It’s official! Cruising is most definitely in as the activity of choice Down Under, with recent stats showing more than one million Australians set sail around the globe last year – racking up roughly 10 million combined days at sea. In fact, Aussies love to cruise so much that they’ve taken out the title as the world's fastest growing source of cruise passengers, with a 20% increase in Australian passenger numbers last year alone.
That’s a whole lot of on-board mojitos and offshore excursions – and industry experts see no sign of Aussie traveller numbers waning any time soon, with many predicting that number could double by 2020.
The Results Are In
The results come from the recently released 2014 Australian Cruise Industry Source Market Report, produced by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia, which highlighted some pretty convincing evidence that an ever-increasing number of Australians are choosing cruising as their holiday of choice.
- Australia’s cruise industry exceeded one million cruise passengers in a calendar year for the first time in 2014
- Australia is the world's fastest growing source of cruise passengers, and holds the top global position for market penetration
- Australia is the first nation to exceed 4 per cent penetration in cruising history
The milestone has blown the industry goal of hitting one million cruisers by 2020 out of the water – six years ahead of schedule – with Australian cruise passenger numbers growing more than six-fold over the past decade.
Can Aussies Make it to 2 Million?
CLIA Australasia chairman Gavin Smith says if Aussie cruisers can maintain an average growth rate of 12.5 per cent annually, it would be possible to see two million Aussies cruising in 2020.
Mr Smith said the exponential increase in Australian cruise passenger numbers was likely due to “more home-ported ships in Australia, more ships visiting our shores as part of world cruises, and internationally, Australians still responding to exotic locations around the world, such as the Med, the Baltic, Alaska and the Caribbean”.
Who’s the Typical Australian Cruiser?
Other key findings of the CLIA Australasia 2014 Australian Cruise Industry Source Market Report indicate that New South Wales remains the largest source of cruise passengers, contributing 41% of the market, and that 39% of Aussies prefer to cruise close to home, with the South Pacific attracting more than 390,000 passengers, and cementing its position as the most popular cruise destination.
Of course, that’s not to say Australian holidaymakers don’t like to cruise further afield. More than 93,000 Aussies chose Europe as their cruise destination of choice, and more than 31,000 Australians cruised the Caribbean region, in 2014.
See the full 2014 Australian Cruise Industry Source Market Report for more information.