Relentless Growth of Cruise Shipping Sector Poised to Press On

Image Courtesy: Fincantieri

The cruise ship fleet is set to grow by 50 percent in the following ten years as cruise liners are expected to resume their ordering spree especially for the mega cruise ships.

The current orderbook value stands at USD 47 billion, with 75 ships due for delivery by 2025.

European shipbuilders still dominate the market when it comes to constructing these floating cities, led by the major three builders, Fincantieri, Meyer Werft and STX France. Furthermore, Fincantieri is keen on cementing its foothold with the acquisition of STX France.

Fincantieri, including Vard, is building 29 of the 75 cruise ships due for delivery by 2025, Meyer Werft is contracted for 17, STX France for 12, and the new grouping owned by Genting Hong Kong – MV Werften – for six.

 In total, 11 of the 75 ships on order will use LNG fuel at sea as well as in port: two for Royal Caribbean International, two for MSC Cruises, and seven for Carnival brands.

The result is that the current orderbook already represents another 250,000 berths being added to the global cruise fleet in the 10 years to 2025, increasing capacity by 40%.

With further orders inevitably to be placed for deliveries within the second half of that 10-year span, fleet capacity will probably grow at least 50% 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.

In addition to the ever increasing number of cruise ships on order, the cruise lines are also investing heavily in refurbishment of their existing ships, with USD 1.5 billion spent on cruise ship refurbishment in 2016 alone.

 “One innovation stands head and shoulders above all others when it comes to explaining the improved profitability of the cruise sector and its relentless drive for growth and that is the creation of the ‘mega-ship’. We can expect to see plenty more – and probably even larger – cruise ships in the future,” Cruise industry analyst Tony Peisley says.

According to Peisley, Genting Hong Kong’s purchase of four German yards will also eventually offer a welcome new option for other companies “frustrated by the full or fast-filling orderbooks of the other European shipbuilders.”

 “Today’s order book reflects our industry’s expectation for long-term sustainable growth, with additional capacity coming in to match stronger demand for cruise holidays. Never before have cruise lines committed to new ship orders spanning over such a long period of time,” Gianni Onorato, Chief Executive Officer, MSC Cruises, said.

Image Courtesy: Fincantieri

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