Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cruise Industry Expects Growth in 2014

By Mark Edward Nero

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and its member cruise lines are looking at a positive year of growth in 2014, including a passenger forecast of 21.7 million worldwide guests on CLIA’s 63 member lines, according to the association’s annual State of the Cruise Industry findings.

The CLIA’s 2013 global passenger numbers were estimated at 21.3 million, with the US making up nearly 52 percent of the total amount.

“The global cruise industry is at an exciting juncture with strong consumer interest in cruising and significant cruise line investment in a diversity of exciting ships,” CLIA President & CEO Christine Duffy said.

To meet the projected increase in demand, member lines are expected to introduce 24 new ships in 2014-2015, adding a total passenger capacity of 37,546, representing a capital investment of about $8 billion in ocean going and river cruise categories, according to the CLIA.

Sixteen vessels – a $3.9 billion investment with a combined passenger capacity of 19,500 -- are expected to launch in 2014 alone.

Globally, the CLIA fleet’s currently comprised of 410 ships, up from 393 ships last year, and includes a wide variety of vessels, according to the Association. The 24 new ships expected to launch this year and next represent a total capital investment of about $8 billion.

Twelve additional new global and regional ships – both confirmed orders and options – for 2016 to 2018 represent an additional 33,192 passenger capacity and an investment estimated at $7.9 billion in ship development, according to CLIA.