Expedition Cruise Network
ECN’s CEO Akvile Marozaite (left) and co-founder and chairman Martin Johnson (right)
The Expedition Cruise Network (ECN), a new membership organisation dedicated to the expedition cruise sector, has been launched.
The network aims to become a global organisation, connecting expedition cruise operators and providing information to inform, educate and promote their products to the global travel-trade community.
The network's CEO is Akvile Marozaite, a luxury expedition cruise specialist with over 12 years in the sector, while Martin Johnson, founder of Latin Routes and Polar Routes, is the co-founder and chairman. Johnson currently works with 22 expedition cruise brands and will lead the B2B organisation.
The ECN will have three categories of members: Expedition Cruise Members, Travel Trade Members, and Associate Members. The network launches with 11 Expedition Cruise Members, including AE Expeditions, Albatros Expeditions, Australis, Hapag Lloyd Cruises, Hurtigruten, Intrepid, Latin Trails, Lindblad Expeditions, Ponant, Quark Expeditions, and Swan Hellenic.
"While the expedition cruise sector has developed significantly over recent years, it is still hugely underrepresented,” said Martin Johnson. “Consumers who have not yet been on an expedition cruise do not realise what an incredible way of traveling it is. As the sector matures, it's important it has its own, authoritative industry voice to advocate on key topics including challenges to the sector and sustainability, as well as key trends and data.”
“The first objective for the organisation is to create a great database of travel trade professionals who either already sell expedition cruising or have an interest to,” said Akvile Marozaite. “Our travel trade members will benefit from access to our directory of expedition cruise members including key contacts, destination information, customised webinars and learning opportunities, events, fam trips, and more."
"Sustainability will also play an ever-growing role, and the sector must grow hand in hand with its commitment to meet UN targets to become zero emissions by 2050," Marozaite said. "As an organisation, we will support our expedition cruise and travel trade members by providing educational tools and keeping the sustainability topic at the front of all we do."
The network's advisory panel of 12 expedition cruise members will steer the ECN to ensure it delivers value to its members and achieves its key objectives. The ECN will also create an annual insights report based on the feedback of travel trade members to aid its membership in making decisions on a variety of key aspects from the expedition cruising market.