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Update on the Chinese Cruise Market with a Growth Track from 2018 to 2025


As of 2017 the Chinese Cruise market is being served by 20 ships overall, all of which are sourcing locally. This in reality amounts to a total capacity of approximately 3 million passengers. Note that this significant figure includes the new vessels frequenting Chinese waters, namely the Majestic Princess and Norwegian Joy.

To demonstrate current growth levels in more tangible terms, the year-on-year capacity is up a staggering 33.8% in 2017 from 2016.

It’s not all good news and growth however, because in 2018, both the Majestic Princess and the the MSC Splendida will be sailing seasonally in China, whereas previously they both announced year-round deployment within China. Moreover, other ships, from Carnival Cruise Line and AIDA Cruises, that were previously announced to be entering the market in this time period, have since been deployed elsewhere.

Moving forward, the 2018 total estimated capacity is expected to be around 3.3 million passengers, up 11% from 2017. In 2019 it is likely that we will see only a slight increase from the late-year introductions of the first of 2 Costa new builds in addition to a second Norwegian ship for China. Capacity is projected to move up by 1.1% to 3.4 million passengers.

The first big bump up, based on announced deployment, happens in 2020 with full-year service of the first of 2 Costa ships that would have entered into service in 2019, plus the introduction of a second new Costa ship, and the first of two new builds by Star Cruises. Capacity will be up 11.5% at this juncture to more than 3.7 million passengers.

With a second new build from Star Cruises in 2021 and 2 new builds from Carnival’s domestic brand slated to enter service in 2023 and 2024, the forecast for capacity is expected to reach in the region of 5.5 million by 2025.
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