While Europe is gearing up for aggressive market expansion over the next few years, for 2022 MSC Cruises will continue to dominate the European market with 18 ships and estimated annual passenger capacity of three million, according to the 2021 Cruise Industry News Annual Report.
Its nearest competitor will be Costa Cruises with 10 ships and an annual passenger capacity estimated at 1.6 million.
Both MSC and Costa market their cruises across Europe as do the North American brands that dedicate ships to Europe during the summer months, while the other large European cruise lines tend to be national brands, such as AIDA, TUI and Phoenix Reisen in Germany, and Cunard, Fred. Olsen, Marella and P&O in the UK market.
Other national brands in Spain and in France are long gone, with Ponant remaining the only French cruise line, although marketing in all major markets, including the United States.
Combined the European Carnival Corporation brands will be able to carry more than four million passengers in Europe in 2022, compared to three million for MSC and about one million for the TUI Group, that is, TUI Cruises, Marella and Hapag-Lloyd. However, by 2027 MSC is forecasted to catch up with Carnival Corporation in terms of market capacity based on the companies’ newbuild orders and ship deployment.
Overall, the European brand’s market capacity is estimated at 9.2 million passengers in 2022 and 11.5 million by 2027.