Today, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has updated the official global cruise industry numbers confirming 2017 ocean cruise passenger growth and another positive year for the cruise industry.
The industry has surpassed the 2017 ocean cruise passenger projections, reaching 26.7 million cruise passengers globally up from a projection of 25.8 million. For 2018, based on the new vessel launch schedule and expected regional deployment, CLIA is projecting another positive year-over-year growth for the industry with a passenger forecast of 28 million.
“Once again, the cruise industry has raised the bar and exceeded projections and expectations,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA. “I am proud to be a part of this dynamic industry that continues to grow and evolve bringing the cruise vacation experience to millions each year.”
Passenger growth and volume by region
Asia, accounting for about 15% of total global ocean passenger volume in 2017, experienced a 20.5% increase last year in comparison to 2016. Domestically, the U.S. and Canada saw impressive ocean passenger growth in 2017 with a 5% increase over the prior year. Australia also experienced some positive growth at around 5%. Europe also remains strong with recording a 2.5% global passenger growth over 2016.
North America represented the largest ocean passenger volume in 2017 (49%) with a total of more than 13 million ocean cruise passengers followed by Europe (26%) with nearly seven million ocean cruise passengers.
Demographics and preferences
New analytics also reveal the average age of global ocean passengers last year was 47 years old. These passengers also preferred cruising for an average of 7.2 days, 2% lower than the average cruise length in 2016.