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Cruise Industry Statistics For 2024

This is a list of up-to-date Cruise Industry stats for 2024.

The cruise industry is one of the fastest-growing travel segments, with more destinations being reachable by cruise ships each year, making it an attractive way to travel the world.

But how big is the Cruise space? And how quickly is it growing?

As someone who has spent many years working on 5* and 6* cruise ships, I’m going to take a closer look at key cruise statistics, along with growth projections for the future.

Top Cruise Statistics (Editor’s Picks)

  • Revenue of the cruise industry worldwide stands at $18.6 billion
  • The revenue growth of cruises worldwide is 36.55% from 2018 –2027
  • Carnival Cruise Lines had the highest market share of companies at 45% (2021)
  • Cruise passengers spend an average of $750 in port cities over a seven-day cruise
  • The most expensive cruise ship cost $1.43 billion (Allure of the Seas by Royal Caribbean)

Top Cruise Destinations

  • Caribbean
  • The Mediterranean
  • Scandinavia
  • Alaska
  • Antarctica

1. The top destination for cruises is the Caribbean, specifically Bermuda and The Bahamas (Statista)

2. Search results for expedition cruises to Antarctica are also on the rise, with an increase of 51% in 2022 (C.L.I.A.)

Cruise Industry Growth

3. The revenue growth of cruises worldwide is 36.55% from 2018 –2027 (Statista)

4. According to this report, the global cruise market size is expected to reach $15.10 billion by 2028, with a CAGR of 11.0% from 2022 to 2028 (Report)

5. Global cruise capacity is set to grow by 19% to 746k lower berths from 2022 – 2028 (C.L.I.A.)

6. The report proves that the cruise industry continues to be one of the fastest-growing tourism sectors (C.L.I.A.)

7. The global revenue in the cruise industry was forecast to increase by 42.56% or 10.7 billion between 2023 and 2027 (Statista)

8. The global market capacity of luxury cruise ships was expected to increase from about 615,000 passengers (almost half the population of Hawaii) in 2019 to over 1.3 million passengers (about the population of New Hampshire) in 2027 (Source)

Jobs and Employment Statistics

9. The number of global cruise passengers totaled 20.4 million in 2022, and this figure was forecast to reach 31.5 million in 2023, surpassing the peak reported in 2019 (Statista)

10. This report showed that in 2019 the cruise ship industry supported 1.17 million jobs compared to a drop of 51% during the pandemic in 2020 (C.L.I.A.)

11. Regarding statistics, some of the most exciting cruise industry statistics come from the employment sector, which provided 1.7m jobs in 2019 (C.L.I.A.)

12. This 2022 C.L.I.A report showed that every 24 cruisers worldwide support one full-time equivalent job (C.L.I.A.)

13. 70% of the crew on cruise ships work in the hotel department (C.L.I.A.)

14. An average cruise ship member in the U.S. makes $29k annually, working around the clock (C.L.I.A.)

Passenger Trends

15. Cruise passengers spend an average of $750 in port cities over a seven-day cruise (C.L.I.A.)

16. According to this 2022 report, the average age of a cruise passenger was 47.6 between 2018 – 2020 (C.L.I.A.)

17. The report reveals that 73% of cruise passengers are sailing with family members representing more than two generations (C.L.I.A.)

The Pandemic

18. According to the Cruise Lines International Association, the pandemic caused an 80% decline in passengers from 2019 – 2020 (ResearchandMarkets)

19. While the number of post-pandemic cruise passengers from Europe grew by 228% over the previous year, it remained below pre-pandemic levels (Statista)

20. 80% of travelers who have been on a cruise before said they would cruise again, the same percentage as before the pandemic (C.L.I.A.)

21. Regarding safety at sea, the risk of violent crime onboard a cruise ship is shockingly 95% lower compared to a typical city in the U.S. (Report)

22. The revenue is estimated at 35.87 billion U.S. dollars in 2027. (Statista)

23. In 2022, Germany was the leading European source market for cruise tourism, with nearly 1.9 million passengers, while The United Kingdom and Ireland reported the second-highest figure, with roughly 1.7 million passengers (Statista)

24. According to Statista, the United States is the world leader in cruise revenue, given its many ports, access to the Caribbean, and long coastline (Statista)

25. In 2022, the U.S. cruise industry’s revenue was roughly five times higher than that of Germany, the second leading market (Statista)

26. Revenue of the cruise industry worldwide stands at $18.6 billion (Statista)

27. In 2021, Carnival Cruise Lines had the highest market share of companies at 45% (Statista)

28. While Royal Caribbean was second with 25% and Norwegian Cruise Lines was third with 15% market share (Statista)

29. According to this report by C.L.I.A (Cruise Lines International Association, there is a goal for carbon-neutral cruising by 2050 (C.L.I.A.)

30. Passenger embarkations in 2019 were 29.7 million, compared to 5.8 million in 2020, a decrease of 81% (C.L.I.A.)

31. According to this report, the least enthusiastic cruisers are the traditionalists, with 73% saying they would plan another cruise, the lowest of all age groups (C.L.I.A.)

32. Statista reported that the largest cruise ship in the world as of Feb 2023 was Harmony of the Seas by Royal Caribbean, which is 362.12m (about 1188.06 ft) in length (Statista)

33. In fact, the top five biggest cruise ships in the world are all Royal Caribbean ships, with a length of 360m (about 1181.1 ft) and above (Statista)

34. One of the most fascinating of the cruise industry statistics is the cost of the most expensive cruise ship, which is Allure of the Seas by Royal Caribbean, costing $1.43 billion (about $4 per person in the U.S.) (Statista)

35. Making it the sixth most significant greenhouse gas emitter on the planet (Wikipedia)

36. It is reported that the millennial age group is the most enthusiastic about cruises, with 85% saying they plan to cruise again, while 82% of Gen Z’s said the same thing (C.L.I.A.)

37. By 2027, the C.L.I.A fleet will have 26 L.N.G. powered ships, which accounts for 16% of global capacity (C.L.I.A.)

38. 231 ships will have advanced wastewater treatment systems, which is 81% of global capacity (C.L.I.A.)

39. While 176 cruise ships will have exhaust gas cleaning systems installed to reach the 2050 carbon neutral goal (C.L.I.A.)

40. Regarding cruise industry trends, the Caribbean had an average passenger volume of 44% from 2018 – 2020 (C.L.I.A.)

41. The lowest was the Panama Canal and South America, with a passenger volume of just 5% (C.L.I.A.)

42. According to Statista, European shipyards were the world leaders in the shipbuilding segment (Statista)

43. In 2022, they had an order for 66 cruise ships, for a total of 6.1 million tonnage (Statista)

44. The luxury cruise market is projected to carry just over 1 million passengers in 2023, up from over 600,000 in 2019 (Report)

45. It is expected to be heading for $1.5 million by 2030, according to the 2023 Luxury Cruise Market Report by Cruise Industry News (Report)

46. Around half of 2023’s class of new cruise ships are smaller luxury ships, ranging from 930-guest ships for Viking to a 100-passenger yacht-like vessel for Emerald (Source)

47. 4 Smaller ships, more space per passenger, and higher-net-worth guests, which are primarily wealthy Americans, are forecast to be the future of cruise tourism going forward (Source)

48. Some of the future key leaders for luxury cruise travel will include The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, Four Seasons in 2025, and Orient Express in 2026, catering to affluent guests (Source)

49. According to a report, the most significant number of passengers traveling onboard luxury cruise shops came from the U.S. (11.9million) (Source)

50. This same report showed that the U.S. is followed by countries such as China (2.4million), Germany (3.19 million), U.K (1.93million), and Australia (1.34 million) traveling on luxury cruise ships (Source)

51. Other cruise industry trends include more ships accommodating the rise in craft beer trends, with microbrewers onboard as an extra feature (Report)

52. When it comes to the age group more interested in luxury cruising, it is said that Gen Z is taking the most interest than other ages groups (Report)

53. Trends in the luxury cruise industry also include a focus on incorporating A.I. like virtual assistants onboard and even robotic bartenders, aM.S.C.SC has demonstrated (Report)

Cruising Styles

54. Also, solo travel cruise trends are rising, with cruise ships offering more single cabins and younger cruise travelers emerging than ever before (C.L.I.A.)

55. Another cruise industry travel trend that is interesting to know is that family and friends are the most influential among potential passengers, with 86% of them saying they influenced their decision to book (C.L.I.A.)

56. Regarding culinary trends onboard cruise ships as of 2023, the report showed a demand for local produce (61.11%), sustainable seafood (35.19%), and meat substitutes (24.07%) (C.L.I.A.)

57. cruise liners also focus more on marine and ocean life protection with dedicated programs like coral reef restoration and onboard scientists to support research (C.L.I.A.)

58. The average age of ships in the C.L.I.A member fleet is 14.1 years (C.L.I.A.)

59. Another emerging cruise industry trend is choosing more itinerary lengths to attract first-time cruisers (C.L.I.A.)

Environmental Impacts of Cruising

60. In terms of waste, this report states that the average cruise ship discharge is 200,000 gallons (about 757082 L) per day, while larger cruise ships may discharge 350,000 gallons (about 1324893.5 L) per day of treated black and gray water (Report)

61. In terms of the environmental impact of shipping, ships are responsible for 18% of nitrogen oxide pollution and 3% of greenhouse gases, according to Wikipedia (Wikipedia)

62. Lastly, 84% of cruise passengers are more aware of the responsible nature of cruise travel and the importance of the environment (C.L.I.A.)

63. Cruise industry trends for the future will be more environmentally focused, with more options for carbon-free activities like walking, cycling, and sailing experiences being offered by cruise companies rather than coach tours (C.L.I.A.)

64. In terms of their carbon footprint, cruise ships may just be 1% of all the maritime community worldwide, but strategies are in place to reduce emissions by as much as 98% (Report)

65. While energy-efficient design standards and L.N.G. powered ships will reduce CO2 emissions by 30% by 2025 (Report)

66. Regarding recycling and waste management, cruise ship professionals recycle 60% more waste per person than the average person recycles on shore each day, resulting in 80,000 tonnes per year (Report)

Why Has the Cruise Industry Become Popular?

Cruise-Industry-Become-Popular

The cruise industry is booming thanks to its unique blend of luxury, excellent service, convenience, and adventure. The best thing about traveling on a cruise ship is that you can tailor-make your trip to suit you.

While you might think that all cruises are the same, the truth is that many different types of ships are catered to a wide range of people, which is why people are drawn to this travel style.

For instance, families love large cruise ships with entertainment, endless food options, child-friendly activities, and fun excursions. At the same time, couples may prefer smaller, more intimate ships with high-end service and gourmet restaurants.

There are ships of all sizes and themes, which feature a range of itineraries to suit all kinds of travelers, and many passengers love the ease and comfort of only having to unpack once but see a new destination every day.

Cruising can also be seen as a luxury travel style, considering there are plenty of round-the-world cruises and expeditions to remote destinations like Antarctica, Greenland, and even private islands, which appeals to many looking for a unique experience.

The fact that traveling by cruise ship suits anybody from families with young kids to the older generation who might not be as active now, as well as honeymooners and solo travelers, means that this is an industry that is not going away any time soon.

What Are the Benefits of Cruise Travel?

Benefits-of-Cruise-Travel

  • It is very convenient since you only have to unpack once
  • It is accessible to all ages
  • You can see a wide range of destinations in one vacation
  • Everything is taken care of, I.e., excursions, entertainment, food, children’s activities
  • Ease of access to towns and towns is very smooth
  • You save a lot of time traveling overnight to your next destination
  • All-inclusive experience for many (but not all) cruise ships
  • Scenic views and opportunities to relax on the deck or in a high-end spa
  • A wide range of cultural experiences and onshore activities to choose from
  • Social interaction and meeting like-minded people

Final Thoughts

The cruise market clearly has a promising and profitable future.

As you can see, industry plunged during the pandemic, with plenty of ships being out of use and restrictions preventing cruises and any means of travel. However, this is set to turn around in the coming years, and numbers are already increasing.

The cruise industry provides millions of jobs and brings money to the economies of the places they dock, with tourists spending over $750 per person over a seven-day cruise.

With plans in place for carbon-neutral cruising by 2050, we can imagine that more people will ‘get on board’ with this idea in a bid to combat climate change while seeing the world.

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