Effect on the cruise market in 2012 after the sinking of the Costa Concordia?

Costa cruise ship photo

After the tragedy occurred on the Island of Giglio, many wonder what will be the consequences in the Italian cruise market in 2012.

For the last 60 years, the number of cruise passengers worldwide has always increased year on year, from approximately 700 000 cruise passengers in 1970 to  to 19 million passengers in 2010. The number of European cruise passengers in 2010 amounted to nearly 5 million, an increase of 12% compared to 2009 (data European Cruise Council).

Italy is currently the leading country in the Mediterranean, with 3 major players: Costa Cruises, MSC and RoyalCaribbean. Costa Cruises in 2010 carried 2.15 million passengers (+18% on 2009), recording a turnover of 2.85 billion euros (+12.1% compared to 2009). Meanwhile MSC Cruises in 2010 carried 1.22 million passengers, with a turnover of 1.3 billion euros.

In 2011 the market growth has been somewhat limited: even a slight decrease as been noted. This fact, together with the dire economic situation throughout Europe, does not seem to bode well in the cruise market, even more so after the tragic event of Concordia.

Despite all this, the market seems to have not suffered a serious setbacks, indeed: the cruise companies are offering at this time of the year many discounts ranging up to 60%. For obvious reasons Costa Cruises is offering many promotions. For example, the Costa Mediterranea cruise leaving from Civitavecchia from March to November 2012, full board, stopping off at Spain, Morocco, the Canary Islands, Portugal and back, from 639 euros per person, with a discount of 60% off the original price of 1580 euros.

Another cruise departs from Civitavecchia in Italy on the same dates ending towards the Holy Land, Greece, Turkey and Israel: 12 days of sailing for only 689 euros per person, this is a discount of 59% from the original price of 1680 euros. And finally, MSC is offering discounts of up to 600 euros for those who book a holiday this summer on their many cruises.

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