Personalised smart cabins and purpose-driven travel; that’s what the future of the cruise industry will look like according to a new Future of the Guest Experience released by MSC Cruises.

The report predicts that luxury will be hyper-luxurious, spas will be hyper-revitalising, entertainment will be 5D and beyond, and purpose-driven travel will be the norm.

Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises Pierfrancesco Vago said to accommodate this the cruise industry will need to design and build new ships that will still be cutting-edge for guests 30 years from now.

“As such, innovation and consumer trends are at the very core of our DNA and we need to have a strong and clear vision for the future whilst combining this with timeless style,” he said.

“Through intelligent innovation and design, with a strong commitment to sustainable travel, we will be able to facilitate all kinds of future experiences.”

Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises Pierfrancesco Vago

The report suggested that the trend of Data ID Wallets will enable brands to create a seamless and hyper-personalised guest experience.

Cruise ships and resorts will themselves become data touchpoints, assessing guest behaviour to better inform the services offered. And AI assistants and wearables will continue to play an important role in meeting the needs of guests.

The cruise cabin of the future could feature biosignal sensors that track heart rates and facial expression, adjusting light and temperature for maximum comfort. Or smart materials could act like living art, changing to create a visually immersive environment aligned with a guest’s emotional state.

As travellers become more and more conscious of the environmental impact of their travel and seek out eco-friendly holiday options the guest experience of 2030 will place a significant focus on sustainability, social impact and civic engagement.

The desire for purposeful travel will also see the growth of Repurposed Resorts where hospitality brands will transform uninhabited or once-derelict spaces, boosting local economies by turning them into unique destinations.

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Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve in The Bahamas is an example of one of these destinations. Formerly a sand excavation site, MSC Cruises has worked to transform this industrial site into an eco-friendly destination for guests.

With the next decade set to be defined by consumers’ pursuit of personalisation, desire for conviviality and demand for purpose-driven experience, brands that deliver on these three fronts can create a guest experience that is truly ultra-high definition.

The cruise industry will sit at the forefront of this transformation by embracing creative and future-facing innovations that push beyond the realms of what is expected.