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Germany's ocean cruise market grew 3.5% in 2018

Influx of new tonnage, such as AIDAnova, pictured here, drove 2018 market growth
The number of Germans taking an ocean cruise totaled 2.26m in 2018, up from 2.19m in 2017, according to CLIA Germany.

Topping 20m passenger nights

Total volume exceeding 20m passenger nights for the first time, the association said at the ITB Berlin travel trade fair this week.

The average cruise duration remained stable at nine nights, compared to 8.85 in 2017. The age of the average cruiser edged down, from 49.6 years to 49 years.

Northern Europe leads destinations

In terms of destinations, Germans continue favoring Northern Europe, which gained a market share of 28% last year, compared to 29% in 2017. The Western Mediterranean came in second, with a 24% share, up three points year-on-year. Also, cruises to the Canary Islands increased their share, from 9% to 11%, followed by the Eastern Mediterranean and Baltic Sea with 9% and 5%, respectively.

The 2018 results presented by CLIA Germany cover mainly the first three quarters of 2018, so final results for may differ slightly. CLIA The final figures are expected to be released in April.

New ships drive demand

Commenting on last year's growth, Karl J. Pojer, chairman of the leadership council of CLIA Germany, stressed the market has been strengthened by the influx of new tonnage last year. As further deliveries lie ahead, more growth is expected in 2019.

See also 'Germany's river cruise market rose 5.5% in 2018'