Opportunities for Indigenous service providers


Cruise lines offer many onboard services with the following important key offerings related to customer spending:

  • Casino
  • Alcohol and carbonated beverages
  • Spa services
  • Premium or a la carte dining
  • Retail (arts, crafts, souvenirs, gifts, clothes, etc.)
  • Communications (WIFI / cellular)


Some of these onboard offerings are managed by third-party concession players. The leading concessionaire in the market are Starboard (retail) and Steiner Leisure (Spa) followed by Harding Brothers and then Dufry. Onboard spending represents 25% of revenue on average for Carnival (ticker: CCL), Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL) and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH).

Note, not all cruise lines use retail concessionaires. For example, Princess Cruises has an in-house retail operation. Cruise regions such as the Pacific Coast that have a significant number of Princess Cruises vessels operating Alaska itineraries may prove to be a target candidate for a well-thought-out and coordinated approach to onboard retail opportunities for authentic Indigenous arts and crafts.

Opportunities for Indigenous service providers

To sell Indigenous arts and crafts in retail outlets of cruise ships, it would be necessary to work with one of the retail concessionaires and not necessarily the individual cruise lines. Thus, it may be more difficult for smaller suppliers, or unknown consumer brands to have their products placed onboard a ship. A cohesive brand approach of ‘Authentic Indigenous’ arts and crafts, a product collection of participating artisans, could be of interest to the concessionaires.

There could also be opportunities to sell Indigenous-owned wine and food products. To get these products onto cruise ships, providers will need to work with concessionaires.

Overview of the Cruise Ship Industry in Canada.