James Brown in Raconteur’s Maritime Economy 2019 Report: Can Megaships Save the Global Cruise Industry?


Haynes and Boone, LLP Partner James Brown talked with Raconteur about how changing demands and demographics of cruise ship customers is leading to bigger ships – nearly as long as the Empire State Building – and greater competition in the cruise ship industry.

Here is an excerpt:

Increased demand from China and Africa is opening new markets; changing demographics mean the industry must attract younger customers; experience seekers are looking for new destinations; and the variety of on-board activities is exploding. The expansion in mega cruise ships is the most visible sign of the battle for passengers, driven by economies of scale and new technologies.

Capacity growth is clearly underway, with 120 new cruise ships already committed with a pipeline out to 2027, with an investment value of around $65 billion.

James Brown, partner Haynes and Boone, says: “There has certainly been an arms race to build bigger and more ‘impressive’ vessels and to refit vessels that may only be a few years old to ensure that they continue to appeal to consumers.”

Mr. Brown says younger generations, such as generation Z, are “typically regarded as being ‘experience focused’ rather than ‘acquisition focused,’ and the cruising industry has responded by offering experiences such as music festivals at sea to capture some of this part of the market.”

To read the full Raconteur article in its special Maritime Economy Report, click here (subscription required). The article also appeared in the print edition of The Times.

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