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Yet more consolidation occurred in the cruise sector this week with Royal Caribbean Cruises, the world’s second-largest cruise company, swooping for luxury cruise line Silversea.

It means even more of the world’s cruise capacity is now owned, or controlled, by just a handful of giants.

Often, consolidation can mean a lack of competition and choice for both consumers and agents. However, the welcome evidence from the cruise sector so far is that parent companies have often allowed their brands to operate pretty independently – maintaining USPs and strategies and often competing among themselves.

That’s great news for the trade, of course, which appreciates genuine choice – a wide, differentiated range of products available to suit customers’ tastes and budgets.

And let’s hope that continues both with this latest acquisition, and those that are likely to follow, according to Azamara Club Cruises boss Larry Pimentel.

These are certainly exciting times for cruise – and I had my own ‘cruise first’ this week as I was named as co-godmother of Azamara’s third ship Azamara Pursuit.

The line said I was chosen because of my passion for the travel trade, and I absolutely see this incredible honour as a reflection of my commitment to the amazing industry I have been fortunate to work within over the past two decades.

More than 20 years after starting out as a travel trade reporter, my enthusiasm for the people and businesses that make up the industry continues to grow, and my entire team and I will strive to continue informing and representing you to the best of our abilities.

Comment from Travel Weekly, June 21 edition