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The biggest news this week is the return of the first major cruise line to service. MSC Cruises began sailing its flagship MSC Grandiosa yesterday, August 16, and its MSC Magnifica will begin sailing again in the Mediterranean as of August 29. As MSC Head of Retail Adrian Pittaway commented yesterday online: “Cruise retail is back! At 20:00 hrs this evening, MSC Grandiosa departed from Genoa with her first guests, with industry leading safety protocols in place to ensure a sustainable platform to build from.” See full story on page 1.
The industry wishes them well and anxiously watches how this return plays out, especially in light of other cruise lines cancelling service for all or nearly all of the rest of the year. CLIA extended the voluntary cruise ban in the U.S. until Oct. 31, and Carnival Corp., the Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings have current restart dates in November 2020 (as of now). Cruise Critic this week reported that Viking is the latest line to cancel the entire 2020 season.
In more news from the cruise sector, TMI reports on an excellent webinar hosted by Miami-based Gamma3 Council, which examined the impact of COVID-19 on the Caribbean as it pertains to cruise ships, since the ships are such an important source of customers and passengers in the islands.
Participants in the June webinar included: Elodie Thellier, President, (TAG Heuer) LVMH Watch & Jewelry Caribbean & Latin America; Christelle Caron, Sales Director, Cruise Lines, Moet Hennessy; Marco Di Santo (moderator), Sales Director – Travel Retail (Cruise ships channel WW) and Caribbean Region, Bulgari; and retailer concessionaires Gian Franco Botteri, Director of Operations & Adrian Riches, Cruise Service Operations Director, Dufry; and Brenda Baty, Chief Commercial Officer, Starboard Cruise Services, Inc. The webinar was hosted by Diego Stecchi, founder of the Gamma3 Council. Exclusive coverage begins on page 2.
DUFRY & HUDSON
Dufry Group and its Hudson subsidiary both reported half year earnings last week, and while turnover plunged -62% at Dufry due to fallout from the travel disruption caused by COVID-19, Dufry spelled out the efforts it is taking to mitigate the impact and prepare for recovery. Hudson – which depends on domestic traffic for most of its business — reports that it has re-opened more than 200 stores. See pages 4 & 5.
SUPPLY SIDE – SPIRITS
Bowmore Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky has teamed up with iconic auto maker Aston Martin to unveil the first release in a series of collaborative projects and products: Black Bowmore DB5 1964, priced at £50,000. Page 6
Loch Lomond Whiskies has unveiled a complete brand refresh of its packaging and range offering across its Global Travel Retail (GTR) single malt whiskies. Page 6.
Tito’s Handmade Vodka appoints Alex Borbolla as International Commercial Manager. Page 6.
MORE SUPPLY SIDE
Duty Free Dynamics. Regional travel retail distributor Duty Free Dynamics has debuted in the Apparel category with the introduction of the New Era headwear brand. DFD will be representing the brand in the travel retail channel of Latin America and the Caribbean. Page 7.
Estée Lauder reimagines its #1 nighttime serum with new Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Multi-Recovery Complex. Page 7
Sunglasses Workshop to be hosted at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo 2020. See details on page 7.