This year will mark a record for the number of cruise liners launched: 24 new ships are scheduled to be launched. As a result, 42,488 cabins will be added to the market, which will make 7.5% of the total. Also, the year will be distinguished by the emergence of new cruise brands, technological innovations, expedition products, and the growth of turnover in the industry will continue. Experts from Cruise Industry News say this.
Mein Schiff 2 from TUI Cruises will be the first of 24 new vessels this year.
The largest liner to enter service this year will be Costa Smeralda with a capacity of 5,224 passengers, and the smallest - Magellan Explorer by Antarctica 21 - for 100 guests.
Also Costa Cruises in March will present the new ship Costa Venezia, built at the Italian shipyard Fincantieri. The ship will operate in China. Costa Smeralda will be launched at a later date and will be home to Europe.
The Grandiosa MSC, a Meraviglia-plus class ship, will debut in November. It will accommodate just under 5,000 guests. The operator will also launch the Bellissima liner.
“It should be noted that many new liners will be available for Russian tourists. - Andrey Mikhailovsky, General Director of the Infoflot Cruise Center, comments on the topic. - So, for example, this year Russians have an excellent opportunity to visit the new Costa Venezia if they go on a cruise from the port of Trieste (Italy) to Tokyo during the liner ferry. This flight will start on March 8, 2019. Cruises on the new MSC ships have also gone on sale. It will also be interesting to travel on the new Costa Smeralda. This liner will be the first to run on liquefied natural gas, making it one of the cleanest in the global cruise industry. According to the sales data of Infoflot, there is already interest in the liner in Russia, cruises are actively purchased."
Experts are waiting for the new year and a construction boom in the expeditionary cruise market. In total, 12 expedition ships will be launched into service in 2019. Including Hanseatic Nature and Hanseatic Inspiration from Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.
The French cruise company Ponant is launching a new vessel for the second year in a row. This year the market will accept the novelty Le Bougainville (last year - Le Dumont-d'Urville).
According to Andrey Mikhailovsky, the growing interest in Arctic cruises is also being felt in Russia. “These are rare cruises on unusual itineraries that are chosen by a small number of experienced travelers around the world looking for an exclusive experience. And we see an increase in the number of such tourists in our country. For example, about 100 Russians went to Antarctica aboard the Silver Sea ship. This is a large group for such an unusual segment,”the expert emphasizes.
Technological advances in the industry are also expected, including the latest apps for cruise ship guests to make their vacation even more enjoyable.
Princess Cruises will pleasantly surprise guests with her OceanMedallion, a mini-computer that allows you to keep abreast of all the events on the ship. A miniature device, which is also used as a key, can be carried in a pocket like a bracelet, brooch or pendant.
In turn, Royal Caribbean Cruises is introducing facial recognition technology on ships to make the check-in process faster and more convenient.
On board MSC Cruises' new Bellissima (due to hit the market in February), personal assistant Zoe will be in each cabin. This device is capable of memorizing various algorithms of actions. The user can customize the assistant according to their preferences. For example, teach him to turn on the light after opening the front door. The device is equipped with the latest speech recognition systems and is able to distinguish many commands.
“Costa Cruises has also launched a convenient application on most of its ships. With its help, guests can place orders in restaurants, see the menu, communicate and call in the internal onboard chat, keep track of their expenses, get acquainted with the program of entertainment and excursions. Such novelties allow the cruise industry to attract more and more fans of water travel, increase turnover, and stay ahead of other segments of tourism,”emphasizes Andrey Mikhailovsky.