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Cruise industry set for bumper year with record number of passengers booked for 2024 | Planet Attractions
     

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Cruise industry set for bumper year with record number of passengers booked for 2024

The cruise industry is lined up for a record year, with travellers from across the globe booking trips in greater numbers than even before as the travel sector bounces back from the effects of the global pandemic




The cruise industry is booming, with 2024 expected to beat pre-Covid 2019’s visitor numbers   Credit: Fernando Jorge on Unsplash

The cruise industry is lined up for a record year, with travellers from across the globe booking trips in greater numbers than even before the emergence of Covid-19.

According to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), in 2024, 35.7 million passengers are expected to take a cruise trip - an increase of 6% from 31.5 million in 2023 and even more passengers than those who set sail for cruise journeys in pre-pandemic 2019.

With the cruise industry still recovering from the effects of Covid-19, costs are often cheaper than land-based alternatives in an attempt to bring in more customers. Though these costs are expected to rise in the coming months, these low prices, along with an increased desire to travel following the pandemic, have led to a surge in cruise bookings.

“As we look into 2024, we have booked over double the amount of pre-cruise revenue compared to this year, with more guests engaging before their cruise and at higher prices,” said Royal Caribbean CEO, Jason Liberty, speaking on an earnings call in October in which quarterly total revenue of US$4.16bn (€3.78bn, £3.26bn) beat analyst estimates, with profit of US$3.86bn (€3.51bn, £3.02bn) also doing the same.

During its earnings report, Royal Caribbean also said that in the third quarter, two-thirds of its guests were either on a cruise for the first time or using Royal Caribbean for the first time. Repeat bookers have also doubled.

For Royal Caribbean’s premium luxury line, Celebrity Cruises, it’s a similar story, with 2023 setting a record year in terms of volume of people but 2024 is already set to beat that record.

“We are already better sold as we go into 2024 than we were going into 2023 in terms of load factor, although we always want more, as a full ship is both the most profitable and the most enjoyable for passengers.” said Celebrity’s managing director and Vice President EMEA, Giles Hawke, speaking to Travel Weekly.

“The combination of how we’ve deployed the fleet plus the launch of Ascent means we will definitely have more passengers on board in 2024.”

In Florida, PortMiami - the world’s busiest cruise port - recorded its busiest cruise year ever, with 7.3 million passengers moving through the destination - a 7% increase year-on-year.

“PortMiami continues to drive our economy forward, creating opportunities for residents and businesses across our county,” Miami-Dade mayor Daniella Levine Cava said in a statement. “The Port is an industry leader, which is future ready and committed to innovative, efficient, and sustainable growth.”

To accommodate this influx of passengers, cruise ships are getting bigger and travelling to new destinations, with Royal Caribbean set to debut the largest cruise ship in the world - Icon of the Seas - while Disney recently made its first Australian voyage.

Disney has also been expanding its cruise line, with the Disney Treasure - setting sail at the end of 2024 - its latest offering in a rapid expansion of the popular cruise operation following the 2022 launch of the Disney Wish.

"We have a very exciting year ahead with cruise currently on the crest of a wave,” said Andy Harmer, managing director at CLIA UK and Ireland.

“We're anticipating strong growth in 2024, with even more ships entering the market and our research telling us that 72% of people are open to a holiday at sea.”


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Cruise industry set for bumper year with record number of passengers booked for 2024 | Planet Attractions
news

Cruise industry set for bumper year with record number of passengers booked for 2024

The cruise industry is lined up for a record year, with travellers from across the globe booking trips in greater numbers than even before as the travel sector bounces back from the effects of the global pandemic




The cruise industry is booming, with 2024 expected to beat pre-Covid 2019’s visitor numbers   Credit: Fernando Jorge on Unsplash

The cruise industry is lined up for a record year, with travellers from across the globe booking trips in greater numbers than even before the emergence of Covid-19.

According to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), in 2024, 35.7 million passengers are expected to take a cruise trip - an increase of 6% from 31.5 million in 2023 and even more passengers than those who set sail for cruise journeys in pre-pandemic 2019.

With the cruise industry still recovering from the effects of Covid-19, costs are often cheaper than land-based alternatives in an attempt to bring in more customers. Though these costs are expected to rise in the coming months, these low prices, along with an increased desire to travel following the pandemic, have led to a surge in cruise bookings.

“As we look into 2024, we have booked over double the amount of pre-cruise revenue compared to this year, with more guests engaging before their cruise and at higher prices,” said Royal Caribbean CEO, Jason Liberty, speaking on an earnings call in October in which quarterly total revenue of US$4.16bn (€3.78bn, £3.26bn) beat analyst estimates, with profit of US$3.86bn (€3.51bn, £3.02bn) also doing the same.

During its earnings report, Royal Caribbean also said that in the third quarter, two-thirds of its guests were either on a cruise for the first time or using Royal Caribbean for the first time. Repeat bookers have also doubled.

For Royal Caribbean’s premium luxury line, Celebrity Cruises, it’s a similar story, with 2023 setting a record year in terms of volume of people but 2024 is already set to beat that record.

“We are already better sold as we go into 2024 than we were going into 2023 in terms of load factor, although we always want more, as a full ship is both the most profitable and the most enjoyable for passengers.” said Celebrity’s managing director and Vice President EMEA, Giles Hawke, speaking to Travel Weekly.

“The combination of how we’ve deployed the fleet plus the launch of Ascent means we will definitely have more passengers on board in 2024.”

In Florida, PortMiami - the world’s busiest cruise port - recorded its busiest cruise year ever, with 7.3 million passengers moving through the destination - a 7% increase year-on-year.

“PortMiami continues to drive our economy forward, creating opportunities for residents and businesses across our county,” Miami-Dade mayor Daniella Levine Cava said in a statement. “The Port is an industry leader, which is future ready and committed to innovative, efficient, and sustainable growth.”

To accommodate this influx of passengers, cruise ships are getting bigger and travelling to new destinations, with Royal Caribbean set to debut the largest cruise ship in the world - Icon of the Seas - while Disney recently made its first Australian voyage.

Disney has also been expanding its cruise line, with the Disney Treasure - setting sail at the end of 2024 - its latest offering in a rapid expansion of the popular cruise operation following the 2022 launch of the Disney Wish.

"We have a very exciting year ahead with cruise currently on the crest of a wave,” said Andy Harmer, managing director at CLIA UK and Ireland.

“We're anticipating strong growth in 2024, with even more ships entering the market and our research telling us that 72% of people are open to a holiday at sea.”


 



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