Cruise ships of the future will cater for single passengers, travel year-round and offer apartment-style suites, according to predictions in the Cruise Report 2008.
The report, compiled by Carnival UK, suggests there could be five million UK cruise passengers a year by 2020 thanks to extra capacity. There will be 44 ships built over the next five years.
Already the Passenger Shipping Association predicts the number of cruises booked in the UK will increase by 15% from 1.4 million cruises last year to 1.5 million this year.
There are likely to be two million UK cruise passengers by 2012, according to the report, effectively doubling UK passenger numbers in just eight years.
Carnival UK chief executive David Dingle said: “Some of us believe that number is going to rise because while cruising is growing in popularity worldwide there is no doubt the industry’s centre of gravity has shifted away from North America to this side of the Atlantic.”
Among the key changes predicted by 2020 are that the industry will wave goodbye to single supplements.
Carnival UK chief commercial officer Peter Shanks said in the report: “Single supplements have always been contentious for most travel companies.
“But the trend for more cruising singles and one-parent families will continue to such an extent it will become viable to design ships with single accommodation sold for the same per-person price as double cabins.”
Shanks predicted more all-weather ships to allow ex-UK winter cruises to become a mainstream choice for passengers.
Ocean Village managing director Nick Lighton believes ships will become modelled on apart-hotels and become venues for star-studded events.
Meanwhile, Dingle predicted inside cabins without a view would become obsolete and ships will be powered by bio-fuels or liquefied natural gas.