Demonstrating the industry’s confidence in its future, there has never been more ships under construction or on order. The total current orderbook counts 51 cruise ships, plus some not-yet firmed up orders, for deliveries through 2022.
This bodes well for shipyards and suppliers alike. Moreover, the boom is encouraging new entities to enter the cruise-ship building business, including Lloyd Werft Bremerhaven and the China State Shipbuilding Corporation.
With a service life of 30 years or more, the ships being built are also designed to be future-proof, pushing new design and technological frontiers.
The industry is confident that Asia, and particularly China, will be its new growth engine and is building up capacity there. Carnival was first to tap the Chinese market (with its Costa brand and subsequently Princess), followed by Royal Caribbean, and now MSC will be sailing from China as well, starting next year. Norwegian is expected to follow suit before long.
Meanwhile, Down Under, Australia is generating more passengers than any other market relative to the size of the population and is supporting a growing year-round and seasonal fleet of ships.
Whether it is shipbuilding or deployment, the industry is on the move, evolving and developing. Stay with us on its future course.
Angela Reale Mathisen & Oivind Mathisen