Experience is driving the rising of the cruise sector

The cruise sector has been recording performing results during the past years. In 2009, the number of travellers was 17.8 million, and they it kept on rising, reaching 24.7 million in 2016. According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), in 2017 the total number of cruise passengers was 25.8 million, allowing the cruise sector to represent more than 100 billion euros of the world economic output.

According to Cruise Market Watch, worldwide the cruise industry has an annual passenger growth rate of 6,63%, and this can be attributed to several growth strategies designed by cruise companies. These includes larger capacity of the ships, diversification of the typologies of cruises, an increasing number of local ports, more destinations included in the itinerary and new on-board activities that meet the demand of consumers. CLIA also foresees an important growth in adventure and cultural cruises, mixed with a growing attention towards sustainability at sea. Moreover, it is foreseen that tourists will prefer colder destinations, as for example Scandinavian Countries and Alaska, according to the 2018-2019 Cruise Industry News Annual Report.

The main origin markets are  the USA (12mn passengers), China (more than 2mn), Germany (2mn) and United Kingdom (almost 2mn). CLIA also reports that the target more likely to undertake cruise holidays is the one of the Millennials, who are increasingly looking for relaxing and unique experiences.

As we have already reported, river cruises are one of the fastest growing trends. CLIA reports 15 new river lines in 2018, meeting the growing demand for slow navigation, authentic experiences and luxury on board. In fact, during 2017 there was a 7% growth of the number of ships designed for this segment.

According to Cruise Industry News, new trends will define the cruise market in 2018. Technology will be one of the strongest news, with the introduction of innovations to enhance the passenger’s experience. Some of the most recent ones include apps that allow guests find their way around ships, track their children, book shore excursions and specialty dining and much more. Moreover, while the Mediterranean will continue to be one of the preferred destinations for cruises, expeditions will become more popular.

At Twissen we observed that experience and luxury are becoming the leading motivation for travelers to choose a cruise holiday. New destinations are becoming popular in this trend, and there is room for designing new products in this segment.