25 MAR 2011: The apparent trend of some American cruise lines moving to European waters this summer was confirmed at the annual Seatrade Cruise Shipping Convention meeting in Miami Beach this week. Two years ago USA Today called Europe the “hottest story in cruising” and it appears that it remains “hot” today.
Over 10,000 international delegates attended with 983 exhibitors and first time guest speaker Pierfrancesco Vago, Worldwide CEO of MSC Cruises talked about the ‘Old World’ market which has enjoyed a 163% increase in passengers over the past decade.
Vago was recently appointed to the executive committee of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). He acknowledged that North America was still the top cruising market, accounting for 30% of the share of the business.
His message was that European cruising has some unique advantages with the opportunity to offer year round cruising, multiple ports and service in multiple languages.
Substantiating Europe’s appeal, Royal Caribbean is adding 23 ports in seven additional countries to its Europe schedule for 2012.