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Mackerel-Ball

The Cruise industry is projected to launch 21 Million+ passengers on to the Oceans in 2015, delivered by ever-bigger ships with more on-board facilities.

And Royal Caribbean Cruises are leading the trend with the launch of their state-of-the-art 4000+ capacity liner, Quantum Of The Seas.

So no one seems to be struggling to bring the People to the Oceans But is their growth strategy resilient?

Resilience demands that we balance the Opportunity already identified with the Volatility* the category has to manage and absorb over time.

Interestingly the one volatility that seemed to be missing in the conversation is that of the oceans on which cruise companies ply their trade.

And by recent reports, oceanic degradation* is one volatility that offers both the greatest challenge and the freshest opportunity.

Our human wellbeing is inextricably linked to the well-being of the oceans in ways most of us do not realise – why would we? Oceans are ‘out there’ – far beyond our scope of interest – and Ships like Quantum of The Oceans will only go to exacerbate that increasing emotional and rational dislocation.

The bigger the ship; the further away from the sea you’re floating on you become.

But consider for a moment how a simple shift in brand focus:

FROM: Bringing the People to the Ocean

TO: Bringing the Ocean to the People

might offer a fresh source of innovation and differentiation.

Suddenly each ship becomes a floating social network with a bigger purpose – to influence a more sustainable relationship between humanity and the oceans.

Lightness of touch is essential.

There’s nothing quite like a guilty conscience to sour a hard-earned holiday.

Far too many ethical holiday companies forget that the mindset of the average holiday-maker is: ‘I’m going on a holiday, not a crusade’.

So make it fun. Gamify it. Build the oceanic equivalent of Farmville.

And let’s get Google to map the oceans and build a My Drop In The Ocean Pixel Platform while we’re at it – name a pixel of ocean after a loved one.

Who knows: 22 Million Drops could make for a new ocean.

Just a thought.

Deeper notes behind the ‘thought’ below.

* Volatility – a complex interdependent value chain supply chain model manages a number of volatilities – fluctuations & pressures on cost of serving the increasing expectation of experience at decreasing cost – the cost and resource required to managing sustainable fuel sources, innovations, costs and regulation (specifically the low-sulphur emission targets required by 2020) – the increasing pressure of cruise line passenger numbers on destinations infrastructure, environment and socio-cultural dynamics – the impacts of natural disaster and terrorism on general tourism trends and specifically in destination – itineraries shifts.

* The impact of Ocean Acidification, increased acidity caused by run off from ocean side cities and farming and its impact on global warming, sea life and colonies; and the blight of Trash Vortexes – in tandem with over fishing – has bought the condition of the oceans to a point of crisis – so much so that a number of special committees set up to deal directly and specifically with the impacts ad the management of them

The Global Ocean Commission – According to research reviewed by the Commission, this major proportion of the global ocean is under severe and increasing pressure from overfishing, damage to important habitat, climate change and ocean acidification

UN Oceans – In September 2003, the United Nations High-Level Committee on Programmes approved the creation of an Oceans and Coastal Areas Network (subsequently named “UN-Oceans”) to build on SOCA, covering a wide range of issues and composed of the relevant programmes, entities and specialized agencies of the UN system and the secretariats of the relevant international conventions, including the International Seabed Authority and the Convention on Biological Diversity.

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