What to Watch For: Cruise Industry Trends for 2024

Adora Magic City

As a new year begins, the cruise industry will see record capacity, over a dozen new ships and  other key trends.

More Guests Onboard

Continuing a trend that started in 2023, the world’s largest cruise lines are seeing high occupancy rates and longer booking curves.

According to the Carnival Corp. CEO Josh Weinstein, Carnival is entering the year with the “best booked position ever seen,” and nearly two-thirds of its occupancy already on the books.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings also expects a 103 percent occupancy in 2023, with the high levels set to continue in 2024.

More Ships to China and Asia

With the Chinese market now reopened for international brands, more ships are set to arrive in Asia in 2024.

Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, MSC Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line are increasing their presences in the region, with the arrival of several vessels in China, the Far East and Southeast Asia.

Local brands in China are big news too. Adora Cruises saw its second ship start operations in January, as the brand new Adora Magic City sailed from Shanghai.

14 Newbuilds

The market will welcome 14 new cruise vessels, with the Royal Caribbean Group leading the way with four vessels for Royal Caribbean International, TUI Cruises and Silversea Cruises.

Other brands receiving new ships in 2024 include Viking, Princess Cruises, Cunard, Virgin Voyages, Explora Journeys, Disney Cruise Line, and Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection.

More Startups

After a strong 2023, the new year is also shaping up to be another relevant year for new brands and startups.

Cruise lines set to start service include Saudi Arabia-based Aroya Cruises and Japan-based Mitsui Ocean Cruises. After acquiring the former Braemar, Villa Vie Residences is also set to launch service, introducing a new residential cruise ship concept.

While details are still to be confirmed, the former Pacific Venus may also start service sometime in 2024 after being acquired by a new player.

Warmed Secondhand Market

Still sitting in Greece, the Seajets fleet continues available for new operators and includes large and modern ships, such as the 2,720-guest Mykonos Magic (former Costa Magica), and the 2000-built Queen of the Oceans (former Oceana), as well as the Aegean Majesty (former Veendam) and Majesty of the Oceans (former Monarch of the Seas)

Other vessels looking for new owners include the 1982-built Celestyal Crystal, the 2002-built Avitak, and the Ocean Navigator and Ocean Voyager.

Luxury and Premium Market Uptick

Of the 14 new cruise ships entering service in 2024, eight are being introduced by premium and luxury brands.

Among the luxury cruise lines receiving new vessels is Viking, with the 998-guest Viking Vela, and Explora Journeys, with the 920-guest Explora II. The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection is also getting a second ship with the 456-guest Ilma, while Silversea is introducing the 728-guest Silver Ray.

The market is expected to learn more about new upscale brands in 2024, with the reveal of further details of the product of previously announced operations from Orient Express, Four Seasons, and Project Sama.

Premium brands taking delivery of newbuilds include Cunard with the Queen Anne, Princess with the new Sun Princess, TUI Cruises with the Mein Schiff 7, and Virgin Voyages with the Brilliant Lady.

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