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The Travel Factory employs 4 full time agents with 100 years total experience in the travel industry. Our agents specialize in cruise, tour and resort vacations as well as corporate incentive and school groups. Our mission is to provide the best, most courteous, most detailed, most informative service. Our slogan, "Building vacations to your specifications" says it all.

Trends In Cruising


If you paid attention to last weeks comments, you know that 2017 was a banner year for most entities in the travel industry. It is probably safe to say that the cruise lines experienced the largest percentage increase year over year in passengers and profit.

Carnival Cruise Lines is the “elephant” in the room with 9 cruise lines under their umbrella; Costa Cruise Line, P&O Cruises in Australia, P&O Cruises UK, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Aida (a German product), Cunard, Seabourn, and Fathom, as well as the Carnival Cruises. In the first nine months of 2017, they earned $2.06 billion at a net profit margin of 15.5%.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line has two other cruise lines under their umbrella, and 50% ownership of two other international cruise lines. When the 3rd quarter ended last year, they reported $1.3 billion on revenue of $6.8 billion and a whopping 19.7% margin. By comparison, ten years ago their profit margin was only 9.8%.

Norwegian Cruise Line, my favorite line to use when cruising Hawaii, was not left out of the cruising boom on 2017. They realized a profit margin of 15.9% through the first 9 months...for sure nothing to sneeze at. They also have revenue coming in from other lines they own. About 3 years ago they acquired Prestige Cruises which houses Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas. This helped them have the best 3rd quarter revenue in their history.

These are only representative reports of three major cruise companies, not to mention the robust bookings and money earned by the booming river cruise companies.

So.....what are they going to do with all this money? I can only say it would be nice if they would share a major part of it with their partners....the travel agents!!

One of the things they are going to do is add more ships. To date, there are 90 cruise ships on order through 2025 at an estimated investment of $55 billion. Just another editorial comment, it would sure be nice if there was a major ship building company in the United States, but they are all in Germany, Scandinavia, and Italy.

You would think adding all that capacity, how are they going to keep on making all that money? Is thedemand going to still be there? Apparently so, according to the Carnival CEO, Arnold Donald. He said the answer is to “keep capacity growth to a digestible number”. He said that Carnival Corp. has 100 ships in its fleet and adding 4 more in 2018 will only raise its berth numbers by 1.9%.

As I mentioned last week, one of the recent moves by the cruise lines is opening up booking windows earlier which helps in folks making reservations earlier than usual. For example, we heard on Tuesdaythat Princess had opened their booking window for 2019 already; that's about 4 months earlier than what they have in the past. Another example of cruising interest is I was trying to make reservations for a client back late last month for a cruise on 2 dates in mid-April, and all the balcony rooms were already booked on both of those departures....4 months out!!

So....for the good folks in the Big Country who want a value-filled vacation, cruising is a smart choice. And the experienced travel agents who have a good bit of cruising experience under their belt are fired up about helping you fit your travel needs with your pocket book. So come by for an eye-to-eye visit at 4150 Southwest Drive, or call us at 698-1421 or 800-760-4040. Ahoy....til next week!!!

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