Europort to showcase special cruise market opportunities
With Dutch demand for the cruise vacation reaching an all-time high in 2018, trends and technologies in this globally fast-growing sector will be a natural area of focus during Europort 2019 at Rotterdam’s Ahoy Centre November 5th-8th.
A recent survey by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) found that global cruise guest numbers exceeded 28.5 million in 2018, 7% above 2017. But, while global trends are heavily influenced by China, demand in the Netherlands has emerged as a trend in its own right: 113,000 nationals took a cruise in 2018, 2.2% up on 2017. Over 40% of Dutch guests were under 40.
Paul Nuyens, CLIA Manager for the Netherlands, Belgium and France, comments: "The figures show that a cruise vacation is working for an increasingly wider audience, such as families with children and young people. It is not surprising that a growing number of ships are being built with this target group in mind.”
Given its focus on specialized ships, it is also no surprise that Europort participants are homing in on opportunities being created by booming expedition ship and river cruising niches, where European guest demand is especially vibrant.
Last year shipbuilder Damen formed a separate Damen Cruise entity and, by March 2019, had announced a contract for a 155m, ultra-luxury cruise ship for SeaDream Yacht Club, to be built to Polar Code 6 standards. Then, in April, A-Rosa signed a contract with Concordia Damen to build a 135m river cruise vessel. To meet Damen’s cruise and river cruise specialists at Europort 2019, visit Damen Shipyards and Concordia Damen.
Other Europort participants with a keen interest in this specialised cruise segment include: ABB, whose Azipod propulsors feature in over 20 expedition ship projects; Wärtsilä, which recently won orders to supply 60-plus transverse thrusters for 12 cruise ships building at six shipyards; Evac, highlighting its Evac Evolution ballast water management system; and Bolidt, which will offer insights into its innovative cruise ship decking and flooring solutions.
In addition, one of Europort’s famed Masterclass sessions this year focuses on the cruise and ferry sector. On Friday 8th November visitors can hear perspectives on challenges and solutions for the segment’s continuous quest to enhance sustainability.
Europort exhibition manager, Raymond Siliakus, concludes: "Europort 2019 will provide a single location for owners and operators to engage with the full range of specialists needed to meet design, construction, technology, safety and environmental performance needs in an increasingly product-differentiated cruise market.”