The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) gave an upbeat outlook for 2011 in its annual state of the industry presentation last week, reflecting similar, positive forecasts from the major cruise companies. Presented by Bob Sharak, executive vice president of marketing and distribution, the traffic forecast for CLIA member cruise lines for 2011 is 16 million passengers, up 6.6 percent from 2010, with 73 percent, or 11.7 million, coming from North America, and 27 percent, 4.3 million, sourced internationally.
The 2011 forecast reverses a North American trend with only modest passenger growth over the past several years.
When Carnival Corporation announced that the Yachts of Seabourn will merge its operations with Holland America Line and move to Seattle, it was clear that the luxury brand is not meeting its financial objectives.
The move from Miami to Seattle will take place over the next several months, according to Carnival, and once the transition has been completed and the synergies are fully realized, the company said it expects annual savings starting in 2012 in the $20 to $25 million range.
It is unknown who from Seabourn’s existing management team and staff will transition to Seattle.
Riviera Drops Again
West Coast Mexican Riviera cruise capacity is estimated to drop to 706,000 in 2011 from 951,358 in 2010, and may go as low as 600,000 in 2012, according to the Cruise Industry News Annual Report.
583,000 cruise passengers also arrived in the city in 2010, up 31 percent from 2009, according to Seth Pinsky, president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation. He predicted a similar increase in 2011 – with more ships and new cruise lines. (The arriving passengers translate into an official count of 1.1 million, as ports typically count passengers twice – when they arrive and when they sail.)
Pinsky noted that 63 percent of the passengers are coming from outside of the tri-state area, 21 percent from the city, and 16 percent from other markets.
Passenger direct spending was estimated at $145 million in 2010, up 54 percent from 2009, and those on pre- or post-stays spent an average of $437 each for two days.
Cruise Industry News tracks the ship deployments and itineraries of the five leading luxury brands for 2011.
Luxury is in the eye of the beholder, according to Douglas Ward, author of Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruises and Cruise Ships 2011.
Not so fast, according to Ron Kurtz, president of the American Affluence Research Center, who defines true luxury products by per diems, which should be $500 and higher.
Kurtz’s definition eliminates some ships, and Ward gives less than top ratings to ships otherwise thought of as luxury ships.
For the full reports, please read the Jan. 19, 2011 edition of Cruise Industry News, the newsletter, click here to subscribe.