This Week in Cruise Recovery: Seatrade Week Updates and More

Last week, cruise industry executives, shipbuilders, suppliers and cruise-selling travel advisors came together in Miami Beach, FL, at the Seatrade Cruise Global conference—"in person" for the first time in more than a year. 

Travel Agent spoke to a number of executives one-on-one about their line's restart, status of operations, challenges and opportunities. Among them was Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. She tells us the restart is going "extraordinarily wel" and that the line's recent new marketing is aimed at new-to-cruise travelers. 

Many lines conducted press conferences announcing new ships, rebranding and other updates. Travel Agent spoke to Charles B. Robertson, president and CEO, American Cruise Lines, about the line's decision to refit, rebrand and redesign the four paddlewheelers in the line's 13-ship fleet. ACL has tapped Miami's Studio DADO for that redesign. He says that loyal guest feedback on the first ship to sport the update was "extremely favorable, so we viewed this as a very useful evolution of ship design.”

American Queen Steamboat Company and Victory Cruise Lines announced that they're becoming one brand—American Queen Voyages—and also opening a new HQ in Fort Lauderdale, FLShawn Bierdz, president, and Kari Tarnowski, senior vice president, marketing and sales, provided insight about the developments for advisors. 

Emerald Cruises, part of Scenic Group, is building a second superyacht, Emerald SakaraTravel Agent chatted one-on-one with David Winterton, global director of brand and marketing, about the new vessel. It will sail to the Seychelles, a new destination for the brand, before joining sister ships Emerald Azzurra in operating voyages within the Mediterranean, Adriatic, Red and Black Seas.

In addition, Ponant launched Le Commandant Charcot last week in Le Havre, France, and Travel Agent spoke with Navin Sawhney, CEO Americas, about the new high-polar expedition ship and marketplace trends. He believes a voyage's ability to couple a sense of exploration, deeper discovery and eco-preservation is a powerful guest draw.

Look for additional executive interviews this week with Carol Cabezas, president of Azamara, and Alberto Aliberti, president, Atlas Ocean Voyages.

More News

Left to right are Cruise Planners' executives Scott Koepf, Michelle Fee, Theresa Scalzitti and Brian Shultz
Left to right: ​​Cruise Planners' executives Scott Koepf, Michelle Fee, Theresa Scalzitti and Brian Shultz. (Photo by Cruise Planners)

On the trade side, Cruise Planners kicked off its 2021 "Back to the Future" conference in Cancun, Mexico on Saturday. It was the travel agency franchise group's first in-person conference since the pandemic began. Most notably, Cruise Planners announced 20 new projects, enhancements or tools. Some 600 travel advisors and 100 suppliers are attending the five-day conference. 

In the cruise industry's "return to service," Hurtigruten plans to return to Antarctica with Roald Amundsen departing from Punta Arenas, Chile, on November 25 and Fram, setting sail from the same port on December 14. Due to travel restrictions, Fridtjof Nansen, will alternately offer expedition cruises to the coast of Norway from Hamburg, Germany.

Sister publication Luxury Travel Advisor also reported that Seabourn Encore will return to service earlier than expected. 

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