All articles by Venugopal immadi

Venugopal immadi

The green agenda

As environmental considerations and healthy lifestyles increasingly become priorities, cruise operators are offering sophisticated vegan menus on board their ships. Not that the move to plant-based cooking is easy: supply chains need sharpening and chefs need convincing. Andrea Valentino talks to culinary leaders about the latest developments, and why tempeh and tofu are taking the industry by storm.

Trillion-dollar question

There is no doubt that tackling climate change is going to be expensive and challenging. But with new figures suggesting that the decarbonisation of shipping could require investments of over $1 trillion, how much should the industry expect to spend in the coming years, and might the cruise sector find itself paying a disproportionately higher price? Adele Berti finds out more from Carlo Raucci, principal consultant at University Maritime Advisory Services, and Simon Bennett of ICS.

Fuel for thought

Having pushed forward the start date of the third phase of its Energy Efficiency Design Index standard by three years, IMO has issued a clarion call for ship operators to switch to cleaner fuels. But is the cruise industry prepared for such radical change? Ross Davies speaks to Glenn Burnett, senior technical adviser for global maritime policy at CLIA, and Natasha Brown, of the IMO Secretariat, to find out.

By a thread

On ships that are either quarantined or forced to remain at sea, crews are often stretched and tested to breaking point. In particular, recent experiences have helped to highlight the challenges of maintaining order within what guests often perceive as a self-contained vacation ‘bubble’. Isabel Ellis looks into what the response so far tells us about how the industry should manage more limited outbreaks of disorder and disease.

Gallic expansion

Ponant’s ambitions are grand, with the French expeditionary company expecting a fleet of 12 ships by 2021. With this rapid expansion, how will the company anticipate not only passenger needs, but increasingly stringent environmental regulations on fuel? Will Moffitt talks to Navin Sawhney, Ponant’s CEO for the Americas, about overseeing this ambitious construction project.

The graveyards of giants

The average cruise ship has an estimated lifespan of 30 years. After that, many are destined for scrap yards in India or Bangladesh, while others go on to serve as museums, hotels or artificial reefs. However, as the cost of new builds rises, more operators are sprucing up ageing vessels. Will Moffitt investigates how and why older cruise ships are staying in the game.

Galley of gastronomy

When it launches in 2020, Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady will put paid to all the traditions associated with cruise dining. Elly Earls meets senior vice-president of hotel operations Frank Weber to find out how the company aims to push variety and passenger satisfaction to the limit with its on-board cuisine.

In sync

Artificial intelligence is becoming commonplace in many industries, and cruise operators are keen to adopt it as a means of enhancing passenger experience and streamlining internal operations. With the help of John Padgett, chief experience and innovation officer at Carnival, Jim Banks looks at how this burgeoning technology is helping the industry chart its future course.

Cashless onboard payments with South East Asian cruise lines

Cruise lines operating in South East Asia are increasingly integrating apps like WeChat and Alipay into their on-board payment models. Abi Millar talks to Simon Ho, vice-president of guest commerce and experience at Dream Cruises, about why so many cruise lines are moving towards a mobile-first payment infrastructure and whether it’s a sign of things to come.

Sensors that save lives: CCTVs on cruise ships

Cruise companies have long used CCTV to check for passengers who fall overboard, a method critics dismiss as being dangerously unreliable. But sophisticated new sensors, which automatically report incidents to the bridge, might be about to change things. Andrea Valentino talks to Reidulf Maalen, a retired captain for Royal Viking and Crystal Cruises, and Captain Abdelkhalik Selmy, a lecturer at the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, about the latest developments.