Luxury Cruise Market To See 50%+ Capacity Spike

Cruise Industry News

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 to 515,000.

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.

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