We’re Aussies and we have a growing fascination when it comes to cruise. That’s one thing we know for sure, but there’s more to the Aussie cruisers than meets the eye.

For example, did you know the elderly are no longer leading the market; and the majority of cruisers are coming out of NSW and Queensland?

Below is a list of five things you may not have known about Aussie cruisers, courtesy of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia general manager Brett Jardine.

  • Retirees aren’t the only ones cruising

People that haven’t experienced a cruise are often associating the cruise sector with retirement and the elderly.

But did you know that almost half of Australian cruise passengers are now under the age of 50?

Australian passengers over 61-years only make up one-third of cruise guests. Up to 25 percent of those are under 40. This indicates the sector is actually quite popular amongst families.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering lines like Royal Caribbean and P&O are continuously developing their on board products to offer youth targeted attractions. This keeps the youngeons entertained and gives parents quality time.

  • The most popular destination for Australian cruisers in 2012…

The South Pacific!

In 2012, just over 252,000 Aussies took a cruise to the region.  That’s a 34.6 percent increase on 2011.

Additionally, since 2008 the number of Australian cruisers sailing to the region has almost doubled.

New Zealand is also one of the most popular destinations, attracting 350 percent more Australian cruise passengers over the past five years. This is due to the increasing number of ships being deployed across the Tasman.

  •  The least popular region for Australians in 2012…

Asia was the only destination that did not experience growth from the Australian market last year. There was a 13 percent drop compared to 2011. This was due to a shortage of available capacity. Cruise lines like Celebrity Cruises setting up bases in Asia to increase capacity and better serve the market.

  •  Australians plan ahead

Australians have a high average booking lead-time, with ten percent of the market purchasing their cruise a year in advance. Perhaps it’s the early birds that attract us? But more than 73 percent book between six and 12 months in advance. No more than 17 percent wait until last minute to book their cruise.

  •  We’re tied with Germany

Australia is one of the fastest growing cruise markets and so is Germany. Last year both Australia and Germany recorded the largest growth rate globally, with an 11 percent increase on 2011.

Since 2002, Australian cruise passenger numbers have risen by 500 percent from a base of just over 116,000. And river cruising is a fast growing sector among Australians, with a 12 percent increase in passenger figures in 2012 reaching almost 40,000.

Did we miss an important fact about Australian cruisers? Let us know by leaving a comment below.