The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has forecasted that 14.3 million passengers will sail on its member ships in 2010, up from 13.4 million in 2009. That forecast, however, merely tracks the capacity growth of its member cruise lines, which include Europe-based Costa Crociere and MSC Cruises. Hence the European side of the growth equation is getting larger, representing an estimated 25 percent of the passengers to be carried by CLIA member cruise lines in 2010.
Earnings for 2010 will be driven by yield improvement, resulting from both higher ticket prices and onboard spending, and international sourcing, while costs will remain flat or will go up slightly, according to Royal Caribbean Cruises. The company’s earnings forecast for 2010 is in the range from $2.00 to $2.20 per share, compared to actual earnings of $0.75 last year and $2.68 in 2008.
After an economic crisis year that saw luxury cruise operators drop prices dramatically and add value to fill their ships, 2010 is looking to be a year of “cautious optimism,” according to cruise line executives who gathered at a panel in New York in late January.
And there is more: Caribbean port development update; Jamaica Build-Up; the Norwegian Epic goes to the Mediterranean in 2011, the Brilliance of the Seas is bringing another 32,000 passengers to Dubai; and Carnival Corporation has reduced its earnings forecast for 2010.