Seatrade Cruise News is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

BLOG: Tech trends in cruise

Untitled design (5).png
The use of technology in the cruise industry has become increasingly important in the last 10 years. Most cruise lines now have an app through which guests can interact with them before, during and after their trip. Smart technology has given rise to keyless cabin entry, the ability to order F&B from anywhere on board and more. These are perhaps the most recognisable examples of the way in which tech is being used to improve the cruise experience. There are many more, with recent tech trends in cruise including the use of virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The Rise Of Virtual And Augmented Reality (VR / AR)

Some cruise lines have begun to use VR to deliver virtual tours of destinations and AR for enhanced games and activities. Both have the potential to revolutionise the cruise industry in a number of ways. These technologies can be used to augment the guest experience, improve ship operations, and to increase revenue.

VR and AR can be leveraged to provide immersive experiences and activities that are not possible with traditional technology. For example, VR can be used to create virtual excursions or shore tours that guests can take while on the ship. These might include visiting historic sites or natural landmarks that are otherwise inaccessible. AR can be used to enhance existing excursions and shore tours by providing guests with additional information about the places they are visiting through overlaid images and text.

Both VR and AR can also be used to improve ship operations; for example, VR can be used for training purposes. AR can be used to provide real-time information to crew members about the ship’s operations and guest needs. This can help improve safety, efficiency and ultimately, guest satisfaction.

From VR and AR, we move on to another acronym-based couplet…

Artificial Intelligence (AI) And Machine Learning (ML) Adoption Will Grow In Cruise

AI and ML are already being used in the cruise industry in a variety of ways. Some cruise lines are using AI-powered chatbots to interact with guests and assist them with information and bookings. These chatbots can also be used to make recommendations for activities and dining options based on the guests’ preferences and past behaviour.

Another way AI and ML are being used is in the operation of the ship itself. For example, AI-powered predictive maintenance can identify and fix problems with equipment before they cause disruptions. This can help reduce downtime and improve the overall efficiency of the ship. By analysing data on guest behaviour and preferences, cruise lines can also use AI to optimize the layout of the ship and to then allocate space to the areas that are most in demand.

On board security is also being enhanced via the analysis of data from cameras, facial recognition, and other sensors. These all aid in identifying threats, which in turn then allows for a quicker and more efficient response.

Data Analytics Will Be Embraced To A Greater Extent

The use of data analytics in cruise is also becoming increasingly important as it allows cruise lines to better understand guest preferences and behaviour. They can make data-driven decisions to improve the guest experience and to streamline operations. Examples of how data analytics is being used in the cruise industry include:

Personalisation: The analysis of guest data can lead to the creation of personalised experiences for guests. For example, accurate recommendations for dining options and activities can be made based on past preferences.

Marketing: Data analytics can be used to identify target markets and create more effective marketing campaigns.

Guest feedback: Cruise lines can use data to identify areas of improvement and then make changes to enhance the guest experience.

Operations: Data can also be used to optimise ship operations, such as scheduling maintenance and managing inventory.

Revenue management: Pricing and inventory management can be optimised, thus helping to maximise revenues.


Tech trends in cruise this year are likely to see further adoption of VR, AR, AI and ML. 2023 certainly seems to be the year of the acronym (!), but what other forms of technology might move to the fore?

Edge Computing

In cruise, this refers to the use of distributed computing resources on the “edge” of a cruise ship’s network, rather than in a centralised data centre. This can include on board servers, sensor networks, and other devices that can process data locally. By reducing or removing the need to send data back and forth to a remote location, it can be analysed in real-time. This could definitely improve the guest experience by allowing edge computing resources to improve passenger flow, wait times at restaurants and more.

Quantum Computing

This is a relatively new yet rapidly evolving field. It holds great promise for solving complex computational problems that are beyond the capabilities of ‘classical’ computers. In a cruise context, quantum computing could potentially be used in navigation and weather forecasting. As it can process large amounts of sensor data in real-time, it could provide more accurate and reliable information to the ship’s navigation and propulsion systems. It could also be used within cyber security applications. Quantum computing can be used to break codes and encryptions that classical computers cannot. This makes it an ideal solution for enhancing ship security and protecting vessels against cyber-attacks.

There are many tech trends in cruise that could thrive and emerge this year. We have assembled just a few of them and would love to hear your thoughts. What do you think will go on to become key?

This blog was written by IT Solutions & Services for Cruise & Travel | theICEway