With the advent of large passenger airplanes in 1960s, travelers switched from ships to airplanes. For transatlantic service, the passenger ships ceased their operation in 1986 whereas in many other parts of the world such as in Mediteranean Sea, the Indonesian islands, the Philipine islands, and the Pacific islands, passenger ships still play very significant role in transporting people and goods. Indonesian government, through its state owned passenger liner - PELNI, has even bought more passenger ships from Germany to meet the increasing number of people moving from one island to another. For smaller islands where the number of population is small, PELNI operates smaller passenger ships which are constructed by local shipbuilders such as PT PAL. It is the largest state-owned shipbuilding company operating from Indonesian Naval Base in Surabaya city.
While the market for cruise ship in Asia is still small, the market for North America and Europe is still growing but with high competition. Cruise ships operators such as Holland America lines, Royal Carribean International, and Carnival Cruise Lines are launching new ships to meet the increasing number of tourists who prefer to spend their precious time on various recreational activities both on board of these luxurious floating hotels or on exotic resorts in private islands of the Carribean sea.