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Supply chain issues and lack of staff impact shore excursions

'Custom journeys and small group tours are areas we intend to grow,' said Geoffrey Burleton, director, shore excursions, Celebrity Cruises.
Both lack of staff and hardware are key factors impacting shore excursions, according to Geoffrey Burleton, director, shore excursions, Celebrity Cruises.

Speaking at Seatrade Cruise Global, Miami during ‘ The Changing Dynamic of Shore Excursions Post-Pandemic’ conference session, he said, ‘There’s not enough buses; a lot of them have been sat idle for two years and because of supply chain issues, companies can’t get new parts.’

On staff shortages, Virginia Quintairos, global business development director, Intercruises, said, ‘We have coaches in our destinations, but we don’t have the drivers. Some have gone to work at public transportation companies.’

Noted Denise Clark, hospitality and tourism professional, ‘Some excursions no longer exist or can’t handle the capacity [of cruise passengers].’


Technology was referred to as a key means to improve the shore excursion experience with Rinat Glinert, COO, Venture Ashore saying ‘Technology provides a huge opportunity…  to learn about customers before they get there [to destinations]... to design [shorex] products and put people on them in the right way.’

Glinert went on to highlight the Guidepost mobile app, which is ‘like Uber for tour guides.’ It enables passengers to locate their tour guide on a map, giving them the freedom to part from a group tour if desired. 

Quintairos agreed with the concept of mass personalisation, stating, ‘We’re going to be able to personalise [shore excursions]… Technology is going to bring us very good opportunities on how we can meet the preferences of the guest…’


Elena Vlad, director, shore excursion product development and operations, Holland America Group told session moderator Shannon McKee, president, Access Cruise Inc., ‘We’re trying to focus on less is more’ with Burleton agreeing, ‘We need to slim down the portfolio of offerings.’ He went on to add that ‘custom journeys and small group tours are areas we intend to grow.’

On health and safety, Glinert said, ‘We’ve put a lot of standards in place to make passengers feel safe’ with Burleton responding, ‘We will never compete with health and safety.’

Concluded Vlad, ‘We have to be the change we want to see;  from now, no more challenges.’