Cecilia Garland - May 20, 2013
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The world cruise industry continues to experience above-average growth. Thus, it is assumed that the industry will, in 2013, earn about 36.2 billion U.S. dollars, an increase of 4.5 percent on the previous year.

The number of passengers on cruise ships is expected to grow by 3.3 percent to 20.9 million people. Thus, the cruise industry continues to experience stronger growth than international tourism. The IPK International’s World Travel Monitor shows that in a year, international arrivals will grow by 2-3 percent, while the UNWTO says 3-4 percent is possible. Last year was 1.035 million for the first time with more than a billion people travelling abroad.

Two Giants on the Top

The worldwide cruise cake is dominated by two U.S. giants: Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL) and Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL). CCL has a market share of 48.4 percent in terms of passengers while RCL’s share comes to 23.3 percent. Together they hold nearly three-quarters of the total cruise market (71.7 percent).

Brand Diversity of the Giants

The strongest CCL brand is Carnival (21.2 percent of global passenger volume), before Costa (7.7 percent), Princess (6.1 percent) and AIDA (4.6 percent). In addition, there are six other brands, such as Holland America and Seabourn. In RCL, Royal Caribbean is out in front with 16.4 percent (and is also the world’s second largest cruise brand), before Celebrity (4.4 percent).

Norwegian and MSC are behind, bringing up the rear.

Behind the giants, CCL and RCL is Norwegian Cruise Lines, with a market share in terms of passengers, of 7.6 percent, followed by MSC Cruises with 7.0 percent (measured in passenger capacity and number of ships from Norwegian, MSC is at number 3). Disney is in fifth place with only 2.5 percent, which is already far behind. The rest of the world’s cruise business is spread out over more than thirty other cruise companies.

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