Starboard Leads the Way as Jewelry and Watch Brands Embrace High Seas Opportunities Amidst Record Sales



Bulgari and Cartier boutiques
Photo Caption: Bulgari and Cartier boutiques aboard Celebrity Ascent and Qeelin on Royal Caribbean’s Spectrum of the Seas.


MIAMI, FL (MAY 30, 2024) – The Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA) annual report states that 2023 passenger volume reached 31.7 million, a seven percent increase over 2019, with demand for cruise holidays at an all-time high of 82 percent intent to cruise. The resurgence of cruise tourism has resulted in boosted retail sales, particularly within the jewelry and watch category.

Leading the charge in helping new brands navigate and succeed on the high seas is Starboard, the world’s leading retail curator at sea.

“Cruise tourism has made a significant post-COVID return, achieving record economic contributions and surpassing historical levels. With a captive audience embarking on seven-day voyages, cruise ships offer an ideal setting for high-value purchases,” says Caryl Capeci, SVP Fine Jewelry & Watches. “Guests are indulging in experiences, and there’s never been a better time for jewelry and watch brands to partner with Starboard to expand their presence at sea.”


Starboard’s Legacy of Excellence

For over 65 years, Starboard has delivered transformative vacation retail experiences and tailored distinctive offerings on more than 90 ships across 14 world-class cruise line partners.

The retail curator has guided globally renowned luxury brands, such as Bulgari, Cartier, Omega, and Hublot, into launching brand boutiques on cruise ships, adapting their land-based offerings for duty and tax-free retailing at sea. For Cartier and Hublot, these launches were among the first of their kind at sea, generating tremendous guest interest as well as financial success. Most recently, Starboard brought forward the launch of the largest TAG Heuer boutique at sea aboard Carnival Jubilee. The boutique offers a truly authentic representation of the TAG Heuer brand ethos and storytelling. Guests are responding enthusiastically – the boutique has become the #1 door for TAG Heuer in Travel Retail.

It’s no surprise, as cruise itineraries offer an unparalleled opportunity of time for guests to immerse themselves in the brands, and for Starboard’s expertly trained sales specialists to develop trusted relationships with the guests. As part of the cruise vacation experience, Starboard creates immersive storytelling and engaging activations that deeply connect guests to brands in ways not possible onshore. Whether it’s Watch and Scotch tastings pairing insightful discussions about the origins and mechanics of prestigious timepieces with premium Scotches, or fun and interactive gemstone trivia games, by offering a unique retail experience at sea, Starboard enables brands to captivate and connect with guests on a deeper level, enhancing brand loyalty and driving sales through meaningful, memorable interactions.


Launching at Sea

Starboard’s brand partnerships showcase the strength of its onboard offerings and the potential for new brands to tap into uncharted waters. Long standing brand partners, such as John Hardy, Levian and Kallati, along with new to cruise brands, Messika, Monica Rich Kosann, and Sydney Evan, all recognize the tremendous growth opportunities cruise retail offers.

Sydney Evan’s and Monica Rich Kosann

Photo Caption: Sydney Evan’s vibrant coral hue bracelets paired with necklaces and Monica Rich Kosann 18 karat gold necklaces and lockets.


“Launching our collections with Starboard has been a wonderful way for our fine jewelry brand to continue creating timeless and unforgettable moments for guests,” said Monica Rich Kosann jewelry designer and founder of Monica Rich Kosann. “Bringing home jewelry from a vacation has always been special to me and everything we design embraces a special story and meaning that inspires the wearer.”

Working closely with brands and cruise partners, Starboard has introduced forward-thinking initiatives that invite guests to discover new and favorite Fine Jewelry and Swiss watch brands. A new fine jewelry brand recently introduced by Starboard is Kering owned Qeelin, distinguished by exquisite fine jewelry designs that integrate Oriental symbolism with modernity, strategically launched with the return of Royal Caribbean’s Spectrum of the Seas in mainland China.

“Creating memories while traveling on a cruise ship is perhaps the most important aspect of a vacation,” mentioned Rosanne Karmes, founder of Sydney Evan Jewelry. “Celebrating guest’s story is what makes fine jewelry so special. At Sydney Evan, there’s always something that will connect with guests’ sailing, whether it’s from the Under the Sea collection or the Classic Love collection. The best thing about fine jewelry is that it lasts forever, becoming a cherished heirloom passed down through generations or gifted to close friends, always carrying a story.”

In addition to introducing “discovery” brands, one of Starboard’s novel offerings is personalization and customization services, showcased through brands such as Swiss Watchmaker Norqain, and Jeweler Monica Rich Kosann. Norqain, an independent new brand to the Swiss category, is known for innovation, adventure and including special one-of-a-kind details to their timepieces like engraved plates on the side of the case. Monica Rich Kosann, famous for her iconic collection of chic and elegant silver and 18 karat gold charms and lockets, designs pendants to memorably hold photos and personal writings close to the heart.


Norqain’s timpieces

Photo Caption: Norqain’s timpieces.


Underpinning all of the rich storytelling, merchandise presentation, and engaging activations is the exceptional learning and development Starboard provides to its team of onboard retail sales professionals, complete with global certifications. In April, Starboard’s Watch Specialists received a multi-day immersive training by TAG Heuer experts in Cozumel, Mexico, ensuring exceptional service and expertise for guests exploring the brand at sea. This commitment to continuous professional development, through a curriculum of onboard, online and on land training program, ensures that Starboard’s retail staff are not only knowledgeable but also highly skilled in delivering a premium shopping experience.

With cruise travel flourishing and forecasts predicting a 10 percent increase in cruise capacity from 2024 through 2028, retailing at sea remains an enticing venture for brands to explore. Starboard’s expertise and innovative approach make it the ideal partner for brands aiming to seize the opportunity in this dynamic market.

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About Starboard
Charting a new course in the duty-free industry since 1958, Starboard has been the world’s leading vacation retailer at sea with the purpose of curating a vibrant world for guests, cruise line partners, brand collaborators and employees. Starboard’s transformative retail elevates the experience on more than 90+ ships across 14 world-class cruise line partners: Blue Dream, Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Holland America, Resort World Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, TUI Cruises and Virgin Voyages. Starboard’s dedicated Luxury Division partners with Azamara, Crystal, Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, Silversea, and The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection.

Starboard is consistently recognized for quality and innovation by the travel industry, championing numerous awards, including DFNI-Frontier Americas Travel Retailer of the Year, Asia/Pacific Cruise Retailer of the Year, Global Cruise Retailer of the Year and Exceptional Achievement by a Cruise Retailer.

Going beyond sailing, Starboard’s sister company, Onboard Media, creates multimedia products for top companies in the travel and hospitality industry, driving brand awareness to generate sales and grow revenue. Both businesses are headquartered in Miami with additional Starboard offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Genoa, Italy.

Starboard and Onboard Media are proud to be a part of Global Travel Retail Holdings, LLC, an industry leading travel and technology-centric joint venture in partnership with Gissy Investments and LVMH.


Maureen Gonzalez, FINN Partners | O: 954-368-9809

Paula Amador, Starboard Cruise Services | O: (786) 845-7524

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