Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2024

48 Expedition essentials Alice Chambers asks eight senior executives from expedition cruise lines how they use specialised ship designs, equipment and solutions to deliver safe, adventurous and environmentally friendly voyages Expedition cruising is on the rise. According to the Expedition Cruise Network’s (ECN)’s Insights Report 2023/2024, 71 per cent of expedition cruise operators recorded an increase in business in 2023, and 94 per cent expect it to grow further in 2024. The network attributes this to the post-pandemic realisation that it is unwise to put off bucket-list trips. This surge in interest underscores the necessity for operators to invest in specialised systems and equipment to ensure safety and sustainability when taking guests to remote regions of the world. “To provide an exceptional expedition experience, guest safety must always be a top priority,” says Akvile Marozaite, CEO of ECN. “Some of the highest-rated expedition cruise experiences, such as kayaking and snorkelling, expose guests to the elements. Specialist equipment, that meets various safety specifications and standards, needs to be available, especially in remote regions with limited or nonexistent specialist supplies.” As part of Cruise & Ferry’s new partnership with the ECN – which will, beginning in our next issue, which will see the introduction of a dedicated expedition section in our next issue – we ask eight senior executives from its member lines to provide their insights into how specialised systems and designs help them to achieve optimal nautical performance, onboard experiences and excursions. How do ship design, safety tools and navigation technology contribute to the nautical performance of an expedition vessel? Søren Rasmussen: Sister ships Ocean Albatros and Ocean Victory are rated Ice Class 1A, meaning they can operate in difficult ice conditions Photo: Doug Gimesy Heritage Expeditions offers itineraries in destinations such as Fiordland in New Zealand, through its relationships with conservationist programmes FEATURE