Chinese cruise industry witnesses huge boom

CruiseIt’s not just the Brits that enjoy a good cruise holiday to relax, but also the Chinese – with more than 1 million expected to partake in a cruise holiday next year.

Almost five times more Chinese holidaymakers will be enjoying a cruise in 2016, compared to 2012; a figure that has reached a global industry record and resulted in a huge expansion of ship orders ready to set sail.

A booming market

It’s believed by ship brokers that the traditional market of cruises will continue however, this will largely depend on the retirement spending of the baby boomers in the West, while the Asian middle-class spending habits on short holidays at sea will also contribute.

After a huge 50% year-on-year increase of cruise holiday bookings recorded in 2015, the market is set to add an additional 146,000 passenger berths by just 2020.

Meanwhile, European and North American travellers also account for 85% of the global cruise market, which currently stands at 22 million passengers every year.

However, change is coming with the Chinese Government now expecting a staggering 4.5 million Chinese citizens to be taking a cruise every year by 2020.

The investment bank, Morgan Stanley, however have predicted a more modest 3 million annual cruise passengers by 2020 – or 10% of the market.

Expanding cruise-ship offerings

In the likes of Japan and South Korea, local ports are speeding ahead to expand their facilities in a plight to accommodate the new class of “mega-ships” that are expected to carry more than 6,000 holidaymakers.

As a result of this surge in Chinese cruise ship holidays, the major firms Royal Caribbean and Carnival – which combined currently account for 80% of the Chinese market – have begun sending brand new vessels to be permanently located in the east, completed with even more casinos, sun decks and shopping outlets than ever before.

In fact, just last week Carnival doubled its number of cruise brands in China to four, with two new ones set to arrive in 2017.

If you’re planning on taking a cruise this year, don’t forget your specialist travel insurance.

Date Created: 19 October 2015

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