With the Caribbean seeing an increase in cruise passenger capacity for 2013 over 2012, the region expects another capacity increase in 2014, as ships are shuffled from weaker markets, according to the 2013 Cruise Industry News Annual Global Industry Report.
The largest brands, Carnival Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean International and MSC Cruises are all increasing their Caribbean capacity this year, while Norwegian stays flat year-over-year.
Notable increases in 2014 will come from Princess Cruises sailing staying in the Caribbean during the summer, as well as offering short cruises, and MSC deploying a ship year-round from Miami.
In other changes, Royal Caribbean has reduced its capacity in Europe by an estimated 23 percent in 2013 over 2012. The big drop comes in the Mediterranean, where, according to Cruise Industry News, Royal Caribbean has 31 percent less passenger capacity this year over last year. However, in Northern Europe, Royal Caribbean is increasing its capacity by nearly 24 percent.
Overall, in 2013 the Mediterranean is seeing a 1.7 percent dip in capacity, compared to Northern Europe with a 20 percent increase, although Mediterranean traffic is still more than double that of Northern Europe.
In other changes, Royal Caribbean is building up its Asia capacity by 28 percent, while reducing its presence in Bermuda and South America by an estimated 48 percent and 37 percent, respectively.
MSC’s South America capacity will be up 19 percent for the calendar year, partially counting the 2012/13 and 2013/14 seasons.
Norwegian will see a big boost to Bermuda, up 24 percent, and to Alaska, up 37 percent.
More changes are due next summer with Princess having two ships in Australia/New Zealand, compared to three this year, and two in Japan. Princess is also modifying its European deployment with three ships in the Mediterranean next year, compared to four this year, and four ships in Northern Europe, up from three this year, thus the 2013 European deployment trend seems set to continue.
Princess will also maintain its Alaska capacity next year with seven ships. The only ship that is yet not accounted for in terms of 2014 summer deployment is the Sapphire Princess, which is slated to sail from Singapore for the 2014/2015 season, leaving her West Coast/Mexican Riviera deployments.