The Maritime Executive's January-February 2024 Cruise Edition is Out Now

cruise ships
PortMiami regained the title of busiest cruise homeport in 2023

Published Feb 23, 2024 8:31 PM by Tony Munoz

New Heights

That’s the title of Associate Editor Allan Jordan’s fine article on the state of the cruise industry, which had a record year in 2023. Nearly 32 million cruisers set sail last year, and forecasts call for nearly 36 million this year. Pent-up demand, indeed!

But the industry is not out of the woods yet with the Big Three – Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian – shouldering big debt loads left over from heavy borrowing during the pandemic. Plus, as Allan points out, the industry is somewhat capacity-constrained as only three shipyards in the world are capable of building world-class cruise ships to meet the surging demand.

Another year like this past one, however, will make most of those problems go away.

And it’s nothing but smooth sailing ahead for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, according to Harry Sommer, who succeeded the retiring Frank Del Rio as President and CEO last summer. “We’ll move more guests this year than any year in the history of the company,” he exclaims. “It’s going to be a fantastic year.” Bookings are up. Pricing is up. Covid is in the rear-view mirror. Read all about it in this edition’s Case Study and Executive Interview.

Senior Editor Jack O’Connell caught up with global traveler and Bulgarian-born Nedko Panayotov for our Executive Achievement feature. Nedko is Vice President of Global Business Development at Ideagen Tritan, the maritime industry’s #1 provider of health and safety software and services. Nearly all cruise vessels operate on its medical platform, SeaCare, and it offers a best-selling risk management platform (SeaEvent) and a safety management platform (SeaSafe) as well.

Jack also tells us about his own cruise last summer – on the Ohio River, no less – in his Upgrades & Downgrades column. It’s a treat!

Meanwhile, E.U. correspondent Erik Kravets gives us a little history lesson in “Spice and Vice,” a witty retelling of the Age of Discovery and its relevance in today’s world. Energy guru Allen Brooks has fun lampooning part-time power providers in “Green Energy’s Rope-a-Dope,” and Sean Holt in “Journey to Sustainability” asks, thoughtfully, “When does the LNG ‘bridge’ become the ‘road’?”

Speaking of sustainability, Chad Fuhrmann argues in “Bon Voyage!” that the cruise industry is among the leaders in maritime’s drive to net-zero emissions. Sean Hogue explains how “the road to decarbonization is paved with data” and that software solutions can make vessels run “Better, Faster, Sooner,” and News Editor Paul Benecki reports on the latest in water treatment technology in “Clean and Pure.”

Passenger safety is the focus of Pat Zeitler’s entertaining piece, “Blissfully Safe.” Pat says most passengers are blissfully unaware of what goes into keeping them safe and explains how automation and digital monitoring systems are revolutionizing the whole process. And last but not least, hardworking Allan Jordan did double duty for this issue and penned our Cruise Ports feature, “Driving Force.” The resurgent cruise industry is the driving force behind the growth at cruise ports worldwide, Allan says, and there’s more to come!

It's a chockful edition, all right, so take your time and enjoy. And we’ll see you at Seatrade Cruise Global in Miami in April. Bon Voyage! 

Tony Munoz is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Maritime Executive. 

To read the latest edition of the magazine, go to The Maritime Executive January/February 2024 Cruise Issue.  To subscribe to the magazine, please go to https://www.maritime-executive.com/subscribe.



The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.