All articles by Venugopal immadi

Venugopal immadi

Where the water runs still

Given current circumstances, it is foolhardy to make too many predictions about what the experience of the pandemic might mean in terms of long-term shifts in customer demands and expectations. If one looks at the landside hotels market for some clues, however, a wide-ranging shift has been the growing focus on health and well-being. Elly Earls looks into whether we can expect the same at sea.

Back on the menu

As with everything else in the cruise industry, the grand dining experiences passengers once salivated over have been put on hold. But given how important food and drink has traditionally been to life at sea, how can operators adapt in a world of social distancing? Andrea Valentino talks to figures across the industry to understand the challenges that Covid-19 poses for cruise F&B – and what changes guests might expect when they finally enter the dining room again.

Room to manoeuvre

With new coronavirus hotspots still popping up daily, it’s more important than ever for cruise
operators to build fl exibility into their itineraries. Elly Earls meets Cruise Europe’s Michael McCarthy and CLIA’s Brian Salerno to fi nd out about the challenges involved and why cooperation between ports, destinations and health authorities is key to the successful resumption of the industry.

Collaborate and conquer

As the tides turn, things we never expected to see have come about in the wake of Covid-19, with noted rivals Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings teaming up to combat the pandemic’s effects on their operations. Gary King explores how this unprecedented event is upturning industry norms, the actions cruise lines are taking to respond to this invisible threat and what post-pandemic cruising could look like.

Follow the river

While significant challenges remain and alterations to operating models are required, how well positioned is river cruising, a sector that was booming pre-lockdown, to start building once again on previous successes? Will Moffitt speaks to Rudi Schreiner, co-founder of AmaWaterways, about resuming operations in the age of Covid-19, potential lessons for the sector’s seafaring cousins and the changes being made to ensure momentum is maintained.

Chart the course

On 21 September, The Healthy Sail Panel published an extensive report outlining 74 best practices to protect the public health and safety of guests, crew and the communities where cruise ships call. Recommendations include testing, the use of face coverings, and enhanced sanitation procedures on ships and in terminals. In this edited extract, members of the panel, established by Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, outline their methods and the impact they feel successful adoption of their recommendations could have on the sector as a whole.

Uncharted waters

With operations suspended and new builds delayed, shipbuilders are working around the clock to protect their order books and avoid cancellations. Irenie Forshaw talks to Daniele Fanara, senior vice-president for the new building merchant ships business unit at Fincantieri; Tim Walters, technical director of maritime market research at Royal Haskoning; and Edwina Lonsdale, managing director of Mundy Cruising, about where the industry goes from here and whether the pandemic will accelerate the demand for smaller cruise ships.

Reasons to celebrate

At a time of unprecedented challenges for the industry, the inaugural Cruise Ship Interiors Awards provided a welcome opportunity to take a step back and celebrate the sheer amount of innovation underway in a sector that has always recognised the importance of constant reinvention. From the best new build to new sustainability drivers, Adele Berti profi les some of the most eye-catching winners and the reasons behind their success.

Adapt to survive

At the moment, many new builds and refurbishments are on hold, but as cruise ships begin to
tentatively set sail again the time will come to update designs for evolving guest requirements
post-Covid-19. Irenie Forshaw talks to the CEO of YSA Design, Anne Mari Gullikstad, and
senior architect Georg Piantino about how existing fleets are being adapted and the impact
current events could have on the long-term vision for ship interiors

No compromise on compliance

Recent history has witnessed significant gains for the cruise sector in terms of environmental commitments, with operators placing sustainable investment at the very heart of their business models. However, in a struggling market, with many lines more focused on short-term survival than long-term benefits, what is the impact on environmental stewardship? Abi Millar speaks to Chris Donald, SVP of corporate environmental compliance for Carnival, to find out.