The phenomenal growth of the Australian cruise industry continued through 2013 with 20% growth in passengers, more than double the rate of any other major cruise market.

A record 833,348 Australians took a cruise last year, according to the 2013 Cruise Industry Source Market Report, released today.

This means Australia has now overtaken North America as the market where cruise has the greatest market penetration with the equivalent of 3.6%% of the Australian population taking a cruise in 2013.

It’s been a long time coming – cruise has been growing at 20% a year for the past 11 years in Australia, said Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia Chairman Gavin Smith.

“That’s a remarkable achievement, particularly when you consider we’re now leading the world in market penetration,” he said.

“With more ships being deployed in Australia in 2014 and 2015, the benchmark of one million annual cruise passengers should be reached by 2016, if not before.”

Key findings of the 2013 CLIA Australasia Cruise Industry Source Market Report for Australia include:

  • The South Pacific continues to dominate as a cruise destination at 40% market share
  • River cruising numbers grew 25% to 50,000 Aussie pax
  • Asian cruising is on the rise again with passenger numbers up 28%
  • Europe continues to dominate long-haul destinations with numbers surging 34% to more than 77,000
  • Mediterranean cruising remains dominant, Northern Europe numbers rose more than 50%
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