When you’re looking to get away, there’s nothing more inviting than boarding a cruise ship and taking off on the open seas.
Whether they need a break from a stressful job or just want to enjoy time with friends, millions of people take cruises every year. In fact, the global cruise ship industry brought in $37 billion in revenue in 2015 alone, making it a very profitable business.
That said, running a cruise ship is much different from just being a passenger on one. If you want to get into the business, here are some cruise tips you should know.
Consider Chartering Your Ships
Obviously, one of the first things you’ll need to start your cruise business is a ship. What many folks don’t realize, however, is that they don’t need to buy a ship in order to start their business.
When you charter a ship, you are essentially “leasing” it for a certain period of time. With this approach, you have lower startup costs, and take on less personal risk.
Hire a Knowledgeable Crew
Unlike with other hospitality businesses, running a cruise ship brings the added challenge of maintaining a large, seaworthy vessel. To run a successful ship, it’s not enough to simply keep your passengers entertained. You must keep them safe by hiring a crew that can keep the ship in working order.
At the very least, every ship needs a captain who can navigate the vessel. A good captain will know both how to operate the ship, and how to keep passengers safe in bad weather. You should also hire a technician who can maintain the engine and other electrical equipment on the ship.
Get Insurance Coverage for the Vessel
Running a cruise ship brings certain risks. To protect yourself, you’ll want to get proper insurance.
For one, you’ll want to get insurance for the ship itself. You should also get general liability coverage to protect your business if a customer is injured.
Get Insurance Coverage for Your Crew
Insurance for the ship isn’t the only coverage you should get. Given the risks associated with this work, it’s a good idea to invest in health insurance for your crew. It will ensure that the people who keep your customers safe are safe themselves.
Remember That Not All Cruises Are Overnight
When people think of cruises, they often think of multi-day voyages to Mexico or the Carribean. These are certainly a popular option, and cruises can make a large profit off of each passenger with these trips.
In reality, however, overnight cruises only represent a small fraction of what’s available. Many people enjoy taking a cruise out for a few hours to enjoy the scenery and have some drinks. For instance, the Bucks Party Cruise in Sydney gives passengers the opportunity to party on a luxury ship, a truly unique experience.
For someone just getting into the cruise ship business, offering short-term cruises is a good option. These cruises require less overhead costs, making it easier for a small business to get started.
Share Your Cruise Tips
Do you run a successful cruise ship? What are your top cruise tips? Let us know in the comments!