Cruise Market Watch releases 2010 cruise industry market statistics based on current economic conditions and anticipated new ship builds.

Among the 2010 highlights:

  • Total worldwide cruise passenger capacity will increase 6.9% over 2009.
  • Annualized total passengers carried worldwide in 2010 are estimated at 18.4 million.
  • The total worldwide cruise market is estimated at $26.8 billion, a 7.4% increase from 2009.

The majority of the increases are attributed to cruise lines significantly increasing passenger capacity with the addition of new ships.  Additionally, pricing pressures to fill them in 2010 will be mitigated due to improved consumer confidence. Ticket prices and onboard spending are expected to improve modestly compared to 2009, although they will still remain below 2008 levels.  Average cruise revenue per passenger (APCD) for 2010 for all cruise lines worldwide is projected to be $207.68, with $156.80 ticket price and $50.88 onboard spending. In addition, growth of international passengers will outpace North American cruise passenger growth on a percentage basis, and a weakening U.S. dollar will strengthen overseas earnings.

The combination of an attractive vacation value and marketing buzz surrounding new ship designs will provide opportunity to introduce new cruisers to the cruising experience. This will stimulate market growth for the industry through 2013. The end of 2013 projects passengers carried to reach 21.3 million, a 15.7% increase from 2010.

With cruise line stocks Carnival Corp (NYSE: CCL) and Royal Caribbean (NYSE: RCL) trading over 50% and 150% above their price 52-weeks ago (and even further above March 2009 lows) most of these positives are already baked into current share prices although events are still bullish long term for the industry.  All the cruise ships in the entire world filled at capacity all year long still only amount to less than ½ of the total number of visitors to Las Vegas – that single city in the desert. The flexibility to move the ships to match demand and where the best yields can be achieved is a distinct advantage.

Photo Source: gabriele82 on Flickr