by Andrea Doyle | January 30, 2014
Twenty-four new cruise ships will be introduced in 2014-2015, said industry experts during the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) annual State of the Industry Press Conference, held Jan. 16 at Apella in New York City. This will add a total passenger capacity of 37,546, representing a capital investment of approximately $8 billion in the ocean-going and river cruise categories.

“The global cruise industry is at an exciting juncture with strong consumer interest in cruising and significant cruise line investment in a diversity of exciting ships that travel to the most exotic locations in the world,” CLIA President and CEO Christine Duffy said during the press conference.

The top 2014 cruise trends identified by CLIA include:

  • Improved technology to lower the cost of onboard communications and provide more efficient passenger servicing;
  • First-time passenger growth coming from younger generation travelers — especially Millennials;
  • More luxury cruising (luxury category ships, onboard upgrades) stimulated by an improving economy and increased consumer confidence;
  • Growth of multigenerational and celebration travel, as well as social/affinity groups;
  • More all-inclusive options and packaging in accommodations, services and amenities;
  • Active vacations at sea with extreme and soft-adventure excursions, longer stays in ports for added sightseeing, and high-energy onboard facilities; and
  • Exotic locations driving new itinerary competition and cruise ship deployment.

Hot itineraries for 2014, according to CLIA cruise line members, include: Trans-Pacific, World Cruises, U.S. Rivers, South America, Antarctic, Middle East, Canada/New England, Africa and Exotic Rivers.