And now MSC Cruises as well. The Italian company, so far active in the mass market, is entering the luxury segment. It has contracted the purchase of four elegant ships valued at more than €2 billion from the Fincantieri shipyards.
Everyone is looking for business in the high-end market. At present, the luxury cruise segment counts about 19,000 beds. The latest newbuilding contracts alone will increase this total by 30%. For example, last October Silversea announced the construction of three new luxury ships.
New players are entering the market as well. For instance, Ritz Carlton, with its Yacht Collection and the first vessel in 2020. The company’s CEO Douglas Prothero discovered from surveys that more than 400,000 guests of the hotel group also went on a cruise holiday in 2016 alone.
The combination of expedition and luxury cruises is creating great expectations everywhere. But top-class please: helicopter flights, submarine diving and star cooks are setting the standard on expedition ships and are also likely to attract younger customers.