The cruise industry is experiencing a boom like never before. Predictions of growth indicate an all-time high. But with terrorist attacks and economy scares in the news, why the sudden growth?
Despite the turbulent weather, the cruise industry is growing at a rate of 4 percent each year. On top of that the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) predicts that more than 24.2 million people will treat themselves to a cruise this year. The market is skyrocketing with 24 percent growth in Asia and a 14 percent growth in Australia. So the question remains…
China has remained on the fence regarding cruise lines for a long time. Considering the size and population of China, this is a potential market place of enormous proportions. A potential market place that has very recently been actively engaged; Carnival Cruise Line will have six ships in China this year, Princess have a new Chinese market subsidiary, and Royal Caribbean have put the cards on the table with their 4,905 guest Quantum of the Seas placed in Chinese waters. Norwegian Cruise Line is also building a ship designed specifically for the Chinese market. It’s undeniable, the market is buzzing.
A query on the minds of many is how well will these ships, which are cater-made for Chinese, hold up in the Western market? Will they serve their needs just as well?
Another avenue for this unprecedented revenue is luxury adventure cruising. The adventure market was recognized with a value of more than $265 billion by a 2013 report from the World Tourism Organization. If this holds any accuracy the market has experienced monumental growth and you can prepare to see the market explode.
Some of what you can expect to see is cruises offering exploration into some of the most remote areas on the planet. Lindblad (who invented non-scientific expeditions to Antarctica 50 years ago) operate cruises a little different from what you’d traditionally expect of a cruise ship. On-board you’ll find historians, naturalists, sea experts, expedition leaders, and even a National geographic photo instructor to help passengers catch those magazine-worthy shots.
Over the coming years, we will see a lot more of this. In 2018, Crystal Cruises will be releasing the Crystal Endeavour into the Polar Regions. This 600 feet long megayacht will travel from the Arctic to Antarctica following whales as they migrate. But the experience won’t stop at the edge of the deck. The Endeavour will be carrying two helicopters, two seven-person submarines, an all terrain vehicle, a bunch of person watercrafts, and a recompression chamber for any serious scuba divers. This cruise certainly would be quite an endeavour.
With numerous cruise lines planning to release adventure cruises from the Galapogas Islands all the way to the Mekong River, we can expect the cruise industry to stay steadily surfing this wave of popularity.
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