Co-located trade fairs find it plain sailing in Hamburg

The MARINE INTERIORS Cruise & Ferry Global Expo and Seatrade Europe Cruise & River Cruise Convention welcomed 3,500 attendees from across the cruise industry to Hamburg, 6-8 September 2023, to engage in discussions about the future of cruising.

Highlighting the resurgence of the industry, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) reported that global ocean cruise passenger numbers are expected to reach 31.5 million this year, 106% of the 2019 total. “The boom in the cruise segment was only momentarily halted by the Covid-19 crisis,” remarked Bernd Aufderheide, president and CEO of Hamburg Messe und Congress, the event’s venue host. “European companies not only have an excellent reputation in this segment but also an outstanding market position.”

The co-located events attracted approximately 350 exhibiting companies.

During his keynote address at Seatrade Europe, Pierfrancesco Vago, chairman of MSC Cruises, emphasised the industry’s climate protection challenges and commended German ports for pioneering shore power provision. Vago stressed that decarbonisation requires a collective effort and encouraged other ports to follow suit in developing cruise ship-friendly infrastructure. 

Climate and environmental protection were prominent themes at the fair, with Kelly Craighead, president and CEO of CLIA, highlighting the industry’s commitment to rebuilding modern fleets to protect the oceans, air, and destinations visited by millions of passengers annually.

Sustainability also took centre stage at the MARINE INTERIORS Cruise & Ferry Expo, running in parallel with Seatrade Europe. The event showcased sustainable practices in furnishings, lighting systems, textiles, flooring, and kitchen equipment, reflecting the industry’s growing commitment to responsible resource use. 

The exchange of knowledge at exhibition stands was complemented by a comprehensive conference programme. Experts explored various aspects of ship interior design and passenger ships, with highlights including sessions on ferry design, retrofitting solutions, and the challenges faced by cruise operators and suppliers. 

Attendees at both partner events enjoyed networking opportunities, including Wine o’clock, the CLIA Diamond Dinner, and Cruise Night. Those with time to spare in Hamburg could also take part in the Hamburg Cruise Days, a popular festival. 

Christoph Lücke, project head for maritime trade fairs at Hamburg Messe und Congress, said he looked forward to welcoming MARINE INTERIORS participants back to SMM, the leading maritime trade fair, next year, and to the next edition of MARINE INTERIORS in 2025.

The MARINE INTERIORS Cruise & Ferry Global Expo, powered by SMM was launched in 2019 as the first stand-alone B2B trade fair for interior design, equipment and technologies for passenger ships.


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