The luxury cruise sector is forecast to grow by more than 19% by 2028, according one industry leader.
Barbara Muckermann, president & CEO of Silversea Cruises, highlighted why the luxury cruise sector is such a huge opportunity while delivering her keynote speech at the CLIA Conference.
The event, which saw more than 500 travel agents attend across three days worth of events, included the speech by the Silversea boss, who was speaking onboard Celebrity Silhouette.
Muckermann said that with the sector’s huge building programme, there was a big need for cruise lines and agents to find new-to-cruise guests.
She delved into who the luxury travellers are, how to identify them and to market to them and how sellers can motivate them to buy a cruise.
Key takeaways included the drivers behind buying real luxury, such as the desire to fulfil an emotional need, and the importance of consistent quality and excellence. Muckermann also highlighted the overuse of the word ‘luxury’ and the need for the sector to steer its own path, the potential of the industry to grow its share of the luxury space, and the importance of an experience-led approach to marketing and sales to this audience.
Following her keynote speech, Muckermann was interviewed by conference moderator, Lucy Huxley, on Silversea’s future plans—in particular those relating to expedition and luxury, and on the vast opportunities for agents in this space.
Barbara Muckermann, President and CEO, Silversea Cruises, commented: “We buy luxury because of quality and excellence, and that is what Silversea offers. The luxury cruising market is around $2bn a year, but the luxury travel sector as a whole is $170bn a year, so there is a huge opportunity for the cruise sector in this untapped market. Silversea travels to more than 900 destinations and there is a cruise for everyone and that is the challenge for all our dedicated travel agents; get the right guest on the right cruise. Let’s understand what the guest wants.”
She added: “Silversea is like a luxury base camp taking you to the world’s best places. Get the best espresso in the Galapagos. Get a 5 star meal in the Arctic. That is luxury and that is Silversea. Nova will be the most sustainable luxury ship in the world. It has so many features but most importantly it will emit 40% less emissions than its previous class of ship and we can’t wait for her to start sailing.”