This Week in Cruise: Seatrade Week Begins, New Luxury Moves

Cruise line executives, travel industry leaders, tourism board officials, travel advisors and media have begun arriving in South Florida for this week’s annual Seatrade Cruise Global conference. During Tuesday's General Session, top cruise company executives will offer their “State of the Global Cruise Industry” insight. Look for our coverage of the show this week from the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center.

Pre-conference events are under way now. On Sunday, Holland America Line’s President Gus Antorcha hosted media including Travel Agent aboard Nieuw Amsterdam at Port Everglades, FL. He and others talked about the brand’s 150th anniversary, its premium cruise approach, and what’s new on the culinary and deployment fronts. 

Luxury Developments

The new Crystal, owned by A&K Travel Group, has launched an “Exceptional Initiative.” While this new luxury cruise line has no legal obligation to reimburse guests for monies lost when the former owners of Crystal Cruises ceased operating, it's making an effort to assist. Eligible guests who hold a verified claim in the Crystal Cruises LLC court case against the former ownership will be able to apply for a credit to use toward future Crystal voyages on board either Crystal Symphony or Crystal Serenity.  

Silversea Cruises will add more suites—including two new categories of suites—to Silver Endeavour, as the expedition ship heads for drydock later this week. Sister publication Luxury Travel Advisor has more information about what's planned

Windstar Cruises is partnering with the National Health Association (NHA) to create a new vegan menu onboard its luxury fleet, starting in June 2023. The new, plant-based, gluten-free offerings will also be prepared without added salt, oil and sugar.

SeaDream Yacht Club has partnered with a global operator to offer National Geographic Day Tours in 11 destinations in 2023. These small group experiences will provide for more immersive exploring in: Amalfi, Naples and Sorrento, Italy; Barcelona, Spain; Corfu, Rhodes, Mykonos and Santorini, Greece; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Funchal, Madeira Island, Portugal; and Kusadasi, Turkey. 

Executive Changes

In other news, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) promoted David Herrera who will become the brand’s new president effective April 1, 2023. Currently in that post, Harry Sommer was promoted to president and CEO of parent company, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH), effective July 1, 2023. Both moves follow the announcement that Frank J. Del Rio, current NCLH president and CEO, will retire on June 30, 2023. 

New on Global Rivers

On the river cruise front, Scenic has added a 15-day “Christmas & New Year's” voyage from Amsterdam to Budapest on December 19, 2023. It also will offer earlier-than-usual Christmas Market cruises on the Danube and the Rhine rivers.

Viking will introduce a new “Paris and D-Day 80th Anniversary” voyage on France's Seine River in 2024.

Due to strong demand for its first “Soulful Epicurean Experience,” celebrating African/Black history and culture, AmaWaterways has added three more cruises with that focus this year—two in Europe, one in Egypt.

Recently, Travel Agent sailed along the Mississippi River during the American Queen Voyages' “President’s Cruise.” Sailing were Cindy D’Aoust, the line’s president; John Waggoner, founder and CEO; Angela Composto, vice president of sales; and Regina Charboneau, culinary ambassador. The executives provided insight into the AQV product, culinary enhancements and more.

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