Today MSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately-owned cruise line, have revealed ‘The Future of the Guest Experience’ which is a detailed report that explores the trends that will impact the future of the travel industry.
The forward-looking report was created in partnership with The Future Laboratory, one of the worlds leading futures consultancies. The report identifies the ways the travel industry will move towards delivering ultra-high definition (UHD) experiences for guests of the future.
MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman, Mr P Vago said “One of the challenges of the cruise industry is that we need to design and build new ships that will still be cutting-edge for our guests 30 years from now. As such, innovation and consumer trends are at the very core of our DNA and we need to have a strong and clear vision for the future whilst combining this with timeless style. Through intelligent innovation and design, with a strong commitment to sustainable travel, we will be able to facilitate all kinds of future experiences.”
Future guests will be seeking a truly personalised cruise experience. The report highlights this by the trend of Data ID Wallets, this will enable cruise lines to create a dynamic, personalised guest experience. Cruise lines will themselves become data touchpoints, assessing and collating guest behaviour and preferences to better inform service provided.
MSC Cruises are leading the way in terms of onboard AI technology personal assistants. ZOE is the world’s first virtual personal cruise assistant; currently speaking seven languages, with more in development, ZOE will evolve to become an integral part of the MSC Cruises experience. Technology such as ZOE will also be key in facilitating the trend Subconscious Design, where AI technology will be able to seamlessly alter the environment to individual guests’ moods and emotions. Cabins of the future could feature biosignal sensors to track heart rate and facial expressions to adjust lighting, temperature for maximum comfort.
This hyper-connectivity is predicted to push guests to seek out human connection to avoid the dehumanisation of the cruising experience. The trend of anthropo-tainment will see human-centred entertainment that places people at the heart of the show, grow in popularity. The new Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows onboard MSC Meraviglia class ships bring all of these elements to centre stage. This unique form of live entertainment is a euphoric celebration of the art of human performance. All shows are non-language specific which makes them accessible to all, breaking demographic barriers and giving them universal appeal.
As passengers become more eco-conscious and the impact of their travel choices, they will start to seek out more eco-friendly cruising options.
Pierfrancesco Vago, commented, “We’re inherently linked to the sea, and from this perspective, there exists a big opportunity to play a big role when it comes to giving back to the environment and to the planet as a whole. We are the first cruise line to go carbon neutral across our marine operations and the emphasis that we place on our commitment to the environment is driven by not only our personal passion to protect the oceans but also the need to provide our guests with a sustainable way to travel.”
The desire for purposeful eco travel will also see the growth of repurposed resorts. We will see cruise lines transforming uninhabited or once-derelict spaces, boosting local economies by turning them into unique destinations. Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve in The Bahamas is an example of one of these destinations. Formerly a sand excavation site, MSC Cruises has worked to transform this industrial site into an eco-friendly destination for guests. The island has been developed to create a positive long-term impact both in terms of the environment and the local communities of The Bahamas.
With the next decade of cruising set to be defined by customers desire of personalisation, human connection and purposeful eco-travel, brands that deliver on these three fronts can create a guest experience that is truly ultra-high definition. The cruise industry will sit at the forefront of this transformation by embracing creative and future-facing innovations that push beyond the realms of what is expected.
What do you think of these cruising of the future predictions? Let us know in the comments below…