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Viking Cruises' first vessel Viking Star in New York (photo: Viking Cruises)

Luxury cruise market to double by 2028

More than 40 chic new vessels are due to be launched over the coming decade, says a new report.

The luxury cruise market will more than its capacity by 2028, a new report says, as more than 40 chic new vessels are set to be launched over the coming decade.

A host of new market entrants and big cruise operators are jumping in on the trend, joining existing players and extravagant ship refurbs such as parts of Hurtigruten’s future fleet.

All are aiming to cash in on what is seen as a strong demand environment in the luxury market, writes the newly published 2019 Luxury Market Report by Cruise Industry News.

Over the last 12 months alone, 18 new luxury ships have been ordered for introduction before 2028, including moves by major companies MSC Cruises and Royal Caribbean Cruises to enter the market.

MSC will do so with its own as-yet-unnamed brand with small 1,000-guest ships, while Royal Caribbean has bought a majority stake in Silversea and announced a fleet expansion.

Carnival has its own Seabourn brand, which is also moving into the expedition space – another booming sector.

And Norwegian Cruise Line has Regent, which boasts some of the top ticket prices in the cruise industry, according to the report, and whose fleet of four vessels will rise to six by 2023.

Viking luxury
Under the Norwegian billionaire Torstein Hagen, Viking Cruises is launching a new fleet of riverboats in Europe this year – and a 930-guest ocean ship to bring its total to six. By 2027, Viking says it will have 16 ocean ships of the same size.

Hotel luxury will come to the seas with the launch of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, whose first ship will appear in early 2020. Other land-based property operators could follow.

Ponant, a French company with an expanding presence in the US market, is building its 180-guest luxury Explorer-class ships.

Seattle-based Windstar Cruises, meanwhile, is spending $250 million to stretch its three ships, adding 100 berths each and new engines. These are just a few of the companies that are active, or soon to be so, in the global luxury cruise market.

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