Cruise Industry Overview

More than 27 million passengers cruised somewhere in the world in the past 12 months, the majority of cruises originating in North America. Cruise passenger growth continues to be strong, increasing by more than 10% from the previous year.


(Grand Cayman on a 6 ship day) 

There are currently more than 400 cruise ships in the world with more than 1/2 million beds that must be filled weekly. The cruise industry is growing and cruise lines are betting big on continued growth. As of early last year, more than 50 new cruise ships are on order with an investment cost of more than $51billion.

(Cruise Passengers at Margaritaville in Grand Turk)

 With the introduction of 50 new ships and $51billion 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 $50billion 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.



(Margaritaville in Fallmouth, Jamaica) 

 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.


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