Cruise holidays have been very popular for decades and to many, the overall experience is a magical one. Nowadays, advances in technology are enhancing the cruise experience ever further. Here we look at two cutting-edge technologies that are revolutionising the way we travel: Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). By seamlessly blending the digital world with the real one, VR and AR can help take cruise holidays to the next level.
Editor’s note: This article is based upon an original, longer piece from theICEway recently published by Seatrade Cruise News. To read that, you will find a link below.
Cruise Industry VR & AR Applications (On Shore)
One of the most exciting applications of this tech in the cruise industry is virtual tours and immersive experiences. Cruise passengers can now step into a virtual world and explore destinations from the comfort of their ship. This can provide a more inclusive experience for passengers with mobility issues, for whom it may be otherwise difficult or impossible to access in person.
AR can potentially give passengers walking around ports and destinations a whole new level of immersion. Digital information can be overlaid onto the real world in apps, allowing them to learn about the history and significance of their surroundings.
Onboard VR & AR Tech For Cruise
VR and AR technology isn’t ‘just’ going to augment the shoreside / excursion experience for cruise passengers. Many cruise ships now offer VR headsets in their onboard entertainment areas. These allow passengers to become immersed in virtual worlds and games. Entertainment and activities can benefit too, as musical concerts are transformed into interactive, virtual experiences. Imagine dancing alongside your favourite artists and it becomes clear that the possibilities are all but endless. AR can also be leveraged to enhance scavenger hunts, where passengers can use their smartphones to discover hidden clues.
Some cruise ships also now have AR-based navigation systems, too. This can be very helpful to newer cruise passengers, especially on some of the larger vessels. Can’t find a particular restaurant? Simply don some AR glasses or turn to your smartphone for directions and help.
Personalised Customer Experiences
Personalisation has become a key point of focus for many industries and organisations. In cruise, VR and AR tech can help cruise lines to create even more personalised experiences for passengers. For example, virtual tours might be more heavily customised by using facial recognition. Those interested in historical elements might look forward to a tour more focused on the history of a destination.
Conclusion, Including Challenges & The Future
The cruise industry is embracing the power of VR and AR. From virtual tours to personalised customer interactions, this tech is definitely enhancing the cruise experience. Whilst the future of VR and AR in cruise certainly does look bright, there are still challenges to overcome. For example, the costs involved in implementing and maintaining both can be significant. Hardware, software and training all need to be considered. Technical limitations are another potential issue, with a stable internet connection an absolute must.
All this notwithstanding, investment in both technologies is considerable. Future trends for VR and AR include the development of more compact and lightweight VR headsets. Many tech companies are working on improved motion tracking and enhanced visual quality, too. The next time you take a cruise holiday, prepare to be amazed by the immersive experiences on offer both shoreside and onboard.
Read the original article at the Seatrade Cruise website: