The West Coast cruise market, primarily composed of sailings from California to the Mexican Riviera, is seeing traffic spike thanks to new ships, new interest and new operators, according to the 2019 Cruise Industry News Annual Report.
While security issues and economic doldrums sent traffic spiraling downward a decade ago, the West Coast is making its way back, supported not only by its own attractions but a booming Alaska cruise market that generates seasonal and winter traffic.
Accounting for 3.5 percent of the global cruise market pie, the West Coast will be back to near record levels, and will post its best year since 2009 in terms of passenger capacity, which is up 12.5 percent year-over-year.
It's still off 2008 levels, but the promise continues in 2020 and 2021, when more deployments include the new Carnival Panorama, and a number of planned startups that will exclusively feature Mexican Riviera ports, including Cruise and Maritime Voyages and Grupo Vidanta.
With an expanded terminal in Long Beach, Carnival Cruise Line remains the biggest player in the market by far, with an estimated 57.1 percent of the capacity sailing mainly shorter, three- and four-night cruises.
Other big players on the West Coast include Princess Cruises, with capacity coming mainly in the shoulder seasons due to its Alaska program, as well as Norwegian, Holland America Line and Disney.
Norwegian will make its own moves this coming winter season as the Norwegian Joy will sail from Los Angeles following her Alaska program. The Los Angeles-based program will offer mainly week-long cruises, calling at Cabo, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta, with 3 sea days.
Traffic is also moving up in San Diego, where Disney operates a seasonal program with the Wonder, and Holland America Line remains a major home port customer. In addition, the Southern California port will welcome the Carnival Miracle on a seasonal deployment for the 2020-2021 cruise season.Original article