Don’t worry, the latest figures about cruise ship orders is all good news for cruise travellers. Industry news states there are 22 ships currently on order for completion and delivery between 2012 and 2016. Royal Caribbean Cruises’ chairman and CEO Richard Fain does however hint at restrained excitement and has indicated that his company will proceed with caution and future buildings would be at a slower pace than the current rate of orders. Carnival Chairman and CEO Micky Arison seems slightly more optimistic and has often stated his company intends to build at a rate of two to three ships per year going forward.
Why is this good for passengers? It means competition is hotting up. If the different operators are increasing their fleet, they’ll want to run more cruises. With more cruises, passengers will have more choices and in the newer vessels, the best and latest innovations to make travel more comfortable and eco-friendly.
The size of the vessels, as well as the orderbook amount, is also on the increase. Again – good news for passengers as companies will have to fill the cabins and attract people with good deals. Even if the new vessel is a replacement for an older vessel, the number of berths is significantly larger on the new orders.
Among the companies increasing their fleet and their passenger capacity are: Royal Caribbean International, TUI Cruises and Compagnie du Ponant, Carnival Corporation’s AIDA Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and MSC Cruises.
Ship builders hoping to receive orders will have to compete mainly with Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Italy’s Fincantieri. German company, Meyer Werft, STX France and STX Finland are also contenders for orders, but much will depend on the world economy and preferential currency rates as part of any new deals brokered.