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Cruise Industry to Lose Almost $20bn Due to Covid-19 Pandemic

Cruise line revenues practically disappeared since the Covid-19 pandemic hit in March, with all of the largest operators reporting double-digit sales drops.

According to data presented by Stock Apps, the entire cruise industry is expected to lose $19.6 billion in revenue amid the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, a 71 percent  plunge year-over-year.

It is reminded that – according to Statista data – the entire cruise industry generated $23.7 billion in revenue in 2017. Over the following 12 months, that figure jumped to $25.8 billion and continued rising.

Statistics show the global cruise market’s revenues hit $27.4 billion in 2019, a 15 percent jump in three years.

However, Covid-19 triggered the worst market contraction in history, with cruise line revenues plummeting by almost $20 billion in a year.

Post-Covid-19 recovery to last for years

Stock Apps notes that the data indicates that it will take years for the cruise industry to recover from the effects of the pandemic.

In 2021, revenues are projected to grow by 116 percent YoY to $16.8 billion, almost $7 billion below 2017 levels.

The year 2023 is forecast to witness $27.4 billion in sales revenues, still $100 million less than in 2019.

By the end of 2025, cruise line revenues are expected to rise to $33.7 billion.


  • The United States, as the world’s largest cruise industry, is expected to lose almost $10 billion in revenue due to coronavirus outbreak, with revenues falling by 71.3% YoY to $3.8 billion in 2020.
  • Revenues of the German cruise line market, the second-largest globally, are expected to plunge to $797 million, compared to $2.8 billion last year.
  • The United Kingdom cruise companies are forecast to generate $668 million in revenue in 2020, a 72.6 percent drop in a year.
  • Chinese and Canadian market expected to generate $537 million and $284 million in revenue, respectively.

Besides substantial financial losses, the coronavirus pandemic also caused considerable drops in the number of cruise line users. Three years ago, the number of people choosing cruise lines for their vacations amounted to almost 26.1 million worldwide. By the end of 2019, this figure rose to over 29 million.

Statista estimates the number of users in the cruises segment to plunge by 72 percent YoY to 8 million in 2020 and to remain under 2019 levels in the next four years.

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