Future vision: The MSC video
Taking a cruise ten years from now could be quite a different experience, according to a futuristic report by MSC Cruises.
Cabins could automatically change lighting and temperature to suit your mood, passengers could meet each other’s ‘digital aliases’ before catching up in real life and restaurants could use virtual reality headsets to become a ‘4D’ experience.
The predictions for 2030 are made in a study jointly produced by the cruise line with The Future Laboratory.
Bio sensors that track heart rates and facial expressions will be able to change the brightness and warmth of your cabin to make you feel most comfortable – whether you’ve just returned from a relaxing spa treatment or an energetic workout in the gym. Even the artworks on the wall could adapt to reflect your emotional state.
Existing technology that allows MSC Cruises guests to make a reservation with people from different countries could be adapted to allow them to meet other passengers in ‘virtual lobbies’ to break the ice before encountering them in person.
The report quotes the example of a New York hotel where guests can already create a digital alias revealing as much – or as little – about their identity as they wish before agreeing to meet other people in a public space.
Virtual reality headsets could also be used in 2030 to add another dimension to dining, transporting guests to another location as they tuck into their food.
Technology will also help to personalise guests’ experience, with cruise ships and resorts automatically assessing people’s behaviour to better provide the services they might enjoy. Artificial intelligence, like the Zoe virtual assistants being introduced on MSC Cruises ships, and wearable devices will play ‘an important role’ in anticipating and meeting the needs of passengers, the report says.
By 2025, the average person across the world is expected to interact with smartphones and other devices nearly 4,800 times per day – about once every 18 seconds, the document predicts.
Screen-weary passengers missing the human touch will seek out ‘anthropo-tainment’ shows – that’s people on stage to you and me – which break down age and language barriers, such as the Cirque du Soleil productions already on MSC Cruises ships.
With more travellers aware of the environmental impact of their trips, the study predicts the growth of ‘repurposed resorts’, such as Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve in the Bahamas – a former sand excavation site where MSC Cruises is restoring natural coral and planting 75,000 native shrubs and plants.
The report says: ‘In 2030, guest experiences will be ultra-high definition (UHD). Just as we look back on standard definition televisions with nostalgic surprise, noting how grainy and frankly unrealistic the picture was, we’ll regard our current travel experiences in a similar way.’
Pierfrancesco Vago, the executive chairman of MSC Cruises, said: ‘Through intelligent innovation and design, with a strong commitment to sustainable travel, we will be able to facilitate all kinds of future experience.’