Australia takes to the ocean wave
Latest passenger figures reveal that Australians are more in love with cruise deals than ever before, and that trend is set to continue, thanks to additional ships and destinations.
The CLIA Cruise Industry Source Market Report for Australia 2013 showed that a record 833,348 Aussies took a cruise trip last year. This number was a massive 20% increase on 2012 (694,062): the highest jump of any country in the world for cruises per capita.
When the stats are broken down, they also tell us that 3.6% of Australians went on a cruise, which surpassed the gargantuan North American market, at 3.3%, for the very first time. UK & Ireland sat at 2.5%, Germany 2.1%.
World leaders in the cruise industry
With the highest global penetration rate of any source market, the comment by CLIA Australasia chairman Gavin Smith that Australia
is "punching well above its weight" appears to be something of an understatement.
"Australia is still a relatively young cruise market, yet the number of Australians taking a cruise has grown by an enviable average 20% a year for the last 11 years. That's a remarkable achievement" Smith said.
CLIA general manager Brett Jardine was obviously delighted.
"At 20%, it's exceeded our expectations. Once people have tried it once, they'll come back again."
Other key statistics from the report:
The most popular destination for Australians is still the South Pacific. Nearly 80,000 cruisers travelled there last year.
Aussies travelling to New Zealand reached 98,914, a 7% increase on figures for 2012. The number back in 2009 was 35,329.
Europe topped the charts as a long-haul destination, with a 34% spike in Australian cruisers.
An estimated 8.7 million days were spent at sea by Australians in 2013, a 22% jump from 2012.
Passengers taking 8-14 day cruises increased by more than 120,000 to 475,154.
These results are testament to how well the Australasian cruise industry is maximising travel opportunities and continuing to successfully market holidays on the ocean wave for all ages. Demographic figures for 2013 revealed that almost half of the passengers were aged under 50, while 27.5% were younger than 40.
A bright future ahead
The major cruise liners have been expanding their product in just the last few months, with Royal Caribbean
making Legend of the Seas
on their fourth ship to be based in Australasia, with Azamara Quest
cruising waters Down Under in early 2016, offering five voyages ranging from 10-17 nights to the likes of Bali
, Great Barrier Reef
and New Zealand.
also announced two new P&O
ships to great fanfare, making P&O the largest year-round fleet in Australia. The MS Ryndam and MS Statendam are undergoing a makeover, before being deployed in the South Pacific in November 2015.
A target of one million Australian cruise passengers by 2016 has been talked about within the industry, and if the current growth rate continues, that number appears to be inevitable.
Detailed source market data for New Zealand is due to be released on June 26.