‘It’s down to tighter port management to control the levels of cruise ships calling at the same time’, Vass continued.
'It has an impact not only on local port life but also detracts from the passenger experience,’ he said.
Multiple panelists discussed the role authenticity plays in creating memorable shore side experiences for passengers and the challenges faced by ships with greater passenger capacity.
‘Better to talk about what you can’t make authentic, said JP Salazar manager land programs for The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. ‘You can’t take 800 people to a small location and expect them to have an authentic experience. We need to split groups up’, he said.
‘Authenticity is not about manufactured or vacation ready experiences. Authenticity is different to everyone,' Salazar continued.
‘It’s important to work with the local industry. We must preserve as much of the authentic experience as possible. Big cruise lines have a bigger challenge to offer something authentic, to offer a sense of connection.
‘Memories are made in the conversations you have with someone local,’ Salazar added.
Deliver authentic experience
It’s important to teach guests about local culture and history, creating a story of the people never told, added Conard Combrink, svp strategic development expeditions for Silversea Cruises.
‘We need to define the experience to allow connection with the local community or people from that destination. These experiences allow guests to meet with the real community’, Combrink continued.
‘We work with partners in the local community to offer a true experience of major events that shaped their history, immersing them in the culture and of the experience,’ added Combrink.
‘We need to craft shore excursions’, continued Combink. ‘We need to come up with experiences that avoid the crowds.’
Vass described this as a ‘greed issue’, where ports were ‘focusing too heavily on the amount of vessels being allowed in at the same time.’
‘We need to look at the alternative options to offer tours outside of the city for repeat guests. We need to promote experiences to encourage guests to take tours outside of the local area, Salazar added.