In the global cruise marketplace only the United States beat Germany. Yet, the potential has not been fully realised as yet: "We want to pass the 2 million mark by 2016 and add another million passengers by 2020," says Michael Ungerer, President of CLIA Germany. The cruise craze is not limited to Germany, however. It has spread to all of Europe. 6.4 million Europeans took a cruise last year, 30,000 more than the year before. Growth is expected to continue this year. For the first time ever, forecasts expect more than 23 million cruise passengers in 2015.
An ideal background for Seatrade Europe, the leading trade event of the European cruise and rivercruise industry, which will take place at the Hamburg Messe fair site from 09 to 11 September. "This fair is the most important event of the international cruise industry outside of the USA. It provides a highly professional setting for sharing experiences, exploring new trends and doing business," says Bernd Aufderheide, CEO and President of Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH. From shipyards and ship chandlers to classification societies, tourism organisations, cruise ports and tour operators, Seatrade Europe is a gathering place for representatives from all segments of the value chain. More than 250 exhibitors from over 50 nations present themselves and their products and services for the cruise and rivercruise markets to industry visitors.
Numerous shared exhibition stands have already confirmed their participation in the Seatrade Europe exposition, including Cruise Europe, Medcruise, Puertos Del Estados (Spanish ports) and Destination Germany. The Cruise Industry Regular Table representing German suppliers will also be present. "At our stand we will not only showcase innovative products from all over Germany but also set-up a meeting point for the entire food and beverage segment represented at Seatrade," says Arno Ahrens of Steripower, a supplier of hygiene products. Ahrens oversees and manages the shared stand of several German companies from the segment. According to current plans, the Caribbean Village will feature the holiday destinations of Antigua, Aruba, Barbados, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica. "The Caribbean Village will be more visible at Seatrade Europe this year. Apart from highlighting twelve different destinations, it will host the most important representatives of the tourism sector, port authorities, tourism bureaus and tour operators. For the Caribbean, being present at Seatrade Europe is indispensable for building new relationships and intensify existing ones," says Julie-Anne Burrowes, Business Development Consultant for the joint marketing initiative. Furthermore, the high-calibre conference programme of Seatrade Europe will feature international experts providing profound insights into the fascinating cruise industry.
Shipyards are radiating confidence, as well: Order books for the period from 2015 to 2017 are currently listing 25 new vessels worth nearly 71,000 beds. Seven new cruise ships will set out on their first voyages in 2015. Most of these are sister ships of existing vessels, such as "Mein Schiff 4" of TUI Cruises or "Norwegian Escape" of the Norwegian Cruise Line. In mid-February, the "Anthem of the Seas" launched at Meyer Werft, Papenburg. With 168,600 tonnes and a 348 metre length, she is the largest cruise vessel ever built in Germany. Meanwhile Meyer Werft has received a number of new orders. The US-based Carnival Corporation group will have nine additional cruise ships built for several of its brands between 2019 and 2022. Five of these billion-dollar orders will go to the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, and four to Meyer Werft's shipyards in Germany and Finland.
Innovation takes centre stage on board the new ships. On the new "Britannia" delivered recently, the three-storey Atrium features the so-called "Starburst", an installation combining a chandelier with a sculpture as tall as the room itself. The art collection on board the new flagship of P&O Cruises will be worth more than EUR 1.2 million. On board "AIDAprima", however, everything revolves about sports. There is a covered beach club, a so-called 'Lazy River' for guests to float along leisurely, and a large sports deck with a 200 square metre ice rink. No less spectacular are the "MSC Seaside's" prospective on-board fun facilities with five water slides up to 112 metres long, various pools and a ropes course on the upper deck. "Quantum of the Seas", on the other hand, boasts a ball-shaped gondola similar to those of the London Eye, allowing passengers to enjoy the view from an altitude of 90 metres. Routes are becoming more varied, as well. The CLIA member companies alone call at nearly 1,000 different cruise ports around the world. Remote destinations and activity trips are in high demand. For example, passengers on board Poseidon Expeditions' four-star ship "Sea Spirit" are promised a unique expedition cruise into the Arctic or Antarctic.
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About Seatrade Europe
Seatrade Europe, the leading trade event of the European cruise and rivercruise industry, is held at Hamburg, Germany's famous seaport on the Elbe river. Industry decision-makers and professionals will meet to exchange ideas, set new trends and expand their business networks. Exhibitors include shipyards, ship chandlers, food and beverage suppliers, classification societies, cruise ports and shipbrokers, among others. From small-scale on-board hospitals to huge restaurant kitchens, from waste disposal to entertainment equipment, operations on board a cruise ship are highly complex, requiring perfect logistics. At the two-day conference held in parallel with the exhibition, high-level experts will discuss current industry topics. Seatrade Europe will open doors from 9 to 11 September 2015. For further information about Seatrade Europe 2015 please go to www-seatrade-europe.com