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28 New Ships and Counting

Ponant has been the
trend-setter in the
market, introducing
new purpose-built
luxury ships.

  When Ponant’s 180-passenger Le Laperouse is delivered         ing a need to appeal to returning high-end guests. Ponant,
in June, it will usher in a new era for the cruise industry as  meanwhile, expanded aggressively with new, purpose-built
the expedition market will officially begin its new capacity    luxury expedition ships, with seven more to come.
                                                                  Expedition ships are generally smaller, averaging around
  Twenty-eight new expedition ships are scheduled for in-       200 guests. The total expedition orderbook stands at 5,420
troductions between June 2018 and the second quarter of         berths, less than the passenger count on the recently intro-
2022, and by all indications more are coming.                   duced Symphony of the Seas.

  Four new ships this year represent three companies, and         With roughly 31 cruise lines offering expedition sailings
two are new to the oceans: Scenic and Mystic.                   on dedicated small ships, the offerings are radically diverse,
                                                                from three-star adventure products to six-star ships with the
  Next year, 11 ships join the expedition fleet, all from es-   best of any amenity imaginable.
tablished operators, while the ship introductions keep rolling
into 2020, 2021 and 2022.                                         The market is also diversified from a sourcing point of
                                                                view. Strength comes from dedicated English-speaking mar-
  The business model is simple: go to very unique places,       kets, like most of the broader cruise business, while Germa-
like Antarctica and the Arctic, and charge an extremely high    ny and China are key growth areas in which to source guests.
ticket price while offering an exclusive and safe sense of ad-
venture.                                                          The destination mix is growing as well. Guests that have
                                                                previously sailed in the polar regions are heading back for
Driving Factors	                                                tropical expeditions, for example.

  An aging group of baby boomers have money and (some)            There are more shoulder season sailings than ever before,
time and have been everywhere else. Now, helped in part by      as ships that used to sail empty, racing between the poles, are
social media and perhaps global warming, they want to see       now selling warm water cruises.
the polar areas.
  Driving ticket prices up, new ships will offer comforts that
are new to the market, which was dominated by rugged yet          The new ship boom has been helped in part by a number of
simple Russian research vessels as recently as a decade ago.    smaller shipyards. While not accustomed to building cruise
                                                                ships, they have been looking for work after their other ship-
  Silversea and Ponant have arguably led the way. Silversea     building businesses underperformed.
entered the expedition market with a single ship in 2008, see-

4	 Cruise Industry News: 2018 Expedition Market Report
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