The cruise industry is growing, with attitudes and interest toward cruise holidays changing for the better. Using research data from CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) Consumer Outlook and State of the Industry reports, we have outlined the impact these new trends may have on the cruise industry and what we can expect moving into 2018.
As of 2017, there are 449 cruise ships sailing the seas. In 2018, this number will grow yet further, with 27 new ocean, river and speciality vessels due to make their debut. This shows the rising popularity of cruise holidays is pushing cruise lines to expand their fleets and make grand plans for the future.
For family cruises, Carnival and Royal Caribbean are launching Carnival Horizon and Symphony of the Seas. Horizon will feature a Dr Seuss themed waterpark and Family Harbour staterooms, while Symphony of the Seas includes the award-winning Adventure Ocean® Youth Programme, alongside the cruise line’s latest show, HiRO – complete with high-flying feats, stunts and extraordinary acrobatics.
In 2018, destination trends look set to continue, with the Caribbean responsible for 36 per cent of overall cruises, followed by the Mediterranean at 16 per cent. These ever-popular destinations aside, travellers are also showing a growing interest in colder climate destinations such as Alaska, parts of Norway and Finland, as well as the Polar Regions.
Asia is another increasing trend, with 53 per cent more ships now deployed in Asia since 2013 and a 137 per cent increase of operating days since 2013. Further CLIA research shows that overall passenger capacity has tripled from 1.51 million in 2013 to 4.24 million in 2017, meaning the region is, and continues to be, an alluring and increasingly popular region.
Analysed over the last five years, demand for cruising has increased by 20.5 per cent, between 2011 and 2016.
CLIA data shows that 57 per cent of those interviewed in a web-based survey believe that cruising offers a high-value experience for the price, with cruisers from younger generations becoming more interested in cruising.
Predictions for 2018 also show that multi-generational travelling will increase as grandparents seek to cruise with their grandchildren, sans parents. Paired with family-friendly ships such as Norwegian Epic – which offers flexible dining and the Splash Academy Kid’s Club – or Royal Caribbean’s innovative Quantum and Oasis Class fleets, it is easy to see why.
Health-conscious cruisers and environmental impact
Cruise lines are already showing more environmental responsibility by providing more sustainable objectives, and some lines have already invested in liquified natural gas (LNG) powered ships. Royal Caribbean has announced that they will be introducing their first fleet of LNG ships in 2022.
As well as caring for the environment, cruise lines are becoming more health conscious, with more ships catering to the growing number of travellers who are seeking out smarter fitness and food choices. CLIA advises that 2018 will bring more wellness seminars and healthy choices at sea.
The cruise industry is constantly evolving, following trends which are not only brought with new generations of cruisers but also up-and-coming destinations and cruising styles, from expedition cruises and themed on-board events to multi-generational voyages. We can’t wait to see what 2018 brings – can you?