Cruise Fleet Passenger Capacity to Grow by 43 Percent by 2028

Carnival Magic and MSC Seaside

The global cruise fleet is set to grow by over 60 new ships entering service from 2023 through 2028, growing the fleet to 499 cruise ships, according to the 2023 Cruise Industry News Annual Report.

The passenger capacity is projected to grow from 26.5 million (double occupancy) in 2022 to nearly 38 million by 2028.

With most of the fleet laid up in 2021 because of COVID, the return of cruising picked up dramatically in 2022 with a 178 percent increase in passenger capacity over 2021.

For 2023, the passenger capacity is forecast to grow another 18 percent, with the full fleet sailing, plus new ships entering service, offset by the retirement of older ships and some brands that ceased service during the pandemic.

The continued growth rate from 2024 through 2028 will settle at a more stabilized rate from 7 percent in 2024 gradually decreasing to 1 percent in 2028.

The 2023 Cruise Industry News Annual Report is available in digital and printed formats.

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