Seatrade Europe, the leading trade event of the European cruise and rivercruise industry, will open in Hamburg today. For three days the metropolis on the Elbe river will be the hub of the global cruise industry. Seatrade Europe is the world’s only event of its kind covering not only ocean cruises but the booming rivercruise segment, as well.
The port city of Hamburg is hosting this important trade fair for the seventh time. The venue reflects the cruise industry’s successful history: In 2012 the Hamburg Cruise Center counted a total of 430,329 cruise passengers, 37 per cent more than the year before. All in all, there were 160 cruiseship calls at the city’s Grasbrook and Altona terminals last year, and 177 calls are expected in 2013, with more than half a million passengers visiting.
“The cruiseship industry is among the fastest-growing sectors of the maritime industry and an important factor for tourism, not just in Hamburg,” says Michael Ungerer, President of AIDA Cruises and President of the national cruise industry association CLIA Germany. The German market is steadily gaining in importance. “With more than 1.54 million travellers in 2012, Germany is one of the world’s biggest cruise markets today. Germany will continue to drive growth for years to come and become Europe’s largest source market. For years ship builders and suppliers from all over Europe have been appreciated around the world as leaders in technical expertise,” says Ungerer.
The Who’s Who of the industry will attend the fair. “We are welcoming the leading cruise enterprises and all market-leading suppliers across the entire value chain,” says Bernd Aufderheide, Chairman of the Board of Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH. The biggest cruise shipping companies, including AIDA Cruises, Carnival, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Crociere, Disney Cruise Line, Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten, MSC Cruises, Royal Caribbean and TUI Cruises, have registered for the Hamburg fair. At Seatrade Europe they will meet decision-makers and key representatives from all industries related to cruise shipping, such as shipyards, ship chandlers, port authorities, tour organisers and many others. More than 250 exhibitors from 50 different nations will showcase their most recent innovations to a broad industry audience at the Hamburg Messe fair site.
The need for new ideas and offerings is strong. Since Europe builds more modern luxury liners than any other continent, and has created numerous jobs in shipyards and ports to serve the industry, Seatrade Europe has emerged as one of the world’s leading industry events. “I am convinced that this year’s fair will once again be a source of inspiration, setting future trends and introducing innovative technology for the benefit of the entire cruise industry,” says Ungerer.
Launch pad for newcomers
But Seatrade Europe is more than a parade of big names. The fair is a great opportunity for new players in the market, as well. The Newcomers’ Pavilion, which was created specifically for them, was derived from a concept first introduced at the Internorga hospitality fair, and modified for Seatrade Europe to suite the needs of the cruise market. The exhibition space at the Pavilion has been designed with the specific requirements of first-timers in mind. “Following the successful premiere in 2011 we have received many new requests this year, especially from the hospitality sector. Numerous domestic and foreign companies will present their products, concepts and services in this special marketplace,” says Aufderheide.
Current trends at Seatrade Europe
Cruise industry representatives welcome the opportunity to discuss future developments, identify new trends and do business at the fair. Theme cruises, luxury on-board accommodations and unconventional entertainment programmes are all up and coming. Safety is another topic that has been receiving much attention lately. Lifeboats with an increased passenger capacity or safety systems incorporating fire prevention and fire fighting technology will be exhibited at the fair, among many other recent engineering advancements. Ecology is an important innovation driver, and many new developments will be on the agenda at Seatrade Europe. In addition, new approaches to sustainability will be discussed in depth at “gmec Cruise: Environmental Advances in Cruise Ship Technology”, an international conference addressing maritime environment protection topics specific to the cruise industry and all other sectors serving it.
The industry convention held in the exhibition halls in parallel with the fair will address current topics of the cruise industry. More than 50 distinguished speakers from all relevant business segments will provide insight into the most recent industry trends. The list of lecturers comprises names such as Manfredi Lefebvre d´Ovidio, Chairman of CLIA Europe, and CEOs of leading cruise shipping companies, including Pierfrancesco Vago, CEO of MSC Cruises, AIDA Cruises President Michael Ungerer and TUI Cruises CEO Richard Vogel. David Dingle, CEO of Carnival UK which operates “Queen Mary 2”, a highly popular ship among Hamburg’s residents, will be sharing some valuable expertise, as will Dirk Helsig, CEO of the Norwegian Fred Olsen Cruise Lines. On Wednesday, Seatrade Europe’s “River Cruise Day” will feature Daniela Wagner, Chairperson of the CLIA’s River Cruise Committee, UK & Ireland, and Douglas Ward, author of the Berlitz Cruise Guide, discussing current topics specific to the river cruise business.
Seatrade Insider Cruise Awards 2013
This year the Seatrade Insider Cruise Awards will be presented for the fourth time. On the last day of the fair, an independent panel of experts will choose this year’s winners in the categories of “Destination of the Year”, “Port of the Year”, Environmental Initiative of the Year”, “Onboard Outfitter” and “Most Innovative Land Excursion of the Year” and “Person of the Year”. The prizes will be presented to the winners on the last day of Seatrade Europe.
Seatrade, September 24, 2013