Before the advancement of air travel, passenger liners were the method of traveling overseas. With the industrial revolution, came the rise of very wealthy people with a lot of disposable income. They turned their attention to creating large passenger ships for the economic and social elite to vacation and travel to exotic countries.
In 1818, New York's shipping company, Black Ball Line, was the first shipping company to provide a scheduled passenger service from the United States to England. By the 1830s, steamships were introduced and took over the passenger and mail transport market. In the 1920s, cruise tourism became popular for the wealthy. Bigger and faster ships were custom-built and luxury living space designs became the industry model. Between 1920 and 1940, transatlantic travel became increasingly more popular among the very wealthy. Over the years, famous ships included the Queen Elizabeth, Lusitania, Ocean Monarch, and the Queen Mary.
World War I and II saw the use of passenger ships to carry soldiers and transport displaced people to new lands. After World War II, The US government began sponsoring companies to build more ships in the event another World War broke out.
In the 1960's, there was a surge in the manufacturing of cruise ships because more people were looking for holiday cruises. Vacation cruises became popular with people in their middle ages. People enjoyed the luxurious accommodations and lifestyle. It also became popular for people wanting to get a break from cold winters. However, there was a period in the 1960's where there was a decline in the cruise industry as the airplane industry took off, but public desire for reliving traditional means of traveling the seas helped the cruise industry rebound.
During the 1980's, cruise ship companies broke new ground promoting the idea of traveling for pleasure. Since 1980, the cruise industry has been growing at a steady rate. People of all ages and walks of life began to take cruises. The cruise industry has developed programs to target both the young and old. Some features they have developed include: increased passenger room, a variety of cruise destinations and durations, affordable prices, luxuries such as pools, rock climbing, ice skating, and even wave simulators. As well, there are also saunas, fine dining, entertainment, sight seeing at various ports, dancing, musical performances, luxurious rooms, and much more.
The cruise industry has grown by leaps and bounds over the years. Cruise ship owners now focus on developing new and innovative ways to attract customers. Today's cruise ships have accommodations that often surpass hotel rooms and contain such features as chic cabins, luxury private bathrooms, and gorgeous and comfortable living quarters. The recreational activities are numerous, and the entertainment is endless with such features as casinos, singers, dancers, and much more. As well, advancements in the design of propulsion systems, decreases in the weight of the ships, and cleaner fuel, has resulted in ships that are more environmentally-friendly.
The future trends in the cruise industry include more lifestyle cruises, larger cruise ships, more services, attracting more of a diverse demographic, providing more affordable vacation prices, offering more destinations, and providing more recreational activities. The future appears bright for the cruise industry and everyday it is fast becoming a vacation choice for more people seeking a relaxing, luxurious, and fun holiday.