So said Olga Piqueras, MD, Intercruises Shoreside & Port Services when she discussed ‘The Cruising Ecosystem: Perspectives on Emerging Technologies Post-COVID-19’ at Seatrade Cruise Virtual this week.
‘It’s possible, by downloading an app on a smartphone, that you can hear what the guide is saying on headphones,’ she said, adding that the conventional manner of delivering tours ‘will never happen again, I would think, in the “new normal.”’
Contact tracing / push notifications
Piqueras went on to outline an app currently in development by Intercruises ‘where guests will be able to see real life situations of what’s happening around them... They can check on transfers, know how far transfers are from where they are [and receive] push notifications on what belt or carousel their bag will come off at the pier or airport or terminal.
‘We can plug that in with any cruise line.’
She also noted the company is harnessing existing technology, ordinarily used to coordinate staff during ‘big turnarounds,’ to help with staff contact tracing. ‘We know where they’ve been allocated and who they’ve been working with,’ she asserted.
David Candib, VP global port and destination development, Carnival Corp. & plc lauded the innovations, responding, ‘We’re going to really need to rely on these enhancements… [from] our partners, the technology and enhancements they’re doing.’ He added that push notifications will be especially useful in enabling passengers to know when to walk up to collect food in dining areas.
Moderating the session – which took place on the third and final day of the April event series, which was dedicated to Tech and Innovation – Joost Van Ree, director, partner relations, Cruise Lines International Association also said of Intercruises’ steps to innovate, ‘I hope airports will follow your good example.’
Candib went on to explain that OceanMedallion – a wearable introduced in 2017 which facilitates touchless technologies and includes rapid MedallionNet Wi-Fi – enables contact tracing in an ‘easier and less intrusive way.’
Lending his expertise on emerging technologies post-COVID-19 from a shipbuilding perspective, Lars Kruse, sales manager, Meyer Werft said vessels built more than 20 years ago may struggle with installation of more up to date technologies, including speedier Wi-Fi, but added 'there are lots of opportunities on new designs.’
He explained, ‘During the last 10 years, ships are equipped so that we can have quite easy installations and the fleets are quickly updated with these systems.’
Kruse went on to state that the shipyard is working on being ‘ready in the future for virus mitigation' with ‘lots of varieties possible that we can develop together with our cruise customers.’
He concluded that intelligent lift systems to prevent bottlenecks were a trend set to appear on board future cruise vessels.