Cruise & Ferry Review - Autumn/Winter 2022

4 4 Once the preserve of the wealthy, luxury cruises are becoming popular with a younger and wider demographic of travellers who want to explore the world’s most exclusive destinations and participate in unique experiences, all while sailing on upscale vessels staffed by crew members who will cater to their every need. A growing number of cruise brands have entered both the luxury ocean and expedition cruise markets to satisfy this demand, but as competition grows, how can they differentiate themselves and position themselves as segment leaders? Six presidents and CEOs from some of the world’s most renowned luxury cruise brands share their insights in the following pages. Many brands describe their cruise product as luxurious, but what defines a true ‘luxury’ cruise experience? MG: To provide guests with a truly luxurious and memorable experience, our ‘software’ and ‘hardware’ offerings must equally complement one another. Hardware, such as accommodation, public spaces and dining venues, must be high-quality and exclusive. However, it’s a cruise line’s ability to understand guests on a personal level and offer a high degree of hospitality by paying attention to little details that will essentially create the overall luxurious cruise experience. JL: Luxury clients want smaller ships with less people, no crowds, open tables (outside), and space to relax and enjoy themselves. However, a true luxury cruise is about so much more than just offering incredible accommodation and impeccable service, it’s also about developing an emotional connection with guests. RM: The term luxury is ever evolving and is essentially defined by those that are seeking it, so we must listen and respond to travellers’ needs and requirements as they change. Travellers in this segment now value experiences over commodities, and authenticity is the true currency of luxury. Consequently, it’s crucial to deliver convenient, highly personalised services and a comprehensive all-inclusive Rebecca Gibson asks six cruise executives how they are combining innovative ships, personalised services and exclusive experiences to ensure they remain at the forefront of the luxury sector Setting new standards in luxury cruising ROUNDTABLE Contributors: CHRI STOPHER PRELOG President, Windstar Cruises DOUGL AS PROTHERO CEO, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection ANDREA Z ITO CEO, Swan Hellenic MICHAEL GOH President, Resorts World Cruises JOSH LEIBOWITZ President, Seabourn ROBERTO MART INOL I President and CEO, Silversea Cruises