The Future of Shore Excursions
As cruise passengers have enjoyed increasing abilities to customize their experiences over the last decade, the variety and flexibility of shore excursion options have remained comparatively static. But new technology is opening up the possibilities for cruise lines to offer new shorex experiences while still maintaining high levels of safety and comfort. Look out for the following shore excursion trends in the future.
Shore excursion offerings are often limited by the cost and labor it takes to recruit, contact, vet, and monitor operators. However, these tasks are becoming increasingly easier and more cost-effective as technology infrastructure is enhanced. Shorex operators will be able to sign up, bid on excursions, and fill out paperwork all through automated systems, making this part of the vetting process much more cost effective. Booking and review systems will also provide real-time yield statistics, which will give cruise lines data to better monitor current operators and tailor excursion offerings.
Customized Shore Excursions
Not every cruise passenger chooses to purchase a standard shore excursion. These guests often find independent operators to take them on customizable tours, which is a lost opportunity for cruise lines to provide safe and reliable shoreside experiences. Vetted vendors who are held to the brand’s standards and are monitored via GPS will be able to take these guests on bespoke experiences, and guests will feel more secure and valued as a result.
For passengers who do not want traditional shore excursions or the customized versions, self-guided tours will become more common. Whether through a device or an app, cruise lines will begin to offer walking tours for guests to self-navigate through destinations. Using GPS, these tour apps will have the ability to point out and suggest locations to visit and will deliver interesting information on points of interest. Push notifications will also encourage guests to visit certain locations and notify them when it’s time to get back to the ship.
Technology will begin to enhance existing shore excursions, and a major component of this will be augmented reality (AR). Cruise lines will offer devices, or build technology into their apps, that will supplement tours and experiences. For example, during a walking tour of historic ruins, guests would be notified to hold up their device to see what the site would have looked like two thousand years ago. As AR technology continues to develop, cruise lines will provide more and more immersive experiences during shore excursions.
Cruise passengers increasingly want to make sure they are picking shore excursions they will enjoy, and cruise lines will increasingly offer this opportunity using virtual reality (VR) technology. Not only will guests be able to use their mobile devices to experience a VR tour, but cruise lines will offer VR experiences on the ship. Virtual destination and experience previews will become a standard offering for guests.