While average annual growth rate will be about 3 percent, the peak will come in 2015 when capacity will increase by 8.5 percent. In addition will be the capacity dedicated to European passenger sourcing by North American brands.
The forward growth pace, however, is significantly slower than the previous eight years, from 2005 to 2013, during which passenger capacity grew by an estimated 113 percent.
Carnival Corporation’s European brands are dominant among the regional cruise lines with a 44 percent market share this year, followed by MSC Cruises with 23 percent, Royal Caribbean’s European brands with 11 percent, Thomson with 4 percent and Louis, 3 percent.
So far, all of Carnival’s growth going forward is concentrated up until 2017, when the latest AIDA ship will add a full year of service. Company capacity will rise 22 percent over the 5 year period.
In other developments, the Europe-based brands are maintaining their European deployment, although many brands are shifting more capacity away from the Mediterranean to Northern Europe.
According to Cruise Industry News, the Europe-based brands were able to carry 5.9 million passengers (double occupancy) at the start of 2013 and will be able to carry 7.4 million by 2020.