Strong cruise growth forecast in Europe

Association says measures are in place to maximise security
Despite global economic austerity, the Cruise Lines International Association is forecasting continued growth in Europe’s cruise market.
Pierfrancesco Vago, Clia Europe’s chairman for the past three years and MSC Cruises’ executive chairman, expressed confidence in the sector while speaking at the recent Madrid International Cruise Summit.
The European cruise industry has grown by almost 50% since 2008 and continues to expand each year.
“Cruising is here to stay as it continues to attract more Europeans and generate economic growth,” Vago said.
Last year, 123 ships from 39 cruise lines operated in European waters, carrying 6.6 million passengers, an increase of 3% from the previous year. Cruise passengers in Europe account for 28.4% of the global total (23.19 million in 2015).
Leading markets by country of embarkation are Italy with 32.7%, followed by Spain with 20.9% and the UK at 17.3%.
As more cruise ships are delivered to European operators in the coming years, the cruise market will continue to expand. Europe’s shipyards have 48 orders to be delivered to international cruise lines by 2019 and 75 by 2026.
“While the cruise industry is ready to continue to expand in Europe, we face a number of common challenges that need to be addressed to make sure the cruise industry is on the right track. We are attentive to that,” Vago continued.
In order to maximise security and safety, cruise lines have the flexibility to alter itineraries and avoid specific ports and destinations, Clia said in a statement.
“Cruise lines work closely with security experts and authorities to constantly reassess these risks. […] Clia’s members and stakeholders are increasing safety measures in all European regions concerned, particularly in the popular Mediterranean region.”
TTG Digital