Cruise Industry to Lose Almost $20B in Revenue Amid COVID-19 Outbreak, a 71% Plunge YoY

4 years ago

Not many industries have been hit by the coronavirus outbreak as the cruise industry. 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, the entire cruise industry is expected to lose $19.6bn in revenue amid the coronavirus outbreak, a 71% plunge year-over-year.

Post COVID-19 Recovery to Last for Years

After a massive outbreak on board of the Diamond Princess, the entire cruise industry was negatively associated with the pandemic. A total of 712 people was infected with COVID-19 on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, one-quarter of all passengers aboard.

A large number of vessels reporting positive cases on board in the following months have led industry critics to call cruise ships “floating Petri dishes,” causing massive drops in sales and revenues of the companies operating in this market.

In 2017, the entire cruise industry generated $23.7bn in revenue, revealed the Statista data. Over the next twelve months, this figure jumped to $25.8bn and continued rising.

Statistics show the global cruise market’s revenues hit $27.4bn in 2019, a 15% jump in three years. However, the COVID-19 triggered the worst market contraction in history, with cruise line revenues plummeting by almost $20bn in a year.

The Statista data indicate it will take years for the cruise industry to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, revenues are projected to grow by 116% YoY to $16.8bn, almost $7bn below 2017 levels. The year 2023 is forecast to witness $27.4bn in sales revenues, still $100 million less than in 2019. By the end of 2025, cruise line revenues are expected to rise to $33.7bn.

US Cruise Industry to Lose Almost $10bn in Revenue 

The United States, as the world’s largest cruise industry, is expected to lose almost $10bn in revenue due to coronavirus outbreak, with revenues falling by 71.3% YoY to $3.8bn in 2020.

Revenues of the German cruise line market, the second-largest globally, are expected to plunge to $797 million, compared to $2.8bn last year. The United Kingdom cruise companies are forecast to generate $668 million in revenue in 2020, a 72.6% drop in a year. Chinese and Canadian market follow, with $537 million and $284 million in revenue, respectively.

Besides substantial financial losses, the coronavirus outbreak 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% YoY to 8 million in 2020 and to remain under 2019 levels in the next four years.

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