Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2023

67 cruise operators, it is seeing significant pent-up demand following the pandemic, with several record booking days in the past 12 months. “Longer itineraries are proving extremely popular, specifically those in Asia and Australasia – people have missed visiting these parts of the world in recent years and are keen to get back,” says Carter. “Visiting by sea is one of the most immersive and relaxing ways of doing so. We are seeing people booking higherend accommodations and also further in advance – having missed out on travel in the past couple of years, they are ready to get back out there, and are willing to pay for an upgraded experience.” The successful OceaniaNEXT programme is a continual quest to evolve and elevate the fleet, products and experiences offered, to entice first-timers to sail and keep loyal guests returning time and time again. Carter believes that the signature onboard experience is better than ever, with the reconceptualised culinary and beverage programmes elevating the onboard experience. He notes that there is still more to be revealed throughout the course of 2023. In tandem with an ever-growing fleet, Oceania Cruises is also investing to meet its sustainability goals and initiatives. Along with the two other Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings brands it has committed to pursuing net-zero emission by 2050 and to developing short-term greenhouse gas reduction targets to support its path to net zero. Oceania Cruises’ market-leading sustainability programme includes removing plastic straws and water bottles, introducing sustainable self-created water supplies onboard, using the cleanest available fuels based on each ship’s capabilities, and planning itineraries in a way that reduces the need for higher speeds, thus decreasing emissions. When asked for his thoughts on what the future holds for the cruise industry, Carter says he firmly believes that there’s so much to offer both seasoned cruise guests and those choosing a holiday at sea for the very first time. “Cruise is one of the most innovative and exciting parts of the global travel industry,” he says. “Looking at the innovation in onboard and land programmes, developments in sustainability initiatives, incredible itineraries on offer, and the value for money offered in comparison to land-based alternatives, the future is very bright.”