Lacking investment, the anaemic British market appears unable to benefit from the strong economy of the country and falls even further behind Germany.
The British cruise market will lose two high profile vessels in 2016, while there are no newbuilds on order to target it. A total of 8 new cruise ships are on order to serve German market.
Next year, Royal Caribbean will not bring back the Anthem of the Seas, following ship’s initial season sailing out of Southampton after her completion in April. The Anthem will be replaced by Independence of the Seas (built 2008) that has served in Britain earlier.
Princess Cruises won't bring back her Royal Princess that has also sailed from Southampton for the past two seasons, and again, a smaller and older ship will take her place.
Furthermore, in 2016 Holland America will not have a cruise ship in the UK, after Ryndam which has served from there for long years will be send to P&O Cruises Australia. Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), Costa Crociere and Carnival have all stopped to base their ships in British ports even earlier, though all continue to sell fly voyages in the country.
The only addition to the cruise market in Britain at the moment includes Thomson Cruises, which will receive Royal Caribbean's 1996-built Splendour of the Seas in 2016 to replace Island Escape, built in 1982, which is planned to be withdrawn from service.
In 2014, the source market in Britain reduced by 4.8% to 1.64mill passengers, while the market in Germany expanded by 5% to 1.77mill and overtook Britain as the second largest source market in the world, according to CLIA (Cruise Line International Association) figures. CLIA and cruise line executives said that the contraction of the market in Britain was due to reduced capacity.
The loss of momentum of cruise industry in Britain is even more striking when you look at the performance of both economies. The GDP (Gross domestic product) in UK grew by 3.2% in 2014, which is twice the 1.6% growth of Germany.