Like most years, the past 12 months have had their ups and downs. There have been natural disasters and geopolitical events to contend with. The devastation wrought on a small number of Caribbean islands has meant that people have chosen to stay away from the entire region. Brexit has caused the pound to take a dive. Venice has moved to ban large cruise ships, again.
However, one of the most unique things about the cruise industry is its ability to roll with those punches. As Arnold Donald, the president & CEO of Carnival Corporation, said at the Abta Travel Convention, to deal with such issues is built into the company’s DNA. It doesn’t know where they will happen, or what they will be, but it expects them nonetheless.
Next year will be no different. There will be unexpected natural disasters and there will be geopolitical events. Certain ports of call will be taken off itineraries and others will be added.
However, we should celebrate the cruise industry’s resilience to those external forces, not enter the new year with trepidation. The sector is founded on a bedrock of moveable assets that can literally plot a new course whenever there is a sign of trouble. As travel agents that stability should encourage you to grow your own businesses.
Whether that’s expedition cruises to the farthest flung corners of the world, or cruising on the world’s largest ship – and everything in between – we will be with you every step of the way, reporting on the innovations that the coming year will bring. And there will be lots to talk about, too – from big launches such as Scenic Eclipse and Celebrity Edge to new-builds that we don’t even know about yet, to exciting new destinations.
We’ll keep you updated about any changes in the industry, sharing our advice on what it means for cruise and wider travel, with expert comment and analysis.
You’ll be seeing some exciting changes from us, too. We’ll be adding some new supplements to our roster that we think will help make your life that little bit easier. They will all be aimed at helping you get those all-important cruise sales through the door. The first of these will be our ex-UK listings in association with Choosing Cruising, which will arrive with our January/February issue. The supplement contains listings of more than 800 sailings from 23 different UK ports and is designed to be kept and referred to throughout the year. We’ll also be back with more in-depth features, breaking news and exciting competitions in the new year.
Thanks for all of your support and here’s to a prosperous 2018!