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Europe’s cruise industry gears up to meet in Hamburg

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In less than two weeks Seatrade Europe, biennial meeting place of the European cruise industry, will open its doors in Hamburg with representatives from almost every cruise line active in the region registered to attend.

Delegates from all over the world are expected for this sixth edition of Seatrade Europe’s conference sessions, with around 250 exhibitors from 50 countries also due to showcase products and services at the trade exhibition.

Many of this year’s exhibitors are new to Seatrade Europe. A fresh concept, the Newcomers’ Area, will host more than 20 companies including coffee and tea manufacturers, carpet suppliers, IT providers, communications and entertainment services, and hotel and catering suppliers.

Despite increased competition from Asia in the shipbuilding market, European shipyards are still the main contractors of ship suppliers. With 600 to 800 suppliers involved in a single cruise newbuild, suppliers can account for up to 75% of building costs.

Another highlight of Seatrade Europe will be the Supplier Workshop, hosted by top buyers from market leaders Fincantieri, Meyer Werft and STX France. Participating suppliers will have a chance to present their products and services during ‘speed date’ meetings with those buyers on Sept. 28.

Continued growth in the European cruise market means development opportunities both for newcomers and established suppliers. In 2010 Europe produced almost 5.5m cruisers, and there seems to be no stopping Germany’s rise. According to analysis by Deutscher Reise Verband, the German travel association, 1.6m Germans booked a cruise last year—1.2m on ocean cruise ships, an increase of 18.9%, and around 433,000 on river cruise ships, a 9.3% increase. Germany is now second only to the UK in European ocean cruise market size and reigns supreme in river cruise.

The Seatrade Insider Cruise Awards will find their 2011 winners on the evening of Sept. 27 during the Seatrade Europe Party at Schmidt’s Tivoli Theatre. Alongside established categories, a new award for innovation in river cruise will be presented.

The Seatrade Europe Cruise & River Cruise Convention is scheduled for Sept. 27-29 at Hamburg Messe.

Seatrade Europe 2011 is sponsored by Cruise Baltic, Cruise Gateway North Sea (funded by the Interreg IVB North Sea Region Programme), Deerberg-Systems, Ecolab Deutschland, Fidelio Cruise Software, Hobart, Passenger Port of St. Petersburg ‘Marine Façade’ and SeaConsult and supported by the Association of Cruise Experts, Cruise Europe, the European Cruise Council, IG RiverCruise, the Passenger Shipping Association and Verband Deutscher Schiffsausrüster.

The event is organised by Hamburg Messe und Congress and Seatrade Communcations Ltd. Information: www.seatrade-europe.com.

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