Cruise Industry Trends 2019/2020

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Cruise Industry Trends 2019/2020
Cruise Industry Trends 2019/2020
photo: Cruise Industry Trends 2019/2020
photo: Cruise Industry Trends 2019/2020

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) estimates that more than 30 million travelers will be sailing worldwide by the end of 2019, up 6% from 28.2 million in 2018. Andrey Mikhailovsky, General Director of the Infoflot Cruise Center, announced this at a press conference as part of a press cruise that took place the day before on board the Lunnaya Sonata motor ship.

The potential of the Russian outbound cruise market is great, but at the moment its capacity is only 0.3% of the total outbound flow of the country - about 78 thousand passengers.

Generation Z will become the main target audience for the cruise industry in the coming years, ahead of the millennial generation. Z prefers unique experiences, has an even greater passion for travel. They are attracted by themed cruise festivals, special travel experiences.

One of the main trends is the growth of tourist traffic out of season (in all directions). Also, among cruisers, there are more and more of those who actively work in travel, thanks to the high-quality Internet. The number of solo cruise travelers, even on the most distant routes, is growing.

New liners

2019 marked a record year for the number of cruise ships launched, with 24 new ships scheduled to launch by the end of the year.

The largest liner, which will enter service in November, will be Costa Smeralda with a capacity of 5,224 passengers. This liner will be the first to operate on liquefied natural gas, making it one of the cleanest in the global cruise industry.

The Grandiosa MSC, a Meraviglia-plus class ship, will also debut in November. It will accommodate just under 5,000 guests.

The smallest new liner this year is the Magellan Explorer by Antarctica 21 - for 100 guests.

Last September, for the first time in 60 years, a passenger motor ship was launched in our country. Its construction has been carried out by the Nizhny Novgorod shipyard "Krasnoe Sormovo" since 2017. The motor ship "Mustai Karim" will start its maiden voyage in May 2020. It will be able to accommodate up to 329 passengers at a time and will offer guests several restaurants, bars, a library, a conference room, a SPA salon and a large outdoor promenade.

New technologies

Operators never cease to amaze tourists with their technological innovations. For example, Princess Cruises introduces OceanMedallion for guests, a mini-computer that allows you to keep abreast of all the events on the ship. A miniature device that is used as a key can be carried in a pocket like a bracelet, brooch or pendant.

Royal Caribbean Cruises is introducing facial recognition technology on ships to make the check-in process faster and more convenient.

On board the new MSC Cruises Bellissima, each cabin will have a personal tourist assistant, Zoe. This device is capable of memorizing various algorithms of human actions.

Launched a convenient application on most of its ships and Costa Cruises. 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.

Some Russian cruise shipping companies have also launched mobile applications.

New routes 2019/2020 with Infoflot

Since 2020, Infoflot, together with Crucemundo, have prepared new itineraries for the Russian market in river cruises across Europe. Russians already have access to cruises with routes that include parking on the banks of the European rivers Moselle and Rhine. The first voyage for Russians on this river is included in the itinerary of the Christmas Club cruise in Germany, which will take place on board the Crucevita boutique motor ship from January 3 to 10, 2020. On the way, tourists will find rare parking lots, including Cochem, Winningen, Trier.

The second novelty of the upcoming 2020 season - the Saar (a tributary of the Moselle) will also be available to Russians in the near future. The river is also famous for its winemaking traditions and unique architecture. The first voyage on the new route will start in Mainz (Germany) on May 14, 2020 on the cruise ship Crucevita.

Since 2019, Infoflot, in partnership with the German company A-Rosa, has launched cruise tours along European rivers. Opened travels on the Seine and Rhone rivers - in France. The Russians embarked on the first cruise tour with an additional program in Paris and an Aeroflot flight from Moscow on the motor ship A-Rosa Stella.

We predict that the emergence of new interesting cruises will further increase the cruise tourist flow from Russia to Europe next year. For 6 months of this year, this figure has already increased by 30%, and, in many respects, it is due to the expansion of the product line.

Also recently, Infoflot, in partnership with Crucemundo S. L. entered the market with a new author's cruise tour to Egypt along the Nile River, combined with an additional excursion program. The cruise takes place on a modern four-deck motor ship. The journey starts in Cairo and the cruise itself is from Luxor. The tour itinerary includes Cairo, Edfu, Kom Ombo, Aswan. The first flight started on September 26 this year.

The maritime novelty of 2020 is cruises from Vladivostok on the Costa neoRomantica liner to the Far East, Japan and Korea. The first flight starts from Japan on June 12, 2020, and the liner arrives in Vladivostok on June 16, after which it goes further along the route to South Korea and back to Japan.

As part of the eight-day flights, starting and ending in Vladivostok, tourists will see the South Korean city of Sokcho, Japanese Fukuoka, Maizuru, as well as Kanazawa, located on the island of Honshu.

More news for 2020. The priority partner of Infoflot, the Sozvezdiye cruise company, announced the creation of an expedition unit, Constellation Expeditions, which will organize cruises on rivers, lakes, seas of Russia and the world. The first cruises will take place in 2020 on Lake Baikal. The trips will be organized on the largest and most comfortable Baikal motor ship "Empire". This route is unique in that in a week tourists will be able to see the entire Baikal, passing it from south to north and back.

Russian cruises. Fleet modernization

Most of the ships of the leading cruise companies in Russia have undergone repeated modernization. In essence, these are modern floating hotels with all the infrastructure necessary for a comfortable stay.

Taking the example of our partner Constellation, we see that operators are investing millions in these innovations. So, a few years ago, the partners made the first cabins with balconies on their ships, and at the moment they are very popular among travelers and are sold first.

In addition, in the 2020 season, Sozvezdiye will modernize public spaces and cabins of motor ships. For the new navigation, more than 100 cabins will undergo a complete modernization, from a change in layout, replacement of furniture, style and design of the cabin, to restructuring and enlargement of the bathroom in some categories of cabins.