The CLIA, along with industry insiders, predicted pent-up cruiser demand to drive further growth within the industry. Passenger capacity is projected to increase from 26.5 million in 2022 to nearly 38 million by 2028. In anticipation of this, nearly 40 new ships debuted in 2022, with 75 more vessels lined up on order through 2027, as revealed in Cruise Industry News’ cruise ship order book. This brings up the total number of cruise ships to 499 worldwide.
New ships bringing new destinations
To keep up with the consumer demand, new routes have been emerging. Cruise lines are introducing new itineraries with destinations ranging from the Arabian Peninsula to the Indian Ocean. Historically, the surface of the Indian Ocean was a key trading arena that allowed the formation of vast commercial networks. Now, it still holds great promise for holidaymakers keen on exploring beautiful islands like the Seychelles and Maldives.
Even the Indian government has been making strides to take advantage of the growing cruise industry. In an effort to strengthen its tourism sector, India’s first international cruise vessel, the MV Empress, set sail in June. At the same time, Indian authorities inaugurated a modern cruise terminal at Chennai Port, catching the attention of cruise operators.
In particular, the ultra-luxury cruise company, Explora Journeys, has expanded its already deep catalog of cruise itineraries. A second vessel was added to its fleet named the Explora II. The Explora II is set to embark on journeys not only featuring the Indian Ocean but also the Middle East and Africa in August 2024.
Cruise lines offering luxury
The European lifestyle brand is aware that consumers are looking for unique experiences rather than mere getaways. As such, the brand is evolving. They have invested €3.5 billion ($3.7 billion) in 6 top-of-the-line ships, promising to usher in a new era of ocean travel based on slower and more mindful journeys, access to less-traveled destinations, and some of the most sustainable ships at sea.
Guests who climb aboard can expect to make a temporary home out of the ship’s 461 lavish Homes at Sea. They will also have a wealth of dining options to choose from, as the ship is equipped with 12 lounge bars and six restaurants. To keep them busy, the luxury ship boasts immersive onboard entertainment and Ocean Wellness concepts. But what really sets Explora Journeys Cruises apart are the destination programs they offer. Each destination program is designed to empower guests to experience a deeper understanding of every locale. This involves stop-offs and overnights at gateways to inland destinations such as Al-Ula in Saudi Arabia, the temples of Luxor and Karnak in Egypt, and the Serengeti in Tanzania.
There’s a cruise for everybody
With the ever-growing number of cruise ships setting sail each year, there’s bound to be an itinerary to suit everyone’s taste. The Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas cruise is perfect for families with small children who want a tropical vacation that even kids can appreciate. Travelers can choose between a 7-night Eastern or Western Caribbean Cruise that launches from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The Wonder of the Seas ship is the largest cruise ship in the world. It can comfortably accommodate up to 7,000 guests with 18 decks brimming with amenities every family member can enjoy. There’s an ice skating rink, a laser tag arena, a theater, a water park, and even a spa. One of the highlights onboard is the Bionic Bar, where robots serve as bartenders. Regardless of your interests, you’ll be sure to find an activity to pass the time.
The global cruise ship industry is expected to grow considerably over the next few years. With this growth, it’s also crucial to prioritize sustainability and make improvements for the environment. By adopting cleaner technologies, reducing waste and emissions, and fostering responsible tourism practices, the industry can mitigate its environmental footprint and ensure that future growth aligns with the preservation of our planet’s ecosystem.
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