Could cruise liner become the big holiday industry?


George Argyropoulos, chief executive of Cruises International told CNBC Africa that there were many benefits of cruising compared to other mode of transport.

“There are many benefits of being on a cruise ship as the benefits are all inclusive with offerings such as transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment,” Argyropoulos said.

(WATCH VIDEO: Piracy in Somalia and its effects on business)


According to statistics, 37 per cent of global cruises go to the Caribbean and Bahamas with 20 per cent to the Mediterranean.

Argyropoulos decried the current state of the sector saying it was still largely an unknown entity in the mass markets.

Just like any other sector, the sector faces challenges such as fuel costs and competition.

“Fuel is a huge cost in the cruise line industry, of course this varies with the length of distances and there is also hefty competition as we compete against ground transport as well,” he added.

Argyropoulos said the industry was very lucrative and the costs were well managed.

“The share price of cruise liners listed on the New York Stock Exchange is on historical highs which shows that they are doing something right,” said Argyropoulos.

Argyropoulos said, in one week a person through a cruise ship gets to visit many different destinations without struggle of check-in experienced by passengers who use road and air transport.

However, with security remaining a challenge in Africa and with problems posed by piracy in countries like Somalia, the sector still has to make a convincing case.

(READ MORE: Battle against piracy in West Africa continues)

“Security is very high on the agenda as there are number of security checks conducted to ensure safety of passengers,” he added.

Argyropoulos said he only remembered one cruise ship attempt which failed.