Tourism & Cruises

Thousands in town for Cruise Shipping Miami conference

A model of the Norwegian Breakaway, in the Meyer Werft shipbuilding booth, is viewed by convention goers during the Cruise Shipping Miami conference in 2013. The 2015 version of the event is going on this week at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
A model of the Norwegian Breakaway, in the Meyer Werft shipbuilding booth, is viewed by convention goers during the Cruise Shipping Miami conference in 2013. The 2015 version of the event is going on this week at the Miami Beach Convention Center. MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Cruise operators, ship builders, destination marketers and ship suppliers are gathered this week in Miami Beach for the annual Cruise Shipping Miami conference and exhibition.

Described as the “cruise industry's premier global event,” the event kicked off Monday at the Miami Beach Convention Center with sessions on port infrastructure and shore experiences.

The main kickoff comes Tuesday morning, when the leaders of the world’s largest cruise companies are scheduled to discuss the state of the industry globally.

Over the course of the conference, which ends Thursday, experts will also discuss energy efficiency, up-and-coming markets such as China, the potential for cruising in Cuba, trends in onboard dining, public health issues and millennial travelers.

Several industry veterans will appear at the conference in new roles along with new executives following more than a year of top-level changes at major cruise lines.

Moving forward, a big change is in store for the conference itself. The event will shift to the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center in 2016 due to renovations scheduled at the Miami Beach venue.

“We wanted to keep the event in South Florida — the cruise capital of the world — and with Broward County Convention Center’s proximity to Port Everglades it was the ideal alternative,” Christopher Dauer, Cruise Shipping Miami's brand director, said in a statement last month. “Having the event in Broward keeps us close to nearly all of the major cruise line headquarters, which will enable the top cruise line executives, middle managers, buyers, itinerary planners and key players to have convenient access to the convention and exhibition.”

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