Successful Co-located Cruise Industry Fairs Wrap Up in Hamburg

The MARINE INTERIORS Cruise & Ferry Global Expo and Seatrade Europe Cruise & River Cruise Convention successfully concluded in Hamburg, after welcoming 3,500 attendees from across the cruise industry from 6-8 September 2023 to engage in discussions about the future of cruising.


Highlighting the resurgence of the industry, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) reported that global ocean cruise passenger numbers are expected to reach 31.5 million this year, surpassing 106% of the 2019 total. "The boom in the cruise segment was only momentarily halted by the COVID-19 crisis, as current statistics clearly indicate,” remarked Bernd Aufderheide, President and CEO of Hamburg Messe und Congress. “European companies not only have an excellent reputation in this segment but also an outstanding market position.” Hamburg, once again, proved to be an ideal venue for both events, he added.

Concentration of expertise

Hamburg Messe und Congress hosted cruise and river cruise operators, designers, shipyard owners, suppliers, and representatives of cruise destinations, attracting approximately 350 exhibiting companies and 3,500 attendees from about 80 countries. These gatherings served as a platform for sharing insights and ideas on current developments and future trends in the industry.

During his keynote address at Seatrade Europe, Pierfrancesco Vago, Chairman of MSC Cruises, emphasised the industry's climate protection challenges and commended German ports for pioneering shore power provision. Vago stressed that decarbonisation requires a collective effort and encouraged other ports to follow suit in developing cruise ship-friendly infrastructure. Dieter Janecek, Maritime Coordinator of the German Federal Government, highlighted the cruise segment's leading role in driving sustainability in the shipping industry, underscoring the urgency of implementing sustainable solutions.

Climate and environmental protection were prominent themes at the conference fair, with Kelly Craighead, President and CEO of CLIA, highlighting the industry's commitment to rebuilding modern fleets to protect the oceans, air, and destinations visited by millions of passengers annually.

Emphasis on sustainable design

Sustainability also took centre stage at the MARINE INTERIORS Cruise & Ferry Expo, running in parallel with Seatrade Europe. The event showcased sustainable practices in furnishings, lighting systems, textiles, flooring, and kitchen equipment, reflecting the industry's growing commitment to responsible resource use. Claus-Ulrich Selbach, Business Unit Director – Maritime and Technology Fairs & Exhibitions at Hamburg Messe und Congress, emphasised the importance of retrofitting as a sustainable and cost-efficient way to modernise ship interiors while minimising environmental impact.

Conference insights and added value

The exchange of knowledge at exhibition stands was complemented by a comprehensive conference programme. Experts explored various aspects of ship interior design and passenger ships, with highlights including sessions on ferry design, retrofitting solutions, and the challenges faced by cruise operators and suppliers.

The organisers were particularly proud of their collaboration with the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), which influenced various aspects of the conference programme. Topics ranged from sustainable cruise practices to environmental initiatives.

Networking and entertainment opportunities included

Attendees at both partner events enjoyed diverse networking opportunities, including Wine o'clock, the CLIA Diamond Dinner, and Cruise Night. Those with time to spare in Hamburg could also take part in the Cruise Days, a popular festival.

Christoph Lücke, Project Head for maritime trade fairs at Hamburg Messe und Congress,

expressed his satisfaction with the event's outcome, particularly with the co-location of Seatrade Europe and Marine Interiors. He looks forward to welcoming MARINE INTERIORS participants back to SMM, the world's leading maritime trade fair, next year, and to the next edition of MARINE INTERIORS in 2025.

Mary Bond, Group Director, Seatrade Cruise, was likewise positive in her assessment: “It’s been wonderful to welcome the cruise community back to Seatrade Europe 2023, an event that was unexpectedly four years in the making. The global turnout of participants in Hamburg reaffirmed the robustness of the cruise market in the region.”



About Seatrade Cruise

Since 1970, Seatrade Cruise has been the industry's leading platform for collaboration, innovation, and networking within the international cruise community. Comprising the largest cruise events and tradeshows, news channels, virtual programming resources, and prestigious awards programmes, Seatrade Cruise reaches over 20,000 professionals, 4,000 suppliers, 80 cruise line brands, and 130 countries.

For more information on Seatrade Cruise Events, visit For the latest news and industry updates, visit

Seatrade Cruise Events are organised by Informa Markets, a leading B2B information services group and the largest B2B Events organiser in the world. For the latest news and information, visit Media Contact: Luz Castillo, FINN Partners, Email: seatrade(at)finnpartners(dot)com.


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Dana Funck
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Dana Funck