The Success Of Cruise Ships

2328 Words Jul 19th, 2016 10 Pages
Looking at today’s mega fleets with their mammoth ships that hold 4,000 or more passengers, it is easy to forget how far the industry has come in these past twenty-five years. While cruise ships are now situated around the globe in ports ranging from Europe to Australia, the Americas to Asia, and drawing passengers from the local populaces, it was not always that way. In the 1980s, while most observers believed the industry had the potential for rapid growth, cruising struggled to cast off misconceptions and widen its appeal to the mass market. It was still largely a North American-focused business.

Pleasure Cruising’s Heritage

The concept of pleasure cruising, as opposed to point-to-point transportation by sea, dates back more than one hundred years to the 1890s with purpose built German ships and even earlier thanks to some enterprising tour operators. However, it was not until the 1960s when cruising began to spread beyond an elitist vacation starting to reach towards the broader, mass market. As the 1970s dawned, the Norwegian ship owners expanded the market with smaller, purpose built cruise ships for the Caribbean. Yet, while these ships did well, no one expected the dramatic growth to continue. In fact, in 1976 and 1977 when Cunard introduced its new 16,795 gross ton ships mv Cunard Countess and mv Cunard Princess many people also pointed out that they were the last new cruise ships on order and might be the end of an era. Ship owners complained that new…

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