September 2019


At Digital Ship we have been investigating the changing technology landscape in the maritime sector for nearly 20 years. Over the past 12 months alone we have looked at how autonomous shipping is directing the maritime future; we have discussed how the changing cyber threat landscape is driving planning and decision making; we have learnt what the impact of upcoming regulations and compliance issues may be and how to manage these; we have heard from exciting new entrants and start-ups looking to find a place in our industry world; we have reviewed shipping’s position in the supply chain and looked at how to better collaborate and work with our partners; and we have delved deeply into what digital disruption really means for your business bottom line.

With innovation now impacting every aspect of the shipping sector, this also includes the passenger sectors. CLIA reports that the cruise industry projects growth throughout 2019 - with an estimated 30 million travellers expected to take to the seas - a 6% increase from 28.2 million in 2018. In the coming year 18 new ships are on order from CLIA cruise lines. Lines including MSC, Royal Caribbean, Saga, Princess and Marella Cruises are just some of those with new additions coming to their fleets, and they have all made significant developments – both in the way they operate and in how they manage their guests’ experiences.

From hi-tech entertainment and upmarket dining experiences, to better safety and environmental changes, technology is central to many of these changes – and is also key for maintaining market position, gaining competitive edge and in driving new business channels.

As with other sectors, the focus is on using technology to decrease the cost of operations and also to tackle environmental impact – such as by adopting energy-saving technologies and reducing emissions. Then there are also those innovations that have been employed to enhance the passenger experience. With tech devices and innovations now permeating so much of daily life, it has become inevitable that these are making their way on board cruise ships via both crew and passengers. The competitive nature of the cruise sector is encouraging exciting developments in the way cruise companies are using technology to stay ahead of the game and attract returning and new customers alike.

The ferry sector too is undergoing rapid change –with innovations in technology heralding new possibilities in both ferry design and operation. Situational awareness, smart navigation and enhanced optimisation have all contributed to improving the safety and efficiency of ferries.

Through plenary sessions and case studies the first Digital Cruise Forum London, taking place in London during September 2019, will take a look at both operational innovations, and at new technology designed to focus on enhancing the passenger experience. 

Session 1

- Innovation for Operations

  • The future of Digital Cruise – outlook for 2019 and beyond
  • Big data and IoT – delivering the connectivity for increased data usage
  • Reducing operational costs through energy saving
  • Employing green technologies for environmental sustainability
  • Ship design for future efficiency
  • The potential for ferry customisation
  • Improving safety in the cruise and ferry sectors
  • Banking on innovation - evaluating investment in new technologies

Session 2

- The Connected Passenger (and Crew)

  • Cyber security – The emerging threat to passenger safety
  • Enhancing the passenger’s experience through IoT, data integration and AI
  • Generating new customer demand through technology
  • The evolution of passenger entertainment
  • E-commerce and retail platforms
  • Technology for crew productivity
  • And more