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Earlier this year, CLIA, Cruise Lines International Association, released their global cruise passenger statistics, and the industry is growing, to say the least. Cruising plays a significant role in international tourism: from 2017 to 2018 there was an almost 7% increase, totaling 28.5 million passengers. The cruise sector represents 2% of the global travel industry, and the segment leaders of the global cruise market are ready to take this growth to exponential levels.
The 2019 Cruise Industry News Annual Report shows segment leaders Carnival Cruise Line and Princess Cruises as the largest brands in the North American contemporary and premium markets. The European contemporary market has MSC Cruises as the largest brand, and TUI leads the premium market. Other leaders in Europe are AIDA in Germany and P&O in the UK.
The Carnival brand continues to dominate in China with Costa Cruises as the largest brand and Australia has P&O. Royal Caribbean has the most passenger capacity in Asia/Pacific when it comes to the contemporary market, and the premium market is led by Dream Cruises.
As the trend shows, all the cruise lines have numerous ships on order to further cement their leadership status in their respective markets. For 2019, some of the new ships include MSC Grandiosa, Norwegian Encore, Costa Smeralda, Sky Princess, and Carnival Panorama. Even more are expected in 2020 with the debut of the new Virgin Voyages ship Scarlet Lady. Established brands are also introducing new tonnage such as Celebrity Apex, P&O Cruises Iona, Saga Cruises Spirit of Adventure, Enchanted Princess, Carnival Mardi Gras, MSC Virtuosa, Pacific Adventure and Odyssey of the Seas. Growth will continue into 2021 and beyond with a record number of new ships scheduled for delivery over the next 10 years.
It has been a banner year for newbuilds in 2019 with many technology gains to enhance guest experience and reduce the environmental footprint. These enhancements and this growth make the Global Cruise Market a very exciting place to travel, learn and work.
This post was written by Shannon Mckee, founder of Access Cruise Inc. Access Cruise Inc is a Miami based cruise marketing and sales consulting group, specializing in product and business development within the cruise industry.