28.5m people cruised in 2018, a 7% increase

CLIA president and CEO Kelly Craighead said the 2019 estimate is for 30m global cruisers CLIA president and CEO Kelly Craighead said the 2019 estimate is for 30m global cruisers PHOTO: Anne Kalosh

More people cruised globally in 2018 than forecast, with 28.5m taking seagoing vacations, a nearly 7% increase from 2017, and up from the 28.2m originally projected by Cruise Lines International Association.

Addressing the Seatrade Cruise Global 'State of the Industry' seassion on Tuesday, CLIA president and CEO Kelly Craighead put the 2019 forecast at 30m.

North American increase 9%

The number of North American travelers increased 9%, to 14.2m in 2018.

Moderate Asia growth

When compared to the rapid increases of the past, 2018 saw moderate passenger growth throughout Asia and China, with a 5% increase in cruisers from the region, totaling a still impressive 4.2m.  

Mediterranean upswing

When it comes to cruise destinations, Mediterranean sailings moved up in popularity by 8% from 2017 to 2018. More than 4m passengers sailed in the region.

Caribbean rebound

Some 11.3m passengers cruised in the Caribbean last year, a 6% increase for what remains the world's No. 1 cruise destination.

Alaska boom continues

Alaska experienced double-digit growth with a year-over-year 17% increase in passengers in 2017 and another 13% increase in 2018, accounting for more than 1m cruisers.

Posted 09 April 2019

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review