Report: Huge Cruise Potential Untapped

Thursday, January 29, 2004
European cruise sale penetration figures compiled by ShipPax Information show that there is a huge untapped market for cruising in Europe. Although, not surprisingly, the UK has the largest penetration of cruise sales, all other European countries, apart from Luxembourg, are way behind. ShipPax Information’s Managing Director, Klas Brogren said: “I am a firm believer in that all European nations one way or another could almost match the UK cruise penetration, which in itself will continue to climb. If so, at an average penetration of 1.4%, European countries would develop another 3.3 million passengers. In other words, the global cruise market would suddenly jump another 25.6 per cent. This, in turn, would result in the starving shipyards instantly being able to fill their order books with some 25 cruise vessels!” There are a number of factors which have contributed to the UK’s success: home porting ships; building on established cruising traditions; having the right sales channels; or simply a combination of all these elements. Nevertheless, the question remains: why don’t the other European countries learn from UK’s winning formula and follow suit? It is clear that new life needs to be blown into continental Europe’s cruise marketing and booking methods. Many potential holidaymakers are of the opinion that cruising is beyond their budget. Travel agents all over Europe need to be trained in getting the message across that “Cruising is value for money, even for Europeans!” and to be better educated in the cruise product. The often-quoted “the most expensive cabin on the new QUEEN MARY 2 costs...” is detrimental to this industry, as there are very seldom references to the other side of the scale. PR officials of the cruise companies themselves have to get their act together.

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