Norwegian Bliss Concept Drawing.
The current unprecedented cruise orderbook represents another 250,000 berths the global cruise fleet in the 10 years from 2015 to 2025 – increasing capacity by a huge 40 per cent.
Seatrade Cruise’s new whitepaper The Future of Cruise Ships added that these figures were set to leap further – as with further orders inevitably being placed for deliveries within the second half of that 10-year span, fleet capacity would probably grow at least 50 per cent and push the global passenger total up from 24 million last year to 30 million by 2022, towards 35 million by 2026 and then 40 million by 2030.
The whitepaper places the orderbook (as of July 2017) at 75 firm ocean-going ship orders and a handful of options with a combined price-tag approaching US$47.6 billion.
It points out that the orderbook is still dominated by the big three in Europe: Fincantieri, Meyer Werft and STX France.
Cruise ship capacity will keep soaring – while the luxury cruise sector’s growth has been boosted
Fincantieri (including Vard) is building 29 of the 75 due for delivery by 2025; Meyer Werft in Germany and Finland is contracted for 17; STX France for 12; and the new grouping owned by Genting Hong Kong, MV Werften, for six. The final 11 are being built by smaller shipyards.
A growing trend singled out by the whitepaper is the luxury/expedition market sector. It said that there have been some signs of increased interest in building and operating ships of a smaller size offering a luxury product on more adventurous itineraries. “This is because these can command much higher prices than either standard luxury cruises or the traditionally more basic expedition vessels,” it said.
Indeed, Seatrade Cruise’s whitepaper shows that there are 30 luxury cruise ships on the global orderbook. Their increase can be traced from none being delivered in 2014, to two last year and this year – rising sharply to six in 2019.