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Les Roches and Silversea partner to launch pioneering postgraduate programme in cruise line management

Les Roches and Silversea have officially signed an agreement to pioneer a ground-breaking field of study, a new Postgraduate Diploma in Cruise Line Management.

The first of its kind, this innovative programme – offered at Les Roches’ campus in Marbella, Spain – provides students with the necessary knowledge and skills to manage and oversee various onboard areas of cruise vessels, in addition to aspects of marketing, revenue management, and other commercial functions pertaining to the cruise industry. Students are guaranteed to benefit from a scholarship agreement between both entities, along with the opportunity to gain employment aboard Silversea’s esteemed fleet. Upon completion, graduates can secure positions at Silversea.

In a commitment to delivering a top-quality educational journey, Les Roches, ranked among the world’s top four hospitality management schools worldwide, brings its wealth of expertise in academia; while Silversea, renowned as the leading ultra-luxury cruise line and celebrated for its all-inclusive lifestyle and extensive portfolio of global destinations, contributes its invaluable insight into the cruise travel landscape.

This industry has undergone a significant resurgence in recent years. According to a 2023 report by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), this sector was expected to generate approximately $155 billion in revenue and create 1.2 million jobs worldwide, and has emerged as one of the fastest-growing fields. As indicated by the CLIA study, every 1% increase translates to four million new cruisers.

Ship capacity is expected to grow globally by 19%, reaching nearly 750,000 berth ports by 2028. Furthermore, it is considered one of the tourism typologies with the greatest potential to evolve towards sustainability standards set by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

Heidi Wenger, Senior HR & Fleet Crew Director Silversea; Carlos Díez de la Lastra, CEO Les Roches Global; Birgit Vadlau, Vice President Hotel Operation Silversea; Mano Soler, Director Les Roches Marbella.

In response, this strategic alliance between Les Roches and Silversea opens up a broad spectrum of opportunities for those wishing to develop in an industry with a positive growth outlook. The Postgraduate Diploma in Cruise Line Management positions itself as a pioneer in this speciality among educational programmes, offering learning that is highly focused on practical and managerial aspects – a hallmark of Les Roches – along with immersion guided by Silversea. The academic institution, with 70 years’ history and campuses in Spain since 1995, has chosen its Marbella campus in close proximity to Malaga – a recognised hub for luxury cruise lines – as the ideal place to pursue this new programme, where the traffic of luxury cruise lines increases annually.

Carlos Díez de la Lastra, CEO of Les Roches, said:

“Partnering with the world’s leading ultra-luxury cruise brand is a source of pride for Les Roches. The dedication and ambition that Silversea imposes in its business model are in line with our educational methodology. The luxury cruise sector is an area yet to be fully explored academically, and promoting this diploma positions us at the forefront, once again, of a specialisation that continues to grow year after year.”

Spain attracts the second-highest number of cruise passengers in Europe, behind Italy. In 2023, a new record was set in the country, with a 46% increase compared to 2022, reaching over 12 million passengers, according to the latest data published by Ports of the State. The partnership between Silversea and Les Roches positions Marbella as a strategic hub for companies in the sector, supporting the urgent need to establish specialised teams in cruise travel.

Barbara Muckermann, President of Silversea, said:

“As part of our commitment to offering our guests the very best service at sea, Silversea places great importance on sourcing the industry’s most talented crew members. Education and training are key in this service-oriented industry, which is growing fast. Since becoming part of Royal Caribbean Group, Silversea has welcomed six ships to its fleet in just three years, making attracting talented professionals more important than ever. We are delighted to partner with Les Roches, a leading academic institution, to ensure our service remains the best in the industry.”

During the first semester, students will follow a curriculum focusing on cruise operations, developing luxury experiences for guests, learning about luxury accommodation and food and beverage management on board, sales and revenue, and maritime law. Within this period, Les Roches also offers a business trip to Monaco and Miami, home of the world’s largest passenger port. Upon completion of this first part of the programme, students can choose to further engage in the industry practically with an immersion period in the cruise industry with Silversea.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Cruise Line Management is open to UK-based students who are interested in developing the business and entrepreneurial mindset required for a successful career in the cruise industry. Beyond potential employment with Silversea following the diploma, the UK cruise industry is on the rise and so the programme opens up substantial job and career opportunities. Nearly 2.3 million sea cruises were taken by UK passengers in 2023, which is 14% above the level recorded pre-pandemic in 2019, and Les Roches is addressing the need for this market need for a skilled workforce and futureproofing the industry.

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Les Roches Marbella campus