Growth of the Ocean Cruise Line Industry
Worldwide, the ocean cruise industry had an annual passenger compound annual growth rate of 6.6% from 1990 - 2019.
However, COVID-19 halted the ocean passenger cruise industry for what is currently estimated as a total of 11 months. It also accelerated the retirement of numerous ships as fleets become more modern and environmentally friendly. Between 2019 and 2021 a total of 31 ships are leaving worldwide ocean cruise operations, reducing passenger capacity by 49,105. These numbers are offset to a degree by 8 new ships with passenger capacity of 34,312 that will be added in 2021 (refer to tables below).
This places worldwide ocean cruise passenger capacity at 581,200 from 323 ships which will carry a total of 13.9 million passengers at end of year 2021 (a 96.2% increase over 2020 and a -49.4% decline from 2019).
The market talks to each other, influences each other. So progress gets amplified. The more people who have ocean cruised, the more who will tell others, the more who will want to take an ocean cruise too. Growth strategies to date have been driven by larger capacity new builds and ship diversification, more local ports, more destinations and new on-board/on-shore activities that match demands of consumers. The industry is also expanding rapidly internationally. These activities help increase penetration in a core North American market that still has growth potential. Only 53% of the target North American market (or 24% of the whole U.S. population) have ever taken an ocean cruise. 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
|2021 New Build Ships||Est. Date||Passenger Capacity|
|Royal Caribbean||Odyssey of the Seas||4/1/2021||4180|
|Virgin Voyages||Valiant Lady||4/1/2021||2860|
|2019-2021 Removed Ships||Passenger Capacity|
|Costa Cruises||Costa neoClassica||1328|
|Costa Cruises||Costa neoRomantica||1806|
|Costa Cruises||Costa Victoria||1928|
|Costa Cruises||Costa Mediterranea||2114|
|Holland America||Rotterdam VI||1316|
|P&O Cruises Australia||P&O Pacific Aria||1258|
|P&O Cruises Australia||P&O Pacific Dawn||1864|
|Royal Caribbean||Grandeur of the Seas||1950|
|Royal Caribbean||Empress of the Seas||1628|
|Royal Caribbean||Majesty of the Seas||2352|
|Fred. Olsen Cruise Line||Boudicca||500|
|Fred. Olsen Cruise Line||Black Watch||500|
2021 worldwide passengers carried estimates assume post COVID-19 sailings begin March 1, 2021 at 50% capacity and reach 90% capacity by end of year (pre COVID-19 sailings were at 105%-109% capacity).
Sources: Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., Carnival Corporation and plc, NCL Corporation Ltd., Thomson/First Call, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), The Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), DVB Bank and proprietary Cruise Market Watch Cruise Pulse data.