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On the eve of Seatrade Europe, Hamburg is in full bloom

L-R: Chris Hayman, Michael Ungerer, Bernd Aufderheide and Daniel Thiriet
As the cruise community gathers in sunny Hamburg for the opening of Seatrade Europe 2015, Bernd Aufderheide, president and ceo, Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH; Chris Hayman, chairman, Seatrade UBM EMEA; Michael Ungerer, president, CLIA Germany; and Daniel Thiriet, vp, IG RiverCruise, discussed at a media briefing the key topics for the September 9-11 event at Hamburg Messe und Congress.

Aufderheide was enthusiastic about the 8th edition of the event.

‘This year’s event will see over 250 exhibitors from more than 50 countries around the world showcasing innovations and exhibiting their products and services. We also have the supplier workshop where senior buyers from Meyer Werft, together with Meyer Turku Oy and Neptun Werft, will network with suppliers to the cruise lines. More than 90 suppliers from all over the world have registered for this workshop.’

Seatrade Europe also continues to be the only event of its kind in the world which includes river cruising.

Ungerer gave participants an update on the latest figures for the cruise industry in Germany, acknowledging that ‘the German cruise market in the past few years has been a success story’ and is now second in the world, behind the US, with over 1.7m Germans going on a cruise in 2014. The success also continues, with 6.4m Europeans booking a cruise in 2014, which represents about 34% of all cruise bookings worldwide, he continued.

Ungerer also noted the challenges faced by the industry in making cruising ‘more sustainable’.

‘We have a lot of innovative ideas coming along making each ship better than the one before. Many of the CLIA member lines are supporting these political efforts with most using scrubbers for sulphur removal, but ports, too, have to do more for the environment with cruise ships spending 40% of their operating time in port.’

The exhibition is complemented by a high level conference programme, where over 600 delegates have registered to hear from many of the leading cruise line executives.

The State of the Industry opening conference session, taking place Wednesday morning, will include a keynote address delivered by CLIA Europe chairman Pierfrancesco Vago. Moderator for the opening session will be the international journalist and broadcaster Todd Benjamin.

Other sessions include: Europe’s River Cruise Industry, Design for the Future, Understanding the Cruise Industry: How Can the Pan European Dialogue Create a Platform for Sustainable Growth, Finance for Ocean and River Cruise, Cruise Itinerary & Shorex Development in Europe, The Regulatory Framework for Cruise Operators in European Waters and a European Source Market Round Table.