Holding your next meeting at a luxury resort or exotic hideaway? That’s fine, but there’s an alluring, all-inclusive, possibly even money-saving alternative — a cruise ship. Meetings at sea are sailing on a rising tide in the MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and events) industry. Christine Duffy, president and CEO, Cruise Line International Association, touts group bookings on a cruise ship, as opposed to a landlocked resort, as “a cost-effective way of producing a meeting that doesn’t look and feel like every other meeting.”
The advantages of a meeting at sea begin with the ports of call made possible by a movable venue and, along the way, shore excursions tailored to a group’s special interests. On board, networking and team-building opportunities are particularly abundant. Most ships, especially the newest ones, feature purpose-built facilities for group events, with meeting coordinators on hand. And by some estimates, cruise meetings are up to 30 percent less costly overall than comparable meetings conducted ashore.
All of Royal Caribbean’s mega-ships, an ideal choice for meeting-goers with families, now have conference centers and the ability to set aside public areas, from theaters to decks, for private gatherings. Holland America Line, with its worldwide fleet of mid-sized ships, can host meetings of up to 2,650 guests at a time while providing private kitchen tours, cooking demonstrations and, on its Bahamas cruise, a Beach Olympics team-building day on Half Moon Cay, the line’s own private island.
On all-inclusive small-ship lines such as Silversea Cruises, the attractions for groups include gourmet dining, luxury amenities, butler service and exotic shore excursions. These are ideal characteristics for an incentive cruise rewarding top employees, dealers or distributors; for rolling out products; or for expressing appreciation to special customers and influential clients.
For small groups favoring adventures at sea over onboard amenities, boutique lines such as Un-Cruise Adventures charter out an entire vessel. This enables groups of 22 to 88 passengers to team-build in the Southeast Alaskan outback, snorkel with sea lion pups in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez or toast the best at vintage wineries along the Columbia River from what amounts to their own private yacht.
Nearly every international cruise line, large or small, arranges full-ship charters, giving groups full control over meeting spaces, shore excursions and ports of call. Firms such as the venerable Landry & Kling specialize in setting up these ultimate meetings at sea. But however a group chooses to convene on a cruise — whether by becoming part of a floating resort or chartering its own expedition yacht — it promises to be a meeting to remember.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
WalletHub compared the 100 largest U.S. cities across 24 key metrics to determine the best destinations for an upcoming Oktoberfest celebration. The brand’s study found the estimated cost for an American to attend Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, is $5,000. Munich boasts a $1.43 billion annual economic impact on Munich. During Oktoberfest, nearly 2 million gallons of beer are consumed and more than 510,000 whole roast chickens eaten.
Qantas will start using a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on its Sydney–Santiago route starting in late June 2020.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.
On Location Experiences makes it easy for travelers to head to London or Mexico City for upcoming NFL games. Tottenham Hotspur Stadium hosts the Chicago Bears and Oakland Raiders Oct. 6, and the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers Oct. 13; Wembley Stadium hosts the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams Oct. 27, and the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars Nov. 3; and Estadio Azteca hosts the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers Nov. 18.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Hotel brands all over the world have pushed for sustainability. For many, it began with reducing single-use plastics, like straws. InterContinental recently announced the end of in-room miniature toiletries.