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Cruise Industry Facts and Figures

The cruise industry is the fastest growing segment in Tourism achieving more than 2,100 percent growth since 1970. Today, there are more than 55,000 cruise passengers per day traveling by ship; on, 30,000 cruises and going to 2,000 destinations. 2012 shows there are now more participants other than the ‘big four’ maritime nations in shipping, both as owners and passengers ranging from Japan and China to the Middle East.

Nearly 40 new ships were built in the 1980’s and 1990’s, comprising a total of 80 new ships. An impressive 118 since 2000 have been introduced. New ships for 2012 currently stand at 17.

Strong growth has fueled the continuing evolution of the cruise vacation experience. Cruise lines have expanded itineraries to include diversified ports-of-call and convenient embarkation ports. Also innovative onboard amenities and facilities on city-sized ships.

The industry’s commitment to adding new capacity is based on high growth potential. 83% of adults in the US never cruised and there still remains a significant untapped market in Europe and Asia. There is an annual passenger growth rate of 7.7% despite economic obstacles and downturns.

Cruise Lines cater to a diverse demographic mix. Cruisers average 50 years of age, with above-average ($104,000) annual household income. Family travel has increased 200% in the past 5 years.

Over 90% of all cruise vacations are booked through travel agents and account for more than half of all vacation sales among travel agents. Worldwide cruise market is about $29.4 billion, a 9.5% increase since 2010.

1) Carnival Group 51% approx.
       Carnival Cruises, Costa Cruises, Princess Cruises, P and O Cruises,
       Cunard, Ocean Village, Holland America, Seabourn Cruises and
       Windstar Cruises.
2) Royal Caribbean International (RCCL) 25% approx.
       Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Pullmantur Cruceros and Azamara. 
3) Norwegian Cruise Lines and MSC Cruises, 20% approx.
4) Other 5-10% approx.
      Star Cruises and a variety of River Cruise companies.

1)  Caribbean/North America (includes Pacific Northwest - Alaska currently #1)
2)  Europe and Mediterranean (largest percent of increase bookings for 2012)
4.) Baltics / Fjords (summer only)
5.) Asia/Australia
6.) South America
7.) Middle East-an emerging region

The European cruise industry continues to increase its share of the global cruise market with:
  • 25.2 million passengers visiting a European port in 2010.
  • 5.2 million passengers joined their cruise in Europe in the same year with the industry generating €35.2 billion of goods and services and providing almost 300,000 jobs, which will continue to rise.
  • In 2010 there were 198 cruise ships operating in Europe ranging in size from 3,600 passengers to less than 100.
Piracy has grown through the centuries and still threatens shipping, particularly off Somalia and the Horn of Africa where 28 ships were attacked in 2011, with attacks also being seen in other regions (such as West Africa, The Amazon and parts of Asia). The economic impact of piracy was estimated to be around $7 billion in 2011.

Marine transport can be regarded as one of the safest means of passenger transport overall: in Europe and the U.S., it is ranked after rail, air and bus/coach as the fourth safest means, with far lower fatal accident rates than car, motorcycle, bicycle or walking. Over the last 100 years, the industry continuously steps up to the plate with on-going analysis making necessary changes to safety needs.
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