'Massive growth' in luxury cruise market is 'worrying', says Azamara boss

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Azamara Club Cruises' boss Larry Pimentel has admitted the extra capacity being launched in the luxury cruise sector is "too much, too quick and too fast".

Speaking at the Clia Conference in Southampton, Pimentel said the "massive growth" in the luxury cruise market was "worrying as it could have implications on pricing".

Crystal Cruises is embarking on significant growth plans with three ocean cruise ships plotted, yachts, air craft and six river cruise vessels.

Pimentel said: "Capacity is a very sensitive issue. The luxury sector has amazing growth planned and more ships planned than I've seen coming into service than I've seen in my three decades in cruise.

"It's too much, too quick and too fast and it will drive down prices.

"I firmly believe that there will be cruises lines who will sell or merge or collaborate because they will have to."

Asked whether Azamara was likely to add capacity any time soon, Pimentel said he was "sad to say the time for new capacity is wrong".

"We have a tiny brand which is very profitable and there is too much capacity coming in [from other lines]. If we do grow it will be by acquisition, no