Modest Capacity Increase & Strong N.A. Sales For Europe 2019
There's a lot of growth in Europe next year but much of it is aimed at European cruisers. In terms of cruises aimed at the North American source market, Europe is fairly flat in terms of capacity growth.
The big additions are Celebrity Edge, doing an extended Med season and Holland America's newest ship, the Nieuw Statendam. The latter is straddling Europe in summer 2019, starting in the Baltic, but doing some Med later in the season.
Driving the overall capacity increase are three big, mainly European-sourced Carnival Corp. ships coming online end of this year and into 2019 (AIDAnova, Costa Smeralda, and Costa Venezia).
In terms of ships aimed at the North American market, CruiseWeek contacts estimate the Europe/Med in total is up 5%, the Med up 7.5% and the Baltic is down single digits.
As of 4SEPT, 2019 cruise bookings for Europe are looking unusually strong from the North American market.
Said one source: "Every year with Europe it seems there's one portion that's weak; Britain, Baltic, Med, with the Med sometimes horrible.
"So what's different about 2019 is that it doesn't seem there are any problems looking ahead for Europe next year. The market has bounced back quickly after the scares of a few years back and advance bookings are very strong, prices are up."
In general, the backdrop is good for international travel: there's not a lot of drama going on to disrupt things.