That is very different from North America, the world’s biggest cruise market, where the figures are stagnating. More than 6.1 million Europeans went on a cruise in 2012 – a new record. The majority of passengers still come from the UK, Europe’s top maritime nation, but Germany follows close behind – nearly two million Germans took to the water last year, including river cruises. That is a 7.1% increase compared to 2011. Sales of ocean cruises were up 11.3% to EUR 2.6 billion in 2012, according to a study by the German Travel Association (DRV). “Cruises are an indispensable addition to the very diverse travel market,” says Richard J. Vogel, Chief Executive of TUI Cruises and Chairman of the DRV Shipping Committee.
In the first half-year of the 2013 cruising season, 91 cruise ships called at the Port of Hamburg, with a total of 271,317 passengers, an increase of 23.8% (versus 219,153 passengers for the same period in 2012). With rapid growth in passenger numbers continuing, Hamburg is expected to reach the half-million-passenger mark this year. The importance of Hamburg as one of the most appealing and fastest growing cruise destinations is emphasised by Seatrade Europe, Europe’s leading cruise industry exhibition, which is held here every other year. “Seatrade Europe is the most important international cruise industry convention outside of the USA,” says Bernd Aufderheide, President and CEO Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH. “This is where the industry’s decision makers and insiders meet, discuss things, and set new trends. Practically all the leading cruise lines will be there.”
Discussions with Duffy, Lefebvre d’Ovidio, Ungerer, Vago and Vogel
Over 200 exhibitors from 50 nations will be presenting their products and services at the Hamburg Fair site from 24 to 26 September. They include shipyards, F&B suppliers, hotel outfitters, tourism organisations and cruise ports. More than 500 delegates from all parts of the world will participate in the conference. The focus will be on subjects such as safety on board, and the use of new environmental technologies. Speakers include Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, Chairman CLIA Europe, Christine Duffy, President and CEO CLIA International, and the CEOs of many leading cruise lines. Such as Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman MSC Cruises; Michael Ungerer, President AIDA Cruises; Richard J. Vogel, CEO TUI Cruises; David Dingle, CEO Carnival UK and Dominic Paul, Vice President & Group MD Europe, Middle East and Africa, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises & Azamara Club Cruises, and Managing Director, RCL Cruises Limited
High safety standards on cruise ships
Safety on cruise ships has been at the focus of public attention since the Costa Concordia disaster at the beginning of 2012. One thing is for certain – safety standards in the cruise industry are high. The regulations were tightened further in response to the Concordia disaster – Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the world’s largest cruise industry association, initiated the Global Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review (OSR). “As a result of that we introduced a large number of new safety regulations – each of them going beyond the strict international regulations, and each of them accepted by all CLIA members,” says Michael Ungerer, President AIDA Cruises and Chairman CLIA Deutschland. A new event at Seatrade Europe is a Care Awareness Training Session. It is a safety seminar developed by Cunard Line, Costa Crociere, Ibero Cruceros and P&O Cruises in cooperation with Higher Resources, and specifically targets Port Agents and representatives of shore-based emergency services which take on important tasks in emergencies and in response to crisis situations, providing support to passengers and crews.
Opportunities and challenges for suppliers and service providers
The cruise market in Europe is more successful than ever before. But what will the future bring? What are the opportunities and risks in the market? A special highlight on 25 September will be a unique cooperative venture by Meyer Werft and Royal Caribbean International. These two giants of the industry will hold a joint workshop on Opportunities and Challenges for Suppliers and Service Providers. Current and potential suppliers and service providers can find out there how best to cooperate with shipyards and cruise lines.
Seatrade Insider Cruise Awards 2013
Another highlight of Seatrade Europe is the presentation of the 7th edition of the Seatrade Insider Cruise Awards 2013. The presentation ceremony will be held on Tuesday 24 September, during the opening conference session. The awards are presented in six categories; particular attention will go to the Environmental Award, which honours innovative sustainability solutions in the cruise industry.