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German market seen to reach 2 million passengers in 2016

The German cruise market, which produced about 1.8 million passengers last year, should reach the 2.0 million mark in 2016, said Michael Ungerer, president of AIDA Cruises, the German contemporary market unit of Carnival Corp & plc group.

"The demand for cruises continues. Between 2014 and 2017 the capacity of German cruise lines will grow by 42.9 %. By 2016 we want to reach the 2.0 million mark in Germany and there may also be a further million guests on top in the upcoming three to four years," Ungerer said in a statement

However, this can only be achieved, if all responsible parties start to think about the necessary requirements today. "The existing infrastructures of the Year 2015 will not be sufficient for this," Ungerer underlined.

Update: Capsized cruise ship upright; hundreds of passengers have died

The Reuters news agency reports that 396 bodies have been recovered and 14 persons have been confirmed as saved.

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A Chinese river cruise vessel has capsized last night in freak weather condition whilst en route from Nanjing to Chongqing, a voyage of 1,500 kilometres. Alan Lam reports.

Owned and operated by Chongqing Eastern Shipping Corporation, the 76-metre vessel, Eastern Star (东方之星), was carrying about 458 people, most of them senior citizens on a weeklong cruise, when it overturned in the Damazhou section of the river at about 21.30 local time (13.30 GMT). The captain is reported to have said that the ship was struck by a cyclone or some kind of tornado. The ship had sent no emergency signal. Alarm was raised by several passengers who had swum ashore and alerted the police.

By daylight five people were confirmed dead with hundreds still missing. The ship is currently floating upside down on a wide stretch of the river. Calls for help have been heard from the inside the vessel. The rescue effort is continuing and the weather condition remains inclement.

The master has been detained by the police.

Heaney appointed CFO at Carnival Cruise Line

James Heaney, an experienced financial executive with more than 25 years in the cruise and hospitality industries, has been named senior vice president and chief financial officer for Miami-based Carnival Cruise Line, the world’s largest cruise operator.

In this capacity, Heaney will be responsible for all of the company’s financial, accounting and information technology functions. He joins Carnival June 22 reporting to President Christine Duffy.

“Jim is the ideal candidate for this role, previously holding key leadership positions in a wide range of well-known cruise and hospitality brands, as well as global experience in finance, revenue management, IT and travel operations, all of which will be a tremendous asset to our company,” Duffy said.

Before joining Carnival, Heaney spent three years as CFO for SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc., responsible for overseeing the company’s financial organization.  He previously held a number of executive financial positions, including CFO and senior vice president of finance and travel operations, at Disney Cruise Line where he worked for 17 years. Prior to that, Heaney held various financial posts at Royal Caribbean Cruises, as well as Pueblo International, which operated a large Florida-based grocery store chain, and Gould, Inc., a manufacturer of super mini-computers used primarily for military application.

Heaney earned a bachelor’s of science in business administration from Texas Tech University as well as a master’s of business administration from the University of Florida. 

Doubling of Australian market by 2020 on horizon

The Australian cruise market, which grew by 20.4% to reach 1.00 million passengers, may double in size by 2020 if it only maintained half the growth rate of the past 12 years.

"The landmark achievement of one million passengers in a calendar year comes six years before originally anticipated, and has been driven by an impressive 20% annual average growth for the past 12 years,' CLIA Australasia said in a statement.

“Five years ago, the industry thought that it might be possible to achieve one million passengers a year by 2020 – to reach that number in 2014 is an amazing result and shows the true passion Australians have for cruise holidays. If our growth rate continues at just 12.5% for the next six years, we will reach two million passengers by 2020,” said CLIA Australasia Chairman Gavin Smith in a statement.

Ann Sherry, head of Carnival Australia that operates Carnival Corp & plc group's brands in the country, has said that in Australia cruising does not have the same image problem that it suffers from in many other countries, where it is viewed mainly as a holiday option for an older and wealthier clientele.

In Australia, companies such as P&O Cruises and now no longer extant Sitmar Cruises, Chandris Cruises and CTC Lines offered inexpensive cruises from the 1970s onwards, sometimes on vessels whose main business had been carrying emigrants in basic accommodations. This meant that cruising never acquired an image that it mainly suits for the elderly and the wealthy.

Australian cruise market passes 1.0 million mark, six years ahead of forecast

The Australian source market for cruises grew by 20.4% in 2014 and reached 1,003,256 passengers, exceeding the one million mark for the first time and reaching this level six years ahead of forecasts, CLIA Australasia said in a statement.

"The record result confirms Australia’s position as the world’s fastest growing source of cruise passengers, with numbers surging 20.4% last year to reach 1,003,256 cruisers. The landmark achievement of one million passengers in a calendar year comes six years before originally anticipated, and has been driven by an impressive 20% annual average growth for the past 12 years,' CLIA said.

Ann Sherry, head of Carnival Australia that operates  Carnival Corp & plc group's brands in the country, has said that in Australia cruising does not have the same image problem that it suffers from in many other countries, where it is viewed mainly as a holiday option for an older and wealthier clientele.

The new figures also show Australia has retained its position as the world leader for market penetration, with the equivalent of 4.2% of Australians taking a cruise last year, significantly ahead of the well-established North American market, which ranked second with a market penetration rate of 3.4%.

Released in Sydney today at the newly refurbished Overseas Passenger Terminal, the 2014 Australian Cruise Industry Source Market Report is produced by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia, based on data received from its cruise line members, which account for more than 95 %  of the world’s cruise passengers.

Speaking at the report launch, CLIA Australasia Chairman Gavin Smith said Australians’ enthusiasm for cruising was unparalleled around the world, with France the only other major world market to achieve double digit growth (13.6% ) in 2014.

Smith said Australia’s achievement of 20.4% growth represented an increase of 170,000 passengers compared to 2013, the largest rise in real numbers since CLIA first began collating passenger data in 2002. "Australia is now the fourth largest source market in the world for cruise passengers, accounting for 4.5% of world cruisers, behind North America (54.2% ), Germany (8%) and UK/Ireland (7.4%).

“These figures show that more and more Australians are realising that cruising is an easy, relaxing way to holiday which represents incredible value for money,” Smith said. “The expansion of our industry in recent years means there’s now a huge range of ships and itineraries on offer across the globe and I think Australians, who are inveterate travellers, are responding by increasingly factoring a cruise into their holiday plans.”