Written By: Tom Ogg, Co-Owner – Travel Professional NEWS
The cruise industry has certainly had its ups and downs over the past few decades, Financial failures such as Renaissance, consolidation by acquisitions such as by Carnival, Royal Caribbean and NCL and an ever increasing demand.
In fact, there are more newbuilds being delivered in 2020 than in any prior year. What is even more staggering is that 2021 already breaks this record and 2022 will break 2021’s addition to the fleet. Not only is the inventory growing at a phenomenal rate so are the opportunities for more diverse itineraries.
So let’s take a look at what is happening in the cruise industry during 2020 and why this is the year to promote cruises to your clients.
New Cruise Lines
New cruise lines are popping up with niche cruise experiences designed for a specific type of cruiser. It is a great thing to see and I suspect that as the cruise industry continues its growth period that we will see more. Here are four brand new cruise lines that will launch in 2020
Owned and operated by Virgin’s Richard Branson, Virgin Voyages will take delivery of its first ship, the Scarlet Lady, during 2020. She will sail shorter cruises in the Caribbean and will offer everything for active passengers. No kids will be allowed on the ship and the focus will be on passengers that want activities and excellent dining. There will be an entire sports deck as well as an entire deck focused on spa activities.
There will be no formal nights, buffets or main dining room. Instead the Scarlet Lady will have about 20 different dining venues. Best of all, there are no gratuities as they are included in the passenger fare, as is the wi-fi and alternative dinning venue charges. Visit VirginVoyages.com for more information
Ritz Carlton Yacht Collection
5-star Ritz Carlton hotels takes a dive into the cruise market with the introduction of its brand new ship the Evrima. With All-Inclusive 5-star luxury throughout, the Ritz Carlton Yacht Collection will be a great competitor in the luxury small ship cruise market. Initially they will cruise the Caribbean in the winter and the Mediterranean in the summer months. Visit RitzCarltonYachtCollection.com for more information.
Already with its first ship, the Vidanta Elegant and 3 more in the future, Vidanta Cruises will port at Vidanta’s super luxury resorts in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. While the itineraries have not been disclosed at this time, northbound and southbound cruises are quite likely to be the focus. Also, Vidanta acquired and then completely rebuilt the Crown Monarch which it completely gutted and turned it into a fabulous super luxury ship. Look for this phenomenon to continue expansion of niche cruise lines throughout the 2020 decade. For more information visit https://www.vidantacruises.com/en/index.html
Atlas Ocean Voyages
Atlas Ocean Voyages, Mystic’s North American brand will launch the MS World Navigator mid 2021. The 200 passenger ship will focus initially on itineraries to the Holy Lands, Mediterranean and Black Sea. It offers an all-inclusive environment and passengers will enjoy wonderful dining in an elegant dining room. This luxury expedition cruise is well worth a look.
Blue World Voyages
Perfect for Millennials and active clients that do not want the typical mass-market cruise experiences, Blue Water Voyages is all about fitness and well being. Everything from the cabins and suites to the public areas are focused on well being. The dining is all fresh healthy foods cooked to perfection. The spa boasts more square feet per passenger than any other ship at sea. Visit blueworldvoyages.com for more information.
Much the same concept as “The World” by Residensea, Storylines is a “condo” ship where folks can purchase one of the condos and live on the ship while exploring the world. It will visit over 150 countries on all 7 continents and be completely all-inclusive. For more information visit StoryLines.com.
The cruise industry has experienced phenomenal growth with its fleet over the decades and it continues well into the next decade. Following are ships currently on order and scheduled for delivery during the next 6 years. Note that there will be more ships ordered for the 2021 to 2025 periods and that these numbers only represent hard inventory currently being built.
2020 SHIP NAME PASSENGER CAPACITY
Carnival Mardi Gras 5,200
Celebrity Apex 2,900
Coral Geographer 120
Costa Fire 4,232
Crystal Endeavor 200
Hurtigruten Fridtjof Nansen 530
Lindblad NG Endurance 126
MSC Virtuosa 4,888
Mystic World Voyager 200
P&O Iona 5,200
Ponant La Jacques Cartier 180
Princess Enchanted Princess 3,660
Quark Ultramarine 200
Regent Splendor 750
Royal Caribbean Odyssey 4,200
Ritz Carlton Evrima 298
Saga S/A Adventure 1,000
Sea Cloud Spirit 136
Silversea Silver Moon, Silver Origin 696
Star Clipper w Flying Clipper 300
SunStone Spirit 186
Virgin Scarlet Lady 2,770
2020 New Berth Total 37,832
Rather than list each ship as we did for 2020 here are the totals currently on firm order through 2025.
2021 New Berth Total 44,481
2022 New Berth Total 47,298
2023 New Berth Total 44,712
2024 New Berth Total 27,530
2025 New Berth Total 22,060
Total New Berth Total 2020 to 2025 223,931
Along with the new ships, the cruise lines have been aggressively sourcing new ports and itineraries dramatically expanding the reach of their offerings. Additional private islands are also being built by Royal Caribbean, Virgin Voyages, Carnival and NCL. Secondary ports worldwide are experiencing interests from cruise lines and the evolution of niche small ships has opened up hundreds of new ports that cruise lines can explore.
As you can see, the health of the cruise market is robust and presenting tons of opportunities for cruise agents to expand their business by including river cruises, exploration cruises, health and well being cruises, themed cruises and niche cruises along with mass-market, premium and the luxury markets.
So if taking action to beef up your cruise sales makes tons of sense to you, we have a great solution. We first published “Selling Cruises, Don’t Miss the Boat” back in 2000. It will help you either start a cruise oriented travel business, or dramatically increase your current cruise business. If you are interested in finding out more about the book click HERE.