SmartSea’s High-Tech Solutions Promise to Enhance Cruise Experience

Julian Panter, CEO of Smartsea

SmartSea is bringing new connectivity, safety, efficiency and IT solutions to the cruise industry, and is already working with one new cruise company, said Julian Panter, CEO.

Based in Cyprus, Panter has a decades-long background in the maritime and oil industries and has been leading the new company since its official launch at the end of May.

SmartSea is backed by aviation IT giant SITA, which provides the IT backbone behind airport operations globally.

Panter hopes that the skillset of overseeing airports where customers go from car to past security in under 20 minutes, will translate to the maritime space. SITA has led the way in connecting airline bookings systems with airport security, biometric processing and more, he noted.

“From biometrics and seamless travel to the data ships use, management systems and connectivity, pretty much anything you have in aviation could conceivably be moved into maritime,” said Panter, mentioning the possibility of having guests check in for flights and their cruise, on a single app, at the same time.

In addition, SmartSea has signed on with Columbia Ship Management, committing SmartSea solutions to 450 vessels and helping over 1,000 shoreside team members with IT.

Using AI integrated into security systems at airports, SITA helps predict passenger flows, congestion and other pain points which operators can quickly respond to, staffing up in certain areas or opening more security check points, for instance.

According to SITA, thanks to these and other digital innovations, the air transport industry is currently estimated to be 10 to 15 years ahead of the maritime sector in terms of technology adoption.

Both industries, however, share important similarities, the company noted, including operations in complex and highly regulated ecosystems globally.

The maritime and air industries are also capital-intensive and heavily rely on data while keeping an eye on sustainability.

With that in mind, SmartSea is planning a series of innovations for the maritime and cruise sectors, including biometric gates at cruise terminals and predictive maintenance software.

The new company also aims to offer advanced tools for navigation communications, cybersecurity, data analytics and connectivity.

In 2027, SmartSea expects to launch a data backbone that will enable different systems to communicate in one digital language.

The technology will simplify processes and enhance collaboration across the maritime industry, the company said.

SmartSea’s ultimate goal is to become a one-stop-shop for maritime technology solutions while revolutionizing the digital ecosystem in the sector.

Taking advantage of its connections to the air industry, the company also plans to become a market leader in the technology sector.


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