Growth of the Ocean Cruise Line Industry

Worldwide, the ocean cruise industry experienced an annual passenger compound annual growth rate of 5.9% from 1990 to 2024.

While the COVID-19 pandemic brought the ocean passenger cruise industry to a standstill for nearly two years, it also prompted the accelerated retirement of numerous older ships. Simultaneously, new additions to fleets adopted a more modern and environmentally friendly approach. In 2024, passenger numbers are expected to surpass the pre-COVID levels of 2019.

Between 2023 and 2024, a total of 10 new ships, with a combined passenger capacity of 25,450, are set to be added (refer to the tables below). This influx will bring the worldwide ocean cruise passenger capacity to 673,000, spread across 360 ships. These vessels are projected to carry a total of 30.0 million passengers by the end of 2024, representing a 4.2% increase over 2023 and a 9.2% increase over 2019.


Shipbuilding Summary

2024 New Build Ships Est. Date Passenger Capacity
Princess Sun Princess Q1             4,300
Explora Journeys Explora II Spring                 922
TUI Cruises Mein Schiff 7 Spring             2,900
Cunard Line Queen Anne Q2             3,000
Silversea Silver Ray Q2                 728
Royal Caribbean Utopia Q2             5,714
TUI Cruises Unnamed TBA             4,000
Viking Ocean Unnamed TBA                 930
Disney Disney Treasure TBA             2,500
Ritz-Carlton Ilma TBA                 456


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.