Demand for sea cruises has never been higher. The results of the annual study of the German sea cruise market by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Germany and the German Travel Association (DRV) once again show that Germany continues to be the market with the most dynamic growth for cruises in Europe with 11.3 percent in 2016. Worldwide Germany ranks behind the USA in second place of the largest cruise markets.
The volume of guests in Germany has more than tripled within the last ten years. On a European level, the German cruise industry ranks number 1 in terms of number of guests. In 2016, 2.02 million Germans went on a cruise, which represented a substantial increase on the previous year. In 2015 there were 1.81 million guests. In 2016 the turnover generated in the travel business attributable to the German sea cruise market totaled 3.38 billion euros. This corresponds to an increase of 17.8 percent on the previous year (2.87 billion euros). Estimations of future growth are very promising.
As the market leader in Germany, AIDA Cruises is the most important driver of growth. In 2016 more than 900,000 of the 2.02 million German cruise ship passengers travelled on an AIDA ship. A new wave of growth in the German market has been triggered by the commissioning of our new ships AIDAprima and AIDAperla. Our capacity will double in the years to come as the AIDA fleet grows to 14 ships.
It has always been important for AIDA Cruises to grow in a sustainable and responsible manner. AIDA Cruises has awarded an order worth in excess of a billion euros for two ships of the next AIDA generation to the Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Lower Saxony. The construction of both ships which are to join the AIDA fleet from 2018, are the first ships able to operate up to 100 percent on liquefied natural gas (LNG). LNG is the cleanest fossil fuel available in the shipping industry. Our emissions will be reduced many times over when compared to the use of conventional marine diesel. Sulphur oxide and particulate matter emissions will be almost eradicated. AIDA Cruises is therefore also a pioneer in the area of environment protection.
Each new ship brought into service in the future creates new jobs. Not only does the cruise line industry itself benefit, but also the suppliers. Around three quarters of the suppliers for AIDAprima and AIDAperla are located in Germany or the European Union. In 2015 the gross economic product of the European cruise line industry was 41 billion euros and the crew and employees of the cruise line companies were paid more than 11 billion euros.
Cruise line companies also contribute significantly to the added value in the destination regions. AIDA Cruises for example operates with local agencies regarding shore excursions, engages numerous suppliers, conducts their purchasing in the destination regions and uses the services of the local port agencies and ports.
In 2016 four of five Germans preferred to travel in European regions (76.2 percent): almost a third of German cruise ship guests went through Northern Europe, to the British Isles and the Baltic last year (36.0 percent). The Mediterranean region was also one of the most popular travel destination for German cruise ship tourists at 28.3 percent. The trend is to provide more diverse travel routes: ever increasing numbers of cruise ship guests travel to destinations on the Atlantic coast, for example, or the Canary Islands (11.9 percent) and North America and the Caribbean (11.6 percent).
German ports also benefit from the ongoing growth of the cruise line industry and the continual increase in the number of guests.
In 2016 the port of Hamburg maintained its position as the number one German cruise ship port, recording around 722,000 cruise ship guests. Cruise ships docked in the port of Hamburg a total of 171 times in 2016. The most recent study carried out by the Hamburg Office of Trade and Commerce on the added value created by the cruise line industry from the 2013 business year in Hamburg returned a figure of 60 million euros. In addition, turnover is generated by keen cruise ship tourists which, in 2013 amounted to around 45 million euros.
In 2016, the Hanseatic city of Rostock recorded 553,000 cruise ship passengers in the Baltic coastal resort of Warnemünde and was second in the German ranking. Warnemünde recorded 182 dockings and was able to keep its position as the most frequently visited cruise ship port in Germany. A study by the university of Rostock on the spending behavior of the passengers and crew members indicated that roughly 15 million euros was spent in the 2015 season by cruise ship passengers and crew members mainly in local and regional retail shops, hotel and restaurant businesses, public transport, taxi companies and operators of car parks in Warnemünde, Rostock and the surrounding area. In addition, turnover was generated for coach companies, rail transport, excursion agencies, suppliers and waste disposal companies, shipping agents, ship pilots and port operators by the cruise line industry.
The port of Kiel was ranked third place in Germany recording 485,497 cruise ship guests in 2016. Cruise ships docked 147 times in Kiel in 2016.
The AIDA fleet docked a total of 170 times at these three ports alone and therefore contributed considerably to the positive result.
Cruising combines lifestyle with diversity and comfort and at an unbeatable cost to benefit relation. The trend is to multi-generation holidays. No other branch of the tourism industry adapts to the demographic transformation so effectively like the cruising industry. It scores on innovation, higher flexibility and individual offers for all target groups and age brackets. This form of travelling is therefore attractive for all generations, which also explains its long-term growth potential.
Growth for AIDA is always viewed in conjunction with sustainable operations and our business partners are also bound to these principles. The basis is our concept of comprehensive quality. Consequently, our economic decisions are taken with consideration to the environment, the wider community, our business partners and the wellbeing of our guests. Any products we buy, use and offer are recyclable whenever possible. Ideally these are also made of recycled materials, as this preserves natural resources. It is our aim in the long term to create an almost complete closed-loop recycling solution, which would produce next to no waste. All-encompassing quality demands that products used by us and our business partners should be healthy and practical for the end user. The environment and the economy benefit in equal measure when the products constitute of recyclable resources. Besides technical efficiency the strategy of comprehensive quality is the basis of our sustainability concept - and the foundation of our future economic success.