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  • Writer's pictureJason Leppert

New Cruise Ships and Developments to Expect Through 2026

A recurring discussion at the Seatrade Cruise Global 2016 conference among company executives and industry insiders was twofold. One, there is an increasingly strong demand for cruise travel internationally, prompting new ships to be built, and two, there are not enough shipyards to construct them quick enough.

Consider the statistics Cruise Industry News is reporting: worldwide cruise fleet will reach a passenger capacity of more than 33.5 million by 2026, up considerably from this year’s 23.6 million, and the picture of new-builds on the horizon begins to come into focus. The main players building cruise ships currently are Fincantieri in Italy with several yards, Lloyd Werft in Germany, Meyer Turku in Finland and Meyer Werft in Germany, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Japan and STX France in Saint-Nazaire.

Looking at the list below, compiled in part from Cruise Critic, it’s remarkable to note that these ships only account for mostly firm orders and not options cruise lines have to build additional sister ships through 2026, and the schedule is already tightly stacked.

It doesn’t even include river vessels, which are experiencing a similar boom in expansion, nor Ponant’s four planned ships, Scenic’s Scenic Eclipse mega-yacht and Star Clippers’ new Flying Clipper being built at other yards.

As to the potential for additional yards to pick up some of the slack in the future, Asia may hold the solution. For instance, Carnival Corporation has announced that it will launch a new brand for China with potential new-builds that would be constructed under partnership with China State Shipbuilding Corporation and Fincantieri.

The question of whether cruise ships could also be built in America also comes up from time to time. While smaller ships like those for American Cruise Lines are built domestically by Chesapeake Shipbuilding, Corp., large passenger vessels have not been built fo

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