A total of 26.7 million travellers took a cruise in 2017, surpassing the original projection of 25.8 million, according to new figures from the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
According to CLIA, 49% (13 million) of ocean passengers originated from North America, while 26% (almost seven million) came from Europe, 15% were from Asia, 5.4% hailed from Australia and the Pacific, and 3% were from South Central America.
Asia’s source market rose by 20.5% from 2016, while the US, Canada and Australia all experienced 5% growth compared to the previous year. Europe also remained strong, recording a 2.5% global passenger growth over 2016.
New analytics revealed that 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.
“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.”
Based on the new vessel launch schedule and expected regional deployment, CLIA predicts that 2018 will bring positive year-over-year growth for the industry and forecasts that passenger numbers will reach 28 million.