THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE CRUISE INDUSTRY
FOURTH QUARTER 2022
THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE CRUISE INDUSTRY
FOURTH QUARTER 2022
Past, Present & Future of the Cruise Industry
Growing Tourism, Environmental Efforts & Partnerships
FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show & CLIA Events Embark on Mutual Success
Cruise Lines Continue Environmental Progress, Newbuilds & Record Bookings
Destinations Celebrate Tourism Records, Developments & Initiatives to Benefit Locals
Aquila: Understanding & Preparing for Life at Sea
Stop at any of our ports for white sand beaches, turquoise waters and picturesque towns with shopping and attractions that offer all the island experiences your passengers are looking for.
10 Micky Arison and Michele Paige Visit the Past and Look to the Future The Carnival Corporation Chairman and FCCA CEO discuss the past, present, and future of FCCA and the cruise industry, putting the spotlight on partnership
15 Windstar Cruises President
Details Excitement and Plans for Partnership as New FCCA Member Line Christopher Prelog previews some of the opportunities in store throughout the Caribbean and Latin America by getting move involved in the regions and growing the company’s environmental efforts
18 Cruise Lines and Destinations Route Mutual Success at the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show More than 500 attendees and 70 cruise executives embarked on a series of over 600 private meetings, along with workshops and networking events, to continue building back better together
22 CLIA’s North American Cruise Forward Summit Deemed a Success in Florida
23 CLIA Engages with the Travel Sector at the World Travel & Tourism Council
NO1 PORT IN THE NORTH EASTERN CARIBBEAN. THE GATEWAY TO MEMORABLE & ENRICHING EXPERIENCES.
EXPERIENCE MAAGIC – STEP ASHORE WHERE YOUR HOLIDAY EXPERIENCES COME ALIVE – A REMARKABLE & FUN CRUISE DESTINATION YEAR-ROUND
BEACHES – WORLD MOST FAMOUS PLANE-SPOTTING AT MAHO BEACH – DUTY-FREE DESTINATION OF THE CARIBBEAN – DELICIOUS CARIBBEAN CUISINE – SECRET ESCAPES TO RECOVER & RELAX ST. MAARTEN, THE ‘FRIENDLY ISLAND’ OF THE CARIBBEAN
FCCA Chairman Chairman Carnival Corporation
President & CEO
Royal Caribbean International
Thomas Mazloum President
Disney Signature Experiences
Richard E. Sasso Chairman
MSC Cruises (USA) Inc.
Frank J. Del Rio
President & CEO
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings LTD.
Michele M. Paige Chief Executive Officer
Adam Ceserano President
Vice President, Operations
Director, Digital Strategy & Creative Services
Director, Membership Events & Programs
Manager, Research & Data
It seems safe to say that the cruise industry and our partners in the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Mexico are back. From record bookings for cruise lines to record earnings and visitors for destinations, the lives and livelihoods for so many have returned – and I can confidently say that this was made possible by the enhanced communication and collaboration that arose as a silver lining from the unprecedented event.
In this issue of Travel & Cruise, you will read about some of these efforts and initiatives, and some of the people who led the way will take the spotlight.
Micky Arison, Chair of Carnival Corporation and FCCA, speaks to the importance of communication, especially in recovering from COVID-19, while discussing the past, present and future of FCCA and the cruise industry.
Christopher Prelog, President of Windstar Cruises (our newest FCCA Member Line), shares his enthusiasm of joining and plans to further foster partnerships with destinations and people in our region to immerse guests in the culture, while also focusing on environmental improvements. There is a recap of the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show, which took place in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and joined hundreds of local stakeholders and government officials with cruise executives to continue the progress, as well as building on the momentum of our initiatives to improve hiring and sourcing in our partner destinations.
Beth Kelly Hatt, President of Aquila’s Center for Cruise Excellence, details a new program that will assist one of those goals by training prospective seafarers, informing what to expect with life at sea and providing some of the necessary requirements.
Additionally, highlights from the destinations and cruise lines show the progress that has taken place – and will surely continue if we keep working together to build back better and route the itinerary for a brighter horizon ahead.
Respectfully yours,Michele M. Paige President FCCA
CLIA Global Chairman
Micky Arison Chairman
Carnival Corporation & plc
Michael Bayley President & CEO
Royal Caribbean International
Frank J. Del Rio
President & CEO
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings
Josh Weinstein President & CEO
Carnival Corporation & plc
Jason Liberty President & CEO
Royal Caribbean Group
Thomas Mazloum President
Disney Signature Experiences
Charles B. Robertson
President & CEO
American Cruise Lines
Kelly Craighead President & CEO
Senior Vice President, Global Government Affairs and North American Secretariat
Senior Vice President, Membership Operations
Senior Vice President, Maritime Policy
Joshua S. Good
Senior Vice President, Global Finance and Operations
Senior Vice President, Marketing and Strategic Communications
No one can claim that the cruise industry has been idle! This issue of Travel & Cruise highlights the myriad of activities of the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA), our members and our partners engaging the industry on all fronts – from public policy and advocacy to tackling critical issues, all while moving our ambitious sustainability goals forward.
T he cruise industry has been, and will continue to be, at the forefront of innovation when it comes to environmental and maritime technologies. I am pleased to share the latest data from our Environmental Technologies and Practices Report that underscores the progress towards achieving the cruise industry’s vision of net-zero carbon globally by 2050. The 2022 report reinforces the cruise industry’s credentials as an innovator and early adopter of environmental technologies.
As an industry, we have attended critical events around the world to make sure our collective voice is heard, and we continue to garner positive sentiment among key opinion leaders, governments and policy makers and consumers alike.
In this issue, you will read about important conversations that took place at the World Travel & Tourism Council in Riyadh, Saudia Arabia, and the CLIA Cruise Forward Summit in Miami, Florida. You also will learn about the newly announced CLIA European Summit 2023 which will take place March 8-10 in Paris, France.
Together with the larger cruise community, I know we are up for the challenges that lie ahead. As the holiday season approaches, we must take the time to enjoy our family and friends and celebrate the industry’s successes. Happy Holidays! I look forward to a collaborative new year in cruise.
Together in cruise,Kelly Craighead President and CEO
Micky Arison, Chair of Carnival Corporation and FloridaCaribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), took an e-seat with Michele Paige, CEO of FCCA, to discuss the past, present, and future of FCCA and the cruise industry – putting the spotlight on partnership – with moderator Adam Ceserano, President of FCCA during an FCCA webinar on November 22. A lightly edited transcript follows.
AC: These webinars have been a voice to the industry over the last year and a half since we started doing them. We’ve gotten positive feedback from a lot of the members and industry partners. They love hearing everyone’s perspective, and I think today is going to be special – so we’re going to start right off the bat.
Micky, let’s talk about the beginning of FCCA – why and how was it formed?
MA: Very few people on the call probably remember or know exactly how it all started – basically we were a luncheon club. The executives of cruise lines that were based in Miami would have lunch together – I think it was every third Thursday of the month or something like that, once a month – and just got together to exchange ideas and talk shop.
We would all lie to each other about how things were going, but we spent a nice hour to having lunch at the old Everglades Hotel. Skip Weber, who was the chairman in those days, was retired, so he was neutral.
That was it – it was basically a way to get together. You have to remember the industry at that time was not Miami focused; it wasn’t Florida focused; it was a global industry. The U.S pieces of it were based mostly in New York and San Francisco, but most of the cruise lines were based in Europe.
So, we were meeting twice a year in Europe for the associations that we had there, and there was very little focus on Florida and the Caribbean – and so we got together just as a group because we had common interests in Miami.
We started getting into issues and hiring lobbyists for issues in Florida because the other companies couldn’t care less about what was going on – and that’s where it kind of started.
The lobbyist got more involved, and we actually made him the president of the association – but we really didn’t progress until we fired that lobbyist and hired Michele. Then everything changed.
what made the difference in our relationships. Micky was personally involved every step of the way, so kudos to Micky for making the FCCA what it is today.
MA: Also, Rick Sasso was Chair at that time – wasn’t he?
MP: That is that; Rick was the first. He was at Celebrity, and he was the FCCA Chair for 10 years.
AC: Michele, when you came in and now you look at what FCCA has become – and this question is also directed to Micky –how has it changed, and what are some initiatives that you can point out?
MP: The FCCA hasn’t really changed all that much; it has just constantly improved with all the various programs and functions. We continue to concentrate on the relationship.
AC: You say everything changed at that point, and Michele when you came in after this person was – let’s say – released, what were the first things that you thought when you were coming in?
MP: Things were not in a good state, as Micky remembers. Relationship was at an all-time low; things were in a bad place. So, I didn’t know.
I came from New York, where everything was under the marketing banner, and things were free-flowing and well-established. So, I went to Micky and said, ‘You know, I don’t know if I’m going to stay,’ and he goes, ‘Well, you can’t leave,’ and I said, ‘Yeah I can.’ He goes, ‘Well, what if we name you president?’
I had one caveat: for him to give me his time and be personally involved – and he and Richard Fain did for a long time. That’s what set FCCA afloat, and that’s
Micky has also maintained his commitment. Micky, you are the man; I mean it sincerely.
MA: I appreciate that, but you know, the reality is that that it has changed enormously – the communications and the ability for the FCCA team and all the executives that are on the committees for all these years, the rotations of people.
They’ve had the opportunity to communicate with various destinations and ministers in a way that was impossible when we first began. There was so little communication then, and it’s critical.
I think you get into this later, but obviously with COVID and the demands it brought us, it wouldn’t have been possible [without that communication].
The reality is if every destination had their own protocols, we would have never been able to get restarted because there’s no way we could do a cruise to three or
…we couldn’t have operated without that effort from FCCA.
four different destinations with three or four different protocols.
The committee that was formed to ensure that we had some coordination, and not every destination fell in line, but most did and made it possible for us to operate.
It was enormous, and we couldn’t have operated without that effort from FCCA.
It’s now – and especially then – but it’s now just a critical part of the industry and really the center and focal point of the industry, whereas in the early days, it was an outlier.
MP: I want to have a tribute to Owen Arthur, the Prime Minister of Barbados back when I came into the FCCA.
Everybody needs a champion, and as Micky said, we didn’t have people that wanted to talk to us back then. We really had to gain the inroads to have a relationship, to have the communication.
It was Owen Arthur. Barbados was the site of our first conference. He was the one because of his open-door policy, because of his commitment to the cruise industry, he really changed the tides.
It might be a completely different situation in the Caribbean if he hadn’t done that.
AC: Micky, you just brought up COVID, which seems to be getting behind us. In your opinion, has cruising finally returned and what is your outlook on that as an industry?
MA: A lot has happened in the last three years. Obviously COVID basically brought the industry to its knees, and now we’re getting back up one foot at a time. As soon as we started to get back up last summer, we got hit by Delta wave and the Omicron wave – and then the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
These constant headwinds and interruptions in our business – obviously, the huge spike in fuel prices, incredible inflation we’re all dealing with – these have created tremendous challenges for the industry, and we’re fighting our way through it.
Every company is having to fight their way through it, but it is a challenge – not just for the cruise lines, but also for the destinations.
We talk about employment, we talk about purchasing and those kinds of things – well, obviously when it’s become so
expensive to bring people in from faraway places because the cost of air has just gone through roof, it just economically makes more sense for us to do more hiring in the Caribbean. We’re all trying to do that.
It also makes more sense for us to purchase more in the Caribbean because supply chains have been interrupted in so many ways.
So, there is great opportunity, but there are also great challenges – for instance with extremely high fuel costs, nations that are further away from homeports are going to are going to be challenged because cruise companies are trying to lower their carbon footprint and to save money on fuel. They’re not going the distance and speed that they used to, so destinations must be creative.
A good example of that is the president of P&O has been basing their ships in the Caribbean, and I think destinations further away from Florida, like Barbados, need to focus on companies like P&O, Cunard, AIDA and MSC – companies that are willing to base ships down there [to improve] their carbon footprint and fuel consumption.
The whole industry is going through a bit of a metamorphosis, and there are challenges and opportunities. Hopefully we can meet the challenges and take advantage of some of the opportunities.
AC: Michele, where do you think the cruise industry stands after hearing Micky talk about it – and what role does FCCA play in that?
MP: As you know, we work for the FCCA Member Lines. We always stand at their disposal, and we get our lead from the cruise executives themselves.
They are totally committed and opportunistic moving forward – and they’re very enthusiastic about where they’re going
What we’ve always said with the destinations echoes what Micky said: this is the time to rethink, to understand yourselves and what you offer to the cruise industry.
It’s a blank sheet of paper, so let’s look at this together and look at how we can plan it better for where you are.
AC: Micky, on your one of your last points, you brought up some markers of a reces-
sion – how do you think the cruise industry would handle that hurdle?
MA: I can only look at history; we have tended to handle it pretty well because the value of cruises.
Those of you that have recently been on a cruise, you know the quality of food, the variety of the entertainment, all the aspects of a cruise vacation are such a great value when you compare, especially now in an inflationary environment.
The cost of hotels, restaurants, in all those areas, prices have gone up dramatically, and we’ve had to deal with costs – our raw food costs in some cases are up 30-40 percent, but we’re not passing that on to the consumer.
The overall cruise prices may be up a few percentage points here and there, but it’s not up double/triple digits like some elements of a vacation today. So, the value proposition today is greater than I can ever recall.
With that great value proposition, people in a recessionary environment tend to be more focused on value, more focused on being able to get the biggest bang for their buck, and we should be just fine if we position ourselves in such a way that
people understand the value – and each company needs to do that.
MP: To add on to what Micky is saying, Adam, you stayed at some extremely expensive hotels – you know suddenly on the second day you realize you’re not getting your bed made up unless you ask.
You don’t have that problem on a cruise ship; you’re getting world-class service.
MA: I’ve recently stayed at a number of five-star hotels, and they have tremendous labor issues, so it’s about an hour and a half wait for room service.
In no fault of their own – these are great companies that normally have very good service – but for whatever reason, at least in the U.S but I saw this also in Europe when recently in Italy, they’re just having a tremendous time getting people back to work.
Everybody wants to work from home, and you can’t work from home if you’re in a restaurant. So, it’s a difficult environment for a lot of aspects, and we’re fortunate the ships are now fully staffed and the products are as good or better than they ever were before – while in the startup phase we
had significant issues of getting labor back onto the ships and in the offices.
That puts us in a very competitive position versus other vacation options.
AC: If you weren’t chairman of Carnival Corporation and FCCA, and instead you were a president or a prime minister of a country, what would you be doing now to strategically align yourself with cruise lines?
MA: Step one is communication, to talk to the companies and find out what their needs are and see if they can be met either through education or training.
You start off with you start off in the Caribbean with the natural beauty of the beaches and the sunshine and some destinations with fantastic, beautiful mountainscapes and so on. You have this natural advantage, but it always comes down to people.
Whether it’s a cruise product or the landside product, it’s always about the people, the friendliness and service levels. Sometimes you just don’t have people properly trained to do what they need to do, and you can communicate with the cruise lines either through FCCA directly or with partners that are already calling to find out what they need and what their guests want.
If you do have that, find out what can you give them more of and how to invest in your people to make sure that they deliver the kind of product that will make people want to come back.
It’s all about people having a great time. They’re on vacation; they don’t want problems or obstacles; they want to have a good time. If you can deliver them a good time, they’re going to remember that and come back.
AC: Michele, going off what Micky’s saying about communication – coming out of COVID, FCCA pivoted and went to a Task Force, which has evolved from COVID to now focus on initiatives like employment and purchasing. We also revamped the Shore Excursion Committee and have multiple other committees – what does say about the communication level?
MP: As Micky said, everything centers on offering passengers a phenomenal experience, and communication with the destination is crucial for that.
In the distant past, when we had problem, I remember Micky’s first comment to me is that they must not understand the economic benefits that the cruise industry delivers – and that statement propelled everything that FCCA has ever done: to communicate and translate the opportunities of the cruise industry to our destination partners.
We talk about the Caribbean, but FCCA is now also responsible Central America, all of Mexico and South America, excluding Brazil – so it’s working with all our destination partners.
Communication is critical in every facet, from talking to the shore excursion providers about the authentic experiences the industry wants and telling the story of what makes the destination unique, to the employment and purchasing opportunities that were being discussed and explaining the opportunities, needs and parameters. Communication and education are the cornerstones.
if the if that destination delivers a great product, a percentage of those people are going to come back.
If they have a great experience, a beautiful day at the beach or you a beautiful scenic ride over a mountaintop, they’ll want to experience that again.
It’s all about whether you’re on the ship or in the port or on a shore excursion that the experience is special and makes people feel special.
AC: From our BREA research, that’s absolutely correct; about 50 percent of people expect to return to the destination after taking a cruise there, so that’s an important number for a destination to take advantage of.
MA: I do that. I’ve been to places that I’ve liked on a cruise and gone back to visit.
I tend to be somewhere in the Caribbean over the holidays every year, and there are particular islands that I’ve had great experiences at night, and I visit those islands.
I love going to the Exumas to sail and going down to St. Barts for New Year’s. There are so many varied destinations in the Caribbean that are magnificent. I don’t only do them on cruise ships.
AC: Micky, you’re an avid traveler and have been around the world, but if you had to pick a cruise itinerary and ship as your favorite, what would you choose?
MA: We just had the naming ceremony for Carnival Celebration, and the ship is so amazing – wherever she goes, I want to get on her. I was really disappointed I couldn’t sail because of commitments with the family for Thanksgiving.
On the same day, we named Seabourn Venture in the ice in Antarctica – so we had a super luxury expedition ship being named with the entire passenger base standing on the ice the same day as here in Miami having Kathy Lee singing in the middle of the atrium.
I’d pick one of those two itineraries – wherever they’re going. A ship like Carnival Celebration is the destination, and the ports are icing on the cake.
The point is that a ship like that comes to a destination with 6,000 passengers, and
AC: I want to end on a personal note –what keeps you up at night or what keeps you going the next day? What is your biggest joy right now in life?
MA: At my age, it’s waking up in the morning.
MP: It’s his grandchildren.
MA: That’s true; the grandkids are. I’m fortunate enough to have had my first two grandkids in the last year and a half.
The ‘keep me up at night’ is hard because I’ve been in the industry over 50 years, and I’ve experienced just about everything.
I’ve experienced certain tragedies on ships, and I’ve had very difficult situations. I never could have imagined shutting down an industry and having to send 90,000 crew members home and the logistics of that.
So, I’ve experienced it all and somehow survived at all, and we keep on trucking.
…there is great opportunity, but there are also great challenges.
Two paths coming together with a steady goal can broaden horizons for all. Through a shared vision and passion for the cruise industr y, 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 business—and enhance the destination experience.
To lear n more about how this partnership can benefit you, contact our experts today.
Ken Furlow Global Development Ofﬁcer
Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) recently welcomed a new Member Line, Windstar Cruises, and the company quickly hoisted the sails to move along its plans for mutual success with the association and its partners. Speaking at a webinar hosted by FCCA President Adam Ceserano, Windstar Cruises President Christopher Prelog shared his and the team’s excitement to be joining FCCA and getting more involved with the destinations, while also growing its environmental efforts. A lightly edited transcript follows.
AC: What led your decision for becoming an FCCA Member Line?
CP: When you go into a decision like this, there are many reasons for it, and one of it is certainly our commitment to the cruise industry and our commitment to the Caribbean area, which we have been serving for many years.
In combination with our relocation of our head office from Seattle to Miami, where we just opened up a couple months ago, this move really made sense.
We really want to be an active participant in the area we sail and help to grow tourism and environmental efforts and just have a great partnership with the islands, the destinations and the local people with our fleet. So that really was sort of the driving force behind our decision.
AC: Before you were an FCCA Member Line, did you ever attend FCCA events?
CP: Our team did attend in previous years, but of course COVID did take the wind out of the sails a little – but they did attend, and now we’re an active participant and said okay, let’s really be activated in all the efforts the FCCA is doing and support the cause and help tourism.
AC: From our perspective as FCCA, thank you so much for believing in us, and I’m pretty sure our partners from the Caribbean, Central and South America and Mexico are excited to meet with you and your team. You’re a smaller cruise line in the size of ships. Does that offer different benefits for our group here today?
CP: As you said, we have six small yachts, and we’ve got two classes of yachts, essentially. We have three Wind-class ships, which are our sail ships, and they’re between 150 and 300 guests – and then we have our completely renovated, newly rebuilt Star-class fleet, which are our motor yachts and have about 310 guests.
Really, that size provides the guests with the opportunity to embrace and discover those cultures. We can go to those smaller, hidden ports and coves and really provide an off-the-beaten path experience and, as we call it, and a local immersion into the area we sail. For the Caribbean, the area is perfect for that, and that’s one of the big benefits of joining a small yacht like Windstar Cruises.
AC: You talked about the immersion part of your cruising. Can you give examples of that so our partners can understand it more?
CP: It’s always a good question, and I always answer it in a way – there is very little in terms of fleets out there where you literally have an immersion into your destination because every one of our yachts offers a watersports marina. You can actually swim off the back of the ship and be in the area.
We did an interesting sailing program last year when we started up in the Caribbean where we dropped the anchors and had lots of watersports activities, went to the beaches, had beach barbecues and really got into the different coves.
Small ships allow you to do that because you can just get to those places, but if you extend that beyond just immersed into the water and beauty of environment, it’s also connecting with the people and cultures.
It’s more than just sightseeing; it’s having a conversation with your tour guides and not just hearing about the history, of course, and local cultures where they come from – but it’s actually hearing a story about it, the upbringing of a family which is involved in a good cause or in a building or in architecture and relaying that information to our guests.
That’s what they really see, and that’s why they’re picking a small ship cruise line because if you do that in a group of 10, it’s a very different conversation than if you do it with a group of 100. So that becomes very personal, and I think that’s also why small ship cruising is a little different because it’s very personal in terms of what it offers.
AC: Are your itineraries and how you pick them also different?
CP: For us, when you take on gas and turn a ship, you want to be in areas where you’ve got good airlift and connections from various parts of the world – but once we’re going out to our vacation ports, we really can pick and choose.
We go to some fascinating places and can offer an experience where you’re perhaps the only ship in the area – and sometimes we go to an island where we visit two different spots during the day and show two different sides from a destination. It allows you to do that because a small ship is a little bit nimbler and easier to maneuver.
Whether it’s the Virgin Islands or the various beautiful spots in the Caribbean – there are frankly too many to list right now – that’s how we plan.
The other part, as I mentioned, is we have a program where we offer the watersports marina – and so, of course, we work with our local operators and port operators, in particular, to see where we can do that.
So that fills up part of the itinerary, but then we have beach barbecues with watersports from the beach.
To be honest, the Caribbean is a unique place to do so because it just offers that ability more than anywhere else –that’s why we like it there.
would like to develop a new program and giving some of the parameters – like having space for 150-250 guests – and seeing what is on offer.
Myself, when I’m on the ships – and I do get to the Caribbean frequently because it’s very convenient from Miami – I seek out the dialogue through our tour operators and port operators.
I tell them I’ll be there and ask to look at something new and exciting for the guests because one of the things I think is really important is to show many facets of the different islands.
We have various different cruises in the Caribbean, but you also want to make sure you always change them a little bit –you show a different side of it because the guests would like to see new things, different things, and have different experiences.
AC: You mentioned these beach barbecues and unique experiences, so if I were a government leader in one of FCCA’s partner destinations – over 50 different destinations and far more ports – and I wanted Windstar to come, what do I need and what’s the best way to have that happen?
CP: We have a hands-on approach to things when we develop itineraries, ports and our experiences off the ship.
We have a team, our product development team who are always in the areas we are sailing. They are contacting the teams on the ground and informing that we
So, we approach a lot of our local partners, and if somebody has a great idea, one of our taglines is being 180 degrees from ordinary, and we applied it to pretty much anything we are doing in terms of the cruise experience.
If there are great ideas and somebody would like to share them to our team from product development or myself, we are always available to discuss and look for new opportunities.
AC: You just mentioned new opportunities – if you’re attending the FCCA Cruise Conference, I’d love to have you meet with some of our destinations, but if not, I hope your team to come to our upcoming PAMAC Conference [taking place June 2023 in the Cayman Islands] to sit down and talk to our partners about what your product is.
We really want to be an active participant in the area we sail and help to grow tourism and environmental efforts…
That being said, this is a learning experience right now for our members –can you talk a little about the demographic of your cruise passenger?
CP: We have most of our guests come from the northern U.S. and Canada – of course also from Australia and England.
They are on average about 60 years old and enjoy the real personalization of our product.
A lot of our guests are repeat guests; they come to Windstar because of how the crew makes them feel and what we offer as a product.
AC: How is the spend on board and in the destinations?
CP: I would say the spend level is certainly in line with other luxury providers who operate similar sized ships, and I think since we restarted, we definitely saw an increase in spend from our guests.
People really look for experiences now. They really want to get out to experience something new and exciting – and really treasure the time they are spending in a destination.
I think that reflects particularly on the shore excursion side of things and on the private arrangements and all sorts of onboard spend.
AC: With your smaller, nimbler ships, are your ships staying overnight in ports, and what is the kind of future itinerary development outlook for you?
CP: One of the things that is also interesting – and appreciate you raising the question – is
that with the smaller ships, we can definitely adjust our port time, and there’s more interest for that now than we’ve seen before.
There’s a sort of standard 8AM – 5PM port time, and we’re looking at adding more overnight or late departures because guests really do enjoy going out in the evenings in a local restaurant or bar – an experience that adds to the immersion.
We are seeing more of that and sort of slowing down the ships to therefore have more content in seven days but perhaps fewer ports because you’re staying longer and doing an overnight.
That seems to be something I’m seeing as a trend and interest from our guests, and we’re obviously doing that in many parts of the world.
AC: You talked in the beginning about environmental sustainability – do you want to touch more on that and what Windstar is doing?
Isles allow us to use the sails a lot, and the guests enjoy it. It’s just a magnificent experience; it’s so special and peaceful.
We also have engines there in case there’s no wind and we need to get from A to B, and a lot of the time we sail it’s both wind and propulsion but at a much-reduced fuel consumption because we have the wind as an alternative.
We’re always looking at it and optimizing our routes as to where we go and how we use it – we’re very focused on that side of environmental protection.
AC: What’s next for your cruise line? Any future expansion or bigger ships?
CP: Right now, we are absorbing our expansion because with stretching out our Star class fleet, we have now increased our capacity by over 30 percent.
You will see the larger, expanded Star class coming through the Caribbean now as we go towards fall and winter.
That means we will bring slightly more guests, but we will also have a need for more services and support.
I think to me that is currently what we’re working on a lot: filling our fleet with a 32 percent increase.
CP: On our Star class, during the pandemic, when everything was sort of stopped, we cut the ships in half and we inserted an 85-foot section and redid the entire fleet with all three ships enlarged by 85 feet with 50 more suites, additional restaurants, a beautiful new spa and all new open decks. So the facilities for the guests were greatly enhanced – more importantly, all the crew areas were enhanced.
Of course, on the environmental side, we did take out our old engines and replace them with new, efficient, carbon reduced engines, and we completely reengineered our entire platform on those fleets so that they are really meeting the newest standards.
On our Wind class, we’ve got the great advantage – we have sails, which we use where we can and as often as possible (and there are weekly meetings here in the organization where we review which ship is sailing the most in terms of wind because obviously the wind must be there to have forward momentum).
The Caribbean is fantastic for it because the Caribbean and the Greek
Other than that, we don’t really have any additional expansion plans at this stage.
AC: We’re already almost at our time limit, so I first want to officially welcome you to Miami. It’s great to have you here, and now that everyone knows you’re in Miami, when our partners come to visit, we’ll make sure that they have your address.
I also want them to feel like they know you a little personally – so, besides working at Windstar, running the cruise line, what do you like to do in your spare time?
CP: I am an avid runner. In Seattle, that was fantastic because everyone runs. I love running marathons, at least a few a year, and am training.
It’s a little hotter in Miami, but I still love it because you get a real workout here even though you don’t run up a mountain.
I’m also into race cars and an avid Formula 1 fan. I watched the race last year, and it was fantastic.
I spend my time on that front, and of course, being an Austrian, we love the mountains and skiing.
…the Caribbean… offers that ability more than anywhere else…
Hundreds gathered in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic with one common goal: improve cruise tourism, especially the mutual benefits between destinations and cruise companies. That was again the main theme of another successful FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show, which celebrated its 28th annual occasion and 50 years of operations for Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA).
“I want to applaud everyone throughout the Dominican Republic who coordinated this successful event and showcased the spectacular destination; it is clear that the country is committed to cruise tourism, which President Luis Abinader affirmed in his remarks and participation,” said Michele Paige, FCCA CEO. “It was also humbling to see the continued conviction in FCCA’s mission witnessed by all the attendees and cruise executives who joined to keep working together to build back better.”
Taking place from October 11-14, the event featured its usual blend of workshops, meetings and networking functions for the over 500 attendees and 70 cruise executives, but with a new twist – or
what Paige called a “new beginning” in her opening remarks – because of the enhanced communications and collaborations arising from the difficult pandemic. That cooperation was evident throughout the entire agenda, which had a new beginning of its own through a revamped format focused on workshops and one-on-one meetings (with 652 held at the event: 600 between delegates and cruise executives and 52 between cruise company presidents/CEOs and government leaders).
Ways to seize the momentum were the talk of the show and included discussions of longer stays, overnights and homeporting, along with the importance of developing creative, customer-focused experiences to support the demand – and the direct
ability for destination stakeholders to work with cruise lines on those goals available at the event.
Michael Bayley, President & CEO of Royal Caribbean International, echoed these sentiments in his opening remarks. He lauded the FCCA for helping cruise industry stakeholders and destinations come together to overcome the biggest challenge the industry has faced in this generation: “I think we’ve developed in many ways better relationships because we’ve spent a lot of time on Zoom and Webex over the past couple of years, and we’ve had to work through a lot of issues and problems and challenges collectively as a team.”
He also passionately articulated the importance of helping partner destinations during difficult times: “Not only within Royal Caribbean itself, we feel like we’re a family, but we feel like we’re a family in the Caribbean. We started in the Caribbean. Our name is Caribbean. We have a huge number of Caribbean employees who work with Royal Caribbean, and we’ve always felt that we’re part of the Caribbean community. So, when one of our neighbors is going through a difficult time, the first
“Advancement is the A in FCCA, and it works.”
—Rick Sasso, Chairman of MSC Cruises USA
thing we think about is how can we help? And I think time and time again, you’ll see that over the years and the decades, we’ve always tried to step in and help as much as we possibly can.”
How destinations can help themselves – and the entire Caribbean and Latin American regions – was up front and center for 22 high-ranking government officials and a cruise executive panel including five Presidents and above from FCCA Member Lines, led by Josh Weinstein, President & CEO and Chief Climate Officer of Carnival Corporation & plc, who delivered remarks and comments at the Heads of Government Forum before steering the conversation to other potential mutual benefits, such as employment and purchasing opportunities.
Paige described the current climate for those opportunities and the relationship between cruise lines and stakeholders as a “beautiful time.”
“We’re listening, we’re responding, and we want to make things work,” she said, explaining that win-win solutions between the lines and destinations are key – and asserting that “we are going to make it happen” for those destinations that want the cruise lines to purchase needed items from their countries.
“The commitment is there. We have the mechanisms in place, and the cruise industry is even willing to spend more money because…we want the destinations to thrive. We want them to be phenomenal places for us to bring our ships and passengers,” she continued.
According to Rick Sasso, Chairman of MSC Cruises USA, they already are phenomenal places, but should never rest on laurels. He reasoned that a lot of Caribbean destinations are now known and in demand worldwide, and stakeholders ought to look to the future with a great deal of anticipation, but with a focus on innovation.
“Because you have to keep up. You cannot just sit back and think ‘things are okay, we’re doing okay’. It doesn’t matter … if it’s not broken, you need to even make it better,” said Sasso, who believes if this is done, “the sky is the limit.”
Sasso also showered praise on FCCA, the acronym for which he describes as Friendship, Cooperation, Communication and Advancement: “Over the last 30 to 40 years, the FCCA has profoundly been able to get people together in a way where we could make the private and public sectors think alike…and the cruise lines adapt. Advancement is the A in FCCA, and it works.”
Overall, partnership took the spotlight at the event, and so did FCCA’s Strategic Partners, the Cayman Islands and the United States Virgin Islands (USVI). Kenneth Bryan, Minister of Tourism and Transport of the Cayman Islands, coordinated a dinner for the heads of government and shared the importance of working with FCCA to propel cruise tourism, and the USVI delegation, led by Commissioner of Tourism Joseph Boschulte , was engaged and energetic as they interacted with Member Lines and other participants. Both also
took part in the “Operating in a Post Pandemic World” workshop.
Headlining the workshop schedule was the “Presidential Panel,” which included Gus Antorcha, President, Holland America Line; Michael Bayley; Richard Sasso, Chairman, MSC Cruises USA; and Howard Sherman, President & CEO, Oceania Cruises.
The cruise company brass discussed how operations have moved full steam ahead following the unprecedented situation of COVID-19 because of the collaboration with destinations and stakeholders – and what the “new normal” will look like through the strengthened partnerships, pent-up demand, streamlined fleets with an eye on net-zero carbon emissions, and opportunities that arose in the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Mexico, including more homeporting, longer stays, increased capacity, summer cruising,
multi-port calls, and an enhanced focus on local employment and sourcing.
“Operating in a Post Pandemic World” brought together executives from FCCA Operations Committee to detail operations in the ‘new normal’ now that the cruise industry has again shown its strength by navigating the pandemic. Discussions featured the evolving protocols, updates from the Americas Cruise Tourism Task Force that paved the way for industry’s return, lessons learned and accomplishments from the situation, and destinations’ paths forward after weathering the storm.
Moderated by Russell Benford, Vice President, Government Relations, Americas, Royal Caribbean Group and FCCA Operations Committee Chairman, panelists included Marie McKenzie, Vice President, Government & Destination Affairs, Carnival Corporation & plc ; Roy Schultheis, Port Relations Director,
“We’re listening, we’re responding, and we want to make things work.”
—Michele Paige, CEO, FCCA
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings; Juan Trescastro, Vice President, Global Destinations, Virgin Voyages; Hon. Kenneth Bryan; and Hon. Joseph Boschulte.
Shore excursion executives, insurance providers and training operators joined forces in “The New Reality of Shore Excursion Operations: Challenges and Opportunities” to evaluate how tours have changed and what that means for destinations, stakeholders and guests. They discussed identifying and overcoming challenges; staffing; funding; fulfilling the returned capacities; taking advantage of opportunities; ensuring safety and quality despite equipment shortages; managing complaints and expectations; providing proper communication; carrying the correct coverage with more guests traveling without insurance; how to innovate; what guests are looking for; and more.
Moderated by Erika Tache, previously the Senior Director of Carnival Adventures, Shore Excursions Operation and Revenue, panelists included Sandra Neffgen, Head of Shore Excursions, AIDA Cruises; Gina Dunnett, Director, Land Product Development, Azamara; Althea Palmer, Senior Manager, Celebrity Destination Team, Celebrity Cruises; Heather Householder, Manager, Destination Services, Holland America Group; Ken Furlow, Global Development Officer, Excursion Insurance; and Beth Kelly Hatt, President, Aquila Center for Cruise Excellence.
The FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show is one of many events that FCCA coordinates for its partners and Member Lines to stay at the forefront of information about both the cruise industry and stakeholders’ companies and destinations, along with developing bilateral relationships that lead to success for all. The 2023 edition will take place in Mazatlan, Mexico.
“I think we’ve developed in many ways better relationships…”
—Michael Bayley, President & CEO, Royal Caribbean International
The Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA) North American Cruise Forward Summit – staged in Miami in November – was the first gathering of the CLIA Executive Partners and Cruise Line Member communities in North America since 2019.
The summit, held on November 15-17, was well attended by Executive Partners and Cruise Line Members from North America and around the globe and provided an opportunity to unite, connect and address important topics, including industry insights to plan for the future, impact and progress of sustainability initiatives in Europe and North America, regulatory issues, ports and destination engagement, and supply chain issues and solutions.
Attendees heard firsthand from industry leaders, including Josh Weinstein, President, CEO and Chief Climate Officer at Carnival Corporation plc; Frank Del Rio, President and CEO
of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings; and Kelly Craighead, President and CEO of CLIA, about the good work cruising is accomplishing, and how the industry is continuing to sail forward in the areas of sustainability and destination stewardship, all while providing a memorable vacation experience at a great value for every type of vacationer. The discussions also covered important topics like inflation and the economy, supply chain issues, the new class of ships entering the market and how guest experiences will continue to evolve as the industry implements innovative technology.
Attendees were treated to an engaging, interactive session with James Madison, the founder and CEO of On Purpose Life, who focused on harnessing motivation and
skills to ultimately become more impactful and effective in a person’s work and personal life.
There were many opportunities for attendees to connect and network during the summit with other Executive Partners and a host of cruise lines, including the exclusive CLIA Open Business Exchange, a 90-minute interactive session where Cruise Line Members hosted roundtable updates and Executive Partners had the chance to ask questions.
The summit closed with a special visit to one of the world’s newest and most state-of-the-art cruise ships, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.’s Norwegian Prima. CLIA Executive Partners received a special welcome aboard, followed by a tour of the ship and a networking lunch.
Sponsors of the 2022 Cruise Forward included: Heineken, Nestle Professional, RINA, SMS Logistics, Thomas Food International, Tower Supplier and True Grade.
The most influential names in travel and tourism participated at the World Travel & Tourism Council in December to discuss the most important issues facing the travel sector around the world.
The event, held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from December 1-3, opened with a panel session, Travel for a Better Future which included Pierfrancesco Vago, CLIA Global Chair and Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises, as a panelist. He discussed travel as a solution to the global economy while also making sustainability a priority.
“Cruise is actively advancing a sustainable and responsible travel and tourism agenda by working in close partnership with cruise operators, ports, government authorities and others across the cruise community,” Vago said. “Our vision is carbon-free cruising by 2050. By working together, we are making significant progress toward this vision.”
Moderated by Richard Quest, an international business journalist and anchor of
Quest Means Business on CNN, the session included other esteemed panelists: H.H. Princess Haifa Al Saud, Vice Minister of Tourism, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, H.E. Khalid Al-Falih, Minister of Investment, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary General, United Nations World Tourism Organization, Anthony Capuano, CEO of Marriott International and Greg O’Hara, Founder and Senior Managing Director, Certares.
CLIA President and CEO Kelly
Craighead joined the Communities at Core panel and highlighted the cruise industry’s contributions to the sustainable growth and development of destinations around the world.
“Though cruisers represent a small percentage of tourists in a destination, they bring in nearly five times the economic contribution,” Craighead said. “We can all share in the benefits of cruise tourism by partnering with local stakeholders and working together to create solutions that offer a memorable experience to cruisers on holiday and economic and societal benefit to the communities we visit.”
The panel was moderated by Hadley Gamble, an anchor and senior international correspondent, CNBC. Besides Craighead, the other esteemed panelists included: H.E. Christina Garcia Frasco, Secretary of Tourism, The Philippines, H.E. Vassilis Kikilias, Minister of Tourism, Greece, Manfredi Lefebvre, Chairman, Abercrombie, and Kent Gibran Chapur, Executive VicePresident, Palace Resorts.
“Cruise is actively advancing a sustainable and responsible travel and tourism agenda…”
—Pierfrancesco Vago, CLIA Global Chair & MSC Cruises Executive Chairman
The cruise line industry is making tangible advancements towards achieving the industry’s vision of net-zero carbon cruising globally by 2050, a report of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) noted.
CLIA, the leading voice of the global cruise industry, released the results of its 2022 Global Cruise Industry Environmental Technologies and Practices Report which reinforces the cruise industry’s credentials as an innovator and early adopter of environmental technologies.
Examples cited in the report include the increasing number of vessels launching over the new few years that will be able to incorporate zero-emissions propulsion when available as well as the growing investment to equip ships to plug in to shoreside electricity where available. In fact, more than 15% of the vessels to be launched in the next five years will be equipped to incorporate fuel cells or batteries, and 85% of CLIA-member ships coming online between now and 2028 will be able to plug in to shoreside electricity, allowing engines to switch off at berth for significant emissions reduction.
“Innovation and engineering are at the heart of the industry’s vision for net zero carbon cruising,” CLIA President and CEO Kelly Craighead said. “The cruise industry continues to lead the way by investing billions to incorporate new technologies, accelerate development of sustainable marine fuels – in particular, engines capable of using sustainable marine fuels – and enable shoreside electricity connectivity on existing and new ships. These are the fundamental building blocks for the decarbonization of global shipping, and we are acting now for the future.”
Despite the progress made, the report makes clear that a transition to sustainable marine fuels remains essential to achieving the maritime industry’s decarbonization goals and underscores the urgent need for governments to support research efforts to accelerate development of these fuels
so that they are safe, viable and available for use at scale. To that end, CLIA is an organization supporting the Getting to Zero Coalition’s Call to Action for Decarbonization of Shipping. This support is in addition to the leadership of its individual cruise line members and their partnerships with other coalitions and organizations that are working to find critical decarbonization solutions.
“The cruise industry has always been and will continue to be at the cutting edge of innovation when it comes to environmental and maritime technologies,” CLIA Global Chairman and MSC Cruises Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago said. “For this next phase of our journey to net-zero as an industry, we now need clear support from governments and policymakers to ensure that the right infrastructure is developed also on land and to encourage the investment and innovation that will be required for the development of sustainable marine fuels at scale.”
The report noted that CLIA oceangoing cruise lines continue to move towards reductions in emissions:
• Shoreside Power Capability: Cruise lines continue to make significant investments for cruise ships to connect to shoreside electricity, allowing engines to be switched off in port. Forty percent of global capacity (up 20% year over year) are fitted to operate on shoreside electricity in the 29 ports worldwide (less than 2% of
the world’s ports) where that capability is provided in at least one berth in the port. A total of 98% of newbuild capacity on order (between now and 2028) is either committed to be fitted with shoreside electricity systems or will be configured to add shoreside power in the future.
• Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Fuel: The 2022 report found 61% of newbuild capacity will rely on LNG fuel for primary propulsion. The use of LNG results in 95% to 100% fewer particulate matter (PM) emissions, virtually zero emissions, and an 85% reduction in nitrogen emissions. As a transitional fuel, LNG provides real benefits now, but also allows LNG-ready ships to adapt to a future generation of sustainable marine fuels.
• Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (EGCS): More than 79% of global capacity utilizes EGCS to meet or exceed air emissions requirements, representing an increase in capacity of 7% compared to 2021. Additionally, 88% of capacity of non-LNG new builds will have EGCS installed, in line with already high historical level of investments.
• Advanced Wastewater Treatment Systems: A total of 100% of new ships on order are specified to have advanced wastewater treatment systems and currently 78% of the CLIA oceangoing cruise line fleet capacity is served by advanced wastewater treatment systems (a 9% increase compared to 2021).
The industry’s commitment to pursuing net-zero carbon cruising by 2050, announced earlier this year, is consistent with the target set by the Paris Agreement, and is supported by the industry’s intermediary objective to reduce the rate of carbon by 40% across the global fleet by 2030, which is consistent with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Initial Strategy for GHG reduction.
“These are the fundamental building blocks for the decarbonization of global shipping…”
—Kelly Craighead, President & CEO, CLIA
Excitement and anticipation hung in the air as Celebrity Cruises’ G.O.A.T., and newest and most luxurious ship, Celebrity Beyond, set sail from Fort Lauderdale on November 4, kicking off its inaugural Caribbean season. Headlining the sailing’s highly-anticipated festivities was the ship’s official naming ceremony, led by her lauded Godmother and inspirational female powerhouse, Simone Biles – a G.O.A.T. in her own right – a 19-time World Champion, seven-time Olympic Medalist and most decorated American gymnast in history.
Helmed by the barrier-breaking Captain Kate McCue, the first and still only woman to be named captain of a “Mega” cruise ship, Celebrity Beyond’s much anticipated arrival to the U.S. ushered in a new era of cruising for the industry, coming on the heels of Celebrity’s new brand campaign that defines what a relaxed luxury resort at sea is. As it kicked off its inaugural season with rotating Western and Eastern Caribbean itineraries visiting the sun-drenched beaches of Grand Cayman and picturesque vistas of Puerta Plata, guests will recharge as they are treated to luxury hotel- style accommodations, Michelin-level dining, and world-class wellness amenities.
“I can think of no one better to be the Godmother of this incredible ship than the G.O.A.T. herself – Simone Biles,” said Jason Liberty, President and CEO of the Royal Caribbean Group, the parent company of Celebrity Cruises. “This ship’s beauty, power, and resilience sets the standard by which all others will be measured. Simone’s determination, progressive nature, empowered attitude, and grace in the face of challenges make her such an inspiration to so many around the world. All of these attributes are why
Simone Biles is perfectly suited to watch over Celebrity Beyond’s journey.”
“I’ve been waiting for this day to arrive for a long time, and I am ‘Beyond’ excited to be able to share her with our guests,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Celebrity Cruises President and CEO. “She is ‘FULL’ of wonder and excitement, and our guests will undoubtedly feel reconnected to the world around them as they visit new destinations and immerse themselves in culinary experiences and wellness amenities not found anywhere else at sea.”
Alongside Liberty, Lutoff-Perlo and other Celebrity Cruises executives, Simone Biles officially named Celebrity Beyond in a beautiful ceremony attended by 2,500 lucky guests and media, capped by a live performance from award-winning singer and songwriter, Leona Lewis.
Simone Biles follows Reshma Saujani of Girls Who Code and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai, who previously inaugurated Celebrity Apex and Celebrity Edge, respectively. Both women are renowned for their advocacy of women everywhere, inspiring them to soar above their limits.
“It is an honor to be selected as Beyond’s Godmother and to join such a distinguished group of strong, barrier-breaking women who have been named as Celebrity’s Godmothers before me,” said Simone Biles. “I appreciate the important message this designation holds in recognizing our accomplishments as empowering women, and I am honored to share the stage today with fellow brave, boundary-breaking leaders like LisaLutoff Perlo and Captain Kate McCue.”
C arnival Cruise Line’s new flagship, Carnival Celebration , arrived at its PortMiami homeport and was christened by actress Cassidy Gifford on November 20. The festivities were befitting of the ship’s name and underscored Carnival’s year-long celebration of 50 years of fun.
A n innovative Excel-class sister to the groundbreaking Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration is launching year-round service from its hometown of Miami.
“This naming ceremony of our new flagship Carnival Celebration is the perfect culmination of our 50th birthday as this spectacular ship honors our past and signifies the fun and growth ahead,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Carnival Celebration builds on the success of our incredible Mardi Gras and the many innovations we introduced with our Excel-class, including a top-deck roller coaster, and offers unique features all her own that give guests a truly incredible new cruise experience to have fun and make memories.”
Duffy spoke before an audience gathered for the ceremony in the ship’s threedeck-high atrium, Celebration Central. Carnival Celebration Godmother Cassidy Gifford christened the ship, with a traditional breaking of a champagne bottle, alongside Capt. Vincenzo Alcaras. Gifford was also joined by her mother, Kathie Lee Gifford, who served as godmother of Carnival
Celebration’s namesake, M/S Celebration, which was similarly christened in 1987.
Along with an impromptu performance by Kathie Lee, who sang the memorable tune to the now-legendary commercials that helped to popularize the Carnival brand in the 1980s, attendees were also treated to a preview of Carnival Celebration’s spectacular entertainment programming, including an aerialist performance. A concert by Kool & The Gang capped off the night, which included their dance classic, “Celebrate!” In addition, the
event was broadcast online so Carnival fans could share in the festivities from anywhere.
Carnival Celebration accommodates more than 5,200 guests and features more than 20 dining venues, and a dozen bars and lounges across six unique zones. The ship’s Miami-themed zone, 820 Biscayne, is named after Carnival’s first headquarters address and is designed as a tribute to Miami’s cultural vibe and its dining and beverage offerings.
T he ship’s top deck features the award-winning all-electric roller coaster BOLT: Ultimate Sea Coaster, which has
been thrilling guests on Mardi Gras since its debut in 2021. The top deck is also home to the resort-style Loft 19, which can be accessed directly from premium category Excel suites – one of 11 styles featured across 180 total suites on board. The ship boasts more than 2,600 staterooms in all.
Carnival Celebration is also the second ship in the Carnival fleet, and the first to homeport in Miami, with a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) propulsion system, which is part of Carnival Corporation’s pioneering green cruising platform.
MSC World Europa celebrated her naming ceremony in Doha, Qatar on November 13. MSC World Europa is the most innovative and environmentally advanced cruise ship in the MSC Cruises fleet. On top of ground-breaking advances in reduction of emissions and energy efficiency, the LNG-powered ship paves the way toward the uptake of carbon-neutral synthetic and other alternative fuels as soon as they are available at scale.
At 22 decks, 215,863 gross tons, 154 feet wide, and featuring more than 430,000 square feet of public space and 2,626 cabins, MSC World Europa is an ultramodern urban metropolis at sea offering a veritable world of experiences while setting a new standard for the cruise industry.
The eagerly anticipated new ship spans 22 decks, is 47 meters wide, with 2,626 cabins, boasting more than 40,000m of public space. This ultramodern urban metropolis at sea offers a veritable world of different experiences pushing the boundaries of what is possible at sea.
The 104-metre-long outdoor World Promenade is one of the ship’s most impressive spaces. This is the place to be day or night with entertainment, stunning sea views and is also home to The Venom Drop @ The Spiral, a striking architectural masterpiece and the longest dry slide at sea spanning 11 decks. Connected to this is the World Galleria spanning 2,214m and topped with an awe-inspiring LED and kinetic dome ceiling – this indoor
promenade is the perfect place to shop, dine and relax with a drink.
MSC World Europa will also transport guests on a gastronomic journey around the world with a choice of 33 restaurants, bars and lounges, each with its own distinct style and ambiance –including six specialty restaurants and seven brand new bar and café concepts.
Guests of all ages will be able to enjoy awe-inspiring entertainment from morning to night, including three new concert-style shows in the multipurpose Luna Park Arena; five new fullscale theatre productions in the World Theatre; four themed experiences in the Panorama Lounge; and surprise, pop-up live exhibits throughout the ship.
Additionally, MSC Cruises officially took delivery of its new fun-filled flagship, the striking MSC Seascape, on November 16.
“MSC Seascape is the second ship to come into service this year, bringing our modern fleet to 21 ships,” said MSC Cruises CEO Gianni Onorato. “We are proud to welcome her to our fleet as she is the second Seaside EVO ship and completes the innovative Seaside class. MSC Seascape aims to connect guests with the sea, she offers a wealth of outdoor spaces allowing guests to enjoy the beautiful scenery of The Caribbean, where she will spend her inaugural season. The ship’s distinctive design with nearly 140,000 square feet of outdoor space and an expansive waterfront promenade invite guests to enjoy their escape to The Caribbean and disconnect.”
T he ship, with her iconic design, long list of fantastic features and a vast amount of outdoor space is particularly well-suited for the Caribbean’s warm and sunny weather. MSC Seascape will be the second Seaside EVO class ship to enter MSC Cruises’ fleet, and the fourth in the line’s highly innovative Seaside class, which has been redefining guests’ expectations for Caribbean cruising since MSC Seaside first launched in Miami in 2017. MSC Seascape is a testament of the Line’s dedication to offer guests an enhanced experience with every new ship that joins the fleet. With revisited entertainment offerings, the latest technology and design, as well as all the favorite features that make the Seaside class special, MSC Seascape promises a unique trip for guests.
Norwegian Cruise Line commemorated the debut of its all-new Norwegian Prima , and the brand’s first-ever voyage from Galveston, Texas, with an exclusive concert by GRAMMY Award-winning artist Kelly Clarkson in late October. The ship also served as the special venue for this year’s Norwegian’s Giving Joy awards ceremony, during which the Cruise Line and Clarkson recognized 100 teachers with a free cruise, and nearly $170,000 for the top three Grand Prize winners and their schools.
“It was such an honor to celebrate the 100 deserving winners of Norwegian’s Giving Joy program at Norwegian Prima’s inaugural sailing, which embarked from my home state of Texas!” said Clarkson. “Teachers are our true everyday unsung heroes, and they play an integral role in our society, not only shaping the future of their students, but the future of their communities as well. I couldn’t miss the opportunity to participate in this program and give a special performance before they set sail on the trip of a lifetime!”
“Norwegian Prima’s debut in Galveston was extra special,” said Harry Sommer, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line. “We really did it big…and what better place to do it big than in Texas. We introduced our new, magnificent ship to a market new to NCL, we welcomed 100 unbelievably deserving teachers to experience her, awarded the Grand Prize winners with nearly $40,000 in surprise prize money in addition to a donation for their school – and we put on an unforgettable celebration with two of our NCL godparents, Elvis Duran and Kelly Clarkson.”
Disney recently announced the acquisition of a partially completed ship that will bring the magic of a Disney Cruise Line vacation to new global destinations. Disney will work with the esteemed Meyer Werft shipbuilding company to complete the cruise ship previously known as the Global Dream in Wismar, Germany. The ship will be renamed with certain features reimagined under the world-renowned expertise of Walt Disney Imagineers and is expected to set sail in 2025.
“Our cruise ships give us the unique opportunity to bring Disney magic to fans no matter where they are, and the addition of this ship will make a Disney Cruise Line vacation accessible to more families than ever before,” said Josh D’Amaro, chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.
T he new ship, to be based outside the United States, will feature innovative Disney experiences along with the dazzling entertainment, world-class dining and legendary guest service that set Disney Cruise Line apart. The exterior will be adorned in the iconic, Mickey Mouse-inspired colors of the fleet, complete with signature red funnels.
T he 208,000-gross-ton ship is expected to be among the first in the cruise industry to be fueled by green methanol, one of the lowest emission fuels available. Disney Cruise Line expects the passenger capacity to be approximately 6,000 with around 2,300 crew members.
Cunard welcomed guests to an extraordinary evening at Carlton House Terrace, London, on November 30, showcasing all that Queen Anne – the latest Cunard cruise liner – has to offer to top tier media, influencers and cruise industry networks, for a full 360 brand experience.
Following the eagerly anticipated name reveal of Queen Anne earlier this year, Cunard proudly demonstrated how the ship will set the benchmark for luxury ocean travel to guests when setting sail in 2024. Those in attendance enjoyed an unparalleled insight into reimagined signature spaces of the cruise liner, whilst discovering brand-new venues that will bring guests greater choice.
Cunard unveiled a collection of never-before-seen artwork championing young contemporary artists, just some of the 4,300 pieces of art that will be aboard the ship. Highlights included Artists Pei Chi Lee, John Biggs and Tommy Camerno at the event showcasing their exclusive masterpieces for Queen Anne, including the reveal of Camerno’s portrait of Queen Anne which will be displayed in the Queen’s room.
Guests were also introduced to Bright Lights Society – a new intimate venue, designed by the renowned Richmond International, offering hosted experiences and an exciting carousel of entertainment for guests, where no two nights are the same. The name, Bright Lights Society honors Cunard’s heritage as the world’s first ocean liner to use electric lights.
Guests experienced Cunard’s White Star Service sipping on the Perfect Serve –three distinctive gin cocktails made with Cunard’s Three Queens Gin, individually crafted by Pickering’s to celebrate the routes most associated with each Cunard Queen. Cunard private label wines and Cunard crafted beer were also on tap to immerse each guest into life on board Queen Anne
Silversea Cruises officially named Silver Endeavour on November 19 during an expedition-style celebration in the Lemaire Channel, Antarctica, to inaugurate the 11th ship in its fleet, broadening the most diverse polar offering in ultra-luxury travel.
“We are excited to officially welcome Silver Endeavour to the Royal Caribbean Group fleet, bringing our global fleet to 64 ships,” said Jason Liberty, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group. “Silver Endeavour will continue to strengthen Silversea’s position as the leading ultra-luxury and expedition cruise line, allowing us to grow capacity while building upon Royal Caribbean Group’s mission of delivering the best vacations in the world, responsibly.”
“ We are incredibly proud to have hosted ultra-luxury cruising’s first Antarctica naming ceremony for Silver Endeavour, our third ship to be named in just nine months,” said Roberto Martinoli, President and CEO, Silversea Cruises. “I would like to thank Captain Niklas Peterstam and the ship’s crew, the entire Silversea team, Jason Liberty and all those involved at Royal Caribbean Group for their invaluable support in reaching this momentous milestone.”
Additionally, Silversea Cruises officially began the construction of
Silver Ray, the second ship in the Nova class, holding a traditional steel cutting ceremony at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, on November 23. Silver Ray is set to join her sister ship, Silver Nova , as one of the most environmentally conscious ships ever built when she launches in summer 2024.
“We are proud to have started constructing Silver Ray in collaboration with Meyer Werft, as we continue to push boundaries in sustainable cruise travel,” said Martinoli. “As part of Royal Caribbean Group, Silversea has long stood at the forefront of innovation when it comes to environmentally conscious cruising. The launch of the Nova class represents a giant leap forward in this regard, and we are introducing pioneering technologies.”
Silversea’s Nova-class ships are set to become the world’s first low-emissions cruise ships with advanced hybrid technology that utilize fuel cells, batteries, and dual-fuel engines that use liquefied natural gas (LNG), emitting zero local emissions while in port. A first for Silversea, each will incorporate a horizontal layout and an innovative asymmetrical design, with public spaces and suites spanning the entire length of each ship, and each will enrich guests’ travels with an unprecedented openness to the destination.
Seabourn reached another milestone with Seabourn Venture making its first-ever visit to Antarctica. The line’s first purpose-built expedition ship, Seabourn Venture marked the inaugural voyage to the “Great White Continent” with the official naming ceremony on Sunday, November 20, when the ship came to a stop in the fast ice of the Weddell Sea, part of the Southern Ocean.
Seabourn Venture’s guests, serving as honorary godparents, joined the ship’s godmother, global adventurer, mountaineer and polar-explorer Alison Levine, who carried out her ceremonial duties virtually, to wish Seabourn Venture many blessings and extraordinary expeditions to come
“ We’ve eagerly awaited Seabourn Venture’s maiden voyage to Antarctica since the moment the ship debuted earlier this year,” said Seabourn President Josh Leibowitz. “The extraordinary continent encapsulates exactly what we hope to bring to guests who sail aboard our new ship: adventure, discovery and awe-inspiring wonder. With the beauty of the Antarctic landscape and scenery in the background, it truly was the perfect place to name the most luxurious expedition ship, Seabourn Venture.”
Seabourn Venture is designed and built for diverse environments to PC6 Polar Class standards and includes modern hardware and technology that extends the ship’s global deployment and capabilities. The ship is a brand-new innovative design, created specifically for the ultra-luxury expedition traveler, and includes many features that have made Seabourn ships so successful.
A long with an attentive crew providing every level of Seabourn’s renowned service, the ship is staffed with a worldclass 26-person Expedition Team whose role is to give guests the most from expeditions on land and at sea. Comprised of
highly regarded wilderness experts, scientists, historians and naturalists, the team will regularly interact with guests, providing in-depth insights into the history, ecology and culture of the places they visit. Their valuable insights are offered both in formal presentations on a variety of topics and in more casual conversations over meals, on deck during scenic cruising or leisure experiences.
T he ship is equipped with kayaks and enough Zodiacs to transport every guest on expeditions at once, as well as two custom-built submarines, each with capacity for six and capability of exploring the natural wonders under the sea in luxurious comfort.
Oceania Cruises will debut a series of innovative rum and whisky programs across its fleet in 2023. The experiences will feature an extensive collection of The Macallan’s iconic expressions via The Macallan Diamond Bar Cart, a flight program, chocolate pairings and more, while Brugal 1888 Doblemente Añejado Rum will be featured in a new Tea at Sea mixology class and a wide selection of newly crafted ice cream cocktails.
A new, invitation-only experience from Princess Cruises will soon transport guests nightly to the Mediterranean – no matter where they’re sailing – engaging all their senses with the tastes, sights, sounds, touches and fragrances of the Mediterranean. The fully immersive 360: An Extraordinary Experience is the cruise line’s most epic experience ever offered and is now available onboard Discovery Princess and coming to Enchanted Princess in late January.
With the 360: An Extraordinary Experience, guests booked in suite accommodations are invited to embark on a six senses journey showcasing the spectacular hilltops of Santorini, Amalfi Coast, Barcelona and Provence. Through synchronized authentic storytelling, imagery, music, scents, cuisine and stunning visual film, guests are introduced to local ingredients, artisans, passionate purveyors, and culinary methods simultaneously mirrored with a seven-course gourmet experience including wines that emerge from the story of each destination.
“At Oceania Cruises, we are continually evolving, elevating, and enhancing our product,” said Howard Sherman, President and CEO of Oceania Cruises. “With food and beverage at our core, our focus remains steady on delivering guests The Finest Cuisine at Sea.”
“These new rum and whisky programs come on the heels of the recently announced elevated bar program aboard Vista, debuting May 20, 2023,” said Daniela Oancea, Corporate Beverage Manager of Oceania Cruises. “Across the fleet we have been working on a number of innovative concepts tapping into current mixology trends that will modernize and enhance our sailings. We know this partnership with Edrington spirits company will be an exciting addition on board.”
Royal Caribbean Group became the first major cruise line operator to sail a cruise ship from a U.S. port while using renewable diesel fuel to meet part of the ship’s fuel needs when Navigator of the Seas set sail from the Port of Los Angeles on October 28.
The use of renewable fuel will reduce the ship’s carbon emissions. This key step in the
Group’s pursuit of alternative fuels comes less than a year after the unveiling of Destination Net Zero, Royal Caribbean Group’s comprehensive decarbonization strategy.
“We are committed to investing in technologies and innovations that will help us reduce emissions and fulfill our purpose to deliver great vacations responsibly,” said Laura Hodges Bethge, Royal Caribbean Group’s Executive Vice President, Shared Services Operations. “As we celebrate this milestone, we continue to set our sights on other leading alternative solutions to meet our net zero goals.”
T he renewable fuel being used by Navigator of the Seas contains less carbon than traditional marine fuels. While this fuel is produced from renewable raw materials, the production process for this fuel makes it molecularly identical to traditional marine gas oil – creating a “drop in” fuel that can be safely used with the ship’s existing engines.
The cruise company plans to continue using lower carbon fuel to meet part of the Los Angeles-based ship’s fuel needs as it evaluates the feasibility for long-term use, with ambitions to expand its usage to other ships across the fleet. This follows a similar trial by the Group’s joint venture partner, HapagLloyd Cruises, which is exploring a different process for developing a sustainable biofuel.
To learn more about Royal Caribbean Group’s sustainability efforts, visit www.sustainability.rclcorporate.com.
MSC Cruises has reached a new milestone with more bookings in October 2022 than it has ever had for one month in its entire history. Nearly 400,000 passenger bookings were taken for winter 2022/23 and summer 2023 itineraries across its global fleet.
Vessels show higher than average historical occupancy levels for both winter 2022/23 and summer 2023. The line registered strong bookings for all programs, including for its latest flagship MSC World Europa, MSC Seascape and MSC Euribia.
“October has been the strongest month for bookings in the entire history of our brand,” said MSC Cruises CEO Gianni Onorato. “This reflects the continued strong investments made in our fleet, which is one of the most modern in the industry with five new state-of-theart vessels delivered only in the last three years alone and more than any other brand since 2017. Our guests and travel
partners also appreciate the continuously improving experience we provide on our elegant and sophisticated vessels, the truly global array of itinerary options available as well as our commitment to environmental sustainability.
“Consumers are also flocking to our offering due to the excellent value for money all-inclusive holiday proposition cruises represent at all times but especially at this juncture. We are seeing a strong demand with an extended horizon in the medium to longer term to such an extent that guests and travel agent partners are starting to close bookings now to avoid the frustration of not being able to find the perfect holiday option for themselves or their clients in a few months. These results reward the long-term vision that MSC Group continued to have for the business even during the pandemic, with investments not only in new ships but also in the quality of the guests experience.”
In just under five weeks, Royal Caribbean International set new bookings records yet again. This Black Friday was the cruise line’s single largest booking day in its 53-year history, which marked the third time the record was broken in 2022 and the peak of what is now the brand’s highest volume booking week. The strong demand and performance demonstrated by the two latest records come on the heels of the first look at the world’s best family vacation, Icon of the Seas, and the record-breaking day reported when the highly anticipated ship opened for bookings 15 months ahead of its January 2024 debut.
“This has been a year for the books at Royal Caribbean International, from the full return of our 26 ships to the first look at Icon of the Seas,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “Every milestone met is an accomplishment achieved, it’s a wonderful start to 2023 and we are excited for what lies ahead. We could not have reached this point without our loyal guests, valued travel advisors and partners, and the Royal Caribbean International team around the world.”
In 2022, the cruise line marked both the single largest booking day and
the highest volume booking week in April, which was followed by another record-breaking single day of bookings with the opening of Icon in October.
the globe and we can’t wait to take our guests to the world’s best places on the world’s best places, our Celebrity ships.”
very successful naming ceremony for Carnival Celebration on November 20 and all the media coverage it generated clearly kept Carnival top of mind as vacationers got started on their holiday shopping yesterday.”
C elebrity Cruises posted the line’s single largest booking day ever on Black Friday, followed by its strongest Cyber Monday in history, hot off the heels of recently delivering the magnificent relaxed luxury resort at sea, Celebrity Beyond
Future guests locked-in vacations on brand-new itineraries that take in the rich history of Europe, the glacial beauty of Alaska, the sun-drenched charm of the Caribbean, and the physical and cultural beauty of Japan and Southeast Asia. The new offerings include first-ever homeports for some of Celebrity’s award-winning Edge Series ships; new year-round offerings in Europe, with new ports; new overnights and double overnights; and new experiences across the rich cultures of every continent and corner of the world while basking in the fullness of the Celebrity cruise experience. The record-high sales performance follows Celebrity Cruises’ launch of both a new “Journey WonderFULL SM” campaign and the much-lauded Celebrity Beyond .
“All of the recent exposure highlighting Celebrity’s innovative ship design and onboard offerings built incredible demand from consumers longing to experience the world in new ways and through a new level of relaxed luxury,” said Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo. “We saw demand across the full depth and breadth of our itinerary offerings around
Carnival Cruise Line got a jumpstart on what it hopes will be a busy 2023 cruise season as it posted a record Cyber Monday booking day that was 50 percent above volume for Cyber Monday 2019.
With November’s introduction of service by Carnival Luminosa in Australia and Carnival Celebration from Miami, and three additional ships joining the fleet over the next 18 months, Carnival is giving its guests plenty of vacation options. Twenty-four ships are in guest operation, and 26 ships are open for sale – some already into 2025 – with the pending arrival of Carnival Venezia and Carnival Jubilee. The pentup demand for cruising has manifested in multiple ways in 2022, as Carnival was the first major cruise line to have its entire fleet back in operation. Earlier this year, Carnival had said that the oneweek period of March 28-April 3 was its busiest booking week in the company’s history, showing a double-digit increase from the previous record seven-day booking total. Carnival now has more capacity sailing (as measured by ALBDs – available lower berth days) than it was sailing in 2019.
“The Cyber Monday sale activity showed consumer demand across the fleet, and we were particularly pleased with the booking activity for Carnival Venezia’s new year-round service from New York, and our new extended sixmonth program for Carnival Magic out of Norfolk,” said Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Line. “Our
In a strong sign that cruising is back, Holland America Line’s Black Friday booking volumes hit a record high for the shopping holiday in the United States, with volume for the day close to 20% higher than in 2019 and more than 10% higher for the period from Black Friday through Cyber Monday.
T he trend was especially noticeable in Alaska bookings, where Holland America Line offers an exclusive Alaska Up Close experience. Black Friday U.S. bookings for Alaska were up more than 60% compared to 2019 and up more than 25% for the Black Friday through Cyber Monday timeframe.
“Our guests went on a shopping spree this weekend, and it wasn’t at the mall,” said Gus Antorcha, President, Holland America Line. “We are very pleased to see pent-up demand for cruising play out in such a significant way, especially in Alaska where we are the pioneers of cruise travel and the only cruise line with owned land operations in Denali and Yukon.
“The strong bookings are an encouraging sign for our brand and the continued strength of cruising. Guests come to Holland America Line for our unmatched service and culinary offerings and our unique longer voyages. It is our goal to further leverage those differentiators as we build our brand.”
George Town, Grand Cayman is the capital of the Cayman Islands and one of the Western Caribbean’s most popular ports of call for cruise lines. The picturesque and vibrant capital of George Town – with its bustling array of shops, galleries, and attractions – offers visitors the opportunity to learn about the Cayman Islands’ natural and cultural history.
For those craving cultural experiences, no trip to George Town is complete without a stop at the Cayman Islands National Museum. Situated on the harbor front, the museum is brimming with history and culture. For the fine art-oriented traveler, the local craft market and several galleries offering local artwork are sure to delight, including Guy Harvey’s Grand Cayman gallery, where visitors can view a wide selection of paintings from this world-renowned artist and conservationist.
Art lovers willing to venture further afield will enjoy the Cayman Islands National Gallery. Just a short drive from downtown, the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands features a rotating collection of national and international exhibitions, focused on illuminating and preserving the cultural heritage of the islands. Those wanting a deep dive into the Cayman Islands' art scene can book a guided tour.
T he Cayman Islands is known as the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean, and its capital lives up to that reputation. George Town is home to a myriad of dining options. Visitors can choose their fresh catch from the local fish market and have it prepared to order at a range of restaurants with the backdrop of the Caribbean Sea – all within a short walk from the cruise terminal.
If vegan or gluten free food is what you’re craving, the restaurants of George Town deliver with dedicated vegan and vegetarian eateries like Bread & Chocolate
(a rarity in the Caribbean) and most restaurants offering options to suit every type of diner.
Visitors can cap off their meal with a refreshing scoop of locally made gelato from Gelato & Co.
Cruisers visiting the islands in 2023 will encounter enhancements to the town center as part of the George Town Revitalization Initiative, a multi-year government project led by the Ministry of Planning, Agriculture, Housing, and Infrastructure to enhance key areas of the town center.
T he newly pedestrianized Cardinall Avenue, one of George Town’s most famous shopping streets, is a new destination in the center of the Cayman Islands’ capital.
Lined with colorful pavers inspired by the colors of the Cayman Islands Coat of Arms and the pattern of the waves that roll onto its shorelines, the beautifully intricate design connects the Seafarers Way pocket park on the harbor front to the General Post Office on Edward Street, one of the George Town’s iconic landmarks and the Cayman Islands’ first post office opened in 1939 under the administration of Sir Allan Cardinall.
In addition to new street lighting, landscaping – including silver thatch palm, the Cayman Islands’ national tree – and urban furniture, the street underwent extensive enhancements to its underground infrastructure in benefit of the many shops, restaurants, and businesses that line either side of the avenue.
T he result is a highly attractive destination for visitors and a richer urban experience for both visitors and residents in the heart of George Town.
While pristine beaches, stunning underwater scenery, an impressive culinary scene and amazing activities attract sun seeking visitors, the warm and friendly nature of Caymanians, known as ‘Caymankind,’ adds to the experience, providing for a distinctive atmosphere unparalleled throughout the Caribbean.
T he cruise sector is an important part of the Cayman Islands tourism industry and provides jobs to thousands of Caymanians who promote the destination to cruise passengers from all over the world. The service providers are proud of the islands' attributes and work hard to ensure that the experience in the Cayman Islands is the best in the world.
A fter a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cayman Islands was pleased to resume cruise calls in March 2022. Since then, Grand Cayman has welcomed over 100 cruise calls, and passenger numbers are on the rise.
T he Cayman Islands looks forward to welcoming you for the FCCA PAMAC Conference June 20-23 and sharing all that our islands have to offer.
While the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) has shined as a beacon of growth despite COVID-19, it clearly has not rested on its laurels. During the quarter, it continued to grow with a new marketing campaign, increased airlift, inaugural cruise calls and more – including upcoming hotel openings – to support and keep improving its tourism.
Following expert tourism management and a flexible travel health policy during the pandemic that brought a surge of visitors to the US Virgin Islands, the destination has witnessed the highest increase in visitors from 2019 to 2022 of any destination in the Caribbean, according to global hospitality consulting firm HVS.
USVI has seen a 31.6% increase in visitors since September 2019, the highest rate of any destination and far outpacing the Caribbean at large, which has seen tourism down 16.7% overall since September 2019.
“The Caribbean tourism industry has led the world in recovering from the pandemic, and the US Virgin Islands has been at the forefront of the region’s recovery,” said USVI Tourism Commissioner Joseph Boschulte.
USVI’s growth is a testament to the nimble approach of entry protocols during the height of the pandemic and a continued push to promote both stayover and cruise guests.
T his fall, the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) Department of Tourism launched a bold, new marketing campaign that includes a distinctive tagline, a social media campaign and the relaunch of its website. Focusing on cultural travel in the U.S. Territory rather than conventional tourism, the campaign showcases the tag line: “Naturally in Rhythm” accompanied by a print advertising campaign, billboards along the highways, a reimagined website, online giveaways, in person pop-up events, and a social media influencer program.
“Our new campaign seeks to continue to fuel our exponential growth as we emerge beyond the pandemic,” said Boschulte. “Proportionally, we are a leader in tourism recovery both globally and in the Caribbean. We want to remind visitors that they can come again to escape the stresses of city lifestyles
and to invite newcomers to imagine tasting our unique cuisine, laying on our powdery beaches, swimming in our pristine waters, and exploring our historic cobblestone streets and protected national parks.”
T he marketing campaign can be described as National Geographic meets Vibe with a bit of glamour thrown in. It focuses on the real stars of St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas: The people. The images and music will invite visitors to use their five senses when exploring the islands.
“Our tourism marketing campaign is designed to inspire visitors to fall ‘naturally in rhythm’ with the three islands’ diverse cultures and natural wonders,” Boschulte continued. “It speaks to travelers seeking an authentic Caribbean experience comprising food, heritage, culture, and nature without having to leave U.S. soil. Vacationers already know our islands for their unadorned beauty,
temperate weather, unparalleled beaches and turquoise waters. But we want to tap more into our most precious resources –our people and culture.”
The campaign dovetails with the much-anticipated reopening of two renovated and rebranded Frenchman’s Reef properties: The Westin Beach Resort and Spa at Frenchman’s Reef and The Seaborn at Frenchman’s Reef, an Autograph Collection. The $425 million renovation will bring back 500 rooms to St. Thomas. Additionally, the Loyango Resort and Beach Club will open on a private island near St. John on December 20.
A liftoff of air service will fill those rooms and continue its tourism ascent. There are currently 21 nonstop flights from the U.S. to St. Croix and St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The current schedule represents a 21 percent increase in airlift to the U.S. Virgin Islands compared with the same period in 2019.
With 10 airlines flying to the territory, the territory hosted 14 percent more passengers in February 2022 compared with February 2019, said Department of Tourism officials. Additionally, departure seats increased by 35.8 percent between 2019 and 2022. Finally, as of July 2022 the territory received 98% more travelers compared with the same period in 2021, officials said.
Top officials of the Bryan Administration celebrated what they called a robust return of cruise tourism to the U.S. Virgin Islands, with officials projecting optimistic forecasts for the 2022-2023 winter season as they welcomed the inaugural call of Celebrity Beyond on November 16.
Port Authority Director Carlton Dowe, Assistant Tourism Commissioner Alani Henneman and Government House Special Advisor Kevin Rodriguez officiated over a plaque and key exchange with Captain Kate McCue. The ship brought 2,779 passengers
and 1,379 crewmembers to the Austin ‘Babe’ Monsanto Marine Terminal. Port Authority Communications Director Monifa Brathwaite-Marrero said there will be more new ships arriving in the territory as 2022 ends and a new year begins, with “three to four new ships on St. Croix, and a few more new ships to St. Thomas, and a mega-yacht to St. John on Dec. 27.”
Additionally, the V.I. Port Authority (VIPA) announced that \November 23 was the first two-ship day in Frederiksted for the 2022-2023 cruise season, with Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas and Virgin Voyages’ Valiant Lady docking at the Ann E. Abramson Marine Facility. VIPA has reported a total of 68 scheduled calls for the 2022-2023 cruise season on St. Croix. The active cruise season is attributed to the partnership between the authority, the Bryan/Roach Administration, and the Royal Caribbean Group, which has committed to significantly increasing cruise visitors to St. Croix by 180% in comparison to the 50,000 passengers visited St. Croix in 2019.
“We are still very early in the cruise season and the Ann E. Abramson is seeing record numbers of cruise ships and visitors,” said Dowe. “Each time a ship berths in Frederiksted, I am mindful of the vendors, the restaurants, the merchants, the taxi drivers, and all the businesses and residents that make their living via the tourism industry. The economic impact is far-reaching and critical to our territory’s success. Today’s cruise passengers become our future overnight guests.”
In addition to Enchantment of the Seas, other Royal Caribbean ships slated to call at St. Croix include Jewel of the Seas, Grandeur of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas. Also scheduled to call at the island port this winter are Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Silhouette, Summit and Millennium; Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Dream; Ritz-Carlton Evrima; Marella Cruises’ Marella Discovery ; and Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady.
A robust cruise season is key to the island’s economy, since tourism accounts for about 80 percent of the island’s gross domestic product and employment, according to the port authority.
T he executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC), Carlos Mercado Santiago, formalized the designation of Avenida Boulevard, in Levittown, as a destination for gastronomic tourism.
“At PRTC we work tirelessly to promote the diversification of the tourism offering and promote economic activity in all regions of the Island. For the governor, Pedro R. Pierluisi, the gastronomic tourism market is one of the most valuable elements for the growth of the tourism industry,” said Mercado. “For this reason, it is gratifying to carry out this work in collaboration between the central government, the municipality and businessmen from the private sector to exalt the qualities of Levittown, which establish it as a Gastronomic Tourism Zone, which is an important factor for the projection of our destination as one that is even more attractive for local tourists and those who visit us from abroad.”
Work began on this project through meetings held between the PRTC, the municipality of Toa Baja, the representative Deborah Soto and the group of Businessmen of La Boulevard. As a result of these meetings, a graphic identity was developed to promote La Boulevard as a gastronomic tourism destination within its Voy Turisteando work plan.
For his part, the mayor of Toa Baja, Bernardo “Betito” Márquez García, expressed that “we are pleased to see the project of our iconic Boulevard as a Gastronomic Tourism Zone on track, recognizing the potential and extraordinary opportunity for socioeconomic development that it represents for our people. As a Municipality and facilitator, we thank the Puerto Rico Tourism Company and accompany the Levittown merchants in this great solidarity and cooperative effort that will mark a new era where we build together in the transformation process of Toa Baja.”
More than 300 investors and hotel operators from around the world, along with main tourism authorities in the Caribbean, recently gathered in the Dominican Republic for the Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference & Operations Summit (CHICOS) 2022 investment conference.
Meanwhile, the president of the Levittown Business Group, Merylee Suazo, expressed that “we are proud to be able to highlight Avenida Boulevard through this effort with the PRTC to offer all of Puerto Rico and those who visit us from abroad, our varied gastronomic offer and great entertainment for all audiences. All merchants are united and committed to offering, together with the municipality of Toa Baja, a unique and high-class experience.”
T he President of the Republic, Luis Abinader, and the Minister of Tourism, David Collado, led the opening ceremony for the event, which aimed to explore the challenges, winning strategies and opportunities of the tourism sector under the theme of “Resilience, creating opportunities from challenges” – while looking to the future and driving new investments in the region.
Strengthening tourism investment in the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean was the focus of this conference, where opportunities, incentives and the future of the sector were worked on together.
President Luis Abinader said that this is the time to invest in the Dominican Republic: “The legal certainty that our country offers is also one of the elements for which many
investors put all their trust in the Dominican Republic when it comes to investing.”
He continued that the Dominican Republic plays a crucial role in this market, “in which we are at the head of all countries worldwide, leading the recovery, investment and flow of tourists.
“And in that sense, we have assumed the role that corresponds to us at this time, also putting all the machinery of the State to work in favor of this business sector so that they know that at all times they can count on the support of the Dominican Government.”
T he Minister of Tourism, David Collado, highlighted the importance of this conference to attract more investment to the tourism sector. He said that the investment in the industry has been such that from October 2020 to the same month in 2022, investments exceeding $6.4 billion dollars have been registered for the construction of 34,800 rooms.
“The great challenge for tourism now is to build more rooms to be able to meet the demand for growth in the sector,” continued Collado.
St. Maarten served up a host of big news in the quarter, from a culinary month showcasing why the ‘Friendly Island’ is often referred to as the ‘Culinary Capital of the Caribbean’ to new hotels and homeport operations.
Tourism Economic Affairs Transport & Telecommunication (TEATT), the honorable Omar Ottley, hailed the rebranding of the two timeshare resorts as a signal of great things to come for St. Maarten.
“The Hilton brand would undoubtedly attract new visitors to St. Maarten and further strengthen the long-term vision of showcasing the tourism destination as the service innovation center of the Caribbean,” said Minister Ottley. “St. Maarteners must be proud of this achievement. Today, a global hospitality company has chosen to make a significant investment in branding two properties with over 360 rooms, making it possible for the Hilton Vacation Club owners to have our 37 square mile island as a future vacation option.”
Evrima features 228 suites, all with private terraces. The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s commitment to sustainable practices implies that the superyachts will be designed with advanced environmental features and technologies to minimize ecological impact.
For more information about the destination, visit www.vacationstmaarten.com, www.facebook.com/portstmaarten or www.portstmaarten.com.
Representatives of the Government of St. Maarten and Hilton Grand Vacation Club cut the ribbon
T he St. Maarten Tourism Bureau and the St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association jointly announced November as St. Maarten’s Culinary Month through its initiative “St. Maarten Flavors.” During the month, participating restaurants designed a special prix fix menu highlighting their specialties.
St. Maarten is known for offering an exquisite variety of culinary delights island wide and is often referred to as the “Culinary Capital of the Caribbean.” Besides showcasing food specialties during the month of November, restaurants implemented additional activations to make the dining experience even more unique.
“I am very happy about the significance of ‘St. Maarten Flavors’ for the island…We want visitors to immerse into the diversity of our unique island that is known as the culinary capital of the Caribbean,” said Director of Tourism May-Ling Chun.
St. Maarten added a top luxury resort brand to the list of vacation properties travelers can choose from, as the Hilton Grand Vacation Club recently officially rebranded the Flamingo and Royal Palm Beach Resorts. Acting Minister of
Additionally, Indigo Shores Development broke ground in St. Maarten for a 250-room five-star Resort and Condominiums complex. Altree Developments and Indigo Shores, based in Toronto and St. Maarten respectively, met with the Interim Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation & Telecommunications (TEATT), the honorable Omar Ottley.
Minister Ottley welcomed the developers and thanked them for their initiative. The Minister visited the site of the luxury boutique hotel, “Vie L’Ven,” which sits a few steps from the beautiful beach of Indigo Bay. It covers some 21 acres of oceanfront land and, on completion, will include a luxury spa and fine dining. According to the developers, the sales center construction will begin this month, with the total completion of the hotel scheduled for 2027.
With an investment expected to surpass $250 million and a combination of hotel rooms and condominiums for private ownership, the new five-star boutique hotel aims to be the preeminent luxury hotel in the region.
The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s superyacht Evrima is homeporting out of Port St. Maarten for the 2022-2023 cruise season. This is the first ever next generation superyacht by the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection brand, and Luxury Caribbean cruises from Port St. Maarten to Barbados will offer unique opportunities for pre- and post-vacation days on the ‘Friendly Island.’
Jamaica has not only recovered its tourism since COVID-19, but also celebrated new records and focused on initiatives for locals to see more economic benefits from tourism.
Jamaica is expecting $5 billion in earnings from tourism for the 2023 calendar year, based on the current trend in the industry’s out-turns, according to Portfolio Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett. He says the country is also expected to welcome five million visitors in 2024, one year ahead of the initial target timeline. Mr. Bartlett said the tourism industry is rebounding well after the COVID-19 pandemic, with Jamaica welcomed 5.1 million and earning $5.7 billion since the industry’s reopening in June 2020 – and over $4 billion in earnings forecast for FY 2022.
Bartlett also informed that Jamaica has recovered from its COVID-19 downturn in all major markets to where a record 283,000 airline seats are now expected out of Canada for the upcoming winter tourist season.
When in Canada meeting with travel partners and other tourism interests, Bartlett said it is an “amazing” reversal of fortune coming out of the island’s second largest visitor market [behind the United
States]…So far, we have been successful in commitments that will see the number of airline seats increased by 26,000 more than was recorded in 2019, pre-COVID.”
He continued that major travel partners such as Air Canada Vacations, WestJet, Transat and Sunwing, have confirmed the commitments, adding that “the recovery is real... much quicker than anybody would have predicted”.
Bartlett added that the Canadian visit is also being used to launch Jamaica Tourist Board’s ‘Come Back’ campaign, and that there is every reason to believe that in 2023/24 there will be a “full recovery” of the Canadian market to the levels that “we were in the best of times in 2010”.
Russell is encouraging Jamaicans to tap their imaginations to create products that will entice tourists to spend more locally. Speaking at the opening ceremony for the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) 2022 Business Expo on November 4, he said while the sector continues to see unprecedented levels of growth in arrivals and revenue – and is projected to generate $5 billion in earnings for the 2023 calendar year –more needs to be done to ensure that the country retains a greater portion of the tourism dollar.
“We have ways to go in retaining that tourism dollar in Jamaica, and I challenge each and every one of you to find that product that will [make] one more dollar [from the] four-point odd million tourists [per year],” he said and continued that could include locally sourcing products for hotels.
Meanwhile, Russell said that the sector continues to rebound strongly after being hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and is poised to generate a projected US$5 billion in earnings for the 2023 calendar year, based on the current trend.
on imports, and ensure that tourists can eat fresh Jamaican food.
He cited the supply to hotels of fresh fruits, such as strawberries, as a lucrative opportunity, pointing out that farmers with three or more strawberry houses have indicated that they are currently selling the fruit at $1,000 per pound to hotels, purveyors, and supermarkets, and they reap an average of 1,600 pounds per month, which brings them revenue of $1.6 million.
T he Ministry continues to connect farmers and buyers through the AgriLinkages Exchange (ALEX) project, with the platform used to supply more than $125 million worth of produce between January and October.
In addition, community farming projects, successfully executed in Westmoreland, St Catherine, St James, and St Elizabeth, benefit approximately 130 farmers, who have since registered with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) and are supplying ALEX.
Robin Russell, the proprietor and general manager of Montego Bay’s Deja Resort, has been named the President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA). Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett lauded Russell and the immediate past President Clifton Reader for their strong support of initiatives behind the successful recovery of the tourism industry from the devastating fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic – and committed the continued support of his ministry to the JHTA.
“The Government and the Ministry of Tourism wish to embrace his election and to offer him the fullest support so that he can succeed as the others have before him, and in his own way make his mark and excel in the way that we know he is quite capable,” said Hon. Bartlett.
Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, is calling on the country’s farmers to increase production to supply demand in the hospitality sector, which is expected to double over the next five years – and with the number of hotel rooms expected to reach 40,000 in five years.
Bartlett noted that the current demand for agricultural produce in the sector is about $67 billion – and that opportunity therefore exists for farmers to invest to increase earnings, provide employment, save foreign exchange spent
T he Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority (ABTA) held a series of strategy meetings as marketing teams all gathered in Antigua for face-to-face meetings – the first since COVID-19 – to discuss the future of marketing for the destination.
Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Tourism and Investment, The Honourable Charles Fernandez told the teams ahead of the meetings to bear in mind that the “Vision 2032 plan published by the Ministry of Tourism will only be achieved if we succeed in creating economic value for locals and residents through maximum linkages.”
The meetings take place at a time when Antigua and Barbuda’s tourism stay-over arrival numbers have surpassed pre-pandemic levels. July, August, and September 2022 tourism arrivals outperformed those of 2019, previously considered the best summer ever for the destination.
A ntigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s Chairman, Dr. Lorraine Raeburn, declared to teams at the start of the meeting that, “Now is the time to review, reevaluate and make sure we are aligned to the new traveler and the rapidly changing industry.”
A ntigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s CEO, Colin C. James summarized the approach of this year’s strategy meeting saying, “At this stage of our growth, as we look towards elevating our product, marketing and economic impact, collaboration is key. We engaged stakeholders prior to our team sessions, and for the first time brought the entire ABTA team, those working internationally and locally together, for a bottom-up approach to planning.
We are pooling all creative talents and skills to ensure Antigua and Barbuda has the best possible strategy in place to build on the momentum that we have and finish this year strong, but most importantly continue our growth into 2023.”
A two-year marketing plan is on the agenda. Top of mind for the tourism market teams will be growing visitor arrivals by cruise, yachting, and air to maintain the current growth being experienced. The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority also intends to leverage the destination’s strengths, to position and market Antigua and Barbuda, as a year-round destination. Emphasis is being placed on the further development of the destination’s marketing pillars Romance, Yachting and Sailing, Heritage and Culture, and Wellness to achieve this.
T he ABTA CEO said, “Our vision aligns with the Vision 2032 presented by the Ministry of Tourism. It is to grow our numbers, grow the revenues that this country receives from tourism, ensure that more revenue is left in Antigua and Barbuda, for services that our visitors will enjoy while they are here and ultimately ensure Antiguans and Barbudans have a better standard of living, a better lifestyle, and we do so in a sustainable manner.”
Some of those objectives are already looking successful, as Antigua Cruise Port (ACP) expects an exceptional 2022/2023 cruise season, with 182,120 cruise guests between October and December 2022 (for a total of 616,419 passengers by the end of its peak cruise) – and the rest of the season seeing new heights, with January 2023 set
to be the busiest month at 79 calls and 135,810 passengers.
Dona Regis-Prosper, General Manager of ACP, highlighted some of the expectations for the upcoming season:
“In comparison to the modest summer months of 2022, May – September 2023 will see a total of 18 cruise ship calls
depicting the growth and development of Antigua’s cruise industry. In addition, the port will engage in homeporting operations beginning with Star Clipper of Royal Clipper Cruises in December 2022 and continuing with the Arvia , Carnival’s largest cruise vessel in January 2023 until March 2023.”
A fter a two-year hiatus, Dominica staged a successful World Creole Music Festival as part of the island’s 44 th Independence celebrations. The festival hosted 23 artists, 11 of which were local Dominican artists in the genres of Cadence Lypso, Bouyon, Compas and Dancehall. Soca, Zouk, Reggae, and Afrobeat were performed by other regional and international performers.
According to a preliminary count and provisional data, there were 7,421 visitors who arrived over the normal WCMF period of Friday, October 21 to Saturday, October 29 – a 5 percent increase.
Attendance for the festival in 2022 surpassed the attendance figures from 2019 as well. Preliminary reports from scanned tickets into the park total the
attendance at 33,173, approximately 14 percent more than 2019.
A combination of increased ticket sales and an increase in ticket prices resulted in gate receipts 31 percent higher than 2019 gate receipts.
O ver 200 media and influencers were accredited to cover the World Creole Music Festival. As such, Dominica has received coverage regionally from Trinidad and Tobago in the south to St. Kitts in the north.
World Creole Music Festival 2023 will take place from October 27-29; Mas Domnik – Dominica’s Carnival – will take from January 14 – February 22; Dominica’s Jazz’n Creole will take place on April 30. For more information on Dominica’s events, visit www.DominicaFestivals.com
The first ship of the season arrived in Pointe-à-Pitre after more than two years of absence on November 3. The first port of call of the 220 scheduled took place in Pointe-àPitre, one of the 5 ports of call of Guadeloupe Islands. The 2,000 guests were able to enjoy their day exploring the destination or enjoying the cruise terminal village to the sound of the biguine, quadrille or zouk. For more information about the destination, visit www.lesilesdeguadeloupe.com
C olombia is no stranger to sustainability, as home to 10 percent of the planet’s biodiversity, or sourcing products for companies – and the country made progress in both initiatives during the quarter.
Sustainability in tourism is no longer a trend; it has become a requirement. Sustainability is part of this sector’s road map in Colombia, which was represented by a delegation of about 20 companies at WTM, the United Kingdom’s leading tourism fair. These enterprises specialize in tourism that respects and protects nature and local communities, while establishing standards for contemplating, comprehending, and conserving biodiversity, as well as ideals for co-creating, connecting with, and preserving Colombia’s ancestry and cultural expressions. The delegation was led by ProColombia and the
Colombian Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Tourism.
Colombia is synonymous with life, as it is home to 10 percent of the planet’s biodiversity. The country has the most species of birds, butterflies, and orchids in the world, and it is the only South American country with coastlines along two oceans.
Visiting Colombia is like traveling to six countries in one, since travelers can visit the six different tourism regions the country has to offer: Greater Colombian Caribbean, Colombian Eastern Andes, Colombian Western Andes, Colombian Massif, Colombian Pacific, and Amazon – Orinoquía.
A fter many years of invisibility, it is now time for the different regions to shine. They take center stage in the landscapes of a country made up of large regions that transcend physical spaces to become, above all, symbolic references, ways of relating to each other, a network
Carnival Cruise Line’s new flagship, Carnival Celebration, arrived in Grand Turk on November 23, making the ship’s first call to a Caribbean port.
“It is an honor to bring our new flagship to Grand Turk as its first Caribbean port of call and welcome our guests to experience the beauty of the island,” said Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Line.
After the visit to Grand Turk, Carnival Celebration continued its journey with a visit to Amber Cove on Thanksgiving Day and then stopped in Nassau.
Carnival Celebration accommodates more than 6,000 guests and features more than 20 dining venues, and a dozen bars and lounges across six unique zones and more than 2,600 staterooms. The ship’s top deck features the award-winning all-electric roller coaster BOLT: Ultimate Sea Coaster.
of beliefs, and places that build identity and a culture of peace.
T he strategy of having six tourism regions has also made it possible to highlight emerging regions that have been transformed by peace into very attractive destinations for international travelers.
ProColombia’s business forum – held on-site in Houston, Texas on November 9-10 and complemented by a virtual program of business appointments the following days – produced opportunities for both buyers and exporters of over $6.2 million in immediate sales, in sectors such as agri-business, chemicals and life sciences, manufacturing industries, textiles and apparel, and BPO, software & IT services.
There is a total expectation of $67 million that alongside the immediate sales will generate a grand total of $73.4 million. From dried fruits, frozen snacks, collagen drinks, and lollipops made with natural pulp, to apparel, underwear, shapewear, furniture, auto parts, packaging products, and technological services, 215 exporters coming from 17 departments of the country have shown international buyers that Colombia is the perfect ally to supply high-quality products and services promptly.
“Colombia has been exporting to the United States for over 50 years, and we have consolidated added-value goods, both for the Americans and our national economy. We have also diversified our exportable offer in all sectors and industries, and these events are the perfect scenario for showcasing our different products and services”, said Carmen Caballero Villa, President of ProColombia.
“This translates into more and better opportunities for small and middle-size companies and allows Colombia to achieve its goals of environmental, economic justice and total peace for our people and our territories. Hence, we invite US and international companies to consider the immense advantages that doing business with Colombian entrepreneurs of all sizes offers both sides,” Caballero added.
A fter difficult months for the reception of cruise ships in Costa Rica due to COVID-19, 150 cruise ships – and a total of 108,880 passengers – were welcomed since the opening of maritime borders in September 2021.
T he 2022-2023 season projects at least 350 arrivals in the six ports located in the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, which estimates more than 350,000 passengers who will enjoy Costa Rica’s tourist attractions.
Yucatan welcomed Norwegian Prima to Port of Progreso on a promotional voyage on October 29. This ship is the first Project Leonardo class cruise operated by Norwegian Cruise Line – at 294m long (965 ft) and weighing more than 143,535 tons distributed along 20 decks, with capacity to accommodate up to 3,950 passengers and 1,388 crew. Port of Progreso is proud to receive new generation ships, providing tourist services and facilities.
Celebrity Solstice returned to Ensenada Cruiseport Village (ECV) after almost 10 years on September 30. The renewed welcome to the Cruise Terminal was celebrated with the traditional exchange of plaques between ECV by the General Manager, Javier Rodríguez Miranda, the captain of the cruise ship, Theodoros Zakkas, and port authorities, strengthening ties between Celebrity Cruises and ECV, promoting the port of Ensenada and inviting Celebrity Cruises to continue visiting.
El Salvador opened its cruise season with the arrival of Scenic Eclipse – the first time the 6-star cruise ship visits the country – on October 8. President Nayib Bukele continues working on the strategy to bring trust to the cruise industry, showing the new reality of El Salvador, a safe destination prepared to receive cruise ships
Everything’s bigger in Texas, and the biggest, boldest adventure has arrived. Royal Caribbean International’s new $125 million cruise terminal in Galveston, Texas, opened its doors on November 9 and welcomed the Lone Star State’s largest cruise ship, Allure of the Seas. The cruise line held a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Port of Galveston to mark the state-of-the-art facility’s opening and the Texas debut of its revolutionary Oasis Class.
Royal Caribbean executives, government and port officials and partners celebrated the milestone achievement, including U.S. representative Randy Weber, Federal Commissioner Louis Sola, Mayor Craig Brown, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley and Port Director Rodger Rees. The city of Galveston also marked the day with a proclamation, recognizing the cruise line’s commitment to the city and the successful partnership started more than 20 years ago when Royal Caribbean first set sail from Galveston. With the introduction of the Oasis Class, the world’s largest cruise ships, it’s estimated the new terminal will welcome as many as 630,000 vacationers each year.
“We are thrilled to take family vacations to a whole new level in Texas. Our new, 161,334-square-foot terminal opens up a world of vacation possibilities for families in the Southwest,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “Now our unmatched Oasis Class ships, known as the best family vacations in the industry, can set sail from Galveston. Allure of the Seas is just the beginning, and we thank the Port of Galveston, Ceres and all the teams involved for making this bold vision a reality.”
Royal Caribbean’s Galveston facility is as bold in its sustainable design as the bold adventures that vacationers have in store. The terminal will break even more new ground as the first LEED Zero Energy facility in the world, generating 100% of the energy it needs through onsite solar panels. From the start, the design strategies used to develop the terminal were aligned with parent company Royal Caribbean Group’s wholistic environmental goals, its focus to advance the development of sustainable infrastructure as well as its decarbonization strategy –Destination Net Zero.
“This new cruise terminal is a gamechanger for the port and the region,” said Rodger Rees, Port Director, Port of Galveston. “This $125 million investment, in collaboration with Royal Caribbean, the port and Ceres, is expected to bring 800 new jobs, $1.4 billion in local business services revenue, $5.6 million in state and local taxes, and incredible business development opportunities. And, of course, Allure of the Seas means more cruising adventures for our Texas cruise guests.”
Carnival’s newly redesigned and expanded Terminal F at PortMiami opened its doors in conjunction with Carnival Celebration’s arrival on November 20. The cruise line held a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the facility’s grand opening, where Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, was joined by Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Miami-Dade County Commissioners and Carnival Corp. & plc CEO Josh Weinstein.
Ahead of the ribbon cutting, Duffy announced a $25,000 donation from Carnival to the Miami Veterans Affairs Healthcare System in honor of the Miami-Dade leadership. The donation will support medical and health services to more than 6,000 women veterans in Miami-Dade.
The terminal’s new clean and open design allows for exceptional efficiency and flexibility to accommodate Carnival’s newest class of ships. The terminal also maximizes technology so guests move through the embarkation process quickly and enjoy a more seamless boarding experience. Now, the fun of a Carnival cruise starts even before boarding the ship. Digital media experiences are built into all three levels of the new terminal, including an immersive tunnel on level two that guests will pass through. The digital screens showcase images of the ship, destinations, underwater seascapes, and the nighttime sky.
Adding Carnival Celebration at Terminal F, now five of Carnival’s 24-ship fleet are homeported in Miami. Going forward, Carnival expects to embark more than 20,000 guests per week from PortMiami.
Life at sea is very different from life on land, and the objective is for this training to prepare participants for the inevitable changes to the way you live and what to expect of life on board so they can make informed decisions during the recruitment process. Aquila is responding to our FCCA partner members’ needs and launching training modules to help prepare teams on land to be recruited to work on ships. The main focus of the program will be expectations of life on board, foundational English training and understanding cruise and the importance of service.
Aquila Center for Cruise Excellence has partnered with Teresa Kerrigan, a respected industry consultant and trainer, who created the first formal language training and testing to meet STCW95 requirements back in 1997. She has over 30 years in the industry both shipboard and shoreside and has been a consultant partner with most of the leading lines, including Carnival and Royal Caribbean, since 2007. Her expertise has been in developing branded in-person and online trainings for crew at every level, from entry to officers.
It is important to Aquila and FCCA that this training be sustainable long term for member destinations. Therefore, this training will focus on potential seafarers having a better understanding of life on board and English-speaking skills, including English testing and training, so they have foundational English language skills. Another important aspect of the program’s sustainability will be a ‘Train the Trainer’ component that will allow hospitality and marine schools in the countries we work with to prepare interns to continue the program with our guidance, eventually using locals to deliver most of the training. Trainer interns will require exceptional English language skills and a teaching background. This means the destinations become more self-sufficient and this ensures viability
of the program long term, as cruise lines continue to recruit in the Caribbean and Central America.
For Latin destinations, where English is not the first language, the Foundational English Language course
consists of 40 lessons over five weeks, including basic grammar, conversational terminology, basic ship safety words, and review sections. This will include English language evaluation prior to the training and following the training. Using a custom-created system, our trainers will test speaking and listening skills, and gauge the ability to follow simple instructions in English.
T he final module in this training will include an Aquila full day ‘Service Excellence and Understanding the Cruise Industry,’ ensuring an understanding of the cruise industry today, responsible tourism, respect of other cultures and lifestyles, the expectations of cruise lines and their guests and why service excellence can make such a difference.
Once all modules are completed, students will receive an Aquila ‘Prepare for Life at Sea’ certificate and FCCA and Member Lines will be advised when destinations have completed all components of the training.
It is important that you know we value our clients, and our team of creative and innovative professionals commit to help your destination raise the level of excellence and be successful. Aquila will be working with FCCA, VShips and the FCCA Employment Committee to ensure that the levels of retention are higher because of the additional training. We look forward to working with your team!
Beth Kelly Hatt is the President of Aquila’s Center for Cruise Excellence, FCCA’s official training partner. Aquila’s approach to training is one of assessing the needs of a destination or operator and developing a strategic training plan that helps raise the level of excellence throughout the destination. Contact Beth for more information at Beth@CruiseExcellence.com
Aquila is celebrating 40 Years as a tour operator in Port Saint John, Canada and 15 years as a trainer and coach for the cruise industry.Teresa Kerrigan
Mercado San Felipe will be the first experiences market in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. It will house nine attractions and multi-sensory immersion experiences, through which local and foreign tourists will delve into the history, gastronomy, sports, art and culture of the Dominican Republic. The construction of the project will be completed by the winter of 2023, with a private investment of more than 1 billion pesos from the Dominican Tourism Entertainment Trust.
Poseidon’s Playzone at Atlantis Paradise Island, the new kids’ water play zone within Aquaventure, debuted with 40 water play elements designed specifically for little adventurers under 54 inches tall. The towering 30-foot-tall, 9,000-square foot water play fort is bursting with color, excitement and Atlantean adventures waiting to begin. The Greek god of the sea reigns over the splashtacular island of watery fun, including interactive water play elements, water cannons, fountains, buckets, four kid-sized slides, bubbling jets, overhead bridges, tipping cones and water wheel. An oversized 300-gallon water bucket overflows from Poseidon’s trident onto the tower below every 5 minutes! New cabanas and Triton’s Snackbar complement the redone resort amenity.
With the addition of more direct flights to Grand Bahama and San Salvador, seasonal hotel reopenings in the Out Islands and a variety of new attractions and events, The Bahamas is the perfect tropical escape as cooler temperatures approach many places. The 16-island destination has seen record cruising arrivals in 2022 and continues to score top accolades including Caribbean Journal’s 2022 Travel Awards “Caribbean Destination of the Year,” and Travel Weekly’s Silver Magellan Award.
Village Rum Tasting, featuring Jamaica’s Appleton Rum, is now available just steps from the Ocho Rios Cruise Ship Pier at Chukka Island Village Outpost. Learn about and sample the finest Caribbean blends made with love in the heart of Jamaica. The Appleton Estate is the oldest and most famous sugar estate and distillery in Jamaica in continuous production, and has been handcrafting some of the finest rum in the world since 1749.
O ngoing training is key to providing the best product for our guests, and Blue Lagoon Island (BLI) in Nassau and Ocean World (OW) in the Dominican Republic cover a variety of key topics. BLI recently engaged Claudine Pohl of Lemoneight to conduct training on safety for the entire team. OW team has been focused recently on first aid and sexual harassment. New staff at both companies also go through various enhanced trainings as part of orientation.
Port St. Maarten Group management recently said that St. Maarten will see approximately one million cruise passengers visit and explore the ‘Friendly Island’ making memorable experiences, according to its forecast and cruise line itineraries for the period of November 2022 to April 2023. The high season forecast arrivals are tied to the occupancy levels of cruise ships stabilizing over the past months with consumer confidence and ratings higher than ever based on industry trends and developments. For more information about the destination, visit www.vacationstmaarten.com, www.facebook.com/portstmaarten or www.portstmaarten.com.
St. Kitts is open and ready to welcome visitors to experience an authentic Caribbean experience. From breathtaking green landscapes, shimmering waters, and the charming capital city of Basseterre, St. Kitts invites cruise travelers to discover the island of a thousand treasures. The island offers expectational adventures, such as hiking a dormant volcanic crater, exploring an expanding rainforest, learning the history of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the art of textile design, and tasting culinary delights.
chicks this summer. The Cayman parrot is the national bird of the Cayman Islands, and these two new additions are part of CTCEC’s breeding program for native birds. The young parrot siblings will be residents in the Caribbean Aviary until they grow to around one year, before being released into the wild. Learn more at www.turtle.ky.
Kicks Off in Dominica
Add a touch of spice to your life on your next visit to Grenada and discover why we are the ‘Isle of Spice.’ With rich, fertile soil that is perfectly suited for spice production, Grenada boasts a plethora of spices including nutmeg, mace, cinnamon and clove. Thanks to a new Spice Replanting initiative launched this year, Grenada will see a boost in the production of traditional spices, as well as the introduction of new spices.
Passengers of MV Mein Schiff 2 were greeted with a cultural spectacle on November 1. This marked the commencement of the 2022/2023 cruise season. Visits to the island’s verdant green rainforest, cascading waterfalls, natural hot spas and activities such as snorkeling, whale watching and basking on the therapeutic black sand beach, remained the popular tour choices of cruise visitors of Mein Schiff 2 . Dominica is scheduled to welcome approximately 200 ships for the season.
After witnessing the resiliency and resurgence of our cruise partners, PortMiami is exceptionally optimistic about the outlook of the cruise industry. PortMiami is expecting one of its busiest winter seasons, with an exciting lineup of state-of-the-art new ships. In addition to an already impressive line-up of offerings, the Port will welcome Virgin’s Valiant Lady, Norwegian’s Prima, Carnival’s Celebration, Azamara’s Onward, and MSC’s Seascape. As we continue to grow and invest in our infrastructure, we are also excited to introduce our newly expanded Terminal F, home to Carnival’s LNG-powered Celebration, which opened its doors in November.
Cayman Turtle Conservation and Education Centre celebrated the arrival of not one, but two, Cayman Brac parrot
T he Port of Galveston is celebrating the opening of a third cruise terminal and forecasting a record 362 sailings in 2023. In November Royal Caribbean International opened its beautiful, state-ofthe-art terminal and welcomed its OasisClass Allure of the Seas Ruby Princess begins seasonal sailings in January 2023. Next winter the port will welcome Norwegian Prima and the new, LNGpowered Carnival Jubilee
Cruising from Port Tampa Bay has never been better! Steps from cruise terminals are new hotel and dining options, breweries, and family-friendly attractions. Nearby beaches and award-winning airport make Tampa an attractive destination. Port Tampa Bay is home to Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Line and Celebrity Cruises, featuring six ships sailing during the Fall 2022/ Winter 2023 season. In Summer 2023 Carnival will operate one ship and Royal Caribbean will operate two ships.
JAXPORT’s location offers advantageous sail times for cruise line itinerary planners, including 0.8 days to sail from Jacksonville to Nassau, The Bahamas on an Eastern Caribbean trip; or from Jacksonville to Cancun, Mexico in 1.7 days on a Western Caribbean sailing. More than 98 million U.S. residents live within a day’s drive of JAXPORT. Travelers can easily connect to JAXPORT’s cruise terminal from major roadways I-95-, I-75, and I-10 and dozens of daily flights through Jacksonville International Airport. As demand for travel continues, JAXPORT’s cruise business is increasing toward pre-pandemic levels. During fiscal year 2022, JAXPORT saw 90,241 embarking passengers and 52 cruise vessel calls.
brands that promote women’s empowerment, sustainability and diversity. Ritz Carlton Yacht Collection’s Evrima launches luxury their yachting retail experience showcasing international designer brands. Carnival Celebration commemorates 50 years of FUN with first at sea launches and a new Carnival themed interactive retail experience.
Elnet Maritime recently launched ‘Elnet Maritime 101’ to expose aspiring youth to the world of maritime, and to prepare future generations for vital roles in the Blue Economy. ‘Elnet Maritime 101’ is a free educational and career-shaping initiative that equips high school students with the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue a career in the maritime sector.
‘Elnet Maritime 101’ is the brainchild of Elbert Hepburn, President and CEO, in collaboration with the Bahamas Government Ministry for Grand Bahama.
Blue Halo Lighting offers a full line of germicidal/disinfection lighting products bringing you the most advanced UVC-GUV technology in the industry. Our FDA & EPA approved products rapidly inactivate viruses, while killing bacteria, fungi and mold. Combined with our indoor air quality monitoring systems we create safer spaces for everyone.
This past summer Amerimed Hospitals proudly celebrated its 15th anniversary. Throughout these years, our flagship hospitals have been a driving force in the development of high quality and high complexity medical services in the most important tourist destinations in Mexico. With units in Cancún, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Isla Mujeres and Tulum (February 2023), Amerimed will continue in this tradition of leadership in healthcare well into the future. Please visit www.amerimedhospitals.com for more information.
With new dates and a new venue, the largest global gathering of cruise professionals will take place in Fort Lauderdale from March 27-30, bringing together the visionaries, the experts, and thousands of like-minded cruise professionals for four days of business and networking! Registration for Seatrade Cruise Global 2023 is now open! Find out more at www.bit.ly/3sWrdYs.
Starboard Cruise Services curates a vibrant Caribbean retail experience this winter on its cruise partners’ newest ships with offerings uniquely shaped for each line’s brand and guest profile. Celebrity Cruises’ Beyond delivers purposeful shopping with
T he COSTAMED Healthcare Network is very proud to inform cruise lines, onboard healthcare teams, patients, and partners that the evaluation body of the Canadian Healthcare Council has conferred the Accreditation Status to COSTAMED Hospitals in Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Puerto Morelos in the southern Mexican state of Quintana Roo. We wouldn’t have done it without every one of you. We’ll keep on working hard to bring you nothing but the best of us.
Hosted by Seatrade Cruise Global with support from CLIA and FCCA, and industry consulting leader MarkeTeam, F&B@ Sea pairs the world’s pre-eminent cruise line hospitality executives with innovative suppliers to evolve the passenger dining experience.F&B@Sea brings to life the holistic cruise drinking and dining experience in an immersive setting designed to delight the senses! Coming to Fort Lauderdale March 28-29, 2023. Find out more at www.bit.ly/3sR9Ech.
White sands that lead into warm azure waves. A city deeply embedded in Colombia's history. A charming culture and delectable gastronomy. Lush greenery inhabited by colorful species and ancient knowledge. All of it backdropped by a snow-capped mountain.
There are many theories as to what earned Colombia's oldest city the lovely nickname of "the Pearl of the Americas", and although a quick visit might not suf ce to unravel all its secrets, it certainly does to make you fall in love with it.
Scan the code to embark on this adventure.