Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Destination Article Search Bar

Home / 2024  / Cruise Tourism has Surpassed Historical Levels

Cruise Tourism has Surpassed Historical Levels

The Seatrade Cruise Global 2024 Conference was held in the

Miami Beach Convention Center April 8-11. This annual event features general sessions, a cruise supplier focused trade show and multiple networking events. It is a veritable who’s-who of the cruise industry and sets the tone for the year of cruising to come.


This year’s event was decidedly upbeat with announcements of new ship orders and the historic levels cruise tourism is achieving. Leading off the program was a state of the industry report by Kelly Craighead, President and CEO of CLIA. During her presentation, Craighead reported that CLIA’s annual state of the industry report includes the release of 2023 passenger volume, which reached 31.7 million— surpassing 2019 by 7%. The report also shows continued demand for cruise holidays, noting intent to cruise at 82%. The forecast for cruise capacity shows an increase of 10% from 2024 through 2028, as cruise lines make ongoing, concrete progress in pursuit of net-zero emissions by 2050.


“Over the past 50 years, cruise tourism has demonstrated its leadership in managed tourism and is an industry that has plenty of room for continued responsible growth, given cruise travel comprises just 2% of overall travel and tourism,” said Kelly Craighead. “The industry also continues to lead the way in environmental sustainability and destination stewardship, with cruise lines making advancements in technology, infrastructure and operations, and in green skills training for crew.”


Highlights from CLIA’s State of the Industry Report
Cruise is thriving! Cruise tourism reached 107% of 2019 levels in 2023, with 31.7 million passengers sailing – almost two million more than 2019, and 2024 is forecasted to see 35.7 million cruise passengers sailing.


Intent to cruise is 6% higher than 2019, with millennials being the most enthusiastic cruise travelers of the future. Contrary to the perception that cruising is for an older clientele, the average age of cruisers is 46 and 36% of cruisers are under that age.


Global cruise capacity is forecasted to grow from 677K lower berths in 2024 to 745K lower berths in 2028. Great news for travel advisors who account for over 70% of all cruise bookings. In fact, 73% of cruise travelers say that travel advisors have had a meaningful influence on their decision to cruise.


Trends in Cruise
The number of new-to-cruise passengers is increasing, with 27% of cruisers over the past two years being new-to-cruise, an increase of 12% over the past year. Cruises are a top choice for multi-generational travel – with more than 30% of families traveling by cruise with at least two generations, and 28% of cruise travelers traveling with three to five generations.
Expedition and exploration are the fastest-growing sectors of cruise tourism, with a 71% increase in passengers traveling on expedition itineraries from 2019 to 2023. Also, accessible tour excursions are on the rise—with 45% of cruise passengers booking an accessible tour for their most recent cruise.

Review overview

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.