Australia’s cruise industry will take a leap forward in 2014, as it maintains its reputation as one of the fastest growing cruise markets in the world.
According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) annual report, this year cruise deployments in Australia will account for 5.9 percent of global itineraries. This is an increase from five percent last year.
The Caribbean will also grow with 37.3 percent of itineraries in 2014 compared to 34.4 percent last year. While popular destination, the Mediterranean will lose 2.8 percent of itineraries compared to 2013.
The number of passengers cruising worldwide is expected to esculate from 21.3 million in 2013 21.7 million.
North America will remain the world’s biggest cruise market with 55 percent of passenger source. Australia will be ranked in the top five with 3.6 percent of the market share.
CLIA Australasia general manager Brett Jardine said the latest figures underline Australia’s important position in the world cruise scene.
“Cruising just keeps going from strength to strength down under and we look forward to another big year ahead,” Mr Jardine said.
Meanwhile, Carnival Australia chief executive Ann Sherry described Australia’s growth as “phenomenal” and said it gives Australian travellers access to “exceptional choice”.
“Cruising here has something to offer every market segment with locally or seasonally based ships plus international ships visiting during the height of the summer cruise season.”
According to the CLIA report, in 2014 there will also be 29 new ships setting sail, increasing total passenger capacity to 37,500. In total there will be 410 ships including river vessels in CLIA’s 2014 global fleet and 467,629 beds.