There is hardly an industry that has suffered more severe setbacks because of the coronavirus pandemic than the cruise sector. In 2020 alone, it recorded losses of around 77 billion US dollars, according to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). Now the steel giants are steaming across the oceans again, and spirits are high. “We are very confident about the summer season,” says Jörg Rudolph, General Manager of Costa Cruises. The bookings received so far exceed the 2019 pre-pandemic level, he adds. An optimistic outlook shared by luxury cruises and expeditions specialist Hapag-Lloyd Cruises: “We can sense how much our guests are longing to travel,” says speaker Karen Schmidt.
As for the ship operators, they are busy upgrading their fleets. After selling or scrapping many of their older assets over the past two years, they are now placing many orders for new tonnage. The global order book lists around 70 new cruise ships deliverable up until 2027. This raises suppliers’ hopes for many lucrative equipment orders. The MARINE INTERIORS area @SMM offers maritime companies a perfect stage for their presentations to potential customers.
“They are all coming to us”
De Wave Group, Eumar Design, KAEFER Schiffsausbau GmbH, LETHE GmbH, Naval Interior or Rheinhold & Mahla GmbH – these are just a few of the well-known companies which will be exhibiting at the event. Shipbuilding meets design and style: more than 90 exhibitors will showcase innovative products and solutions in Halls B5 and B6. The Cruise & Ferry Route will guide visitors specifically to stands of suppliers to the cruise and ferry market. “The MARINE INTERIORS area @SMM is unparalleled. No other trade fair anywhere in the world gives so many suppliers an opportunity to interact with leading cruise operators and passenger ship builders. Whether Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Fincantieri or Chantiers de l’Atlantique, they all come to us. The fact that MARINE INTERIORS will occupy a section of its own at SMM this year further increases this added value,” says Claus Ulrich Selbach, Business Unit Director – Maritime and Technology Fairs & Exhibitions at Hamburg Messe und Congress.
Sustainability is a must
Whether you look at innovative engine room or bridge technologies, interior furnishings made from eco-friendly materials, or health management, the focus today is clearly on sustainability. In a survey conducted among exhibitors and visitors of MARINE INTERIORS, 67per cent of respondents said they considered sustainability as the most important trend in the cruise industry. Claudia Müller even sees the segment in a pioneering role regarding the sustainable development of ocean shipping: "The cruise industry is investing massive amounts in innovative propulsion, accepting high risks at an economically challenging time," says the Maritime Coordinator of the German federal government.
Selbach agrees: “To support the industry in driving this process, we have come up with a special conference programme. At the Cruise & Ferry Stage in Hall B5, participants will get an insight into the latest trends in the cruise industry and learn more about the benefits of innovative technologies."
All three sessions will be moderated by Tal Danai, CEO of ArtLink. The individual panels will explore topics such as how the cruise experience has changed in recent years, what new challenges this brings about, how yacht design has changed, or what the perfect passenger cabin should look like.
For the full programme on the Cruise & Ferry Stage in the MARINE INTERIORS area @SMM please go here.
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