Spending related to cruises run by Carnival Corp., Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL)
and other lines grew at the slowest pace in at least six years as fewer new ships were launched.Cruise ships traveling to and from US ports and their passengers pumped $32.4 billion into the US economy, a 7.9 percent increase, the International Council of Cruise Lines said
in a report released last week, according to a report on Bloomberg.
Passengers traveling from US ports rose 6.3 percent to 8.6 million, less than half the rate of growth in 2004.
Four new cruise ships were introduced last year and four were taken out of service, leaving the North American fleet unchanged at 192 ships, the trade association said. Six new ships are scheduled to launch in 2006, ICCL said.
The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks caused disruptions in the travel industry that limited the number of new ships delivered last year, Crye said. The number of beds increased by 2.2 percent, the smallest percentage since 1994, as the new ships introduced were bigger.
The spending growth by cruise lines and their passengers is the slowest since 1999-2000, ICCL said based on their data. Of the $32.4 billion, $16.2 billion was direct spending by cruise lines and passengers, including on-board food and beverages and advertising expenses. (Source: Bloomberg)