The day will come when Asian markets open up, Lord Sterling, then chairman of P&O, told Cruise Industry News. He saw P&O’s cruise interest growing on a global scale.
“We have always been worldwide and have known the world for more than 170 years,” he said. “As a company, we like to say we invented cruising back in 1844.”
Since Lord Sterling assumed executive control of P&O in 1983, the company grew its cruise interests through Princess in North America; P&O and Swan Hellenic in the UK, and P&O Holidays in Australia. In addition, P&O formed AIDA Cruises in partnership with Arkona Touristik to develop the German cruise market.
According to Lord Sterling: “Back in the early 1980s, cruising was at best a niche industry, but has since gradually grown to become mainstream in the United States.” He added that the UK would develop in the same fashion.
In Germany, however, cruising is far from mainstream so the potential to grow the industry there is even greater.
Overall, Lord Sterling said that Europe has huge potential, because of its many countries with maritime cultures.
But his vision went far beyond Europe. “We have different products for different markets around the world,” he said. (From Cruise Industry News Winter 1999/2000.)
This article ran as part of a special Legends and Leaders section of the 100th edition of Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine, Spring 2015. A PDF download is available here.