experts today. Or, get to know us in person at the upcoming Seatrade Cruise Global. Hellen Mena Senior Vice President O: 305.728.4788 M: 305.877.7809 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ken Furlow Global Development Officer M: 786.351.3408 email@example.com
Let’s Get Technical
Bringing Passenger Processing into the 21st Century Facial Recognition Technology Reduces Wait Times and Strengthens Security
imely processing of passengers on and off cruise ships is critical to shipboard operations on already busy turnover days and for overall guest satisfaction. Every cruise company seeks to make this process as efficient as possible, so guests spend less time in line, and more time enjoying the comforts and entertainment of their cruise itineraries. An effective process is also integral to passenger and document screening which is required by law. In close partnership with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), new technology is being evaluated to make boarding and disembarking cruise ships faster and more secure. Under traditional passenger processing, CBP officers manually check every passenger’s travel documents before boarding and upon debarkation. The process of an officer comparing a passport photo to the passenger in front of them is time-consuming and prone to human error. As more cruise ships are added to the fleet, the gap widens between passenger capacity growth and static CBP staffing levels in port making. As a consequence, manual document checks could become untenable unless passengers are expected to wait even longer in the terminal before boarding. Facial recognition technology provides an opportunity to make boarding faster than ever, improve the passenger experience and strengthen security. Passengers walk up to a camera-controlled gate or access point where facial recognition software is used to electronically confirm that
22 FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
“…SO THAT PASSENGERS CAN SPEND LESS TIME IN THE TERMINAL AND MORE TIME MAKING MEMORIES.” the passenger’s face matches their passport photo already on file with the cruise line and CBP. Once a match is confirmed, commonly in 3-5 seconds, the passenger is free to proceed onboard. When disembarking, passengers pass through a similar
access point where facial recognition is used to electronically confirm that the same passenger who boarded the cruise ship is now going ashore. Once confirmed, the passenger is be free to retrieve their luggage and leave the terminal. Passengers traveling using multiple travel documents, children without passports and those with outdated passports will continue to be individually processed by a CBP officer, but the vast majority of guests will be able to quickly move through the terminal and begin their vacation. Facial recognition technology in passenger processing has many advantages. Officers may become easily fatigued while confirming the identity of hundreds of passport holders. Using software eliminates potential human error and allows the CBP officers to leave their booths and move around the cruise terminal. Officers can now stand back to analyze behavior, ask questions and resolve any anomalies. Passengers can experience a more enjoyable boarding and disembarkation process to enhance their vacation. Many cruise operators are implementing new facial recognition biometric technologies either in pilot projects or in limited release in various ports. One example is Royal Caribbean’s implementation of this technology in their Cape Liberty Cruise terminal and Miami Terminal A. Cruise lines continue to improve the experiences they offer so that passengers can spend less time in the terminal and more time making memories.
Cruise Industry Commits to Reduce the Rate of Carbon Emissions Globally by 40 Percent by 2030
LIA, together with it’s members announced at the end of last year an historic global cruise industry commitment to reduce the rate of carbon emissions across the industry fleet by 40 percent by 2030. “This announcement is a tribute to cross-industry collaboration and a shared commitment to environmental sustainability,” said Arnold Donald, Global CLIA Chairman and President & CEO of Carnival Corporation & PLC. “We aspire to the International Maritime Organization’s vision of a carbon-free shipping industry by the end of the century. Our commitment to a 40 percent reduction in the rate of emis-
sions by 2030 is a strong first step toward realizing that vision.” The commitment to reduce the rate of global fleet emissions by 40 percent is the outcome of a collaborative process designed to build consensus among cruise line leadership. Progress toward the 40 percent target will be measured against a 2008 fleet baseline, and emissions rates will be calculated based on the industry fleet’s total carbon emissions, total ship berths and total distance traveled. CLIA plans to report annually on the industry’s progress toward the commitment. While CLIA Cruise Lines each have responsible and sustainable programs to reduce waste and preserve and protect
the oceans, the commitment to reduce the rate of carbon emissions is a significant initiative they have taken together to reduce GHG Emissions. The reduction will be fueled by innovative technologies for energy efficiency in ship design and propulsion. The industry’s first liquified natural gas (LNG)-powered ship launched just last week, and some 25 such ships could be operating by 2025. While LNG ships principally address pollution, there is a corresponding benefit for carbon emissions reduction Cruise is proud to be a maritime industry leader in making a joint carbon emissions commitment to sustainability on the seas. FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 23
Meetings & Events
Business and Relationship Development Hits High Gear on the High Seas
group of more than 250—including FCCA Platinum Members that represent some of the top stakeholders for cruise tourism in the Caribbean and Latin America, along with their guests of business partners and even family members—gathered at Port Miami on January 19. They were joined by over 20 high-level executives from FCCA Member Lines— and yes, some also with family in tow—all ready to set sail on MSC Seaside for a weeklong journey to mutual success. As usual, the FCCA’s annual PAMAC Cruise Summit put business and relationship development in high gear on the high seas through an agenda ranging from meetings to unique networking opportunities through receptions and tours together, offering a healthy balance of work and fun. After all, linking some of the premier players of destinations’ private and public sectors with the high-level cruise executives not only offers vital collaboration and promotion, but also makes them comfortable together to form invaluable, synergistic partnerships. “FCCA Platinum Membership events like the PAMAC Cruise Summit are essential to both the members and cruise line representatives,” said Micky Arison, chairman of Carnival Corporation & plc and the FCCA. “They join some of the industry’s most influential decision makers with significant stakeholders from the Caribbean and Latin America, which leads to positive developments for all parties.” 24 FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
Soon after Seaside rang its horns and announced its departure for San Juan, members and executives embarked on those chances for positive developments at the first scheduled event, a business card exchange reception, where they swapped not only cards and salutations, but also trends and developments—from a new destination product or target market, to a new child or hobby.
“FCCA PLATINUM MEMBERSHIP EVENTS LIKE THE PAMAC CRUISE SUMMIT ARE ESSENTIAL TO BOTH THE MEMBERS AND CRUISE LINE REPRESENTATIVES.” —MICKY ARISON, CHAIRMAN, CARNIVAL CORPORATION & FCCA
Dinner followed, where the group could continue their discussions or start new ones. Reserved tables ensured Platinum Members would have appetizing choices of dining partners who decide where ships
call, what is used and sold onboard, and how to invest in products and infrastructure – or to simply enjoy the company of their family or fellow members. The next day started with a fourhour session of one-on-one meetings, where members privately met with pre-selected executives. Often these executives filled a required need for discussing and presenting new business, as they have the knowledge to offer their input and cruise lines’ perspectives to make a more viable business model or potentially tailor offerings for particular brands and guests. “The one-on-one meetings allow for us to address the specific concerns or learn about new products from Platinum Members,” said Matthew Sams, vice president of Caribbean relations for Holland America Line. “This is an important tool for both the members and the cruise industry. For us, we frequently learn about new developments and products, and we are able to help fine-tune them to best fit the cruise lines. For the members, it gives them a real vantage point in knowing what the lines are looking for and how to appeal to them.” Alarm clocks announced the following day, with the group rising early for one of the summit’s most important proceedings, the PAMAC Meeting. A fixture of both annual PAMAC events, the meeting brought together the entire group to discuss operations and develop-
ments, with Platinum Members able to present any point to a panel of Member Line executives, including Russell Daya, executive director, marine & port operations, port development and itinerary planning, Disney Cruise Line; Albino Di Lorenzo, vice president, cruise operations, MSC Cruises USA, and chairman of the FCCA Operations Committee; and Andre Pousada, associate vice president, government relations, Latin America & Caribbean, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “The PAMAC Meeting is extremely important, as it ensures that the communications between FCCA Platinum Members and the Member Lines remain open, allows the members to articulate their challenges face-to-face with the cruise lines, whilst also providing an opportunity to learn from each other, and discuss what measures might be required by either the members in their respective destinations or by the lines to ensure that the guest experience can be improved, along with the respective destination ratings,” said Daya. As part of those efforts to learn from each other, Di Lorenzo and Pousada also took the spotlight to give presentations focused on creating both great guest experiences and partnerships. The group then continued full steam ahead in San Juan, with nearly seven hours to discover the destination’s rich history and experiences. The day also put the shoe on the other foot, allowing the group to see what they want to experience and how they want to be treated, along with getting a different perspective of crowd control, passenger flow, trans-
portation to and from cruise ship and tour guide interaction. An idyllic sunrise over the iconic turquoise waters of United States Virgin Islands served not only as an Instagrammable moment, but also a symbol to the beginning of a different kind of networking: the group experiencing the
“…IT GIVES THEM A REAL VANTAGE POINT IN KNOWING WHAT THE LINES ARE LOOKING FOR…” —MATTHEW SAMS, VP, CARIBBEAN RELATIONS, HOLLAND AMERICA LINE
destination and some of its unforgettable experiences together. United States Virgin Islands rolled out a red carpet welcome, with entertainers and Department of Tourism greeters there to introduce the Platinum Members and Member Line executives to St. Thomas before they got a sample of it from a selection of exciting excursion opportunities—and unique networking opportunities—such as flyboarding, snorkeling, food tours or time at one of the island’s spectacular beaches. The group then converged again that evening for a reception in the Seaview Lounge, allowing for more product pro-
motion and discussions including not only work, but also the enthusiasm about the activities and even some of the lessons learned and inspiration given. Another dinner with reserved tables then continued the talks and ideas. St. Maarten took the schedule’s sole focus the next day. During the call to Port St. Maarten, marine and tourism industry pioneer and one of the first FCCA Platinum Members, Sir Bobby Velasquez, sponsored a tour for the executives and his fellow Platinum Members with an unforgettable day onboard one of the company’s vessels, La Nina. The boat was transformed into a unique tour designed specifically for the group. The working visit was also a perfect teaser for the attendees leading up to the PAMAC Conference that will be held on the island at Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino & Spa. Taking place from June 12-15, it will give a landbased perspective of the PAMAC events’ patented series of meetings, workshops and networking events connecting the Platinum Members with senior cruise industry leaders to discuss industry trends and standards and develop relationships and mutual benefits. “We cannot be prouder to offer events like these to foster mutual growth for Platinum Members and Member Line executives,” said Michele Paige, president of FCCA. “Bringing together these two vital entities in a comfortable setting lets them better understand not only the latest happenings and offerings, but also each other, which has proven to be one of the best ways to synergistically grow and improve.” FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 25
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Meetings & Events
Cruise Industry Celebrates Down Under
ruising’s top achievers from across Australia and New Zealand came together to celebrate another successful year on February 23 when Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia held its newly refreshed Cruise Industry Awards. More than 500 travel agents and industry partners joined cruise line executives for a black-tie affair at Sydney’s Darling Harbour, where 18 award winners were named in recognition of their achievements and support for Australasian cruising. Having evolved in line with the industry it honors, the awards night this year drew record levels of interest from the Australian and New Zealand travel trade. “The past year has been a very busy time for cruising, and the levels of engagement and creativity we’ve seen among travel agents is a sign of the increasing potential they see in cruise,” said CLIA Australasia Managing Director Joel Katz. “We received a record number of submissions for this year’s awards, more than 500 in all, and we’ve been very impressed with the standard. The travel industry is
clearly savvier and more committed to cruising than ever before.” This year’s awards featured an updated nomination and judging process, designed to ensure the event keeps pace with the industry’s development. A new and more open online nomination and submission process was introduced, while nomination criteria were widened to recognize marketing activity, investment in product training and innovation, and engagement with CLIA. “The investment travel agents are making in developing their cruise business is more professional and sophisticated these days, so we wanted to ensure our awards reflect the broadening scope of their work,” said Katz. “We also wanted to inspire travel agencies, both big and small, to engage with the cruise industry and become champions for the sector, in addition to delivering sales.” As part of this, CLIA introduced a new “Cruise Champion” award category to recognize an agent who goes above and beyond to support the industry and champion its interests. The “Cruise Agency of
the Year” award was divided to recognize small agencies with one branch as well as larger agencies with several locations or brands, while the “Rising Star” award was broadened to consider achievement, skill development, drive for excellence and future potential. This year’s awards also involved a separate judging panel for New Zealand entries, to ensure a local perspective. Known as “The CLIAs,” the annual awards and gala dinner are the biggest event on the calendar for the Australian and New Zealand cruise industries, attracting media and guests from across both countries. CLIA Australasia Chairman Sture Myrmell told guests there was much to celebrate in the local industry, including Australia’s ongoing claim to the highest penetration rate of any market in the world. “The growing number of ships sailing our waters, the expanding range of homeports and the increasing number Australians and New Zealanders taking holidays at sea is nothing short of thrilling,” he said. FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 27
Meetings & Events
CLIA Launches New Community for Hotel Operations, Food & Beverage
LIA welcomed 300 participants to its inaugural Hotel Operations, Food and Beverage (HFB) Business Conference in Miami in November. The overarching aim of the day-long conference was to bring together key cruise line procurement and supply chain executives, with suppliers from the food & beverage and hotel operations categories. Interactive and innovative business sessions included important topics, such as how to develop business relationships with cruise lines, studying challenges within supply chain logistics, innovations in food and beverage products and processes and sustainability initiatives undertaken by the lines. Alongside these were several opportunities for one-to-one business networking including a business matching event where more than 700 individual meetings between suppliers and buyers were booked. The day culminated in an evening event held at a historic Miami villa. “This is a great platform for newto-cruise suppliers to learn about best practices,” said Julia M. Brown, chief procurement officer of Carnival Corporation
& plc and chair of CLIA’s HFB working group. “Sometimes it’s hard to understand the challenges and opportunities, but this event is a great way to kick off dialogue and networking.” “It’s all about relationships: leveraging existing ones and making new ones,” said Mike Jones, senior vice president of supply chain, travel, port services and workplace solutions for Royal Caribbean. “This is a great event to give wide access and to understand who the key decision makers are.” Key takeaways from the event included:
There are more than 100 new ships on the global orderbook, and all will need to be serviced and provisioned efficiently. Suppliers will need to work more collaboratively with their counterparts from the cruise enterprise to enable the supply chain adequately. Suppliers to the cruise industry require greater capabilities so that they may service the complex requirements of the expanding geographically-global fleet and its supply chain.
Continual innovations in culinary products and processes are of high priority, as the lines strive to meet the ever growing demands of their guests. Suppliers need to ensure that their products and services are in-line with the sustainability initiatives being driven by the cruise enterprise.
“I’m delighted with the great energy and participation of everyone at this first event for this new community,” said Bo Nylandsted Larsen, CLIA’s senior vice president of strategic partnerships. “There was a great spirit of collaboration, and everyone took time to share ideas with colleagues, old and new. “Feedback has been very positive, and we also received a lot of new ideas and input that will determine our future activities and benefits for this burgeoning community.” Applications for membership to CLIA’s Hotel Operations, Food & Beverage Business Community are now being accepted. For more information, please contact Richard Regan: +1.609.558.2723 / email@example.com.
FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 29
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Meetings & Events
Maximizing Seatrade Cruise Global: Easy as FCCA
eatrade Cruise Global is an exciting time for the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), synonymous with renewing and creating business partnerships, discussing ideas and tackling industry issues with the attending cruise line representatives and global stakeholders. Of course, these opportunities are vast during the event’s standard programming, but the FCCA maximizes these chances for its Platinum Members. After all, Seatrade/UBM and FCCA have developed a strong, synergistic relationship while working together for more than a quarter-century. The collaboration began back in the early 1990s, with FCCA actively participating in the planning and organization of Seatrade and Seatrade supporting the FCCA’s Caribbean-based annual conference, fundraising events and charitable activities. Today, that collaboration benefits FCCA members participating in Seatrade Cruise Global. As with everything in which FCCA participates, one of its main goals is to positively impact the working relationship between its members and executives from its Member Lines that operate nearly 200 ships in the FCCA’s partner destinations. FCCA does this by providing multiple events and opportunities to put members on a first-name basis with FCCA Member Line executives, presidents and CEOs—interactions that spawn relationships and put a foot in the door. This is a key component of the FCCA Platinum Membership program and a vital resource for any entity doing or desiring business with the cruise industry. “FCCA events always give me an opportunity to meet valuable industry stakeholders,” said Adam Goldstein, president and COO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “These are the people who have ideas and projects I want, and need, to know about.” To foster these engagements during Seatrade and help actualize its numerous resources and high-level attendees, FCCA
“FCCA OPENS THE DOOR TO THE CRUISE INDUSTRY AND PUTS YOU IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ACTION.” —MICKY ARISON, CHAIRMAN, CARNIVAL CORPORATION & PLC
programmed a block of functions coinciding with the event to ensure that Platinum Members have a direct line to FCCA Member Line executives. The FCCA booth itself (#979) serves as the site for many of these. Besides being a one-stop shop for all attendees to learn more about FCCA and what it offers, the booth also hosts networking receptions to promote destinations and companies, while bringing together Platinum Members and cruise executives in a private atmosphere. Plus, many of the same executives and members cycle in and out of the booth for meetings arranged by FCCA. Of course, there are also the annual FCCA events that have become tradition for many cruise executives and Platinum Members. An annual pre-event welcoming reception cooks up appetizing opportunities for members and cruise
executives to reacquaint and prepare for the days and discussions ahead, with this year’s event adding extra flavor by taking place at Seaspice Brasserie and Lounge for the first time. On Wednesday, April 10, FCCA will celebrate another first as it “decommissions” the FCCA Foundation’s Gala of the past 24 years and introduces its transformational newbuild, LIVaboard! LIV at Fontainebleau, one of the top nightlife venues in the world, will serve as the gangway to a unique networking experience and opportunity to build relationships and business with more than 100 cruise executives, including 10 presidents or above hosting an ultra-exclusive fourhour reception with VIP table holders before the ropes drop and allow for all attendees to target the executives – and enjoy the boatloads of fun and surprises in store. All this while benefiting a worthy cause, with proceeds going to the heart of the original Gala: the FCCA Foundation, a non-profit, charitable organization that funds humanitarian causes throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. Indeed, 2019 Seatrade Cruise Global will benefit participants with its success-proven formula combined with many new features by UBM, but FCCA offers backstage passes to visit the real rock stars—key decision makers from FCCA Member Lines. Or as Micky Arison, chairman of Carnival Corporation and FCCA, said, “FCCA opens the door to the cruise industry and puts you in the middle of the action.” FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 31
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AIDA Cruises Welcomes History-Making AIDAnova When AIDA Cruises took receipt of its latest ship, AIDAnova, from the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg last December, it marked its place in the history books with the first cruise vessel to be powered at sea and in port by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel. “AIDAnova is a milestone for our company and the entire cruise industry,” said Michael Thamm, CEO of Costa Group. “With Carnival Corporation pioneering LNG technology, we start a new era of environmentally friendly cruising. It’s important now that the respective infrastructure will be further developed as more and more cruise lines are following our example.” For many years, AIDA Cruises has been a pioneer in the development of alternative modes of energy production on board its ships. The cruise line began investing in LNG as a propulsion technology more than 10 years ago – and with LNG, emissions of particulate matter and sulfur oxides are almost completely eliminated. In 2021 and 2023, two additional ships from the new AIDA Cruises generation of vessels will join the AIDA fleet, in addition to new LNGpowered ships on order for Costa Cruises, P&O Cruises in the UK, and
Carnival Cruise Line and Princess Cruises in the U.S. In total, Carnival Corporation has an additional 10 next-generation “green” cruise ships on order that will be powered by LNG in port and at sea, with expected delivery dates between 2019 and 2025, leading the cruise industry’s use of LNG to power cruise ships. By making history as the first cruise ship to be powered in port and at sea by LNG, AIDAnova underscores Carnival Corporation’s longtime role as an industry leader in developing innovative solutions for sustainability, including the environmental technology breakthrough of making its Advanced Air Quality Systems (AAQS) highly functional in the small confines of a cruise ship. Its pioneering Advanced Air Quality Systems, generically known as exhaust gas cleaning systems, are installed on 71 of the company’s more than 100 ships. In addition, over 40 percent of the company’s fleet has “cold ironing” capabilities, enabling ships to use shoreside electric power where available while in port. The company has also implemented broad initiatives to optimize onboard energy usage and innovative hull designs and coatings to reduce fuel consumption by minimizing frictional drag.
Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras Makes Waves with Itinerary and Shipboard Offerings One of those Carnival Corporation vessels powered by LNG and the first North American-based cruise ship to do so as part of the company’s “green cruising” design platform—Carnival Cruise Line’s newest and largest ship, Mardi Gras—has made waves with a series of announcements building up to its inaugural schedule. Now on sale, and breaking records on opening day, the diverse schedule features six- to 15-day sailings visiting top destinations throughout Europe and the Caribbean beginning in summer 2020.
“For Mardi Gras, we’ve developed some truly exciting and diverse itineraries that will provide our guests with opportunities to experience and explore top destinations in Europe and the Caribbean,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “These itineraries will serve as the perfect complement to the unique shipboard experience that Mardi Gras will offer.” As for those unique shipboard experiences, get ready to ride! In another cruise industry first, Mardi Gras will feature the first-ever roller coaster at sea, providing an unforgettable and unique open-air thrill ride on the line’s newest and most innovative ship. Built by Munich-based Maurer Rides, BOLT: Ultimate Sea Coaster is a heart-pounding rush of adrenaline offering nearly 800 feet of exhilarating twists, turns and drops with riders reaching speeds of nearly 40 miles per hour. According to Duffy, BOLT is the cornerstone of innovations and features being designed for Mardi Gras, which will be the ultimate playground at sea for fun seekers of all ages. “Mardi Gras will be our most innovative ship ever with some truly special features and attractions, highlighted by BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea,” said Duffy. “BOLT will continue the tradition FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 33
On Board of Carnival providing exciting new ways for our guests to ‘Choose Fun.’ We are so thrilled to introduce this one-of-a-kind, game-changing, exhilarating attraction – our guests are going to love it!” Mardi Gras will be based in Port Canaveral, which will feature a new state-of-the-art terminal. A second XL-class ship will start construction in 2020 and be delivered in 2022 to mark the 50 th anniversary of Carnival Cruise Line’s founding. MSC Grandiosa, One of 15 NextGeneration MSC Cruise Ships Due by 2027, Floats Out On January 5, MSC Cruises celebrated the float out of MSC Grandiosa. Scheduled for delivery this October, she will be the third Meraviglia ship; the first of three Meraviglia-Plus ships, featuring larger tonnage and guest capacity, with Grandiosa at 181,000 GT and total passenger capacity of 6,334; the fifth ship to enter MSC Cruises’ fleet in just two and a half years; and one of 15 next-generation cruise ships currently due for delivery by 2027 through MSC Cruises’ fleet expansion plan. MSC Grandiosa will showcase an even larger Mediterranean-style promenade, the groundbreaking feature unique to Meraviglia-generation ships that serves as the social hub of the ship. Amongst other specialty restaurants it will feature a new bar and lounge, L’Atelier Bistrot, offering lounge seating with a stage and a dance floor, impressionist art on display and terrace seating with Parisian Bistrot tables and chairs. This award-winning promenade will host surprise performances, including flash mobs and themed parties as well as the awe-inspiring projections on the even longer 98.5-metre LED Sky screen.
As other Meraviglia-class ships, MSC Grandiosa will feature two brand new exclusive shows from Cirque du Soleil at Sea. This is part of a long-term partnership between MSC Cruises and Cirque du Soleil, the world leader in artistic entertainment. 34 FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
Following MSC Bellissima’s launch in February 2019, MSC Grandiosa will become the second MSC Cruises ship to feature Zoe, the cruise industry’s first digital cruise personal assistant, as a new feature of MSC for Me. This service will provide guests with a simple and
stress-free way to receive information that is traditionally provided at the Guest Relations desk. MSC Grandiosa will be delivered to MSC Cruises on October 31 and will start regular sailings from Genoa, Italy on November 16.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises Expanding Luxury: Celebrates Construction Milestone for Seven Seas Splendor and Order for Third Explorer-Class Ship “We definitely are a little bit different,” said Jason Montague, president and CEO of Regent Seven Seas Cruises, at the 2018 FCCA Conference’s “Presidential Address,” pointing out that their entire fleet is fewer than the new ships on order for most of the panelists, but includes Regent Seven Seas Explorer, “the most luxurious ship ever built.” “It’s a bold statement,” but he told she lives up to it through focusing on craftsmanship and “every single detail,” which also speaks to the level of service Regent provides and expectations of their guests, “who do in fact spend a lot of money wherever they go.” However, that list is growing. Seven Seas Explorer will soon welcome her sister, Seven Seas Splendor, which floated out and touched the sea for the first time in February. Now buoyant at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Ancona, Italy, final-stage construction on Seven Seas Splendor will focus on her interior spaces, including elegant lounges, gourmet restaurants and 375 lavish suites—such as the largest suite ever constructed on a luxury cruise ship, featuring a $200,000 handcrafted bed, magnificent in-suite spa retreat and 4,443 square feet of beauty and comfort—that will all represent luxury perfected. The fifth ship in Regent’s fleet sets sail in February 2020. With their attention to detail, Regent certainly knows the rule of three – and these sisters will welcome another
addition in late 2023, when delivery is scheduled for the new 750-guest ship representing the third in the Explorer class and Regent’s sixth all-suite vessel. “We are excited to build on the spectacular success of Seven Seas Explorer and Seven Seas Splendor as we embark on bringing to life a new vessel that will set an even higher benchmark for elegance, luxury and style,” said Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “This new ship further strengthens our company’s robust yet measured growth profile with vessels now on order for all three of our award-winning brands, enabling us to expand our presence globally, further diversify our product offerings and continue to drive shareholder returns.” Fincantieri is currently building Seven Seas Splendor at its Ancona, Italy shipyard, with relentless focus on perfecting every detail during construction so the ship’s inspired design truly dazzles guests as a work of art.
Royal Caribbean Orders Sixth Oasis-class Cruise Ship Royal Caribbean announced on February 18 that it has entered into an agreement with French shipbuilder Chantiers de l’Atlantique to order a sixth Oasis-class ship for delivery in the fall of 2023. “This order is a reflection of the exceptional performance of this vessel class and the extraordinary partnership between Chantiers de l’Atlantique and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd,” said Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO. The cruise line’s fifth Oasis-Class ship is due for delivery in the spring of 2021. Oceania Cruises’ New Allura Class Oceania Cruises announced on January 8 that it had placed an order for two new ships and a whole new class from Fincantieri S.p.A – to be delivered in 2022 and 2025. “This new class of ships will represent an evolution of the Oceania Cruises experience with all the elements our guests treasure – a warm, intimate, residential style; the most spacious standard staterooms afloat; amazing suites, and of course, the finest cuisine at sea,” said Bob Binder, president & CEO of Oceania Cruises. The two 67,000 gross ton AlluraClass ships will each accommodate approximately 1,200 guests. This new class of mid-size cruise vessels will retain all the warmth, popular design elements, and signature amenities of the line’s award-winning Marina and Riviera, while affording guests an additional level of comfort, convenience and many new luxury amenities. “We are excited to expand the Oceania Cruises fleet with our new Allura-Class ships to meet the strong demand for upscale culinary- and destination-focused cruise vacations around the globe,” said Del Rio. “This new class of ships will further elevate the already best-in-class guest experience at Oceania Cruises and meaningfully strengthen demand from both new and loyal returning guests, which will ultimately drive further returns for shareholders.”
The Dawn of a New Celebrity Millennium Kicks Off Celebrity Cruises’ Revolution
The newly modernized Celebrity Millennium is ready to revolutionize modern travel. The ship’s dramatic transformation—part of the THE CELEBRITY REVOLUTION—is just the beginning of Celebrity Cruises’ biggest fleet-wide modernization ever, with more than $500 million in luxurious upgrades taking the brand’s fleet to the Edge. On the all-new Celebrity Millennium, discerning world travelers will enjoy enhancements that include completely redesigned staterooms and suites; stunningly reimagined restaurants, bars, and lounges; a redesigned spa and casino; new designer boutiques featuring the hottest designer names; and that is just the beginning. When redesigning the staterooms and suites, every detail was carefully thought through with guest comfort at the forefront. Celebrity collaborated with renowned international hospitality design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) to transform the staterooms on board and turned to famed designer Kelly Hoppen, MBE to refresh the suites and bring The Retreat to Celebrity Millennium. Celebrity is known to always be looking for new ways to open the world, not only through the places the brand visits, but through its globally inspired
culinary experience, as well. The brand seized the “revolutionary” opportunity and reimagined many of the restaurants and lounges. Guests will find even more luxurious enhancements across the ship as part of THE CELEBRITY REVOLUTION, including advanced pervasive Xcelerate Wi-Fi; new boutiques featuring some of the hottest designers in the world, including Shinola, John Hardy and Hublot; a new, wellness-focused Spa design by renowned New York design firm Krause Sawyer; a new, semi-private consultation area in the fitness center for personal training and consultations; a new salon; a newly enhanced Persian Garden thermal suite; and a sleek and sophisticated redesigned Casino and Casino Bar. Guests are not the only ones who will get to experience THE CELEBRITY REVOLUTION, as “revolutionary” enhancements were made across the crew areas, including accommodations. Celebrity Millennium is just the first revolutionary revitalization for the brand. Celebrity Summit has already entered dry-dock in the Bahamas for its own stunning transformation, with seven more ships to be modernized by 2023.
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On Board TUI Cruises Delivers Mein Schiff 2 Germany-based cruise operator TUI Cruises delivered its new and improved Mein Schiff 2 on January 22. The company’s sixth newbuild in six years features environmentally conscious technologies and interiors, including a hybrid scrubber that washes out the ship’s exhausts; comprehensive energy management system; a hydrodynamic hull shape; a more efficient air conditioning system; optimized onboard space; fabrics made from GOTScertified organic cotton; and wooden furnishings in the cabins all responsibly sourced from forestry schemes, certified with the FSC Mix label. Significant Milestone in Carnival Panorama’s Construction Commemorated with Traditional Maritime Coin Ceremony With its California debut less than a year away, Carnival Panorama’s exterior completion was celebrated at the Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera, Italy on December 17, during which a commemorative coin was welded to the ship’s mast in a time-honored maritime tradition. And just like the ship will take its guests on memorable journeys, the coin itself took a memorable journey throughout the state of California before winding up at the Fincantieri shipyard.
The 133,500-ton Carnival Panorama— the third in the highly successful Vistaclass that includes Carnival Vista and Carnival Horizon— is set to debut from Long Beach December 11, 2019, marking the first new Carnival ship homeported on the West Coast in 20 years. Silversea’s Silver Whisper Sets Sail on World Cruise 2019 Following Extensive Refurbishments On Sunday, January 6, following extensive refurbishments and after a hugely successful pre-voyage event, Silversea’s Silver Whisper set sail on the ‘Tale of Tales,’ the 36 FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
cruise line’s enriched World Cruise 2019. During the ship’s dry dock period, which lasted from December 1-19, Silver Whisper underwent a large-scale renovation, completed in line with the Musification strategy that is inspiring the enhancement of Silversea’s fleet. The initial refurbishment plans of Silver Whisper were revised and augmented following the launch of Project Invictus, Silversea Cruise’s long-term plan to enrich and enlarge its fleet. With the comfort of guests in mind—namely, world cruising guests on the Tale of Tales—all public areas and guest accommodation were enhanced. In public spaces, new carpets were laid throughout the hallways, staircases, in the main restaurant, the main bar, and all guest suites. The Main restaurant underwent a complete refurbishment, with new curtains, new chairs and new wallpaper, among other enhancements; the Spa & Gym was upgraded with new equipment and other improvements, and the Beauty Salon was also completely upgraded; the Card & Conference room was entirely renovated; La Terrazza, the Panorama Lounge, the Central Staircase and the Casino were each also enhanced dramatically. The Pool Deck benefited from a new teak design, as well as an overhaul of the Pool Bar & Grill and other enhancements. New sun loungers and new balcony furniture completed the refurbishment of outdoor areas. The comfort of guest accommodation was also upgraded: in Silver Whisper’s top suites, new carpet, reupholstered and new furniture, new wallpaper, and revamped wooden surfaces saw the Musification of accommodations. All suites were invigorated with improvements to the en-suite bathrooms; new mattresses, curtains and furniture; and wood polishing. Aboard Silver Whisper and Silversea’s other ships, guests enjoy ocean-view suites, sumptuous cuisine, and the personalized service of a butler. Enriching the experience are such all-inclusive amenities as complimentary premium wines and spirits, specialty coffees, bottled water, juices and soft drinks served throughout the ship; an in-suite bar, stocked with guests’ preferences; in-suite 24-hour dining; and unlimited complimentary Wi-Fi.
Ice-Classed and Enhanced: Silversea Announces Plans for Additional Refurbishment of Silver Wind Following the completion of a major refurbishment project of Silver Wind started in December 2018, Silversea Cruises announced plans for a second. Scheduled for summer 2020, the second dry dock period will give the ship ice-class classification and improved cruising versatility, as well as a number of improvements to the vessel’s interior. As a result, Silver Wind will unlock a broader range of deep travel experiences for guests in ultimate comfort, cruising both classic and expedition itineraries. Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises to Eliminate 5 Million Plastic Bottles Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises have both committed to serving their guests prestigious Vero Still and Sparkling water fleetwide, enhancing the experience and eliminating about 5 million plastic bottles. Regent will begin this spring, with the transition from traditional bottled water to premium Vero Still and Sparkling water eliminating approximately 2 million plastic bottles annually across the cruise line’s fleet, while improving the taste of complimentary still and sparkling water that Regent guests enjoy. Oceania Cruises expects to ultimately eliminate an estimated 3 million plastic bottles per year through its partnership with Vero Water: a pioneering green initiative that is the newest facet of the brand’s OceaniaNEXT enhancements and the company’s larger Sail & Sustain environmental program. As part of its OceaniaNEXT initiative, the line’s ships will be outfitted with Vero Water’s acclaimed still and sparkling water distillation systems starting in April.
Princess Cruises Introduces The Reef Family Splash Zone Onboard Caribbean Princess When Caribbean Princess emerges from drydock in June, for a season of summer cruises to the sun-drenched Caribbean, The Reef Family Splash Zone will debut offering a refined, playful and relaxing area for adults and kids alike to gather and enjoy the sun and water together.
“In our latest effort to enhance our family offerings, this newly reimagined space invites families and kids to experience a multi-functional area to engage, play, reconnect,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. “The Reef is the ultimate spot for families of all ages to enjoy spending time together with new water features, recreational activities and lounge areas.” Over the last few years, Caribbean Princess has undergone a major revitalization, with many family-oriented features and amenities including breakthrough technology, family accommodations, new dining experiences and entertainment offerings. Caribbean Princess was the first Princess cruise ship to debut Princess Meet ZOE, the World’s First Virtual Personal Cruise Assistant Powered by Artificial Intelligence ZOE—the world’s first virtual personal cruise assistant—is poised to take MSC Cruises’ Guest Services to an exciting new level with guest-centric technology that will further enrich their cruise holiday. Developed in partnership with HARMAN and Samsung Electronics, ZOE is a voice-enabled artificial intelligence (AI) found in every cabin that can speak seven
MedallionClass vacations, offering guests a portfolio of experiences specifically designed to enhance their cruise vacation. Considered a breakthrough in the vacation industry the OceanMedallion wearable device features leading-edge technology that delivers personalized service through enhanced guest-crew interactions, eliminates friction points and enables interactive entertainment. For families looking for immersive, enriching and fun experiences while traveling, Princess Cruises partnered with Discovery Inc. to create “Discovery at SEA” onboard programming that bring to life many of the destinations visited while on a cruise and favorite Discovery and Animal Planet shows.
With family travelers in mind, Caribbean Princess offers 87 connecting staterooms keeping the whole family together. Each stateroom features the cruise line’s award-winning Princess Luxury Bed, designed in collaboration with sleep exert Dr. Michael Breus for the ultimate night of sleep at sea. languages. Able to answer hundreds of questions about the cruise, she can provide information about onboard services, provide guidance and suggestions or help to book a service. An easy to use device – guests just say, “OK ZOE”, and she’s ready to help. The advanced voice recognition feature makes it easy for everyone to control and access information using only voice commands. ZOE will launch on MSC Bellissima and will then be available on each new ship following.
Carnival Corporation’s OceanMedallion Named IoT Wearables Innovation of the Year Carnival Corporation’s revolutionary OceanMedallion, the wearable device that powers the breakthrough guest experience platform behind MedallionClass vacations, has been awarded the 2019 IoT Wearables Innovation of the Year by IoT Breakthrough as part of the independent organization’s 2019 IoT Breakthrough Awards program. “Carnival Corporation is the first non-traditional technology company that we’ve recognized with one of our IoT Breakthrough Awards, and it’s well-deserved because of the significant innovation it has created,” said James Johnson, managing director at IoT Breakthrough. Originally unveiled by Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation, at CES 2017, the Medallion™ device persistently connects a cruise guest’s unique digital identity with an intelligent shipboard Experience Internet of Things (xIoT™) ecosystem to enhance guest-crew interactions and deliver a high level of personalized service on a large scale. The device enables all aspects of an elevated guest vacation including hassle-free payment, keyless and personalized stateroom access, frictionless embarkation, on-demand services and more. Princess Cruises to Activate Three Additional Princess MedallionClass Ships in 2019 Princess Cruises is expanding its Princess MedallionClass™ experience to three additional ships—Royal Princess, Crown Princess and Sky Princess—building on the enhanced and personalized cruise vacations guests are currently enjoying on Caribbean Princess and Regal Princess. With the Princess MedallionClass experience coming to Crown Princess in July and Sky Princess in October, all guests sailing with the brand in the Caribbean will be able to enjoy an enhanced vacation through simplified, personalized and engaging experiences by the end of 2019. Carnival Cruise Line Expands Hub App with Pre-Cruise Purchasing Capabilities, ‘Pizza Anywhere’ Feature Rolled Out to Additional Ships The Carnival Cruise Line Hub App is already the most popular consumer app in the cruise industry, and with some new enhancements—including the launch of FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 37
On Board pre-cruise purchasing functionality and online check-in for its North Americanbased ships, as well as an expanded ‘Pizza Anywhere’ feature—it’s sure to only rise in popularity. With the Hub App’s new pre-cruise capabilities, guests can now manage their booking, complete their online check-in, and conveniently purchase a wide variety of items and experiences before departure, including shore excursions, spa treatments, specialty dining reservations, Wi-Fi packages and Fun Shop orders for stateroom delivery. First available on Carnival Horizon and Carnival Vista, the Hub App’s popular “Pizza Anywhere” feature has been added to nine other ships. With the “Pizza Anywhere” function, guests can satisfy their cravings at any time with the touch of a button. To place an order, guests simply click on the ship’s map to mark their location, take a selfie to identify themselves and select their desired pizza and toppings. Launched in 2015, Carnival’s Hub App has become the leading app in the cruise industry with a 4.6+ rating in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store and more than 5.1 million total downloads. Hub App is designed to serve as a one-stop-shop for making the Carnival vacation experience seamless and convenient from beginning to end, allowing guests to track daily happenings on board, view food, beverage and entertainment offerings, chat with family and friends, follow the ship’s route in real time, and access their Sail & Sign account. Celebrity Cruises Unveils GameChanging Partnerships with American Ballet Theatre and Michelin-Starred Chef Daniel Boulud Celebrity Cruises is joining forces with two legendary names in the entertainment and culinary worlds: the iconic American Ballet Theatre and world-renowned Michelin-starred Chef Daniel Boulud. Celebrity is teaming up for a pas de deux with one of the most acclaimed dance companies in the world, American Ballet Theatre. As part of the partnership, guests will have the opportunity to enjoy exclusive American Ballet Theatre guest performances on select ships, join the dancers for intimate seminars, ballet barre classes, and embark on unforgettable excursions to American Ballet Theatre performances in some of our most dynamic ports of call. 38 FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
Cunard Unveils New Steakhouse Dining Concept in The Verandah
Cunard unveiled its new dining concept, ‘Steakhouse at The Verandah,’ which has become a permanent feature at the alternative dining restaurant on board the line’s three Queens: Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth. Taking influence from both sides of the Atlantic, Cunard’s team of chefs have curated a menu showcasFounder of an award-winning restaurant group that spans the world, including his legendary Michelin-starred flagship, DANIEL and Café Boulud, in New York City, Chef Daniel Boulud is a name every foodie knows. Now, he’s joining culinary forces with Celebrity. As Celebrity’s Global Culinary Brand Ambassador, Chef Boulud will design signature dishes for Luminae, the brand’s exclusive restaurant for suite class guests. Celebrity is also introducing Chef’s Table by Daniel Boulud, complete with a private galley tour and five-course dining experience, plus guest chef appearances on board. The brand is also working closely with Chef Boulud on a culinary mentorship program where the most talented up-and-coming chefs can hone their craft by learning from the best – both in Celebrity’s kitchens and in Chef Boulud’s. Holland America Line Turns Up the Heat with Five New America’s Test Kitchen Cooking Shows for 2019 From foodie newbies to seasoned cooks, Holland America Line is encouraging guests to embrace their love of cooking alongside the experts at America’s Test Kitchen with five new shows starting in January 2019.
ing prime USDA gran finished New York strip steak, Main lobster and Alaskan king crab, alongside dishes celebrating British provenance such as Scotch grass-fed, dry aged beef and Salt Marsh lamb rack. Offerings from farther afield such as renowned Waygu beef from Australia are also featured on the menu. The new 45-minute presentations—covering everything from tacos and takeout to dinner for two and sweet treats—join the 14 current shows and feature a mix of video, instruction and live recipe demonstrations. Oceania Cruises Reveals Exclusive Dom Perignon Pairing Dinner Oceania Cruises unveiled its exclusive Dom Perignon Experience at La Reserve. This first of its kind dining experience pairs six palate-piquing courses with a different expression and vintage of Dom Perignon’s acclaimed vintages. Created by the culinary team at La Maison Dom Perignon in conjunction with Oceania Cruises’ culinary team, the dinner is offered to a maximum of 24 guests. “We created this dinner to be sophisticated, memorable, a little bit decadent, but also a lot of fun. After all, champagne is all about celebration,” stated Bob Binder, president and CEO.
New Wine Menu Reimagined in Partnership with Master of Wine and Master Sommelier Onboard Princess Cruises Princess Cruises is reimagining its wine menu, offering nearly 50 percent more selections for a total of 142 wines—the most extensive in the cruise line’s history—carefully selected in partnership with Master of Wine and Master Sommelier Doug Frost. The Princess Cruises beverage team, along with Frost, established a new wine philosophy that centers on exploration, discovery and enrichment. With quality and global diversity in mind, the new wine menu, available in the main dining rooms fleet wide, is also approachable, with 30 percent of the list priced at $39 and under and 66 percent at $49 or less. Descriptions on the list also make it easy for occasional wine drinkers to select. Disney Cruise Line Takes Guests on Epic Adventures in 2020 with the Return of Star Wars Day at Sea and Marvel Day at Sea In 2020, epic adventures at sea return to Disney Cruise Line with limited engagements of two popular experiences – Star Wars Day at Sea and Marvel Day at Sea. Setting sail on Disney Fantasy and Disney Magic to the Caribbean and Bahamas, these seven and five-night sailings combine the splendor of a Disney Cruise Line vacation with a special day at sea filled with unique character encounters, live shows and action-packed entertainment. Azamara Club Cruises Wins “Best Boutique Cruise Line” in the 2019 USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards Azamara Club Cruises has earned several accolades among USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards, including first place for “Best Boutique Cruise Line.” In addition, all three Azamara ships ranked in the top five for the category of “Best Small Ship.” This type of recognition from one of the leaders in consumer travel underscores Azamara’s ability to exceed guests’ expectations, delivering immersive experiences for travelers both onboard and on land. USA Today awarded Azamara Club Cruises due to their focus on Destination Immersion, allowing passengers to stay longer in ports of call to experience the nightlife of Stockholm or enjoy an all-day expedition into the Costa Rican rainforest.
Seabourn Introduces Notable New Shore Excursions in Extraordinary Destinations for 2019 Seabourn is encouraging travelers to experience extraordinary destinations with a selection of notable new shore excursions available throughout the year ahead. Introducing a selection of never-before-offered excursions, Seabourn guests are invited to engage in authentic culture and glimpse remarkable natural beauty for explorations creating lifelong memories. The new shore excursions offer a diverse mix of opportunities including wellness-focused tours of UNESCO World
Heritage Sites, Alaska, a Picasso Museum exclusive visit, and culinary and art experiences secured through local connections, among others. “Shore excursions are always a highlight as we visit each destination and a key element of the Seabourn luxury experience,” noted Chris Austin, Seabourn’s SVP of global marketing and sales. “This complement of new excursions combines what Seabourn does best, presenting innovative, exclusive and unique programming for people to experience exotic destinations in truly memorable ways.”
Officially Open for Business, Virgin Voyages Reveals The Beach Club at Bimini Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Voyages President and CEO Tom McAlpin announced on February 14 that Virgin Voyages is officially open for business, with the company’s first ship, Scarlet Lady, open for bookings for her inaugural season’s voyages departing from April 1 – October 25, 2020. Virgin Voyages will offer a cheeky and cheerful approach to service, as well as an inclusive approach to sea travel. Its Sailors will enjoy free food at the 20+ eateries onboard, free group fitness classes, no gratuities or service charges, free Wifi and free basic beverages like soda, teas, and drip coffee, as well as still and sparkling water. In conjunction with opening bookings for sale, Virgin Voyages revealed that all voyages will feature The Beach Club at Bimini, a Virgin Voyages experience in Bimini, Bahamas. There, Sailors can enjoy an epic beach day and/or explore
the island flavor and culture of Bimini and its turquoise blue waters, along with programming that will rival the best beach clubs in Ibiza and Saint-Tropez. In the spirit of Vitamin Sea, the brand’s ethos of well-being, there will be moments of retox and detox throughout the day. Sailors will find areas of high energy and quiet spots for complete relaxation and introspection. Mornings at The Beach Club at Bimini will begin with yoga and meditation as Sailors enjoy the sounds of the ocean. The energy at The Beach Club at Bimini will be gradually amplified as the day progresses and turned back down as dusk settles in. Sailors will reach the high point of the day by the afternoon where DJ-led pool and flotilla parties will be center of the action. The night’s energy will wind down with a beach bonfire to close out the evening with an acoustic musical performance.
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Trends in the Luxury River Cruise Sector
growing trend appearing in the luxury river cruise sector is lines upping the size of accommodations on their ships to fall more in line with ocean cruises. AmaMagna for example, due to launch by AmaWaterways in 2019, will be the largest luxury ship to cruise any European river, with cabins larger than any others in its fleet. To stand out f rom the competition, lines are also seeking to create vessels that rival luxury hotels, outfitting ships with innovative onboard features and adding more dining options. Uniworld’s newest super ship, S.S Bon Voyage, will boast a casual outdoor dining area featuring lighter, local fare and chef-led cooking classes, and AmaMagna will include an alfresco restaurant and wine bar. The cabins on Crystal Cruises’ sister ships, Crystal Ravel and Crystal Debussy, will include features not typical of river vessels, such as walk-in wardrobes and king-size beds. And American Cruise Lines’ newest ship, American Song, will boast lounges
that soar 40-feet above the water, with triple the glass of other riverboats to offer astounding views.
“…THE LUXURIOUS VESSELS OFFER THE SAME AMENITIES AS LAND-BASED ACCOMMODATIONS…”
Furthermore, it is becoming increasingly popular for luxury river cruise lines to host themed voyages that suit guests’ interests and hobbies, such as Golf River Cruises, where guests can combine a cruise from Budapest to Prague and play some of Europe’s top courses on the way, and Oktoberfest theme cruises which combine two nights in Munich to experience the world’s biggest beer festival. These innovations and improvements help the luxury river cruise sector attract ocean-going cruisers who may have previously viewed river cruises to be too small, and leisure and entertainment options limited. These new ships and experiences will also appeal to newto-cruise guests who enjoy city breaks and staying in premium hotels, as the luxurious vessels offer the same amenities as land-based accommodations, but with the added bonus of sailing to a number of different cities rich in culture, and only having to unpack once. FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 41
hrough research and travel insights, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has released the 2019 State of the Industry Outlook Report, which not only predicts the cruise travel trends, but also reveals that cruise travel continues to grow and contribute to the over global economy. “The research done providing a forecast for the year ahead allows the cruise industry to see a bigger picture, looking at the cruise and travel industries, where they can evaluate and predict all of the exciting things to come,” said Kelly Craighead, president and CEO of CLIA. “This year’s coming trends truly reflect the intersection between the experiences travelers seek and the cruise industry’s innovations.” From solo travel and restoration experiences to activities that preserve the local cultures and environments you visit, 2019 is expected to be to an exciting and diverse year for cruising.
2019 Travel Trends 3
Below are the 11 trends everyone will be jumping on this year. 1
INSTAGRAMMABLE CRUISE TRAVEL: Instagram posts are driving interest in travel around the world, so much so that on an average day, there can be close to 351 million posts with the tag #travel. With onboard connectivity, cruise passengers Instagram feeds with diverse travel experiences both onboard and on land from several cruise destinations. TOTAL RESTORATION: Stressed out from fast-paced lives, travelers are seeking ways to check out from daily responsibilities and rejuvenate more than ever before. Cruise lines are responding by offering total wellness in the form of restorative spa experiences, onboard oxygen bars, healthy menu
choices for a wide variety of diets, and the latest in fitness innovations. ACHIEVEMENT OVER EXPERIENCE: Experiential travel has evolved into achievement travel as vacationers are looking for immersive, cultural experiences beyond sightseeing. Bucket lists have become more goal-oriented and cruise lines are meeting these demands. Passengers can conquer Machu Picchu or complete culinary workshops hosted by Le Cordon Bleu chefs. ON-BOARD WITH SMART TECH: Cruise lines have adopted wearable technology for cruise travelers— including keychains, necklaces, bracelets, and more—in order to provide a highly personalized travel experience while on and off the ship. CONSCIOUS TRAVEL: Travelers want to see the world in a conscious, mindful way. The cruise industry is more conscientious than ever, working with local communities to preserve their heritage and implementing innovations that decrease the environmental footprint of cruise travel. The industry is also working with destinations to bring the benefits of tourism to local economies while preserving local cultures, landmarks and environments. ACCESS IS THE NEW LUXURY: Travelers are setting their sights on destinations that were previously out of reach, some only accessible now by cruise ship. They want to be among the first of their peers to experience destinations such as the Galapagos Islands and Antarctica. GEN Z AT SEA: Generation Z is set to become the largest consumer generation in the next two years—outpacing even Millennials. Like the generation before, this age bracket prefers authentic experiences over material items and has an even greater wanderlust. The
appeal of multiple destinations and unique experiences, such as music festivals at sea, is helping attract this new generation of cruisers. 8 OFF-PEAK ADVENTURES: The offpeak season is rising in popularity, whether travelers are looking to escape the cold in a tropical place or embrace the chill in a new destination. Cruising offers some once-in-a-lifetime experiences during the colder months that include: excursions to see the Northern Lights, visiting a penguin colony, and touring European Christmas Markets. 9 WORKING NOMADS: Combining work with leisure time is on the rise. Straying far from the notion of devicefree travel, many modern travelers or “digital nomads” are opting for trips where they can work remotely which cuts down on time off and lost wages. With WiFi, desks and work-friendly cafes, travelers can keep up with work while enjoying a cruise vacation. 10 FEMALE-CENTERED CRUISING: With the number of female travelers growing, many tourism and travel companies are creating female-centered itineraries based on interests and connecting women with other women. Female-centered cruises can create a female empowerment community at sea while allowing travelers to experience the world around them, as well as visit famous feminist landmarks. 11 GOING SOLO: With more Google searches for “solo travel” and “traveling alone” than ever before, traveling alone is rising in popularity. Cruising allows for solo travel without the worry of arranging a ton of details while visiting even the most far-reaching destinations and connecting with other travelers, forming community bonds and experiencing once-in-a-lifetime things. FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 43
CLIA Education: New Audiences Across Borders By Peter Kollar, Head of International Training & Development, CLIA
hile there has been a growing demand for cruise retail education over the past decade which accords with market growth, the last few years has seen this interest not only spread to new-to-cruise markets such as China, Southeast Asia, and India, but to an audience that is becoming quite varied and outside the retail landscape. The past three months have been indicative of this, as CLIA teamed up with Singapore Tourism Board (STB) late 2018 alongside hosts Northstar Travel Media for the CruiseWorld Indonesia conference in Jakarta. As I presented a keynote on the state of the industry specific for the emerging cruise nation, I witnessed a greater engagement than years prior, and across a broader collection of stakeholders which is understandable given their potential, as Indonesia with a population base of 264 million people is blessed geographically amongst 17,000 islands and represents a possible cruise hub given the right supportive commercial environment which is slowly being understood by government. Agents and retail managers too were engaged, attending in larger numbers due to new demand driven from client interest, as they took part in a workshop that showcased some key points of cruise sales that would grow their business profits. The vocational sector is also seeking further cruise industry knowledge, and not necessarily just for the retail sector. In December and January, I had the privilege to present an industry SWOT analysis for a delegation of U.S business students visiting the University of Notre Dame, Sydney Australia. Students from institutes such University of Mississippi, Louisiana State University, University of Alabama, Virginia Tech, Western New England University and others, gained a deeper understanding of how CLIA conducted international business in Asia Pacific and the management issues confronting such a multi-national enterprise across 46 FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
the region. We spent time on growing challenges the industry faces across cultures, ethos, and advocacy perceptions that can affect cruise appeal, as well as the vast opportunities that easily outweigh the tough road ahead of building cruise education and awareness. CLIA Australasiaâ€™s newly launched traineeship program is gaining traction across states in Australia (supporting studentsâ€™ education while being placed into the cruise retail sector), while similar interest is now being shown from New Zealand. The vocational appeal for cruise specific education is also growing in other nations. Demand in China from institutes traditionally versed in
ship building and engineering are seeking cruise-related content so that their undergraduates understand whom they are building for and realize the experiences expected from the features being designed. Other areas such as tour operations and guiding are also requesting cruise-related education more than ever. Japan and Malaysia are others that are gaining interest in using more cruise-related content into their existing vocational offerings. As cruise-specific information and education demand grows, there is one nation that epitomizes this interest, from the diversity of stakeholders engaged to weight of sheer volume of curiosity: India. On the precipice of their own domestic market emergence, the enthusiasm and thirst for networks and knowledge is as strong as I have ever seen from any market.
“…THE ENTHUSIASM AND THIRST FOR NETWORKS AND KNOWLEDGE IS AS STRONG AS I HAVE EVER SEEN…” In January I conducted a workshop to attendees at the SATTE 2019 conference in New Delhi, a three-day event hosted by UBM consisting of 1000 exhibitors and over 31,000 visitors across 50 nations and 90 Indian cities. Although there was a strong workshop attendance that outlined the latest findings from Neuromarketing and how to apply the science to cruise sales, the greatest attention came to our
panel discussion with local key industry voices pinpointing strengths and weakness that need to be addressed to bring a greater cruise economic impact to the nation. As previous years, much of the conversation centered around the potential ocean ports scattered across the 7,000km stretch of coastline India possesses, along with a new-to-cruise market that is about to be exposed to a new domestic cruise line that has the potential to grow local cruise awareness, however a new theme of discussion emerged which focused on the popularity of river cruising and the myriad of inland waterways that now has commercial interest of the government. Currently river cruising in India has been popularized by international markets finding new holiday options on the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers, although panelist Mr. R. P. Khare, senior consultant for Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), a ministry of shipping for the government of India, explained the complex and detailed strategic planning currently taking place for not only opening up more waterways to commercial traffic through infrastructure projects such as dredging and commercial berths on new routes, but also newly opened discussions and networks with enterprises that can bring these new commercial routes to life. Mr. Khare shared his desire to not only create these new cruise holiday options, but to ensure that there is an appeal to the domestic market as well as the growing international numbers. The growth of India’s socio-economic standing is currently conducive to exploring such new areas of domestic tourism, and it will be exciting to see what comes out of this endeavor. Overall, the dynamics of the cruise industry in itself—coupled with these new markets, new audiences, and great interest—make for such an exciting time for our industry. While we endeavor to support all stakeholders and lend our expertise to ensure the longevity of the global cruise industry, we are also excited to venture into new projects through 2019 for our existing program of cruise education and professional development offerings, ensuring we move forward collectively with the times. FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 47
Curaçao top-rated port in the Southern Caribbean
Cruise terminal facilities and port services
CURAÇAO PORTS A U T H O R I T Y
The cruise port of Curaçao, located in the Southern Caribbean, ranked number one on Cruise Critic's list for the southern Caribbean region, with a ﬁve out of ﬁve Cruise Critic editor rating. Popular excursions at Curacao, include a private beach break excursion, world class diving and outdoor adventures. The colorful downtown shopping area with its beautiful UNESCO World Heritage historic buildings.
Werf de Wilde - P.O. Box: 689 Curaçao, Dutch Caribbean
The recently completed Willemstad cruise infrastructure expansion enables the port to welcome the latest generation of cruise vessels. Our cruise terminals oﬀer many amenities for the convenience of our visitors, ensuring an enjoyable experience. With modern infrastructure and the experienced port cluster, the ports of Curaçao oﬀer maritime and logistical service excellence for all type of cruise vessels.
Port services include:
Tel: (+599-9) 434-5999 Telefax: (+599-9) 461-3907
Nautical assistance Cargo & supplies Salvage Bunkering and provisions Surveys Underwater services Ship repair and maintenance Transport Fresh water delivery Waste Management
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.curports.com
Building towards the Future
How the Sleepy Town of Mahahual Awoke as the Cruise Tourism Giant of Costa Maya
ruise destinations have entered a new frontier over the past decade, with revolutionary new experiences and approaches to maximize guests’ time and fun, and Costa Maya has definitely not missed the train during the ‘westward expansion.’ From a couple cruise calls per season to over 400 calls per year and growing, Costa Maya has positioned itself as a top cruise destination in the Caribbean and around the world.
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Everything started with a group of visionaries who sensed a hint of magic in a small town on the Mexican peninsula neighboring the Caribbean, called Mahahual. A different perspective was all it took to change the destiny of that quaint corner in Quintana Roo. Home to just over 2,000 people, 800 of which assist the port, this peculiar place has developed into a home away from home for more than 1.5 million cruise guests this year alone. Today, this delight in the Western Caribbean offers dozens of different attractions accompanied by a fully equipped port to host visitors from all over the world. From the first moment guests arrive, they are welcomed by an authentic Mayan group giving them a warm welcome with music and dance. Visitors can also enjoy the astonishing and historic Papantla flyers show, where natives climb up a 70-foot pole and start their ritual. Tied from their feet, the Papantla flyers spin round and round with their heads facing the floor. As the rope unravels, the flyers play native instruments and sing throughout the ritual. These unforgettable experiences and many more are offered with Costa Maya’s Port Pass, an all access pass to the port’s
activities – including Kakaw a chocolate journey, where visitors are guided by a scientist through time to figure out how to prevent cacao beans from extinction and preserve chocolate, the purest element for the Mayan culture; an aviary hovering on top of the port, housing dozens of the most colorful and beautiful bird species in Mexico; a tequila museum and journey, where guests are
hosted by two Mexican characters teaching the process of tequila making, followed by a tasting of all the different types; and one of the newest additions to the port, a rockpool where guests can relax, swim, drink and enjoy a private oceanfront view. Costa Maya also offers a professional shore excursions team, capable of handling thousands of people per day in extraordinary and thrilling adventures – both land- and water-based and ranging from adventurous ATV tours and family-fun water parks to historical Mayan Ruins visits and decadent beach clubs. Additionally, Uchbenkah has recently opened in a secret location of the Seven Colors in Baccalar’s lagoon, where guests can enjoy exclusivity along with kayak rides, outstanding food and bar services and swimming in the lagoon’s magical and mysterious waters. After returning to the port from a thrilling shore excursion, guests can unwind at the Mayan Wellness Center, a heavenly place where mind, body and soul are united and cleansed. Starting with a one-on-one ritual with the Chaman, a Mayan high priest, guests are guided through a powerful path started by herbal cleansing, followed by spring hot tub immersion, and ending with a ceremony in the Temazcal, a type of Mayan sauna and a mud bath. After rebirth and soul purification, guests relax in an ocean-view hot tub followed by a hammock massage, preparing to board fully restored, refreshed and reborn. In the past couple years, Costa Maya has shown its capability to adapt with
cruisers and cruise lines, with recent pier expansions to host four cruise ships simultaneously, including two Oasis-class vessels. As a consolidated destination, Costa Maya’s multi-brand port is currently hosting cruise ships from major cruise lines such as Carnival Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International and several others. In the near future, Costa Maya will continue its evolution with a redesigned and relaunched Water and Adventure Park, as well as several new attractions in port for all cruisers to enjoy – including a new in-port beach pool where cruisers can enjoy the ocean’s breeze with a fresh atmosphere accompanied by piña coladas and margaritas. It will also soon welcome Virgin Voyages, which has announced their plans to position Costa Maya as one of their main destinations, making it an essential part of their inaugural itineraries. They will be calling Costa Maya from mid-2020 with Scarlet Lady. With a bright future ahead, Costa Maya has become not only a memorable destination for cruisers, but also an unforgettable symbol of progress and pride for the area – and a literal example with its socially responsible initiatives supporting the local residents and surrounding areas, such as Wayak, a recently opened community center that has become synonymous with local entrepreneurship, social progress and opportunity. Mahahual was a sleepy town that has awoken as a cruise tourism giant through Costa Maya, and it is certainly poised to continue growing and welcoming visitors from around the world to its unique history, culture and experiences. FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 51
Why Do the World’s Largest Cruise Ships Choose One of the Caribbean’s Smallest Islands? Close to other islands. Far from ordinary Cruise lines prefer St. Kitts because it’s close to other island destinations and provides passengers with easy access to an unforgettable day of authentic experiences. Our two berths (1,100 ft long with minimum depth of 28 ft) are just steps from the historic capital of Basseterre and within easy range of thrilling half-day adventures further afield. Please contact us for a confidential review of your requirements.
P.O. Box 132 • Pelican Mall • Basseterre, St. Kitts (869) 465-4040
Explore www.StKittsTourism.kn /StKittsTourism
The French Caribbean Port of Call
Balata gardens, Schœlcher
This Caribbean island boasts modern cruise terminals only a stone’s throw from safe and vibrant urban centers, local gourmet cuisine, unspoiled nature, and exciting excursions for everyone. A warm Creole welcome awaits you in Martinique!
Habitation Clément, Le François
A colorful parade during Carnival
Visit us today
Pointe Simon Terminal, Fort-de-France
St. Maarten: Remarkable Recovery of the “Destination of Choice” In 2019, Port St. Maarten is celebrating thousands of berths, award-winning facilities and 55 marvelous years.
ort St. Maarten will be marking its 55 years in cruise in June 2019. During this period, since 1964, St. Maarten has grown into a remarkable and fun cruise destination. Over the past 55 years, the destination has transformed into a gateway to memorable and enriching experiences for more than 35 million cruise passengers. It also has plenty for the vessels themselves as a full-service facility offering fuel bunkering, water provisioning, along with other services – and the goal of becoming the lead cruise ship provisioning port in the near future. The facilities are all fully online and operational, catering to the needs of clientele. Since 2010, Port St. Maarten (The Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise & Cargo Facilities) has received more than 1.5 million cruise passengers annually. After the challenges presented by natural disasters in 2017, the premier cruise tourism destination welcomed approximately 1.3 million cruise passengers. In 2018, the focus was on bouncing back, and bouncing back it did! The destination welcomed close to 1.6 million cruise passengers via 489 cruise calls – proving the cruise industry is back in full swing. Looking forward, Port St. Maarten is projecting more than 1.6 million cruise passengers in 2019 as the product continues to rebound with new tours and visitor experiences coming online. The major cruise lines as well as boutique luxury lines are back, and cruise passenger numbers continue to grow on a quarterly basis. The partnership developed with the cruise industry over the past 55 years has shown the continued support and commitment of the cruise sector to the destination. A REMARKABLE RECOVERY From a port perspective, things are 100 percent operational after making a robust recovery. The destination cruise product is also rebounding well, which is one of the reasons the cruise numbers are increasing. Everybody has been working at full throttle to deliver the experiences that 54 FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
cruise guests are looking for when they visit. Stakeholders and residents have gone the extra mile. The things to do while visiting the destination—such as tours, restaurants and duty-free shopping—are upwards of 85 percent as of February 2019. Entrepreneurs and investors continue to look for new attractions in order to further enhance the visitor experience in its totality. The sheer resilience of the people to reinvest in their products have proven
“…A GATEWAY TO MEMORABLE AND ENRICHING EXPERIENCES FOR MORE THAN 35 MILLION CRUISE PASSENGERS.” Photo: Chris Garner Photography
that the destination is still one to reckon with in the competitive cruise industry. From a customer experience rating, destination St. Maarten is back to pre-Irma levels and even surpassed that with certain cruise lines. The September 2017 hurricanes were like a reset button, where the destination has spawned new and improved products within the past 16 months. As a mature cruise destination, it forced the destination to fast-track its reinvention. DESTINATION OF CHOICE FOR VISITOR EXPERIENCES Industry partners during the PAMAC Cruise Summit meetings shared information that cruise passenger experiences while on the island are set to break the record score of 9.1. Port St. Maarten received the ‘PAMAC Award Caribbean for Everyone’ in January at the PAMAC Cruise Summit. On receiving the award, the Cruise Executives reminded Port St. Maarten that St. Maarten “is the destination of choice.”
There are more than 170 bars and restaurants that are open and catering to the needs of stay-over and cruise passengers exploring the destination’s two sides (Dutch and French), 37 beaches and 50+ tours. Rainforest Adventures continues to offer the world’s steepest zip line, while Loterie Farm provides a zip line experience through treetops on 135 acres of forest and farmland. SIGNIFICANT ECONOMIC CONTRIBUTOR Port St. Maarten makes a significant contribution to the national economy of St. Maarten. According to statistics, the maritime industry contributes to a third of the economy, and cruise accounts for almost 25 percent. This number is assumed to
be much higher after the hurricanes, with several hotels still inoperable and the destination leaning more toward the cruise product for income. According to the latest Business Research & Economic Advisors (BREA) survey-based analysis of the impacts of passenger, crew and cruise line spending, destination St. Maarten received a little over $143 million in direct cruise tourism expenditures for the 2017-18 cruise season (May 2017 – April 2018), along with the cruise industry generating an estimated 3,499 jobs paying $72.34 million in wage income during the period. Where it concerns cruise tourism expenditures, St. Maarten placed eighth during the 2017/2018 cruise year due to the September 2017 natural disaster. St. Maarten fell from third most to out of the top 10 in terms of Photo: Chris Garner Photography
“THE PARTNERSHIP DEVELOPED WITH THE CRUISE INDUSTRY OVER THE PAST 55 YEARS HAS SHOWN THE CONTINUED SUPPORT…” combined passenger and crew onshore visits. Its 933,900 combined visits are more than 40 percent below that of the 2014/2015 study. These visits generated an average total expenditure of $153.38 per visit across all passenger and crew visits, fourth highest of the 36 destinations. St. Maarten also had the fifth-highest spend on wage income among the 36 destinations in this study.
PORT ST. MAARTEN OUTREACH LEADS TO OPPORTUNITIES Port St. Maarten Management is pleased with how ‘Fly & Cruise Homeporting’ has taken off for the high 2018-19 cruise season. A number of small cruise lines have used Port St. Maarten as their homeport of choice in the northeastern Caribbean.
“EVERYBODY HAS BEEN WORKING AT FULL THROTTLE TO DELIVER THE EXPERIENCES THAT CRUISE GUESTS ARE LOOKING FOR…” Homeporting generates more airlifts in and out of the destination; brings additional business for local service providers; and creates the potential for pre- and postcruise extension visits. The destination is also seeking to become the lead cruise ship provisioning port in the near future. Port St. Maarten has provisioned several cruise ships with dry and frozen goods, and the operations were carried out in an efficient manner, showcasing the port’s ability to adapt based on varied arrival times and still deliver quality service and maintain operational excellence. Cruise ships carrying 3,000-5,000+ guests and crew consume large amounts of food every day over a seven-day cruise, and Port St. Maarten has developed a strategy to increase volume related to cruise ship provisioning. St. Maarten’s international appeal as a cruise destination, along with business services offered in the maritime logistical sector and in the food supply area, are the assets allowing the island to gain from cruise ship provisioning. This would further enhance the port’s operational excellence platform and bolster more business, which are key to future growth for the island. FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 55
Reroute Your Thinking™
cruise port tampa bay • • • • • 1
4, 5, 7, 8, 10 & 14 day cruises New Western, Eastern and Southern Caribbean itineraries including Cuba Fast, Easy, Congestion Free More than 4,000 safe and secure parking spaces steps from the cruise terminals North America’s second-best airport and fifth in the world in customer satisfaction1
Tampa leads the way with an engaging variety of things to do and see before and after the cruise, from Busch Gardens, Ybor City, and Downtown Tampa to the beaches of St. Petersburg/Clearwater. And that’s just the beginning — your cruise ships are less than an hour from the world-renowned theme parks in Orlando.
Airports Council International
1101 CHANNELSIDE DRIVE, TAMPA , FL OR IDA 3 3 6 0 2 W W W .P OR T T B .C OM | 8 0 0 - 7 4 1 -2 2 9 7
Taino Bay to Cement Puerto Plata’s Status as a Powerful Cruise Destination
hen Amber Cove was built in the Bay of Maimón in 2015, it brought back cruise ship visits to Dominican Republic’s northern “Amber Coast” after a 30-year absence, along with hundreds of thousands of passengers per year experiencing the destination’s rich history and culture, colonial core and over 60 miles of inviting beaches – and of course Amber Cove’s onsite resort-style pool, waterslides, lazy river, overwater cabanas, dolphin encounters and retail options featuring authentic and local arts and crafts, all adding to one of the most robust shore excursion and activity lineups in the Caribbean. Now the storied touristic past of Puerto Plata, known as the birthplace of tourism in the Dominican Republic and housing one of the first forts established in the Americas by Christopher Columbus, is about to get another boost from the modern cruise industry and cement its status as a powerful cruise destination. Taino Bay—the area’s new cruise port and destination celebrating its pre-Colombian Taino culture; featuring an eco-park, water slides, a lazy river, rollercoasters, wildlife encounters, a zipline encircling the facility, a museum, dining, shopping, live entertainment and more; and simultaneously accommodating a pair of Oasis-sized vessels in its first stage and three megaships in the second stage—is officially under construction. During the groundbreaking ceremony, Minister of Tourism Francisco Javier García told Taino Bay expects to eventually welcome 350 cruise calls per year, in addition to Amber Cove. He praised Puerto Plata’s history in tourism and its ability to welcome two ports in such a short span, which he said would make Puerto Plata a cruise destination of choice in the Caribbean region and contribute millions of dollars to the area’s and residents’ economic benefits. The ceremony was headed by the President of the Republic Danilo Medina and attended by Víctor Gómez Casanova, executive director of the Dominican Port Authority; Adam Ceserano, senior vice president of Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA); Walter Musa, mayor
“THERE IS NO WAY TO STOP THE DEVELOPMENT, PROSPERITY AND SUCCESS THAT AWAITS.” —MINISTER OF TOURISM FRANCISCO JAVIER GARCÍA
of Puerto Plata; Mauricio Hamui, CEO of Puerto Plata Post Investment, concessionaire of the port; and other personalities linked to the tourism sector and executives of different cruise lines. With the first stage slated for completion by year’s end, the arrival of more than 650,000 cruise guests is expected in the first year of operation. There will be around 12 cruise lines with 117 vessels in total, including Celebrity Cruises, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International and Virgin Voyages – and coming from Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, New York, Orlando and Tampa Bay, as well as Barbados, Cuba, Curaçao, Montego Bay, Puerto Rico and St. Lucia. The entire project is a public-private partnership model—which will develop Taino Bay with an investment of over $125 million and generate 6,000 direct jobs and approximately 15,000 indirect jobs—and is expected to be ready by summer 2020, and then welcome 1 million passengers during the 2020-21 season.
“No one stops Puerto Plata,” said García. “There is no way to stop the development, prosperity and success that awaits. We must continue to support investors, protect investments and receive, as has been done, cruise passengers.” The whole province of Puerto Plata is full of touristic places, including beautiful beaches, golf courses, hotel complexes and resorts located directly on the beaches, along with an international airport. In this beautiful city you can find the only funicular cable car in the Caribbean, along with Ocean World, Cayo Arena, Ensenada Beach, Damajagua Falls, Playa Dorada, zip lining of Yasica, Monkey Jungle, Encuentro Beach, Ocean Village and the Fort of San Felipe. There are few places on the planet that produce amber, and Puerto Plata has the most important mine of this resin in the world, and the Amber Museum. Puerto Plata boasts some of the best beaches in the Dominican Republic, such as Sosua Beach, Dorada Beach, Maimon, Cafemba, Playa Grande (of Luperón), Cabarete, Cofresí, Long Beach, Longbichito. Some—such as Playa Dorada, Cofresí, Long Beach or Cabarete—offer various watersports, such as jet skiing, surfing, windsurfing and sailing. Other beaches can be found along the boardwalk, or in Boca Nueva, Playa de Copello, Bergantin or La Mariposa.
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Costa Rica’s World of Ways for Travelers to Find Wellbeing
osta Rica offers visitors an abundance of unique wildlife, landscapes and climates – making it an ideal trip that is anything but run-of-the-mill. This Central American country proudly shelters approximately 5 percent of the world’s known biodiversity and has become a global leader in sustainable practices. Visitors to Costa Rica benefit from an organized tourism infrastructure offering a broad terrain of activities and accommodations. Costa Rica’s diverse and varied climate makes it easy for travelers to embark on a fantasy escape. Whether a nature buff, thrill seeker or culture enthusiast, Costa Rica’s terrain and magical wonders offer something for everyone at any time of the year. Classified as a tropical country due to its proximity to the equator, Costa Rica has no real winter and always feels like the sun is shining for a full 12 hours each day. There’s no excuse for leaving unused vacation days behind when this country is open 24/7. While warm year-round on the coasts, it can be cool at night in the mountains. The average annual temperature is always around 70 to 81 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 27 degrees Celsius). The main reason for the range in climate lies on the fact that Costa Rica has an ocean and a sea close to each other: the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. From mountain ranges and rain forests, to active volcanoes and breathtaking beaches, Costa Rica provides visitors with boundless experiences. The diverse natural landscape of this Central American country and its inimitable culture provides visitors with a variety of options to nurture the mind, body and soul. The proximity of activities near San Jose means visitors can make a long weekend of it. In as little as two days, visitors can experience the peace and tranquility that is the cornerstone of most lodging options in the Central Valley region, invigorate the body with a visit to Irazu National Park and revel in the culinary delights of the local Tico cuisine right in San Jose and the surrounding regions. Travelers searching for innovative wellness therapies that promote a sense of wellbe58 FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
ing and vitality should consider Costa Rica as their next travel destination. It is the perfect setting for detoxifying from stress and the daily grind, and now offers visitors’ inventive opportunities extending beyond classic spa services and traditional yoga retreats. Some alternative therapies, such as Earthing, put participants in direct contact with nature and are popular in the Central Valley, Caribbean and the Pacific regions. Earthing, which involves physically touching the ground with your hands or bare feet, can be practiced with a short barefoot walk along any of Costa Rica’s pristine beaches or deep in the mystical rainforests. Studies have shown that this method of connecting with the earth allows the body to absorb free electrons, which enter the body and act like antioxidants to neutralize damage caused by free radicals. Out in the surrounding highlands of the Central Valley region, visitors can discover earth’s natural energy in one of the active volcanoes. It has been shown that this type of communion aids in diminishing chron-
ic pain and inflammation, combatting fatigue and improving sleep. Monteverde, which sits amongst the clouds high above the Caribbean and Pacific coastlines of Costa Rica, is another tranquil location for forest bathing. The area has been recognized worldwide for its conservation and preservation efforts, in large part due to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve which border the region. In addition to this, visitors will find alternative choices such as silent retreats, mud baths and thermal mineral hot springs therapy. Those interested in experiencing the benefits of mineral baths will
find 72 individual hot springs throughout Costa Rica, with the largest concentration found in North Guanacaste, Central Valley, the Caribbean and Pérez Zeledón in the South. It’s been reported that the ancient healing powers of a soak in mineral-rich waters helps improve circulation, boosts the immune system and detoxifies. If you are looking to center your mind, Costa Rica is the perfect pick. Travelers in search of peace and tranquility can indulge and be pampered by the country’s natural beauty, nature preserves and spas. Visitors can find holistic wellness in yoga retreats set in rustic open-air
studios surrounded by organic community gardens. Guided meditations to the sound of waterfalls help participants practice mindfulness. Those interested in a relaxing massage can find the native Costa Rican’s, or Tico’s, gift of happiness at any one of the numerous luxury resorts and boutique hotels throughout the country. Visitors looking to replace stress with adrenaline will find their rush throughout Costa Rica’s volcanoes, rain forests, cloud forests, beaches and rivers primed for white-water rafting adventure, fish-
ing, surfing and diving. There is also a vast array of thrilling experiences such as taking sky tram tours and hiking along hanging bridges, biking around archeological sites and zip lining at speeds of up to 55 mph on some of the highest zip-lines in the hemisphere. Hailed as an adventure travelers’ haven, Costa Rica is the ideal playground for millions of thrill-seekers who visit the country annually. On the Caribbean coast, travelers will find stunning beaches and picturesque parks, complimented by Costa Rica’s inviting culture. The region features a unique blend of natural wonders and Afro-Caribbean traditions. A wide range of activities allow travelers to mix adventure with natural history, present-day culture, gastronomy and music. In Sarapiquí, for example, organic
pineapple farm tours provide visitors with an entertaining firsthand look at the growing process and production history. While down the Sarapiquí River, adventure lovers can take exciting whitewater rafting trips. If looking to nourish the soul, Costa Rican cuisine hits the spot. As firm believers of the farm-to-table movement, Costa Ricans are experts at creating delicious meals from fresh, local ingredients grown through sustainable farming methods. The National Plan for Healthy and Sustainable Gastronomy, Costa Rica’s latest effort to promote its competitiveness as a culinary destination, encourages the revival of highly nutritious and tasty traditional dishes such as gallo pinto. Nonetheless, Costa Rica’s culinary scene offers more than its staple rice and
bean dish. Tropical fruits and an abundance of fresh meat and seafood—from local pastures and the country’s two coasts—provide a delicious variety of culinary offerings to feed the soul. Great inexpensive meals, as well as more upscale dining experiences, are easily found throughout the country. Visitors will be charmed by a new generation of chefs providing a modern take on classic dishes. Pura Vida is a Costa Rican colloquial phrase that translates to “pure life,” but means so much more. It’s a lifestyle in which you choose to live to the fullest, while nurturing the mind, body and soul. The phrase can be heard echoed throughout Costa Rica as a greeting or expression of happiness, and it accurately describes the tranquility, wonder and adventure that await visitors. While there are many ways to enjoy Pura Vida, there is only one place where you can start: Costa Rica. FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 59
Underwater Enthusiasts Welcome to Saint Lucia’s DiveFest 2019
he Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) in collaboration with the Saint Lucia Divers Association (Abaglo) are making strides to position the island’s Dive Festival as the Caribbean’s leading underwater event. The SLTA is promoting dive as another target market with the island’s 22-plus world-class diving sites. Dive travel planners and underwater enthusiasts are being encouraged to participate in the third annual ‘DiveFest,’
educate them on best practices in dive, marine conservation and a Dive against Debris Project, which includes scheduled cleanup of dive shores and tree planting exercises. Among the resorts participating in DiveFest 2019 are the BodyHoliday, Marigot Beach Club & Dive Resort, Island Divers at Ti Kaye Resort & Spa, Windjammer Landing, Sugar Beach – A Viceroy Resort, Bay Gardens Beach Resort,
The Landings, Bel Jou Hotel, Rendezvous, Iyanola Divers and Dive Adventures. As the SLTA continues to target the dive niche, the Authority is preparing for the Diving Equipment & Marketing Association (DEMA) show in Orlando, Florida from November 13-16, 2019. During DEMA the SLTA plans to present its products to hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of dive and travel industry professionals, as well as a recap of DiveFest 2019. For more information on Saint Lucia’s Dive festival visit www.stlucia.org.
which will be held from September 8-14, 2019. The event presents a robust schedule of activities for participants, including opportunities to see a variety of fish species and discover reefs and wreck sites on the island’s west-coast, while getting an in-depth look into the dive product of Saint Lucia. “Having understood the uniqueness of our marine resource, we are moving expeditiously to make this festival the best in the region as we seek to attract more dive enthusiasts to explore our dive product.,” said Ernie George, SLTA’s US sales manager with responsibility for dive. In an effort to highlight careers within the dive niche, Saint Lucian students will have the opportunity to participate in a showcase where experts from the dive sector share their knowledge about the underwater environment with the students. The workshop will FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 61
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CARIBBEAN TOURIST VISITS BEAT PROJECTIONS AND CRUISE SECTOR BREAKS RECORDS IN 2018, OPTIMISTIC OUTLOOK FOR 2019 Caribbean nations recorded 29.9 million tourist visits in 2018, according to the numbers released by CTO in February. This represented a 2.3% decline from the region’s record 30.6 million visitors in 2017, surpassing the 3-4% decline CTO officials originally forecasted in the aftermath of the historic hurricane season in 2017 – helped by a strong rebound in the last four months of 2018, with arrivals up 9.8%. The region was also buoyed by the cruise sector and its best-ever performance in 2018, posting 28.9 million visitors and a 6.7% increase over 2017. Looking to 2019, the Caribbean is poised for a return to strong visitor growth, with CTO predicting arrivals to increase between 6-7%.
CAYMAN TOURISM SWINGING TO NEW HEIGHTS Cayman Islands has broken its tourism record set in 2006, with almost 2.5 million visitors in 2018 – and an increase of over 11% and 240,000 extra tourists compared to 2017. Stayover visitors were up 10.7%, closing in on half a million, and cruise passengers surged more than 11% to almost 2 million. Plus, estimates of tourists’ total spend are registering $880 million, 12.5% higher and a $98 million boost compared to 2017. SAINT LUCIA RECORDS ITS BEST TOURISM FIGURES EVER WITH 1.2 MILLION VISITOR ARRIVALS IN 2018 Saint Lucia has topped its 2017 record figures for tourism, welcoming 1,218,294 visitors in 2018. Cruise, yachting, and stayover arrival numbers are all up for a combined 10.2% increase in visitors to the 64 FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
destination. Individually, yachting numbers increased by 26.7%; cruise by 13.6%; and stay-over arrivals by 2.2%. This represents records for each of the categories. The growth in the tourism sector follows major strides by the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority to reposition Saint Lucia as the destination of choice and to work with partners to ensure visitors enjoy a truly experiential vacation on the island. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC WELCOMES RECORD TOURIST ARRIVALS Another Caribbean destination has reported record numbers for 2018. According to the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic, the destination welcomed a historic 6,568,888 travelers: 381,346 more people and 6.2% higher than 2017. Of this increase, 69.4% (and 264,544 additional passengers) corresponds to foreign tourists, with the rest reflecting Dominicans living abroad. The report praised the Ministry of Tourism’s and private sector’s efforts targeting international markets, and the arrivals of non-resident passengers were in fact spread around the globe: 58.4% from North America, 23.7% from Europe, 13.6% from South America and 4% from the Caribbean and Central America.
DOMINICA SHOWS SIGNS OF TOURISM RECOVERY WITH STRONG Q4 PERFORMANCE Dominica welcomed 22,178 arrivals from October – December 2018—95% more than the same period in 2017, 35% of 2018’s total arrivals and a slight increase (0.9%) compared to 2016. This was further buoyed by a record close in December, with 5,271 arrivals—the most ever for the month and 6.7% higher than December 2016. The last two months also gained steam for cruise tourism, and the destination recorded cruise visitor arrivals in July, August, and September for the first time in five years, contributing to a total of 134,469 arrivals in 2018.
COLOMBIA CLOSES 2018 WITH RECORD FOREIGN TRAVELERS A record number of foreign travelers visited Colombia in 2018. Year-end numbers show about 1 million international travelers entered the country through airports and cruise terminals, and the destination welcomed 3.5 million visitors: 9% more than 2017. According to Vice Minister of Tourism Juan Pablo Franky, that growth is higher than the increase in world tourism, which stands at 5%, but below the target. “Our goal in the four-year period is to grow at an average rate of 12%,” he continued, and told that more than 4 million passengers are expected to be mobilized from air terminals by 2019’s year end.
GUATEMALA’S TOURISM CONTINUES HOT STREAK, 13% RISE EXPECTED FOR 2018 Guatemala welcomed a 13% growth in the number of arrivals for 2018 compared to 2017, according to calculations by INGUAT—representing the arrival of 274,725 additional visitors and setting the number at 2,387,995. “We have seen a double-digit growth for two consecutive years, which is important for the country’s economy,” said INGUAT Director Jorge Mario Chajón. That will build on the momentum from 2017, which brought an 11% increase over 2016, and continue heat up in 2019 with numerous international meetings in 2019 to help promote the country.
NICARAGUA CRUISING FORWARD In 2018, Nicaragua welcomed 81 cruise ships and 139,013 visitors to the country’s volcanic vistas, colonial history and eco-adventure experiences. These impressive numbers represent an explosive growth of over 55% compared to 2017. Moreover, nearly three-quarters of these visitors elected to dis-
embark for a greater sampling of Nicaragua’s attractions such as a quick adventure to Granada Colonial City, Masaya Volcano, Ometepe Island or Leon (the country’s historic first capital dating back to the 19th century) and its famous Catedral de la Asunción (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). MIRAFLORES BAY CRUISE TERMINAL SLATED TO TRANSFORM LIMA, PERU IN 2021 Miraflores Bay Cruise Terminal—a national investment project carefully planned with the utmost respect for the city, its inhabitants and the environment—is slated to open in 2021 and transform Lima, Peru into an icon of the South Pacific.
come 1 million cruise passengers in the coming years to the Port of Willemstad. JAXPORT CRUISE TERMINAL SERVES RECORD PASSENGERS, WELCOMES ENHANCEMENTS JAXPORT’s Cruise Terminal served a record 199,899 passengers in 2018, marking more than 2.4 million passengers sailing from Jacksonville since 2003. Carnival Cruise Line recently agreed to extend service potentially through 2027, resulting in a number of major terminal enhancements. Beginning in May, the recently upgraded Carnival Ecstasy will assume Carnival Elation’s year-round four- and fiveday cruises out of JAXPORT.
PUERTO VALLARTA EXPECTS 47% MORE CRUISE CALLS IN 2019 Puerto Vallarta welcomed 311,445 cruise passengers to its shores on 117 cruise calls in 2018, and 172 calls are expected in 2019—an increase of over more than 47%. The destination started the new year with a triple call on January 2 and a quadruple call on the 30th. PROGRESO GROWS CRUISE CALLS 9% The cruise industry in Progreso grew in 2018. Last year the destination closed with 148 cruise calls—8.8% higher than 2017. The destination also saw a growth in passenger numbers, rising from 413,233 in 2017 to 443,182 in 2018—a 7.3% increase. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC EARNS 100% ON CRUISE PROJECTIONS IN 2018 In 2018, the Dominican Republic welcomed 1,357,969 cruise passengers and crew members, thus 100% fulfilling the projections estimated for the period. Of this total, 1,008,177 were passengers, and 349,792 were crewmembers.
USVI FOCUSES ON CRUISE PASSENGER SATISFACTION U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Albert Bryan, Jr. wants to position the Territory as a regional leader in customer service satisfaction. He made the declaration during a meeting of the FCCA Operations Committee aboard MSC Seaside while on St. Thomas in January. Governor Bryan said the USVI would not rest on its laurels despite improved customer satisfaction scores. He said boosting service was imperative as the destination seeks to become the top cruise destination in the region.
OVER 757,000 CRUISE GUESTS WELCOMED IN WILLEMSTAD, CURAÇAO Curaçao welcomed a record amount of cruise guests in 2018, with over 757,000 guests and an increase of 19.4% compared to 2017. Curaçao is now aiming to wel-
COSTA RICA WORKING WITH FCCA AND OPERATIONS COMMITTEE TO MAXIMIZE SHORE EXCURSIONS FOR ALL Experiences like this in Costa Rica are getting even more gratifying for all. Instituto Costarricense De Turismo is working with the FCCA and its Operations Committee’s Member Line executives to enhance and encourage tour bookings through authorized companies – ensuring not only the highest standards of safety, accreditation and, of course, fun for guests, but also more
mutual success between the destination, stakeholders and cruise lines, all while maximizing one of the largest influencers of passenger satisfaction ratings. BLUE LAGOON ISLAND RAISES BAR ON CUSTOMER SERVICE WITH AQUILA TRAINING Blue Lagoon Island raised the bar on customer service excellence by becoming the first company in the Bahamas to have its entire team—of more than 300—take the FCCA Frontline and Customer Service Workshop provided by Aquila Center for Cruise Excellence. BLI remains committed to providing guests with an amazing experience.
SAINT LUCIA BOOSTS CONNECTIVITY OF FREE WIFI INITIATIVE #Instamoments in Saint Lucia are easier than ever to share with (and cause envy in) friends. An initiative to add free Wi-Fi zones across the island—already responsible for free Wi-Fi in almost 30 public spaces—has boosted its coverage. Plans now call for five free zones, including spots in Constitution Park in Castries, Vieux Fort, Micoud, Canaries and Dennery – with the aim of providing Internet access for residents and ensuring visitors can stay connected while enjoying the island.
DOORS OPEN TO WELCOME TOURISM BOOST IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC’S BAHÍA DE LAS ÁGUILAS On December 28, the Dominican justice issued a final judgment returning the lands of Bahía de las Águilas in Pedernales to the State, announced President Danilo Medina during a surFIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 65
Members & Travel Agents prise National Palace press conference. That puts an end to the 20-year legal battle and opens the doors to boost tourism in the 362-million-square-meter region, which includes the country’s most pristine beach. “These years we have worked in laying the foundations for this development, in order to be an orderly and planned process. And from today, with this favorable ruling, we can hasten the implementation of the plans underway, with the necessary legal security,” said Montalvo.
COSTA RICA TOURISM BOARD SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH IBERIA TO PROMOTE TOURISM TO THE COUNTRY The Minister of Tourism, María Amalia Revelo, and Iberia President Luis Gallego have signed a promotion agreement for Costa Rica in Europe. The announcement made during the 2019 International Tourism Fair (Fitur) outlines for a campaign including material in Iberia’s official communication channels with the objective of promoting tourism to the country. “The signing of this agreement marks the road to bigger efforts to consolidate and potentialize the Spanish and European markets,” said Revelo, adding that it brings Costa Rican tourism closer to one of the most strategic allies in Spain. SAINT LUCIA WINS ‘CARIBBEAN LEADING HONEYMOON DESTINATION’ FOR 10th TIME Saint Lucia has won the award for the ‘Caribbean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination’ at the 26th annual World Travel Awards (WTA) in Jamaica. “To be continuously recognized as the Caribbean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination is truly an honor; it demonstrates Saint Lucia’s commitment to excellence and our unmatched romance product offering,” said Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) CEO Tiffany 66 FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
Howard. “Saint Lucia offers endless experiences and breathtaking pitons with the Caribbean Sea in open air settings; it doesn’t get more romantic than that!” In 2018, Saint Lucia recorded a 5% increase in honeymoon arrivals over 2017. SLTA is positioning the island as a premiere luxury destination, applying further concentration to niches that continue to drive business internationally. THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS CERTIFIED BY SCUBA DIVING WITH READERS’ CHOICE AWARD The British Virgin Islands have added another notch to their diving belt, earning honors in the 2019 Scuba Diving Readers’ Choice Awards. The destination was voted No. 1 for wreck diving in the Caribbean and Atlantic region—based on thousands of scuba divers and Scuba Diving readers weighing in on their favorite dive destinations, operators, liveaboards, resorts, sites and more. MARTINIQUE IS OPRAH MAGAZINE’S NO. 1 WINTER GETAWAY O, The Oprah Magazine online recently showed some love for Martinique, naming it the No. 1 winter getaway in an article titled “The Best Trips to Take in Winter.” Writer Erica Lamberg explained why the Isle of Flowers is the ideal place to escape the cold: it “boasts beautifully unspoiled beaches and 80 miles of hiking trails. Plus, it’s a top spot for diving.” She recommended visiting in March to enjoy the colorful festivities of Carnival. And with direct flights on Norwegian Air, it’s easier than ever to follow O’s lead! BELIZE AMONG NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC’S BEST TRIPS 2019 LIST Belize’s growing popularity for vacationers and the recent efforts to protect Belize’s Barrier Reef System have won the country an important accolade from National Geographic, which has placed Belize among is ‘Best Trips 2019’ list. In making the announcement, National Geographic praised Belize for making big waves in marine conservation. The BTB heartily welcomes the announcement and views it as an important recognition of Belize as one of the fastest growing tropical vacation destinations in the world.
COSTA RICA NAMED ONE OF THE EASIEST, MOST WELCOMING RETIREMENT HAVENS IN THE WORLD Costa Rica is one of the best places to “ride off into the sunset,” as one of the most welcoming retirement havens in the world according to a recent report from International Living. The report pointed to the top five retirement destinations across the globe where it’s easiest to fit in, studying the character of the expat community, how easy it is for a single or LGBT person to adapt, how welcoming the locals are, if English is commonly spoken, and other factors. Costa Rica placed fourth with 91 points. DOLPHINARIS INTRODUCES A NEW PROGRAM, DOLPHIN TRUE CONNECTION A new program by Dolphinaris connects guests to and communicate with dolphins like never before. Starting with a virtual reality experience on ocean care followed by a 40-minute swim, Dolphin True Connection places guests in direct contact with the dolphins, giving the unforgettable opportunity to hear them communicate via sonar and feel their heartbeat on their fingertips.
ST CROIX SERVES UP NEW BEACHFRONT EATERY The culinary scene in St. Croix continues to heat up, with the latest place to dine on the beach now open at the charming OldWorld hotel, The Buccaneer – founded in the 17th century and family-run for generations. The fresh eatery, Bauregard’s
on the Beach, is a casual beach dining spot featuring a mix of small bites, salads and sandwiches, from Spiny Lobster Salad to crispy mahi mahi fish bites, and a cocktail menu from margaritas made from tamarind puree to the “Mutiny on Beauregard’s Bay,” a mix of local Mutiny vodka, freshly-squeezed lime juice, grapefruit juice and aperol.
ST MARTIN’S LE PRESSOIR REOPENS WITH NEW FIXINGS Set in the heart of the culinary hotspot of Grand Case in St Martin and named No. 1 restaurant in the Caribbean by Caribbean Journal in 2016, Le Pressoir has officially reopened. The completely renovated eatery has preserved its Creole charm—and connoisseur-friendly wine list that will change every two weeks—with a bright, airy look and a new prix-fixe menu including a starter, main course and dessert. It has also opened an adjacent cigar and rum bar next door called La Part Des Anges.
CAYMAN COOKOUT COOKS UP A WORLD OF FUN WITH WORLDCLASS CHEFS Grand Cayman was transformed into the culinary capital of the Caribbean from January 16-20, when the Cayman Cookout brought a menu of world-class chefs to its shores. Emeril Lagasse, Jose Andres, Andrew Zimmern and many others toasted the town while tickling the taste buds of tourists and locals. Television personality Al Roker, who hosted the Beach Bash on Saturday and has visited the destination for decades, told, “The cuisine on the island has really expanded like crazy. The
world-class cuisine is just really spectacular. I’m just happy to be here. I’ll come down every time someone invites me.”
BVI, AIRBNB PARTNER ON HOME SHARING Living (and dancing) like a local in British Virgin Islands is now even easier! The destination signed an MOU with Airbnb in December to “drive local, authentic and sustainable tourism to the islands, democratize the tourism economy and directly benefit Virgin Islanders. “We think Airbnb properties present a fabulous opportunity for home share guests to be able to experience authentic British Virgin Islands culture and lifestyle,” said Sharon Flax Brutus, director of tourism. AIRBNB AND ARUBA TOURISM AUTHORITY SIGN MOU TO CONTINUE PARTNERSHIP TO DRIVE SUSTAINABLE TOURISM Airbnb and the Aruba Tourism Authority signed a significant agreement to continue to cooperate to drive sustainable tourism in Aruba through home sharing. The agreement further cements the organizations’ partnership to establish a framework for discussions regarding taxes, facilitate consistent stakeholder meetings, and share useful aggregated data – and builds onto the foundation in 2018 of more than 2,300 listings throughout the country, 47,200 guest arrivals, and the typical Aruban host earning $9,200. ST KITTS CHECKING IN A NEW AND REVOLUTIONARY RAMADA RESORT The rural Whitegate area of St Kitts is getting a big-time development. Wyndham’s Ramada brand is checking into the island with a 273-suite resort. Slated to debut this September and set on an eight-acre site in St Paul’s Parish 15 minutes from the airport, the first phase of the project includes a mix of sea-view units, pool villas and gar-
den villas, with amenities like conference space, a bar, a restaurant, a cultural center and a swimming pool. St Kitts Deputy Prime Minister Shawn Richards said the property could “significantly transform” Whitegate and draw new investment to that part of the country.
LUXURY ON THE SHOPPING LIST FOR THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC’S NORTH COAST, MARRIOT’S THREE NEW RESORTS AIM TO ESTABLISH THE AREA AS A PREMIER LUXURY TOURISM DESTINATION Marriott International and Ocean Club Group have lofty goals for the Dominican Republic’s north coast. The companies are planning to partner on a $350 million project in Puerto Plata that not only would add three new luxury resorts—likely including a Ritz-Carlton, a W and a Luxury Collection property—but also advance the aim of establishing the area as one of the premier luxury tourism destinations. According to Ritz-Carlton President & CEO Herve Humler, the plan is to target upper-echelon luxury travelers and “bring them back to the Dominican Republic.” PUERTO RICO CONVENTION CENTER TO INVEST $5.7M IN IMPROVEMENTS The Puerto Rico Convention Center is investing $5.7 million over the next two years on improvements, including modernization work of the inaugurated terrace; structural work; efforts to accommodate the high traffic; total replacement of carpets; integration of a white lighting system; optimization of the security systems; new equipment to prepare and serve food; improvements to the cooling tower system and the emergency electricity generation system; and measures to integrate energy efficiencies. “The work being done in the Convention Center represents an opportunity to show that we are strongly FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 67
Members & Travel Agents contributing to build the Puerto Rico that we all yearn for and our visitors will be ambassadors to tell the world that Puerto Rico is ready to do business,” said Omar Marrero, execute director, Convention Center District Authority. SAINT LUCIA AIRPORT REDESIGN SET FOR TAKEOFF Saint Lucia’s landmark redevelopment of its Hewanorra International Airport is readying for takeoff. The estimated $100 million project—including the construction of a new terminal building equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, restaurants, shops and executive lounges, along with converting the existing terminal to accommodate fixed-based operators—entered its final design and approval stages in February. “After years of strategic planning, revision and modification of plans, we are excited to be in the process of executing the blueprint,” said Daren Cenac, acting general manager, SLASPA. A fully operational facility is scheduled for completion by the end of 2020.
COSTA RICA’S JUAN SANTAMARIA AIRPORT INAUGURATES EXPANSION OF FOUR-LEVEL BUILDING The Juan Santamaria Airport recently inaugurated Block Victor (Block V), which includes four new boarding rooms, contact bridges, basement to handle luggage, VIP room and pet area. The block includes 6000 square meters in four levels and is part of the expansion plan of Aeris Holding Costa Rica, which has been executed by stages in the last years and must be completed by 2020. With this new section, the airport now has 20 boarding rooms and 13 contact bridges. 68 FIRST QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
cold winter season.” Said Jetlines CEO Javier Suarez. “Dominican Republic is one of the fastest-growing and most-visited tourist destinations in the Caribbean, and the diverse geography, rich culture, and warm hospitality make it an attractive vacation spot for many Canadians.” DRAKE IN OSA, PUNTARENAS TOUCHES DOWN REMODELED AIRPORT The Drake airport in Osa, Puntarenas recently inaugurated its new 250 square meter terminal, a platform to park three type B planes, the extension of the landing strip and improvements of the security strip and the perimeter fence. The new terminal has a capacity for 162 people and offers national and foreign tourists better conditions, security and an overall better experience before discovering the region’s lush, raw nature.
ST. MAARTEN LANDS NEW JETBLUE FLIGHTS FROM FORT LAUDERDALE Getting from South Florida to St. Maarten got even easier on Valentine’s Day, when JetBlue launched its first-ever daily nonstop flights from Fort Lauderdale to St. Maarten. This added to the carrier’s long-operated flights from New York to St. Maarten – and came as another sweet sign of St. Maarten’s tourism recovery. CANADA JETLINES CHARTS NEW ROUTES TO DOMINICAN REPUBLIC Canada Jetlines Ltd intends to provide future service to several destinations in the Dominican Republic. It reached an agreement with Aeropuertos Dominicanos Siglo XXI (Aerodom) to provide future service to Puerto Plata and Samaná or Santo Domingo. “Adding these Caribbean airports to our network will enable Canadian’s to travel affordably during the
ST. KITTS WELCOMES NEW AMERICAN AIRLINES ROUTE St Kitts is continuing to soar with new airlift. After a wave of new flights, including new Wednesday flights from Newark to St Kitts and a new route from Minneapolis to St Kitts on Sun Country, American Airlines added a new route from Dallas-Fort Worth to St Kitts’ Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport. The new service launches this spring, with flights operating every Saturday between May 25 and August 17. “The addition of a nonstop flight from Dallas-Fort Worth by American Airlines marks yet another historic first for St Kitts and Nevis as the destination continues to build out airlift from key source markets,” said Racquel Brown, CEO of the St Kitts Tourism Authority.
OECS AND IATA FLYING TOGETHER TO LIFT OFF EASTERN CARIBBEAN’S CONNECTIVITY AND INTRA-REGIONAL TRAVEL The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States Commission (OECS) and International Air Transport Association (IATA) are working together to improve air connectivity in the Eastern Caribbean, with the long-term goal of streamlining intra-regional travel. The groups met in December to address current barriers and how to overcome them, including upgrading border management systems to more user-friendly ones and handling passengers more efficiently. “Our meeting lays the groundwork for creating opportunities to cooperate more closely to support aviation’s ability to deliver even more value to the Eastern Caribbean region,” said Annaleen Lord, IATA’s area manager for the Caribbean.
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