As a new Member of the Australian Cruise Association (ACA), Capricorn Enterprise joined representatives from Gladstone Area Promotion and Development (GAPDL), attending the annual conference and AGM in New South Wales. The 25th ACA conference title “Full Steam Ahead” was an apt theme considering the cruise industry is one of the fastest growing in the world, with 30 million passengers globally in 2019 growing to just under 40 million passengers globally by 2026/27.
This year alone, 14 new cruise ships are being constructed with a $40 billion investment price tag, with 72 new ships on order to 2028, including 30 new luxury vessels. 40 new builds are entering the market in 2023.
The average age of passengers is 46 years of age, with 88% of millennials expected to cruise again and 85% of all passengers more likely to cruise again.
From October to April, there will be 70 cruise ships in Australian waters with 1048 port dates and 2.5 million passenger days on shore. Twenty percent (20%) of visitors return to a destination independently after they have experienced an on shore excursion.
Sustainability is key, with ships currently under construction producing the youngest, cleanest and most technologically advanced fleet ever (50 to 70% of omissions in the cruise industry are generated by the supply chain, not the ships themselves).
The cruise industry is often targeted unfairly in regards to carbon omissions, but represents only two percent (2%) of worldwide tourism and one percent (1%) of overall shipping in the globe. New ships entering the market have an average of 70% reduction in emissions, with 60% of the future new builds relying upon LNG fuel. 90% of them will have shore power capability, with all ships required to have shore power capability by 2035 (shore power reduces the power having to be generated by the ship whilst docked).
Expedition cruising (i.e. smaller, boutique ships) will see 60 new ships built globally by 2028. These cruisers are even more likely to seek sustainable experiences which visit destinations offering boutique and authentic experiences which reflect the preservation of land, wildlife, people and culture of the local area. These expedition cruises complement the sustainability values of Keppel Bay and the Southern Great Barrier Reef, with opportunities here for on-shore excursions on both Great Keppel Island and the Capricorn Coast.
Capricorn Enterprise CEO Mary Carroll met with cruise ground handling companies including Intercruises and Shorex Australia, as well as cruise line operators including Silversea (part of the Royal Caribbean group which also owns Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises). Other ground handler/shore excursion companies include Bob Wood Cruise Group, Akorn Destination Management and Insight Australia Travel.
Famils are already being arranged with appropriate ground handler/shore excursion companies to our destination, as an 18 month lead in time is needed for business to transpire, but our destination has much to offer.