Jamaica aims increase cruise passenger numbers to 2.3-2.5 million by 2020 (Image: Port Authority of Jamaica)
Thursday 8th March
• Conversations with Bureau Veritas are always informative, the organisation has a shrewd sense of the market and a canny knack of simplifying complex issues. The affable communications director for the Marine and Offshore Division Nick Brown was on hand to share some highlights and introduce me to Silenseas at the stand next door
• Silenseas, powered by Solid Sail, is a smart cruise ship concept from STX France. The appeal of niche cruise markets is high, and a sail and rig holiday ticks boxes for sailing enthusiasts and environmentalists alike. Perhaps this is one concept ship that might have some commercial merit – US$150 millon each apparently
• There’s a new tableware player in the market: Hering Berlin offers contemporary pieces with a classical edge. Its collections provide good options for every market sector, though luxury lines may opt for custom designs. With such a strong offer, Marco Veth and Jochen Staehler, who both attended the conference for the first time this year, will make a formidable team
• The Singapore Tourist Board and Cruise Lines International Association are collaborating to train travel agents and support destination marketing activity to accelerate cruise growth in the region
• Conscious of the shortage of yard capacity, Viking Ocean Cruises has moved to secure its growth by placing an order for a further six ocean cruise ships with Fincantieri, to be delivered between 2024 and 2027
• The folk at Princess Cruises have a lot going on in 2018, but at SCG, conversations inevitably turned to its next delivery, Sky Princess, which will be the fourth Royal-class ship when she debuts in 2019. A fifth will follow in 2020
• The charms of Klaipeda have been working on cruise passengers – 61 confirmed calls for 2018, matching the 62 achieved in 2017, and up 10 from the 51 in 2016
• SCG first-timers Dauerflora had a busy week on the German pavilion. The company’s seasonal decoration services are proving increasingly popular with cruise and ferry operators seeking to outsource this task for a significantly more impressive result
• Martinique Tourism Authority emerged unscathed from hurricanes Irma and Maria last September and reported a 70% increase on its forecasted 2014 calls in the 2017-2018 season
• Cruise Norway and its members gave visitors to their pavilion the warm welcome that is the trademark of a call into Norwegian ports. Most of the 36 member destinations have port and/or destination investment programmes underway to protect and grow their cruise business throughout the year
• The folks at Dublin Port are still busy working towards their 2040 masterplan with £132 million of investment planned for 2018, following a £75 million spend last year. Calls were up to 127 in 2017 and passenger volumes up 32%
• In advance of a trip to Jamaica later this month I listened in to the latest news from the island’s tourism minister, the Honourable Edmund Bartlett, who aims to increase cruise passenger numbers to 2.3-2.5 million by 2020. He said: “Port Antonio is going to be a very important port of call for us as we try to develop that as a boutique port of call location. It’s very palatable for us to consider the importance of Kingston as a new destination.”
• You can rely on TVV Marine Lighting’s project manager Aldona Mäkinen to meet a deadline with an innovative solution, even during a busy event like SCG. She was there to show why TVV Marine Lighting has built a solid reputation for delivering high-quality custom solutions. 3D-printing now enables the company to model samples and implement design changes faster and cheaper
• A visit to the Australian Cruise Association provided a good opportunity to meet new chairman Grant Gilfillan, and hear the latest news on the building progress of Brisbane’s AUS$158 million international cruise terminal.
The only frustration about SCG is the shortage of time. Every year I arrive with a meticulous plan to eek out the best value from every minute. And every year I leave wondering how I must have capitulated again to miss so many opportunities. But that is the beauty and the beast of this fairytale week.
Read ICFR's highlights from the first and second days at SCG, as well as the best bits from the third and fourth days.
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