The 12th edition of the International Cruise Summit recently concluded in Madrid with cruise lines confident of an “extraordinary” 2023 despite rising costs and staff shortages.
Organized by Cruise News Media Group, the event is considered one of Europe’s leading cruise conferences attended by leading managers and executives from cruise lines, ports, shipping agents and other companies in the sector from all over the world.
During the two-day event, executives underlined the sector’s resilience in 2022 amid the various international challenges, having actively recovered but without occupancy levels yet reaching their peak.
Moreover, in the last three years the industry has welcomed new high-capacity ships with the latest environmentally friendly technologies while older, smaller and inefficient ships have been scrapped consequently creating new places.
Speakers at the summit noted that even though occupancy levels are not yet fully recovered, and more places are now available, cruise lines have committed to not lowering prices, which would devalue a product that offers exceptional value for money.
In addition, cruisers are also facing a rise in operating costs and fuel costs that have never been experienced before.
Other key takeaways of the event were:
- Combating the myths that damage the reputation of cruise ships is a short to medium term goal can be achieved by highlighting issues like health safety, companies’ commitment to reducing environmental impact and cruises’ economic value.
- The lack of flights or their low frequency on certain routes is still being experienced but more ports of embarkation are now being chosen, as well as the option of passenger transport by train or even bus.
- The shortage phenomenon is occurring in several areas of the supply chain but the industry expects normality to return as economic activity continues to grow.
- Sustainability has pushed cruise companies into researching new energy sources, such as hydrogen, ammonia or methanol, with prototypes designed to come on stream in the next few years.
- Although 34 percent of current cruise travelers are Generation C and millennials, communication about the value of cruises must continue to improve, in order to increase this percentage.
The 13th International Cruise Summit will take place in Madrid on November 14 – 15, 2023.