Silver Cloud (photo: Sergio Ferreira)The luxury market niche could see a 53 percent spike in passenger capacity from 2015 to 2018, according to the 2015-2016 Cruise Industry News Annual Report.

The growth will be driven by new ships for Regent Seven Seas and Seabourn Cruise Line, and if Viking Cruises positions itself in the market segment. In addition will be the announced expansion of Crystal Cruises under Genting ownership.

Today, broadly defined, the luxury niche consists of 26 ships, with all but two Hapag-Lloyd vessels, sailing for North American based brands. By 2018, the segment could have 32 ships, increasing the passenger capacity from approximately 336,000 to 515,000.

The largest single luxury brand in terms of passenger capacity by 2018 will be Seabourn with an estimated annual capacity of 84,130 passengers.

Regent Seven Seas will be nearly as large with an estimated annual passenger capacity of 84,150 unless it divests itself of the smaller 490-passenger Navigator.

Having added ships in 2013 and 2014, Silversea has not announced any further additions, and its capacity will remain relatively unchanged from today at an estimated 79,220 passengers a year.

Carrying approximately 60,000 passengers a year, Crystal’s new owners have announced intentions to build, which will most likely be a bigger ship to fit the fleet profile and hence bump the brand to the top of the market segment.

Viking could also become a major player, pending its branding and market position intentions, that at this point do not seem clearly defined.

About the Annual Report:

The Cruise Industry News Annual Report is the only book of its kind, presenting the worldwide cruise industry through 2025 in 350+ pages. Statistics are independently researched. See a preview of last year’s edition by clicking here.

The report covers everything from new ships on order to supply-and-demand scenarios from 1987 through 2021+. Plus there is a future outlook, complete growth projections for each cruise line, regional market reports, and detailed ship deployment by region and market, covering all the cruise lines.

Order the 2015-2016 edition today.