Cruise shipping has witnessed uninterrupted growth over the last three decades. This chapter discusses the rather ‘unstoppable’ globalisation trends that have been linked with this growth, and details the business strategies that the industry has developed in support of the observed growth and spatial expansion. The globalisation of cruising is highly supported by profitable cruise lines that have endorsed economies of scale and advanced segmentation in order to offer innovation and schedule new types of itineraries, and, not least, by the desires and strategies of cruise ports to host more cruise activities. It is also advanced by changes on the demand side, in particular the growing internationalisation of cruise passengers’ source markets. Exploring the key features of the main regional markets – namely North America, the Mediterranean and booming Asia – the analysis also reveals that within this context regional variations of cruise shipping development remain. Finally, the chapter discusses the challenges, the vital social, economic and environmental questions, accompanying cruise growth and globalisation, advocating that addressing these questions is a condition for securing the sustainable development of the globalised cruise industry.
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