Ken Muskat spent almost three many years within the cruise business largely working for cruise strains with huge ships. Now he is going small. After leaving MSC Cruises as govt vice chairman and COO, Muskat joined Scenic Group as managing director in December as the corporate that owns Emerald Cruises and Scenic Luxurious Cruises and Excursions prepares to double its oceangoing capability. He chatted with cruise editor Andrea Zelinski about his shift to small-ship cruising and the traits he is observed for the reason that pandemic.
Q: Why transfer to Scenic?
A: At this level in my profession, it was an thrilling time to maneuver into this new class, and in a really rising class of river, ocean yacht and expedition. That is not solely as a result of I believe it is an ideal alternative for me from an expert perspective to study a brand new class of the enterprise — particularly one that’s changing into so fashionable — but additionally from a private perspective. At this level in my life, it is the sort of trip I might need to take myself.
Q: What traits are you seeing within the business now?
A: Friends right this moment are searching for distinctive experiences, their bucket-list experiences. They’re searching for these particular tales to deliver dwelling to their family and friends which can be very distinctive and customised, they usually’re seeking to journey all over the world and meet individuals from all over the world. Crusing on our ocean yachts, we now have the power to do that. We get to locations huge ships can not get to. We give company the power to fulfill different company in a very simple means as a result of there’s solely 200 or so company onboard at any given time. The crew-to-guest ratio is one that may present service on these smaller vessels that you would be able to’t do on bigger ships. Most essential is the smaller ships present the power to fulfill individuals and construct relationships with individuals onboard, whether or not they’re company or crew, and get a sort of service that you simply simply cannot get anyplace else.
Q: It sounds such as you’re saying the pattern towards smaller luxurious ships is about that intimacy?
A: Sure, I believe it is in regards to the intimacy, after which I believe it is also equally about the truth that these ships can simply go to locations all over the world that quite a lot of different ships cannot go to. Having the ability to deliver these ships to locations the place there are world occasions occurring, whether or not there’s the World Cup or the Monte Carlo Grand Prix or having the ability to go instantly into the ice in Antarctica and simply slot in locations that almost all ships cannot go. You are actually speaking about smaller vessels that may supply an expertise that even some luxurious bigger vessels can not supply, not to mention the large ships.
Q: Some manufacturers are attempting to take away the phrase “cruise” from their identify or are attempting to distance themselves from that time period. What do you concentrate on that?
A: There’s quite a lot of issues which have modified due to the pandemic, clearly. We’re now popping out of it. Ship capability and demand are attending to the degrees which can be prepandemic ranges. Whether or not you name it a voyage or a cruise or an ocean yacht expertise, the very fact of the matter is, individuals can model it in numerous methods. I believe company are searching for this ocean expertise or this river cruise expertise the place it goes again to the normal means of unpacking as soon as, getting to go to a special vacation spot each single day of the voyage, having the ability to stroll proper off the ship onto the ice or stroll proper off the river ship proper onto the land and the completely different locations that we go to. Persons are searching for that.
I do not assume there’s going to be any purpose to cover that it is a voyage or a cruise. The business is coming again very, very strongly, and it continues to be a rising and essential business for locations all around the world.