The Caribbean continues to dominate as the most important sailing region for the global cruise industry, according to the recently released 2014-2015 State of the Industry Annual Report from Cruise Industry News.
Over the past five years, the Caribbean has grown its market share from 40.7 percent to 42.2 percent this year and 9.1 million passengers. The Asia/Pacific region has also seen growth from 7.1 percent to 9.1 percent, as has Northern and Western Europe at 9.0 percent from 7.3 percent.
Most other sailing regions have seen a decline in deployed capacity over the five-year period.
This year, the Carnival brand, for example, has 83.5 percent of its capacity in the Caribbean; Royal Caribbean International, 69.1 percent; and Norwegian, 54.0 percent. They are the three largest brands in the Caribbean.
European deployment will be at its lowest over the past five years, with 28.8 percent of the worldwide passenger capacity deployed this year, compared to 31.0 percent last year.
However, next year Europe is likely to see a spike in capacity with new ships from Costa, P&O and TUI Cruises, in addition to summer deployment by the new Anthem of the Seas and the Allure of the Seas, and year-round service by the Norwegian Epic. And the growth continues in 2016 with the first of a new generation of AIDA ships and then in 2017, when the first of two new generations of MSC ships enters service.
The Asia/Pacific region will also see a spike next year with Costa sailing three ships year-round, seasonal deployment by Princess in China and Japan, and Royal Caribbean moving the Quantum of the Seas to China.
Australia will see a boost from two more ships being moved from Holland America to P&O Cruises, unless other Carnival brands adjust their capacity in the market.
The Mexican Riviera is seeing a slow build-up to some 750,000 passengers this year from a low of 447,452 last year, compared to a market high of 1.2 million in 2008.
The largest sailing regions in terms of market capacity deployed is the Caribbean/Bahamas, 42.2 percent; the Mediterranean, 17.7 percent; Asia/Pacific, 9.1 percent; Northern and Western Europe, 9 percent; Alaska, 4.2 percent; the West Coast and the Mexican Riviera market, 3.5 percent; South America, 2.6 percent; and Australia, 2.3 percent.