The linguistic challenge of cruise tourism

Over the last decade, the cruise tourism industry has been rapidly expanding and attracting all audiences. The sector has been able to adapt to the wide-ranging needs of its passengers in order to “welcome aboard” tourists travelling all over the world to many different destinations. Mediterranean cruises, Caribbean cruises, cruises around Norwegian fjords or Greek islands…these are just some of the most popular destinations that people choose in order to make the most of this experience.
As well as an abundant choice of destinations, there is also a wide array of options with regards to the target audience or theme of the cruise. Indeed, in the past few years there have been cruises for singles, zombie-themed cruises, and cruises for children such as those offered by Disney. You’d be hard pressed to find an age group without the ideal cruise to suit them.

An international audience

One of the distinctive features of this type of tourism is that the passengers hail from a huge variety of countries. On one cruise ship alone, you could find tourists from every continent, and this is something which presents a real linguistic challenge when it comes to organising the different activities that form part of the cruise experience. Without a doubt, some tourism translation services are essential for everything to run smoothly and to ensure that passengers always have access to the necessary information in their own language.
For this to happen, all signage and information must be translated into the main languages spoken by the tourists. This includes signs giving instructions, activity programmes, information leaflets and restaurant menus. The translation needs to be professional to avoid confusion and any subsequent annoyance or dissatisfaction among passengers.
Even before the trip, it is vital that the tourists are well informed before making the decision to book their place on the cruise ship. This means the web page and all the details about the cruise, itinerary, price, destinations and other key information must be translated into every language possible to allow the offer to reach the widest potential audience.
As well as the translation of the signage and all of the information regarding the cruise itself, the role of the ship’s crew is also essential from a communication perspective. Language-learning is a crucial element of the training of the crew: the more languages spoken and the higher the level the better. In many instances, this is the deciding factor as to whether a candidate will be accepted into the ship’s workforce. In addition to carrying out specific tasks on the boat, their knowledge of languages is an important basis for helping clients with any doubts or queries they may have.
Shortly, we will be further exploring the workings of the cruise industry, speaking with the director of one of the businesses managing passenger check-in for the world’s main cruise companies.