The cruise industry is a highly profitable international activity, and the fastest growing sector of the travel, tourism and leisure industry. The cruise industry has gone through significant changes from the days of transoceanic transportation and tropical vacations only available to the domain of society’s elite, to the modern multimillion tourism and leisure industry that offers an affordable vacation option and a level of comfort difficult to match for the average citizen, with a number of people cruising that seems to grow every year in the world. A relatively reduced number of cruise companies compete for world market shares in different ways, developing innovative commercial strategies and investing multi-million dollar budgets in the research and development of state-of-the-art vessels able to combine the elegance of high quality living spaces with the cutting-edge technological concepts needed to provide stability to these new floating hotels, pushing the boundaries of naval construction and design to the limits for exceptional navigation performance and liveboard comfort while maintaining the highest standards for safety and environmental management systems. The modern cruise industry offers an option for everyone, exceeding the expectations of its customers, with an also growing number of companies specializized in offering more choices and alternatives, including smaller cruise ships, yachts and sailing vessels that carry out from ten-thirty to a few hundred passengers to exotic and, sometimes, remote destinations and regulated ports, prohibited to larger liners because of the concerns about what the influx of thousands of travelers would have on the local environment.
History of Cruise /industry
Ever since the inception of mankind we have been fascinated by our seas and oceans, mainly used to explore new lands or to transport cargo as the world became industrialized and began trading with distant lands. With industry came money and people wanting to spend their disposable income to chase more adventurous types of vacations and excitement. Our impulse to visit places in the world previously only read about in books by famous explorers became a thing of the past and was turned into a reality. A large ship coined the Black Ball Line, as of the year 1818, operated out of New York City and was the first shipping establishment, offering a scheduled passenger service from the U.S. to England. Trade and leisure combined as one and fuelled the demand for the creation of larger, more luxurious ships like the Titanic. The Titanic at this point in history, as most know, has a category all its own, complete with its own stories and history.
World War I and II required use of cruise ships as troop carriers. After the war ceased, they were used for transporting displaced refugees seeking a new start in distant lands. The industry recovered speedily as the government heavily funded the building of cruise ships with the view to possible redeployment in the future. Even though huge breakthroughs in the flight industry dented the flow in transatlantic journeys, the sixties witnessed the start of the modernized cruise ships. People desired to relive the glory years of times past and were now able to experience short vacation cruises by means of connecting flights to the destination. Some might actually argue that the breakthroughs in flight have recreated the industry of cruising that exists today. The cruise industry had a boost again in the eighties when a fleet of gigantic passenger liners were launched, a number of which were capable of carrying more 2,000 people. These vessels were made exclusively for vacationers, maintaining a cruising itinerary including various sun-drenched locations around the world. Unlike ships of the past, this fleet was designed to act as floating resorts with casinos, spas, salons, champagne and caviar bars, basketball courts, even multi-story nightclubs. All of a sudden...