Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning 2024

72 ASSOCIATION HIGHLIGHTS: REPORT Love thy neighbour MedCruise took its roadshow to Bulgaria in a show of support for its Black Sea port partners. Jon Ingleton joined cruise executives and the association’s membership to report on proceedings The 63rd MedCruise General Assembly in Burgas underlined the deep sense of community and empathy among the membership and the wider cruise community, particularly for the member nations and their near neighbours currently struggling through, or impacted by, conflicts and natural disasters. It was entirely appropriate that this General Assembly convened in Bulgaria, a country whose ports have lost their cruise business due to a series of unfortunate events. We reminded ourselves of the resilience and fortitude demonstrated by those affected as delegates observed a minute’s silence. ‘Navigating choppy waters’ was a sombre but meaningful session as the assembled panellists shared their thoughts on how to overcome the geo-political risks that are impacting cruise regions and ports. The cruise line representatives on the panel emphasised the importance of flexibility. “We have to be very flexible with all of the situations around the world,” said Frederique Patry, senior manager of itinerary planning at Silversea Cruises. Emilio Freeman, vice president of itineraries and destinations at SeaDream Yacht Club, really needed a bigger audience for his wise counsel, “There’s always a solution for a difficult situation if you dig deep enough.” The headline conference session title reiterated the most human of responses The membership of MedCruise gathered in Burgas, Bulgaria, for the 63rd General Assembly