The booming luxury cruise sector, and increased focus on digitalisation and sustainability are offering opportunities to grow services for the passenger shipmanagement sector
V.Ships Leisure director Per Bjornsen highlights how the growing links between the luxury cruise and yacht sectors is helping to boost new business.
He tells PST “As luxury cruise shipping has become more popular and ship sizes increase, new entrants are coming to this sector to raise the bar for luxury even further. You have Scenic Eclipse and The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection on the one side, and super yachts on the other. This includes a yacht we will manage, REV Ocean, which when launched will be the world’s largest yacht at 183 m long. It has a passenger ship class notation which will focus on sustainability and will undertake scientific research on the world’s oceans. Therefore, we see that the difference between the services these vessels require is no longer so different. Before a yacht was a yacht and cruise ships were cruise ships and now, they are increasingly converging.”
V.Ships has scooped the contract for The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, which includes a range of services spanning crewing, technical, procurement and systems, as well as using V.Ships’ cutting edge ShipSure platform. Mr Bjornsen says he believes winning The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection contract will help V.Ships Leisure to win more business within the luxury cruise sector and for other new entrants to our industry.
He adds “This brand is taking what they are doing ashore and bringing this consistent ultra-luxury experience to sea. As one of the most recognised brands in the hospitality industry, this absolute focus on consistency for their yacht collection is key. For us, it is very exciting to have partners who want to step-up what they do and challenge and support us to do the same. It means we have a healthy opportunity to review what we do and how we do it, to innovate and deliver better services ever more constantly. They are coming into the cruise industry with a fresh approach and they see things differently. They want to do things with the latest hospitality innovations, technology and best practices on shore and at sea.”
V.Ships Leisure will use its global ship management digital platform ShipSure as part of its contract for The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection.
ShipSure: massive investment
Having developed ShipSure inhouse for over 15 years, it has recently undergone a major update. Mr Bjornsen explains that the company has made a massive investment in the platform to make it much more user friendly. The updated platform started to roll out within the company’s passenger ship sector in 2019 and will be completed across all their partners’ fleets within the first six months of this year.
Mr Bjornsen expands “It is setting a new standard in the shipping industry. The new version includes an owners’ app and real-time data covering financial, crewing and procurement arrangements. The seafarers will stay connected through the seafarers’ app on which they stay in touch with the shore team, upload information, get flight details and e-learning contents. It is user-friendly for the team and much more transparent. This is what our partners expect.”
He sums up “There are two major trends within the cruise industry: digitalisation, which is in every aspect of operation, and sustainability which is both the greatest opportunity and challenge facing the industry as we enter this new decade.”
Snapshot CV: Per Bjornsen (V.Ships Leisure)
V.Ships Leisure managing director Per Bjornsen joined V.Ships Leisure in Monaco in 1997 and is responsible for the company’s services to the maritime leisure sector.
He was educated at the Royal Norwegian Naval Academy, Oslo Business School, Scandinavian Institute of Maritime Law at the University of Oslo and at INSEAD, France.
V.Group is the world’s largest ship management and marine services company with a fleet of more than 1,000 vessels under technical and/or crew management. It is also a leading provider of third-party ship management and other services to the maritime leisure industry including expedition and ultra-luxury cruise vessels and large yachts.