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Expedition Cruise Network reveals new members at official launch event

Expedition Cruise Network, Martin Johnson


The Expedition Cruise Network (ECN) has announced that Oceanwide Expeditions and Polar Latitudes have joined the association.

This brings the membership of cruise operators to 16, while 330 trade professionals have signed up to the trade membership portal.

The news was revealed at its first member and media event, held in London on 16 May.

ECN chairman chairman Martin Johnson and CEO Akvile Marozaite also confirmed that the network will hold the “most extensive expedition cruising webinar series ever produced for the travel trade during the second half of 2023”.

Speaking at the event, Johnson added: “The ECN was born because the expedition market is the fastest growing travel sector in the world. The sector needed its own voice.

“Sustainability is an urgent task and we are committed to growing expedition hand-in-hand with climate targets.”

The ECN will also provide “intelligence and analysis on the sector’s trends”.

From its first survey of members this week, every member reported strong growth in the first quarter of 2023, new entrants to the market and price points starting at £5,000, a statement said.

Expedition cruise a ‘dynamic and competitive market’

Marozaite added: “We are pleased to report that all of our Expedition Cruise Network members have reported growth or significant growth in the first quarter of 2023.

“This is a dynamic and increasingly competitive market with new entrants entering the sector all the time.

“Two members also report increased trends for customers booking both very early and last minute – perhaps due to discounting sited by one member.

“All our members aim to leave a minimal footprint due to today’s highly energy efficient, new generation of low-energy vessels, while customers are increasingly becoming better informed with an increasingly younger demographic.

“All the members said that they were looking to increase trade support, with the majority looking to educate and market to consumers on their unique worldwide itineraries, improve their sustainability credentials and develop new itineraries.”

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