Carnival Cruise Line is the single largest cruise brand in the world today by passenger capacity, but only barely ahead of Royal Caribbean International, according to the 2017-2018 Cruise Industry News Annual Report.
And by 2027, Royal Caribbean will be larger at an estimated annual passenger capacity of 5.7 million compared to approximately 5.0 million for Carnival, based on existing ship orders, deployment and known withdrawals.
A significant difference between the two brands, however, is that Carnival will have some 96 percent of its capacity deployed and sourced in North America, compared to less than 70 percent for Royal Caribbean.
Also in terms of growth, MSC Cruises will see its global passenger capacity increase nearly 160 percent over the 10 year period from approximately 1.7 million today to 4.4 million, with sourcing concentrated in Europe, in addition to South America, North America, South Africa and China.
Norwegian will see a 65 percent capacity increase overall to 3.3 million passengers, including its deployment in China, and Celebrity, 62.5 percent to 1.3 million passengers, focused largely on the North American market, according to the 2017-2018 Cruise Industry News Annual Report.
Costa will have a 60 percent increase from 2 million to 3.2 million passengers, with about 45 percent of its passengers to be sourced in China, while AIDA will also see 60 percent growth from 1 million to 1.6 million, but focused on the German market.
Princess Cruises will grow 28 percent from 1.8 million to 2.3 million passengers, including sourcing in North America, China, the UK and Australia.
All the major brands will be increasing their passenger capacities over the coming decade, in addition to newcomers entering the market, such as Ritz-Carlton and Virgin Voyages.
As for growth being offset by ship withdrawals, Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation, said on the company’s 2017 Q2 earnings call that plans call for retiring one or two ships every year.
The Pacific Pearl left P&O Australia earlier this year and the Carnival Splendor will be leaving Carnival Cruise Line in 2019, but moving to sister company P&O. Royal Caribbean, MSC or Norwegian executives have not mentioned any plans for withdrawals, instead most brands have invested significantly in upgrades of their fleet.
About the Annual Report:
The Cruise Industry News Annual Report is the only book of its kind, presenting the worldwide cruise industry through 2027 in 400 pages.
Statistics are independently researched. See a preview by clicking here.
The report covers everything from new ships on order to supply-and-demand scenarios from 1987 through 2027+. 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.