The range of cruises is diverse, and the demand for cruises is stable despite the inevitable climate debates and the recent coronavirus. More and more people are drawn to the sea, and the cruise lines are happy to serve demand with larger, more luxurious cruise lines.
Cruises are affordable for large numbers of people
A fundamental change took place over the course of several decades. While cruises were once a luxury item reserved for the affluent few, today they have become affordable for large sections of the population. One, two or more sea voyages a year? Hardly anyone is more surprised or grudging the ship vacationers with their passion. The growing sizes of ships have made sea travel cheaper and affordable. Which does not rule out the fact that there is not a prosperous segment of luxury or expedition cruises at the same time. Sea voyages benefit many: first and foremost, the passengers and the cruise lines. Travel agencies, tour operators at the destinations, shopkeepers or well-known museums participate in the curiosity of the passengers. Not to mention the shipyards, especially Fincantieri or the MEYER Group. They also have their share of the booming market.
Fully loaded shipyards
MEYER WERFT in Papenburg is preparing to deliver the brand new IONA to P&O Cruises in Southampton. With a capacity of more than 5.200 passengers, the IONA is one of the largest ships built in MEYER WERFT's construction dock. A few weeks ago, the 344-meter-long, 42-meter-wide ship's newbuild, measured at 184.700 GT, was undocked. And the trend is continuing: The order books of MEYER WERFT and the global competitors are well filled; the employment of the shipyards is secured for years.
Meyer Werft - Norwegian Getaway in the dock
Disruptive factors in the cruise market
The Coronavirus is a major concern for cruise lines. The Asian cruise market has been hard hit by the virus. The ships no longer call at ports in China and South Korea. Planned routes are canceled. Destinations suffer from the absence of cruise lines. Ships with virus patients on board are denied access to the ports, not to mention the costly disinfection measures of the ships following the virus outbreak. Princess Cruises' Diamond Princess is an example of what the spread of the coronavirus on board a ship is causing for passengers and the shipping company.
Climate activists rate cruise ships as well as air travel as harmful to the climate. Cruises and the cruise ships, whose number is generously estimated at 400 worldwide, are in the pillory. The remaining ocean-going ships (around 50.000), almost all of which are fueled with heavy oil, are apparently not in the focus of climate protectors. Although modern cruise lines, such as the new one Mein Schiff 2, are equipped with scrubber systems for effective exhaust gas cleaning. Another step towards climate-friendly cruises is the use of marine diesel, ship engines that burn liquefied natural gas (LNG) or fuel cell technology that is still to be developed for cruise ships.
My ship 2 the bow
MSC Cruises take a different approach. The company's goal is to become the “world's first cruise brand with climate-neutral ship operation” by 2020. As far as this is concerned, the shipping company is focusing on reducing its CO in the medium term2-Balance through technical measures. In the short term, all direct carbon dioxide (CO2) Emissions of the fleet offset by various climate protection projects. The compensation payments required for these projects serve to support marine and coastal habitats. According to reports, the company is having the measures cost 50 million euros. A decent businessman, and this is to be assumed at MSC, takes such additional costs into account in the price calculation.
MSC Seaside in the Caribbean
New in focus: mini cruises
Mini or trial cruises make you want more (sea). Short trips give first impressions of the comfort of longer cruises. Otherwise everything is the same as on longer boat trips. The shipping companies ensure the well-being of the guests. They sit back and relax and let their souls dangle. On the ships there is excellent cuisine, varied entertainment with lots of live music and spacious wellness areas. And even cruise ships with casinos on board can be found on the wide range of offers.
The journeys take between two to six days. Even short trips with the Queen Mary 2 between Hamburg and Southampton are offered in both directions. Take it!