Germany is the champion of Europe’s cruise business. According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), roughly 1.8 million Germans spent their holidays on board a cruise ship in 2014. This made Germany the No. 1 European nation in cruise sales, superseding the UK. In the global cruise marketplace only the United States beat Germany. Hamburg significantly benefits from the global boom of cruising.
Yet, the potential has not been fully realised as yet: “We want to pass the two million mark by 2016 and add another million passengers by 2020,” says Michael Ungerer, President of CLIA Germany. The positive market outlook provides best conditions for the Seatrade Europe, the leading European trade show for cruise and river cruise, which will return to the Hamburg fair grounds 9-11 September 2015.
“Hamburg Welcomes You On Board“
True to its claim “Hamburg welcomes you on board”, the universal Elbe port will be the capital of cruise, with Seatrade Europe, the Hamburg Cruise Days and many other events offering an insight into the world of cruising. On occasion of the cruise festival, the Port of Hamburg has been bathing in magical blue light since 4 September by Michael Batz’s light show “Blue Port”
Global Cruise Boom
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.
“This fair is by far 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.”
Many First-Time Exhibitors
More than 250 exhibitors from over 50 nations will present their company, products and services for the cruise and river cruise markets to industry visitors, including many first-time exhibitors. The Newcomers’ Pavilion at the trade fair is the ideal platform for new entrants to the market for establishing contacts with cruise lines and shipyards.
Conference Programme with International Top Speakers
In addition to the industry exhibition in hall A4, the conference programme will feature experts from all fields of the industry discussing the status quo and the challenges and opportunities facing the cruise sector. ‘All the major players of the industry have once again agreed to contribute to this year’s programme. We are expecting over 40 international speakers who will address the core topics of the sector,” says Bernd Aufderheide, President and CEO Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH, the organiser of Seatrade Europe.
New Trends and Environmental Technologies
The opening session of the programme on Wednesday 9 September will highlight “The State of the Industry in Europe”. The expert panel will include highly experienced cruise industry CEO’s from around the world: David Dingle (Carnival UK and Vice Chairman of CLIA Europe), Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio (Silversea Cruises), Wybcke Meier (TUI Cruises), Michael Thamm (Costa Crociere), Gianni Onorato (MSC Cruises) and Dominic Paul (Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises & Azamara Club Cruise). They will explain how cruise lines are responding to the continued boom in Europe, the role of diversification within the sector, what new ships and routes are being planned, and how the infrastructure is evolving.
Full Order Books
Shipyards are radiating confidence as well: 29 new cruise ships are to be launched between now and 2018, fill the order books of European shipyards alone, representing a total investment volume of 16 billion euro. 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 length of 348 metres, she is the largest cruise vessel ever built in Germany. 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.