Boutique disruptor – the rise of Virgin Voyages
With three ships on order and the power of a global brand at its disposal, Virgin Voyages is being positioned as a genuine disruptor to cruising’s status quo. Phin Foster meets president and CEO Tom McAplin to discuss the lessons learned from his love of the start-up experience, his plans to appeal to untapped market segments and the creation of a corporate culture that is unafraid to do things a little differently.
Access all areas – catering for disabilities and special needs
The cruise industry today provides an attractive means of leisure travel for guests with a wide range of disabilities and special needs. But, whether it’s inaccessible tender boats, a shortage of pool lifts or simply unclear regulations for operators, many barriers remain. Sarah Williams speaks to industry veterans Jan Tuck, access compliance manager at Princess Cruises; Debra Kerper, founder of Easy Access Travel; and Andrew Garnett, CEO and president of Special Needs at Sea.
Just like magic – the transformative impact of wearable tech
Carnival’s new Ocean Medallion is a first-of-its-kind wearable device that bridges the physical and digital worlds to deliver a new level of personalised service. Chief customer experience officer John Padgett, who previously led Disney’s MagicBand team, tells Eleanor Wilson about the potentially transformative impact of wearables.
Progressive partnership – RCL and WWF’s environmental collaboration
Last year, Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL) launched a five-year global partnership with the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), centred on emissions reductions and supply chain sustainability. With a joint report soon to be released, Ross Davies hears from RCL’s Rob Zeigler and WWF’s Jeff Malcolm on the partnership’s potential to create a more environmentally progressive industry.
Sweat set – tapping into the wellness trend
Amid growing focus on fitness and well-being, cruise lines are catering to healthy and active travellers. Moving beyond the essential offering of on-board gyms, operators have tapped into the wellness trend with surf simulators, climbing walls, running clubs, kayaking expeditions and mountain hikes. Bradford Keen speaks to Christopher Rudolph at MSC, Paul Ludlow at P&O Cruises and CEO Captain Dan Blanchard at UnCruise Adventures about working up a sweat at sea.