Cruises ‘more competitive travel option’ says ICS

Traditional travel options of flights and hotels have witnessed exorbitant price rises in recent years

Cruises ‘more competitive travel option’ says ICS


ICS 2023 took place on 14 and 15 November in Madrid, Spain

By Laura Hyde |

Cruises have emerged as a ‘more competitive option’ than traditional travel choices amid soaring flight and hotel prices, according to industry leaders and executives speaking at the International Cruise Summit (ICS). 

ICS 2023, hosted on 14 and 15 November, explored the strengths of the cruise industry with the summit highlighting ‘a favourable resurgence’ in cruising with passenger figures for 2023 on course to surpass 2019’s figures. Passenger numbers are also projected for a further 20 per cent increase by 2024. 

Executives from over 25 cruise lines joined representatives from ports, tour operators, travel agents, shipping agents, consultants and other companies worldwide at ICS 2023 in Madrid, Spain. Key discussions focused on the impact of new European immigration regulations, mental health considerations for both crew and passengers, and the industry's responsiveness to the LGBTQ+ community. 

Attendees discussed the introduction of the new European Union immigration regulation by European Border and Coast Guard Agency Frontex, which will involve the implementation of a border control Entry/Exit system within a year. This regulation will involve taking the biometric measurements and fingerprints of non-European citizens from outside the Schengen area, which will require significant adjustments to controls in cruise terminals. 

The summit also highlighted ongoing sustainability programmes and plans to install shore power in the coming years.  

ICS 2024 is scheduled for 12 and 13 November at the Hotel Meliá Castilla in Madrid. 

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