The Australian cruiser is getting younger, with the average age last year dropping to 48.4 from 50.4 in 2019 according to new figures from the Cruise Lines International Association.

Carnival Australia also shared with the ABC that since 2019 it has seen a 20% increase in younger cruisers with passengers aged 18 to 35.

Carnival Australia’s chief strategy officer Teresa Lloyd told the ABC that she feels social media and short cruises have been factors in the rise in popularity.

“There’s a lot of social media out there and young people are seeing more of what’s available on a cruise ship.

“The other thing that’s happened is that we have a lot more short cruises than in the past.

“A three or four-night cruise gives people a taste of cruising and it enables young people, who might not have as much leave, to have a holiday.”

Caitlin Dennis, a younger cruiser in her 20’s also chatted with the ABC after cruising on Queen Elizabeth.

“It’s more of an older person vibe, but it didn’t stop us from having a good time.

“There’s a lot of fun activities going on, the nightclubs and bars are close, the ship takes you where you need to go, and you get to explore fun places you wouldn’t normally get to go in a convenient way.”

Cruisers snorkelling on a shore excursion.

CLIA’s other findings

  • Almost one in 20 Australians took a cruise in 2023, totalling 1.25 million Aussies across the year
  • Australia represents the fourth largest cruise market in the world, after the USA, Germany and England
  • Aussies are opting for shorter cruisers, averaging 8.1 days versus 9 days in 2019
  • The most popular cruise region for Australians in 2023 was Australia/New Zealand/South Pacific (84.8%), followed by the Mediterranean (5.3%), Asia (2.5%), Alaska (1.9%), Northern Europe (1.0%), the Caribbean (1.0%), Trans-Atlantic & World Cruises (0.8%), Hawaii & the US West Coast (0.7%) and Expedition Cruises (0.7%)
  • Across the globe, an all-time high 31.7 million people took an ocean cruise in 2023.

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