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Despite weak economy cruise industry shows growth for 2009

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On January - 15 - 2009

With a track record of continued growth, the North American cruise industry is well-positioned to take on the global economic challenges of 2009.
Sparked by new ships, ports, and destinations as well as innovative shipboard experiences, and a deep rooted popularity for cruising, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) members will continue to offer incredible value across the entire spectrum of cruise vacations, in all price categories.

CLIA projects 13.5 million passengers will sail with its member lines in 2009, a 2.3 percent increase from the estimated 13.2 million last year. CLIA recorded 12.56 million passengers in 2007.

The numbers were announced today at a news conference in New York. Through the third quarter of 2008, CLIA lines saw a whopping 30 percent year over year increase in the number of international passengers carried. Year-end estimates put the international figure at 3.05 million, or a record 23.1 percent of CLIA’s market. The percent of customers sourced internationally in 2007 was 18.4 percent. CLIA also noted the booking window is shorter than the five to seven months historically, but said customers are still buying cruises despite the global economic crisis. CLIA put the average annualized growth of the North American cruise industry at 7.4% from 1980 to the present. As compared with the CLIA member line passenger volume of 7.2 million in 2000, the annual passenger volume has blossomed to 79 percent in the past eight years.

CLIA also stated that member lines will add 14 vessels in 2009 for a net berth capacity increase of 6.5 percent or 18,031 beds, counting three ship withdrawals. Joining the CLIA cruise roster are: American Cruise Line’s 104-berth Independence, AMA Waterways’ 148-berth sisters Amadolce and Amalrya, the 3,646-berth Carnival Dream, the 2,850-berth Celebrity Equinox, the 2,260-berth Costa Luminosa, the 3,000-berth Costa Pacifica, the 3,300-berth MSC Spendida, the 210-berth Pearl Mist of new brand Pearl Seas Cruises, the 5,400-berth Oasis of the Seas, the 450-berth Seabourn Odyssey, the 540-berth Silver Spirit, and Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection’s 160-passenger River Beatrice and 82-passenger River Tosca. The three ships transferring out of the CLIA fleet to other companies are Celebrity Galaxy, MSC Rhapsody and Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Majesty.

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One Response to “Despite weak economy cruise industry shows growth for 2009”

  1. Are any of these new cruise ships heading through Costa Rica? I went down to central america on a Princess Cruise last year but was sick the day it stopped in Costa Rica and didn’t get off… Love the blog!

    -Jeff

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