Saturday 23 December 2023

A Note from Martin Johnson, the Chairman of ECN

#expeditioncruising .

As 2023 draws to a close, I find myself reflecting on the year and looking ahead to the next. Setting up the Expedition Cruise Network with Akvile has been an incredible privilege this year, and the response from both expedition cruise operators and our travel trade members has been overwhelming. While you always strive to ensure you've done as much due diligence as possible to launch a new venture with some certainty, I don't think either of us could have predicted the incredible position we’d find ourselves in by the end of this year, just over 9 months since our official launch.

This week, we welcomed our 19th and 20th expedition cruise members, Atlas Ocean Voyages and Poseidon Expeditions. Closing the calendar year in this position clearly demonstrates the benefits we have brought to our expedition cruise members, alongside giving the sector a dedicated and trustworthy voice. We will also have some further member announcements in the coming weeks!

For our travel trade members, there is nowhere else that can offer such an incredible and diverse range of expedition cruise operators in one place. When I look across the portfolio of expedition cruise operator members, there truly is everything—from small, intimate 12-passenger yachts and expedition-focused ships allowing passengers to live out their inner Ranulph Fiennes, to a range of comfortable and luxurious expedition ships offering in-depth exploration alongside all the very finest things in life! There is truly an option for every type of client to discover the world in this incredible way.

As we look ahead to next year, we have some great plans afoot. Look out for next year’s program of informative webinars coming soon; it has been great to see the record attendances at each of these sessions this year! We will also be launching physical events too, so we can all come together to discover, discuss, and celebrate the incredible world of expedition cruises. Further, we will be making great enhancements to our website so you can learn even more about expedition cruising, at a time that suits you. With peaks now just days away, we will also be launching a wave offers handbook to help you quickly navigate what is out there and tempt your clients into the world of expedition cruises.

In the meantime, I hope that you enjoy a rest over the holidays and have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Best Wishes,
Martin Johnson, Chair of the Expedition Cruise Network

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