Chartering an entire cruise ship for a meeting or convention can offer several advantages compared to hosting it in a traditional venue on land. Here are some of the advantages:
- It is a unique and Memorable Experience: Holding a meeting or convention on a cruise ship provides a distinctive and memorable experience for attendees. The combination of business activities and the cruise ship environment creates a more exciting and engaging atmosphere. It adds an element of adventure and relaxation to the event, making it stand out from typical convention experiences.
- It provides an all-in-One Venue: Cruise ships are self-contained environments with a wide range of facilities and amenities. They offer various meeting spaces, conference rooms, exhibition areas, and state-of-the-art technology to accommodate different types and sizes of events. Having everything in one place eliminates the need for attendees to travel between different venues, simplifying logistics and maximizing convenience.
- More Networking Opportunities: Cruise ship conventions foster networking opportunities in a unique setting. Attendees have the chance to interact and engage with each other throughout the duration of the event. The relaxed atmosphere and shared activities, such as dining and social events, encourage networking and relationship building among participants. It provides a conducive environment for fostering new connections and collaborations.
- Diverse Activities and Entertainment: Cruise ships offer a wide range of onboard activities and entertainment options. In addition to the convention program, attendees can enjoy amenities like pools, spas, fitness centers, theaters, and live performances. These activities provide opportunities for relaxation, leisure, and entertainment, enhancing the overall experience for participants.
- Travel and Destination Experience: A convention on a cruise ship combines business with travel and exploration. Attendees have the opportunity to visit multiple destinations during the cruise, which can be particularly appealing for international conventions. This allows participants to experience different cultures, landmarks, and attractions, adding a leisure and educational aspect to the event.
- Flexibility and Customization: Cruise ship conventions offer flexibility in terms of event customization. Cruise lines have dedicated event planners and staff who can assist in tailoring the event to specific needs and requirements. They can help design personalized itineraries, organize themed events, arrange private spaces, and provide specialized services to create a unique and customized convention experience.
- Value for Money: Despite the perception that cruise ship events might be more expensive, they can offer value for money. Cruise packages often include accommodation, meals, and entertainment, which can be more cost-effective compared to arranging these elements separately in a traditional convention setup. Additionally, cruise ships may offer discounted rates for group bookings, making it more affordable for organizations to host large-scale conventions.
It's important to note that while cruise ship conventions offer several advantages, there may also be some considerations to keep in mind, such as potential limitations on space, the need for advance planning and coordination with the cruise line, and potential challenges related to seasickness for some attendees.
Smart Traveler, through its cruise divisions, has conducted over 300 convention cruises including 6 whole ship charters. An experienced agent is key when considering a convention at sea – as minute details matter exponentially more than on land, where replacements for damaged or forgotten convention necessities can be found much more easily! Our Meetings & Incentives team has 40+ years of experience booking cruise groups of all sizes! Planning conventions of 100-1,000 attendees or more persons should begin at least 12 months in advance, and ship charters for up to 6,000 attendees require at least 18-24 months lead time. In any case, for groups of 16-6,000, we can handle it all!