This post has been a bit delayed as I actually typed it on my train home, but its been sitting on my iPad waiting to be published! Last month I visited the London Cruise Show. It’s the first time I have been the cruise show and it provided an interesting viewpoint, I stayed for a few of the lectures/presentations which had been put on by the various cruise lines and the travel section of the Telegraph which sponsor the event.
The London event is the biggest of the UK cruise shows, which also visit Glasgow and Birmingham. I hadn’t however visited London for twelve years so it was interesting to see the show and also take the opportunity to visit London and be the tourist.
Now living in Liverpool and hoping to get to London nice and early I was up at 04.30 to get the 5.47 train to London Euston arriving at 8.05, travelling first class of course. The show provided an opportunity for Cruise Lines to display their stands and sell themselves to the general public, all very much like The Apprentice.
An interesting feature of the Cruise Show being the presence of Carnival, what has traditionally been the North American brand of Carnival Corporation & PLC has made the jump and is after our custom, we will see two Carnival Ships in Europe this season. With Carnival Legend sailing out of Dover. (I’m not sure I would have chosen Dover, I think Liverpool would have been better but it’s all about personal taste 😛 )
I watched the Carnival presentation to the British cruising public with their new UK MD and their chief cruise director John Heald. The presentation quickly showed how Carnival has had to adapt to the UK Market, but the onboard language being English is always a plus for the UK customers. They actually did a really good presentation, and have pretty much won me over to the Carnival cause. Carnival has a fleet of amazing ships, which really do entertain you in every way, however I believe it’s going to make great strides in the UK market over the coming years, and would make a great replacement for the Ocean Village brand.
Most of the Leading Cruise Lines where there, with P&O, Royal Caribbean/Celebrity/Azamara and MSC all in attendance, with along with Fred Olsen, NCL, Saga and numerous others. It was really great to see some of the smaller brands who you don’t regularly hear about and see what they had to offer.
After the show I was given a beginner’s guide to London, and had a trip on the Thames Clipper, a great experience I would recommend to anyone, It’s great as once under Tower Bridge the ship escalates away, and you have a great view of London and eventually the magnificent Cutty Sark. Also just a little thanks to Tim & Richard for their tour guide skills and it was great to see the familiar faces from on board MSC Opera and MSC Orchestra.