About the Cruise Ship Market

According to the Florida – Caribbean Cruise Association, 21.7 million passengers cruised somewhere in the world in the past 12 months, the majority of cruises originating in North America. Caribbean cruise passenger growth continues to be the strongest in the world at 37% of all itineraries last year, up 3% from previous year results.

There are currently more than 400 cruise ships in the world with 467,000 beds that must be filled weekly. The cruise industry is growing and cruise lines are betting big on continued growth. As of early this year, twenty nine (29) new cruise ships are on order at a cost of $7.2billion.

With the introduction of 29 new ships and $7.2billion in capital investments going into the cruise ship market, a opportunistic retail organization can draw two conclusions:

  1. The addition of each new ship will bring an average of 2,550 new passengers to each retail store located in a visited port each day.
  2. The success of Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Princess, Disney Cruises and other major lines all hinge on their ability to fill the ships with passengers and set sail each week. They are betting $7.2billion on their ability to do so over the next decade. They will ensure that the ships are filled, providing in-port retailers with a steady flow of traffic for years to come.

Cruise passengers are on the trip of a lifetime and their shopping psyche is different than a typical vacationer. An average cruise passenger will spend $1,700 per person per week while an average hotel-goer will spend $1,300 per person per week. (Passengers on luxury lines spend, on average, $3,200 per person per week.) If you are marketed well on the cruise lines and if your product is priced right with high perceived quality, then your stores are positioned to succeed.