Cruise boom: No end in sight

Exploring faraway countries, discovering new cities, enjoying the entertainment programme or indulging in wellness offerings – cruise passengers booking a cruise want to do a bit of everything. Demand for the growing cruise offering remains strong. The cruise sector has been booming for years. Last year, Europe delivered a new record: Around 6.7 million Europeans went on a cruise. According to the industry association CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association), this was in increase of 3.4 per cent versus 2015. Cruises are particularly popular among German and British holidaymakers: At two million passengers and 11.3 per cent growth year-on-year, Germany was the leading market in Europe, while the UK and Ireland reported growth of 5.6 per cent to nearly 1.9 million passengers. The sector has responded by investing in new ships. By 2026, tour operators and shipping lines are planning to launch more than 70 new ships worldwide.

Tomorrow’s cruise passengers
However, will a sufficient number of people remain interested in cruising? Will the sector not pass its peak soon? Not at all! Surveys and statistics have shown that an end is not in sight for the cruise boom. Europe still lags far behind the US, where eleven million passengers go on a cruise each year. Essentially, Europeans have only just begun to discover the special appeal of cruises. A survey carried out by auditing firm PwC among more than 1,000 German respondents has shown that one in three Germans would like to spend their holiday on board a ship. Moreover, cruise holidays attract a growing number of target groups. Originally, many people regarded cruises as an exclusive Eldorado for elderly, well-heeled ladies. Even in the early 1990, cruising was still regarded as elitist. Today, cruises attract an increasing number of first-timers alongside more experienced cruisers, as CLIA has established as one of the key travel trends: In a survey carried out by CLIA, almost half of all respondents who had never been on a cruise said they would be interested in going on a sea cruise within the next three years. Even an entirely new generation is setting sails. The number of young people interested in cruises - including Millennials and Generation X – has risen to a new record level. They even prefer this type of travel to shore-based holidays such as all-inclusive resorts, round trips, holiday homes or camping holidays.