The luxury market niche could
see a 53% spike in pax capacity from 2015 to 2018, according to the Cruise Industry News Annual Report.
The growth will be driven by new ships for Regent Seven Seas and
Seabourn Cruise Line, and some of the growth depends on how Viking Cruises
positions itself in the market segment. The announced expansion of Crystal
Cruises under Genting ownership is another factor.
Cruise Industry News says that,
broadly defined, the current luxury niche consists of 26 ships, with all but 2
Hapag-Lloyd vessels sailing for North America-based brands. By 2018, the
segment could have 32 ships, increasing pax capacity from approximately 336,000
The largest single luxury brand
in terms of passenger capacity by 2018 will be Seabourn, with an estimated
annual capacity of 84,130 passengers.
Regent Seven Seas will be
nearly as large unless it divests itself of the smaller 490 pax Navigator.
Having added ships in 2013 and
2014, Silversea has not announced any further additions and its capacity will
remain relatively unchanged from today at an estimated 79,220 pax a year.
Crystal today carries
approximately 60,000 pax a year, but its new owners have announced intentions
to build. It will most likely be a bigger ship to fit the fleet profile and
hence bump the brand to the top of the market segment.
Viking could also become a
major player, pending its branding and market position intentions, which the
report says do not seem clearly defined at this stage.