The global cruise industry is celebrating a phenomenal growth record, courtesy a report by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) titled 2016 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook.

Nearly 24 million passengers will be sailing in 2016, compared to 15 million passengers in 2006. Clearly, the cruise industry is upbeat with the statistics, as the report reveals that there will be 27 new ocean, river and specialty ships in 2016 attracting a total investment of more than $6.5 billion in ocean vessels alone.

In 2014, cruise industry registered $119.9 billion worldwide, employing 939,232 full time crew who earned $39.3 billion in income.

“In an effort to make cruising the best overall holiday experience available, the industry is continuing to evolve to ensure there truly is a cruise for every travel style and budget,” CLIA’s Acting CEO Cindy D’Aoust said.

G’Day for a Cruise in Australia

Australia has contributed to the growth of cruise industry in a big way and is expected to have a 6.1 per cent share in 2016 global cruise capacity development. The Aussie cruise industry surpassed a major milestone in 2014, exceeding more than one million passengers in a calendar year. In ten years, Australia’s cruise passengers have grown more than six-fold, from a base of 158,000 in 2004.

Cruise Industry Trends

Rise of the River Cruise: CLIA cruise line members currently deploy 170 river cruise ships with 18 new river cruise ships on order for 2016, an increase of more than 10 per cent.

More Ships, More Options: In 2015, there are a total of 471 cruise ships with an additional 27 new ocean, river and specialty ships scheduled to debut in 2016.

On the Map: Asia is the fastest growing region. Between 2012 and 2014, passenger volume grew from 775,000 to nearly 1.4 million passengers, recording a 34 per cent growth.

Cruise Specialists: The expertise of cruise specialists is here to stay. Today, there are more than 30,000 CLIA-member travel agents globally compared to 12,000 travel agents in 2010.

Connectivity and Cruising: Most of today’s cruises offer myriad Wi-Fi, onboard texting and data options.

A Love for Luxe: The desire to experience luxury aboard a cruise has led to yachting experiences, concierge services, exclusive tours, gourmet dining and personal butler service.

Brands at Sea: Brands are a big attraction on cruise lines, from family-friendly household names like LEGO, to upscale luxury brands like Hermes.

Ships Are the Destination: Cruise ships offer destination like experiences armed with million dollar refurbishments that bring Broadway productions, designer shops to zip-lining and bumper cars.

Stay the Night: Many cruise lines are offering overnight stays at designated ports of call to give cruisers an opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the experiences available at the destination.

Grand(parent) Travel Experiences: Appealing to every age group from toddlers to seniors, intergenerational cruising is going to be a trend to watch out for.

Cruise Volun-tourism: The rise of service oriented cruises is making travel for meaningful and a rare experience to absorb the local culture.

Culturally Customised: Cruise lines are adapting to evolving passenger profiles and different cultures whether its shopping or dining preferences.