Cruise Lines Hit High Water Mark with Record Sales

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Cruising has never been more popular, and trends only point to more success for the cruise lines. Confidence in the economy and several other factors are contributing to the boom, and there seems to be no end in sight.

Several factors in the global economy, record increases in ship building, and an effort by the cruise lines to create more innovative vessels have all contributed to the cruise industry’s growth. In fact, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) predicts that a record-number 30 million people will have sailed on its member-line ships within the next three years.    

In 2004, Carnival Cruises, the largest cruise line in the world, turned the highest profit it has ever had: $1.03 billion, up 40% from a year ago. Carnival Chairman and CEO Micky Arison stated that the exceptional profit was partly due to the success of the 2003 merger with P&O Princess Cruises.

Other companies fared well also. “We are especially pleased with our yield performance… These results reflect the strong demand for our product… and the underlying strength of the industry fundamentals,” stated Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises. Revenues for Royal Caribbean increased 20.4% in 2004.

CLIA reported an 11% sales growth for 2004 for the cruise industry in general. Although those profit increases are due in part to the fact that cruising has become more expensive than it was immediately following September 11, 2001, it hasn’t stopped scores of people from lining up to take their vacations on cruise ships. “Ships are selling out more quickly than anticipated, even with the higher prices,” states Paul George, VP of Cruise Network. Consumer confidence has risen dramatically.

Interestingly, the declining value of the U.S. dollar has been contributing to the boom. U.S. passengers who buy a cruise ticket to Europe in U.S. currency don’t have to worry about putting their dollars through the exchange wringer. By booking a European cruise with U.S. currency, a person will get more value than if he or she crossed the Atlantic on their own and exchanged their dollars overseas.

With increased customer demand for cruising, the competition between companies to create groundbreaking onboard features is reaching new heights. Rock climbing walls, massive theaters, state-of-the-art fitness facilities, even bungee jumping—all are part of the new era of cruising. There seems to be no end in sight when it comes to ship building for companies like Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Lines, and Royal Caribbean Cruises, the latter of which will be unveiling the largest cruise ship to ever hit the ocean, Freedom of the Seas, in 2006.

No matter if consumers seek the grandeur found on Alaska cruises, the beauty of Caribbean cruises, or a chance to travel the world, they’ll easily find a cruise ship ready to take them. “The cruise industry is one of the most exciting industries in the world, and we are expecting a record-breaking year in 2005,” says Jai George, President and CEO of Cruise Network, Inc.

About Cruise Network:

Cruise Network is the fastest growing network in the cruise industry, specializing in cruise line reviews, voyages around the world, and home-based business opportunities. Visit http://www.cruisenetwork.com or call 1-888-267-1232 to speak to a Cruise Network Cruise Specialist.

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Paul George
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