Passengers continue to flock to new cruise ships that offer land thrills at sea
y any measure, cruise shipping is booming. Over the last five years, the passenger demand for cruising has increased by 20.5%. That steady climb is expected to continue this year with some 27.2 million passengers expected to cruise according to the 2018 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook, released by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). CLIA points to growing consumer interests, an increased awareness of the cruise
26 Marine Log // February 2018
industry as a whole, sustainability practices, new ships, inclusive experiences, and brand new markets (Asia in particular) as the key drivers for growth. To meet growing passenger demand, operators are ordering larger ships—promising more adventure, dining delights, sunshine and relaxation on board. According to the most recent Seatrade Cruise Orderbook (January 31, 2018), there are 91 confirmed ocean cruise ships on order with a total order book value of $57.2 billion through 2025. This year alone, 16 new cruise ships will make their debut ushering in a new era of excitement and adventure at sea. The goal: Make the cruise ship itself the destination, the place for pleasure and adventure, and not just a mode of transportation—think of it as an all-inclusive resort on the move.
The largest of this year’s newbies is Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas. Upon its delivery this Spring, the 230,000 grt Symphony of the Seas will be the largest cruise ship in the world measuring 1,188 ft long and 215.5 ft wide with a 30 ft draft. The ship will carry 5,500 guests at double occupancy on board with an international crew made up of 2,175. Built by STX France, Symphony of the Seas, like its Oasis class sister ships, will be a floating city, featuring seven neighborhoods including the ever popular Central Park, the Royal Promenade, Pool and Sports Zone, and Boardwalk. Symphony of the Seas, similar to its predecessor Harmony of the Seas, promises “Big Time Thrills” at sea from the FlowRide surfing simulator, to a rock climbing wall, and even an “Escape the Room” spin off.
Top: Chad Ress / Bottom: Rob Kalmbach ; Courtesy of Royal Caribbean
Published on Feb 13, 2018