Clia figures confirm global growth but UK decline

A previously-announced slump in UK cruise passengers last year has been re-confirmed in newly-published figures for the global industry.

The statistics for 2014 released by Clia show global demand for cruise holidays growing by 3.4% year-on-year to reach 22.04 million ocean cruise passengers.

But UK numbers dropped to 1.6 million from 1.7 million a year earlier, largely due to reduced cruise ship capacity away from UK ports and other popular destinations such as the Mediterranean

The cruise industry trade association was quick to point out that the UK will have returned to growth in a “landmark year” in 2015 thanks to the introduction of ships including P&O Cruises’ Britannia, Royal Caribbean International’s Anthem of the Seas, Princess Cruises’ Royal Princess and Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ Magellan.

“Longer-term trends demonstrate that the UK and Ireland market remains resilient; the annual average increase in passenger numbers since the start of the economic downturn in 2008 has been 3.3% and, over the past quarter century, there has been ten-fold growth,” a Clia spokesman said.

“The UK and Ireland continues to have one of Europe’s highest rates of market penetration for cruise holidays.”

The UK and Germany accounted for 15% of global cruise passengers or 3.38 million in 2014.

The Clia global figures issued from the US reveal total contributions from the cruise industry rose from $117 billion in 2013 to $119.9 billion last year.

This includes supporting 939,232 full-time equivalent employees earning $39.3 billion in income. Direct expenditures generated by cruise lines, passengers and crew totalled $55.8 billion.

North America remains the largest source market, accounting for 55% or 12.2 million cruise passengers in 2014, followed by Europe which claimed 29% or 6.4 million passengers.

Other regions of the world, including Australia, China, Singapore, Japan and South America, accounted for the remaining 16% or 3.5 million passengers.

Cruise tourism in Asia is growing at double-digit rates, both in capacity and as a passenger source market, according to the study.

The number of ships deployed in the region between 2013 and 2015 grew at a 10% compound annual growth rate, and the volume of cruises and voyages within and through Asia increased 11%. Passenger capacity in Asia increased 20%, with Chinas being the main driver of growth.

Clia acting chief executive, Cindy D’Aoust, said: “The cruise industry is truly a global and dynamic one.

“We’ve enjoyed progressive growth over the last 30 years, driven initially by demand from North America, which expanded to Europe, Australia and now Asia. As a result, the cruise industry impacts the global economy generating jobs, income and business growth in all regions of the world.

“The potential for new cruise passenger growth is huge,” she added.

“Apart from North America and Europe, other regions of the world account for nearly 85% of the world’s population, yet represent only 16% of cruisers. That reflects a tremendous opportunity for the cruise industry.

“Asia is a prime example of the cruise industry’s growth opportunity. Our industry is bringing more cruise ship visits to Asia and the volume of cruise passengers sourced from Asia for cruise tourism worldwide nearly doubled since 2012.”

Allure’s full European season a response to strong UK demand

By Dave Jones

The world’s largest cruise ship will spend a full season in Europe for the first time in 2015, with strong UK demand to thank.

Following a year in which many cruise companies reduced their European activities, the news that Royal Caribbean will sail Allure of the Seas from Port Everglades in Florida – where it sails alongside its sister ship Oasis of the Seas on primarily Caribbean focused voyages – to Europe is welcome indeed.

Having carried more than two million passengers on Caribbean cruises since its introduction in 2010, the vessel will return for the first time to the continent where it was constructed and will sail from the Spanish port of Barcelona between May and October 2015.

This will follow on the rudder of Oasis of the Seas’ mini-Mediterranean season, which is scheduled for autumn of this year.

Once it has arrived in Barcelona, Allure of the Seas will offer UK and European passengers a chance to enjoy seven-night cruises calling at Palma de Mallorca, Marseilles, La Spezia (for Florence and Pisa), Civitavecchia (for Rome) and Naples.

According to Dominic Paul, head of Royal Caribbean International sales outside of North America, bringing Allure of the Seas to Europe is a “bold move”, but the cruise line is confident of success.

Speaking to Seatrade Insider, he explained that this confidence comes not only from the merit of its Oasis-class ships, but also in the strength of the UK cruise market and prospects for growth here.

Next year is looking exciting indeed, with Royal Caribbean also planning to home port its new vessel Anthem of the Seas in Southampton once construction has been completed.

Stuart Leven, the Royal Caribbean’s managing director for UK and Ireland, added: “The company is showing a big commitment to the UK market in 2015.

He added: “I believe the combination of an Oasis-class ship with all its on-board options and the great cruise destination of the Mediterranean will be a very compelling argument for both those who haven’t cruised before and also cruisers who have never experienced Oasis.”

Royal Caribbean hires firm to market Anthem of the Seas to younger generation

Anthem of the Seas

Anthem of the Seas is Royal Caribbean’s brand new cruise ship that is under construction and a member of the Quantum class of cruise ships. Anthem of the Seas will have her first cruise in spring 2015, with a homeport yet to be announced.

Royal Caribbean hires firm to market Anthem of the Seas to younger generation

Royal Caribbean has hired marketing firm TVC in an effort to reach a younger audience in the United Kingdom.  Royal Caribbean’s new cruise ship Anthem of the Seas will be based in Southampton and the hiring is in conjunction with the announcement.

The project work will build up to the new ship sailing out from Southampton in April 2015, with couples and families among the key younger groups targeted.

TVC client service director James Myers believes his company can help Royal Caribbean reach a new group of people, “The brief is about reaching a new audience, and reaching people who would not normally consider cruising.”

The six-figure deal will use music to evoke “holidays and good times” to help Royal Caribbean expand its share of the UK cruise market.

“Reaching a new audience is seen as difficult, so we’re trying to help dispel the myth that a cruise holiday may not be the coolest, most credible way to spend a holiday.”