Source: adapted from Cruise Market Watch; and Cruise Industry News.
The cruise line market is oligopolistic in its ownership but diversified in the offering of services. It is fundamentally competing for the discretionary spending of tourists by offering different brands. Two main cruise lines account for 69% of the market; Carnival and Royal Caribbean. Each owns a portfolio of lines catering to a specific market in terms of cost and experience. The industry is thus offering product diversity through a market segmentation of cruise offerings, even if ownership is highly concentrated.
Carnival Corporation & plc., the world’s largest cruise operator, was founded in 1972 and is headquartered in Miami. In addition to Carnival Cruise Lines, it owns Holland America Line, Costa Cruises, Princess Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, Windstar Cruises, AIDA Cruises, Cunard Line, Ocean Village, P&O Cruises, Swan Hellenic, and P&O Cruises Australia. The fleet sails year-round in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Panama. The seasonal routes operate in Alaska, Hawaii, the Panama Canal, and the Canadian waters.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines is the world’s second-largest cruise line was founded in 1969, it is a major brand with new types of ships, large tonnages, and diverse facilities. It owns cruise ship brands such as Royal Caribbean International (RCI), Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, Pullmantur, and CDF (Croisieres de France). Royal Caribbean International operates the world’s largest super-luxury cruise ships (Oasis class vessels).