21 June 2012
Cruise Gateway conference in Bremerhaven: making the right shore excursion choices

What do cruise passengers want from a shore excursion? What do the cruise lines expect? And what can excursion organisers and cruise destinations do to ensure they provide attractive options and make the most of the economic opportunities from serving the cruise sector?

These were some of the questions tackled at a special conference organised in the Columbus Cruise Center Bremerhaven by the European Union ‘Cruise Gateway North Sea’ project.”

Titled ‘Shore excursions for transit passengers: how to develop a successful cruise destination/cruise port’, the conference opened with a session at the Columbus Cruise Center in Bremerhaven, where Cruise Gateway partners heard from Malaike Massoth about port and terminal requirements for transit calls and the experiences of CCCB.

The main conference programme included a presentation by Prof Dr Martin Lohmann, managing director of the Institute of Tourism Research in Northern Europe (Kiel), who considered demand dynamics and consumer orientation in cruise holidays, including an analysis of long-term market research data for Germany as a source market for the cruise industry.

Other speakers included:

  • Michael Schulze, of Phoenix Reisen, talked about shore excursions and the success criteria from a cruise line’s point of view;
  • Bo Larsen, representing Cruise Copenhagen/Cruise Baltic, discussed the importance of economic impact studies on a destination level;
  • Helge Grammerstorf, of SeaConsult HAM, presented the findings of Cruise Gateway study into the decision criteria for cruise port selection in the North Sea Region.

A second day of presentations focused on the success criteria for transit calls and the practical aspects of choosing a transit port of call. The Cruise Gateway partners and delegates boarded the MS Oceana, travelling from Bremerhaven to Bremen.

Speakers included:

  • Thomas Gleiss, cruise director MS Albatros, Phoenix Reisen, explained what made shore excursions suitable for his cruise passengers.
  • Moderator Bernd Brümmer, cruise tourism manager of the Reisebüro Koch, talked about shore excursions from the perspective of the passenger, considering what he or she would expect from a good trip.
  • Jochem Schöttler, of Bremerhaven Tourist Board, outlined the expectations from a cruise destination’s point of view.

The conference was attended by about 80 delegates, from England, Scotland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Germany.

“Our participants were predominantly representatives of ports and destinations but also ship agents, shore excursion agencies and students,” said Malaike Massoth.

“The conference programme enabled us to consider the relevant topics in theory and in practice, looking at the issues from many different points of view.”

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