According to the Cruise Industry News annual report, the luxury niche could see a capacity increase of 53 per cent by 2018. New ships will drive the reported growth from Regent Seven Seas and Seabourn, plus the expected new-ship announcements by Crystal Cruises, now under new ownership.
The publication points out the luxury market consists of 26 ships, with all but two Hapag-Lloyd vessels sailing for North American brands. By 2018, there should be 32 ships sailing with the upper crust market as the target.
The largest single luxury brand in terms of passenger capacity by 2018 will be Seabourn, with an estimated annual load of 84,150 passengers.
The annual report offered this from the various lines:
• Regent Seven Seas will be nearly as large with an estimated annual passenger capacity of 84,130 unless it divests itself of the smaller 490-passenger Navigator.
• Having added ships in 2013 and 2014, Silversea has not announced further additions, and its capacity will remain relatively unchanged from today at an estimated 79,220 passengers a year.
• Carrying approximately 60,000 passengers a year, Crystal’s new owners have announced intentions to build, which will most likely be a bigger ship to fit the fleet profile and hence bump the brand to the top of its market segment
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