The cruise industry continues a strong recovery in the post COVID-19 environment, with several vessels entering the market and a number of exciting destinations opening for new and existing tonnage. Cruise tourism is rebounding rapidly with the global passenger count forecast to reach 31.5 million passengers or 106% of 2019 levels, according to the Cruise Lines International Association.
Several members of IRI attended the 2023 Seatrade Cruise Global event in Fort Lauderdale in late March to collaborate and meet with existing and new global cruise clients. A recent addition to the RMI fleet is a newly acquired vessel by Cruise Saudi, currently known as “Project Manara.” Formerly the WORLD DREAM, the vessel was purchased in February 2023 by Cruise Saudi in line with their strategy to develop the hospitality and tourism industry in Saudi Arabia. Originally built for the Asian market, the vessel will be completely refurbished to achieve a luxury product. At 150,595 gross tons (GT) and a capacity for 5,000 passengers, the vessel is flagged by the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) and will be managed and operated by Columbia Cruise Services.
The industry’s largest event, Seatrade Cruise Global brings together various business components serving the cruise industry to discuss trends in passenger vessel design, technology, tourism destinations, and more. IRI President Bill Gallagher attended the 2023 event along with Hans Krijger, General Manager (IRI Roosendaal); Joe McKeown, Senior Vice President, Management Systems Certification (IRI Ft. Lauderdale); Hans Molver, Senior Vice President, Investigations (IRI Reston); Angela Plott, Maritime Administration Liaison (IRI Reston); and Rafael Riva, Vice President, Client Relations (IRI Houston). The Registry’s proactive approach to the industry’s growth and post COVID-19 challenges coupled with expert worldwide technical support serve to benefit the industry as it moves into this period of anticipated expansion and service.
With offices in key cruise regions including the east and west coasts of the Americas, the Mediterranean, and northern Europe, as well as strong representation and resources in shipbuilding and shipyard hubs worldwide, IRI offers consistent global support to cruise clients. The growing cruise sector in the Middle East is supported by IRI’s Dubai office, first opened in 2008. With an overall fleet nearing 200 million gross tons, and 28 offices worldwide, the RMI Registry is the leading registry in the world, and the only one to consistently maintain a high-quality fleet internationally recognized by port State control authorities worldwide.
The Registry will be welcoming two cruise newbuilds later this year: Oceania’s VISTA (expected delivery 28 April 2023; 67,000 GT and 1,200 lower berths); and Regent Seven Seas’ GRANDEUR (expected delivery November 2023; 54,000 GT and 738 lower berths).