This Week in Cruise: Soaring Sales, New CLIA Chair and More

Cruise sales are soaring and the cruise industry is preparing for a record-breaking year, according to travel insurance marketplace Squaremouth. The industry also has a new captain at its helm. Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) announced that Jason Liberty, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group, is its new chairman. He follows Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises S.A., who had served as chairman since January 2021.

After shifting Star Legend from the Middle East to the Mediterranean this winter, Windstar Cruises has received positive feedback and an influx of bookings, so it will keep the ship in the region next winter as well. That will signify the line's first-ever, year-round operations in the Mediterranean

MSC Group’s recently announced $100 million investment in Miami-Dade County will bring approximately 250 South Florida-based team members from MSC Cargo, MSC Cruises and Explora Journeys under one roof in a new facility. That will be within Block 55 at Sawyer’s Walk in downtown Miami.

More Cruise Developments

Lindblad Expedition-National Geographic has introduced two new ways to explore Antarctica—a roundtrip flight to King George Island, totally avoiding the Drake Passage transit, as well as an option to fly one way and cruise the Drake the other way. Separately, this summer, Seabourn Odyssey is heading to Alaska for its final summer season as part of the Seabourn fleet.

Ensemble continues to expand its footprint in the luxury travel sector with the announcement of new partnerships with Crystal Cruises and Tully Luxury Travel. Another trade group, Cruise Planners, announced more than 25 in-person events for franchise owners and their advisors in 2024.

On the river cruise front, AmaWaterways has introduced a limited-time offer of complimentary pre- or post-cruise land packages on select Europe river cruises in 2024 and 2025; the offer is available until March 31, 2024. In a Nile River expansion, Abercrombie & Kent is building a new, fifth ultra-lux river vessel, which will begin sailing in 2025.

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