Over the past five years, the cruise industry has continuously reported over 5% growth per year. 2019 was the industry's most successful year to date with an estimated 30 million passengers. In addition to a record number of newbuilding orders, large sums were invested into new and larger terminals worldwide. But with the outbreak of the COVID19 pandemic in spring 2020, the cruise market came to a complete standstill.
The shipbuilding industry also felt the effects of the crisis. In 2019, cruise liners were still the top-selling market segment in global shipbuilding with an investment share of around 25% (~19 billion US dollars). In the first half of 2020, this share plummeted to a narrow 2% (~0.2 billion US dollars). No new cruise ship orders were placed since February 2020 and new orders are expected from 2023 onwards, but even that is not certain.
Apart from the shipyards, the cruise lines concerned are reporting financial problems. Their ships have been lying idle for months, there is a lack of revenue and decommissioned ships cause high maintenance costs.
The facilities on shore have also followed the previous trend - here too, immense sums were invested in new terminals and berths. These activities were postponed in their completion if possible or are currently not being used. This was also the case with the new cruise terminal in Tokyo, which has an investment volume of US$ 400 million. It was opened in late summer 2020 - on the occasion of the Olympic Games, which should have been held there.
The ISL SSMR 2020-8 highlights various developments around passenger shipping with a focus on cruise shipping and port development in this segment. The issue is available for download via our webshop.