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Expedition and Small Ship Cruising: A View from The Bridge

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In what should have been another year of incredible growth for Expedition and Small Ship Cruising, Seatrade Cruise Virtual hosted a panel in October that highlighted quite a different story.

Now, as 2020 comes to an end, we're looking back at the "Expedition and Small Ship Cruising: A View from The Bridge" session, a panel discussion led by Seatrade Cruise Expedition Ambassador Liz Gammon. Expedition experts discussed COVID-19's impact on operations starting back in March. They spoke openly about the challenges they faced, how they remained agile in a time of crisis, and some of the positives they found along the way.

With the situation changing on what feels like a daily basis, it can be daunting to figure out how to prepare for the future. So, instead, let's highlight the resilience we've seen from small ship and expedition cruise lines. Our panelists said it best – here are just­ a few of the positive messages they're bringing to the New Year as we look ahead to 2021.

'We strongly believe that we're going to work everything out when we start our first voyage; we expect to have all of those things accomplished. It's been tough. It's been hard. Don't give up; keep pushing.'

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Emilio Freeman, Vice President, Itineraries & Destinations, SeaDream Yacht Club

'If I look to next year, the bookings look excellent. I think clients in our area are almost addicted to these experiences, and we have seen a rebooking rate of about 80% of cancellations.'

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Hans Lagerweij, President, Albatros Travel/Albatros Expeditions

'I've been extremely grateful for the opportunity to sit back, not necessarily work less, but sit back and make those connections with my colleagues because I know that it's only going to make our industry stronger than ever once we're back in the water. So, we need to continue looking at our overarching organizations to steer us because we have this opportunity to come together. And I think we're doing a great job…I think that we work in an extremely creative industry and we know how to think on our feet, and we're excellent problem solvers. I believe that the 2021 season is totally doable.'

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Alana Bradley-Swan, Director of Product, Adventure Canada

‘The message that I've received here is one of positivity. It's one of the needs for flexibility on the ground, rules, and regulations, and you're all chomping at the bit you want to get going!’

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Liz Gammon, Creative Cruise Consulting, LizGammon.com

'I think we all know, as we sit in our bookings, we have guests dying to leave their home. They want to go to travel. They want to experience the world, and we just have to wait. As soon as science allows us to make the right decisions, we will be back without a doubt. I think the demand and the desire to want to travel is going to be even greater soon as we are.'

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Robin West, Vice President, Expedition Operations, Seabourn Cruise Line

 

So, what do our experts believe the future holds for expedition travel? Listen to this week’s Seatrade Cruise Talks Podcast to find outAt this moment in time, one thing is for sure -- passengers are incredibly eager for these experiences, and they can't wait to get out there and travel.

Want more expedition cruising? Join us for a two-day virtual conference taking place 8-9 March, dedicated to all things expedition cruising: Seatrade Cruise Virtual - Expedition Cruising.

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