In late 2022 we launched a new feature: ‘Have your say at theICEway’. The aim was to ask people what they felt were some of the key issues in the cruise industry. Then, in early 2023, we followed that up by asking what some of cruise’s most innovative elements were. After that came ‘Questions of today…’ and ‘Q&A with theICEway’, in which we sought to answer any questions you might have. We’re delighted to now share some of the results of those features. The subject of innovation in technology and cruise emerged as the major through-line for them. Below we have broken the results down under headings related to tech in general and cruise in general.
Tech In General
What are the emerging technologies to watch out for in 2023?
Artificial intelligence (AI) looks set to be the dominant tech this year. When ChatGPT launched in late 2022, few might have predicted the virality of its ascent – including Google. Their subsequent scramble to expedite the Bard product illustrated the sheer potential for AI in the search space. Machine learning (ML), virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are all other technologies to watch in the months ahead. All have massive potential to revolutionise many industries, cruise included.
How will AI impact different industries?
It is already having a transformative effect upon industries including healthcare and finance. In the case of the former, AI is helping people stay healthy via applications encouraging healthier behaviour. This interesting read from PWC reveals more about how AI is transforming healthcare.
In finance, AI helps drive insights for data analytics, performance measurement, predictions and forecasting and more. It enables organisations to better understand markets and customers. It helps them with analysis and learnings taken as the technology mimics human intelligence and interactions at scale.
What are the key trends in cyber security for 2023?
As technology advances, so too do threats associated with it. In today’s modern world, cyber security experts need to sharpen their focus on data protection and privacy as everything is increasingly more connected. Shifts in working habits and policies means that so many more people now work across multiple locations, too – including their own homes. The need for stronger security is something we all share as cyber-crime and cyber-criminals are on the rise, too. We’d therefore expect a growth in 2FA and MFA requirements, along with advances in biometric authentication and encryption technologies.
NB: We’ve included a question on cyber security as a), there were quite a lot (!), and b), we always work within a ‘security by design’ framework.
Cruise In General
Will the cruise industry fully recover from the effects of the pandemic?
Yes! Last year (2022), the cruise market began to boom once more as consumer confidence was restored. This was aided by a number of new ship launches, such as Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Wish and MSC Seascape from MSC Cruises. In actual fact, the cruise market recovered to 2006 levels in 2021 and welcomed circa 13.9 million passengers worldwide. As for 2022, some 20.4 million passengers set sail around the world, with 31.5 million predicted for 2023*.
*Stats taken from Statista.
How seriously is the subject of sustainability taken in cruise?
In a word: Very. According to CLIA, over 50% of all new cruise ships launched in 2022 or launching in 2023 are powered by Liquified Natural Gas (LNG). LNG is the cleanest fossil fuel and it has virtually zero sulphur emissions. Moreover, 69% of diesel-powered ships have been fitted with Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (EGCS). These remove 98% of sulphur content from exhaust emissions.
Are new cruise ships going to get bigger and bigger?
It seems so, as we prepare to welcome the Icon of the Seas from Royal Caribbean. The previous biggest ship was Wonder of the Seas, launched in 2022. That had an internal volume of 236,857 gross tons, with a maximum passenger capacity of 6,988. By contrast, Icon of the Seas will have a volume of 250,800 gross tons and a maximum passenger capacity of 7,600.
The Future Of Innovation In Technology And Cruise
Innovation in technology and cruise is growing every year, and we fully expect that to continue. AI is a fiercely contended topic right now, the world over. Cyber security is now a virtual fixture in the mainstream news headlines. These are not just going to disappear. Both must be embraced by any organisation or industry aiming for success in the years ahead. Cruise is an industry that is a real driving force for tech advancement. This is one reason why theICEway has worked so closely with cruise lines since 2007. One of our core values back then was innovation and that is very much still the case today.
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