As the cruise industry continues to enjoy unprecedented growth, we shine a light on five of the top developments and cruise lines to look out for in the coming year, all of which are bookable with our industry-leading cruise booking technology.
A Swell of Ocean Ships
All major lines are adding to their collection, with a steady supply of ships due to set sail in the next few years. In 2019, Traveltek partner, MSC Cruises, will unveil two new vessels. The 4,500 passenger MSC Bellissima will be named in Southampton in March, followed by the launch of MSC Grandiosa in November.
River is on the Rise
River cruise is very much à la mode at the moment and there’s set to be a host of new arrivals to the river cruise scene in 2019. A number of the major players within the market are already part of our growing network such as Amadeus River Cruises, Riviera Travel and CriosiEurope. However, one in particular to watch this year is one of our newest partners, AMAWaterways. The latest addition to their assortment of boats is the AMAMagna, which launches on the Danube in May. This larger than life boat is twice the width of regular river cruise vessels and promises to bring a new dimension to river cruising with four dining venues, a water sports platform and luxury accommodation.
High Seas, High Tech
Cruise lines are going digital with new high-tech toys that promise to revolutionise the customer cruise experience. MSC is once again at the forefront with the launch of Zoe, hailed as the world’s first virtual persona cruise assistant, on the new MSC Bellissima. The artificial intelligence voice-activated aid will be able to answer hundreds of customer’s questions about their cruise. Another prominent player available with our cruise booking technology, Royal Caribbean, is investing in this space too with the enhancement of its Excalibur technology platform which promises to provide a more streamlined customer experience, with accelerated check-in, simplified embarkation and disembarkation, and the ability to book on board products and services in advance of sailing.
It’s not all about new ships. A number of key cruise lines have also pledged to invest in their existing vessels with new styles and functionality. Celebrity Cruises, also available on the Traveltek platform, has embarked on a $500 million “reimagining” of its fleet, bringing features from its newest ship, Celebrity Edge, to existing vessels. Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines have also announced or embarked on fleet refurbishment plans, all of which will be bookable by Traveltek’s global client base.
The popularity of Far East cruises shows no signs of waning with many lines adding to its sailings within the region. Three lines, integrated within our platform, who are showing particular growth within Asia-Pacific are Oceania Cruises, adding to their Japan sailings; Uniworld, venturing to the Yangtze river and Avalon Waterways, bringing cruises to the Indian Ganges river.
Statistics back up the fact that cruise is on the rise with CLIA estimating that 30 million people will cruise globally in 2019, a 40% growth over the last five years. Now is the time to invest, and if you’re looking to dip your toes in the cruising market then why not choose to partner with a system that provides the largest range of aggregated cruise content, all within one platform? As an authority within the industry, we pride ourselves on offering expert advice to transform the businesses we work with. Get in touch with Traveltek’s team of specialists to help you today.