Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sir Elton May Play a Cruise Ship?

The modernization of on board shows could eventually see stars such as Elton John perform on a cruise, it has been predicted.
MSC Cruises UK and Ireland chairman Peter Pate raised the prospect as part of a cruise debate at World Travel Market.

Discussing future trends in cruising, Pate suggested that cruise ship entertainment was due a shake up to take it away from an image of theatrical dance troupes.

He used the examples of James Taylor performing on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 and illusionist Darren Brown on a special P&O Cruises’ short voyage.

“Every line is upping its game with more named entertainment,” said Pate. “We will see more of that and it will become commonplace.

“The day is not far off when we will see Elton John on a cruise ship.”

NCL confirmed last week that new ship Norwegian Epic would feature a US tribute act Legends in Concert which has appeared in Las Vegas featuring performers in the style of Elton John and Rod Stewart.

Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean International associate vice-president and general manager Jo Rzymowska and Yachts of Seabourn director Andy Magowan both pointed to the impact of social media on the cruise industry as being a massive future influencer of consumer holidaying habits.

“Social media is a key area that will change. We’re fooling ourselves if we don’t take it seriously,” Rzymowska told the WTM audience.

Magowan added: “It is going to be massive for us. People are going to start talking about going on a cruise as a serious option.”

He and NCL UK general manager Stephen Park agreed that increased availability of cruise-only rates would allow travel agents to better differentiate themselves by adding land stays to voyages.

Park also suggested there would be more large groups booking to cruise and more niche cruise lines.

by Phil Davies

- TravelMole

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