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Cruise industry - statistics & facts

Cruises are among the fastest-growing sectors of the global travel industry. Over the past decade, cruise industry revenue grew to 37 billion U.S. dollars, marking the most successful and perhaps most transformative period in the industry’s history. While river, sea, and ocean cruises were considered outdated not too long ago, new travel destinations and a vast selection of cruise products, services, and customizable experiences have made cruise trips a mainstream vacation choice for audiences around the world. This demand for leisure, fun, or luxury sea travel has fueled the production and deployment of vessels growing in both numbers and size: In 2019, the average passenger capacity of the global cruise market reached an all-time high of 550 passengers; however, this capacity was mostly left untouched in 2020 following the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which hit the cruise market hard and continues to put the entire global travel and tourism industry on hold.

Cruise passenger demographics

Cruise tourism has become more popular than ever. Between 2009 and 2019, the number of ocean cruise passengers worldwide increased from 17.8 million to 30 million, with North American passengers making up the vast majority of cruisers. This growing interest in cruise vacations is powered by a range of innovations that the global tourism industry has embraced in recent years: Not only have cruise companies started to promote luxury exhibition cruising in Arctic and Antarctic waters for thrill-seekers, but today’s ships also offer amenities targeted at young travelers with smaller budgets. By introducing single occupancy cabins, single-oriented activities, and two- to three-day micro-cruises, the industry is adjusting to the changing demographics and ever-evolving needs of today’s cruise passengers.

What are the leading cruise companies worldwide?

Today’s global cruise market is dominated by a handful of U.S.-based players, namely Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean Cruises, and Norwegian Cruise Line. While Royal Caribbean Cruises operates some of the largest and most expensive cruise ships worldwide, the brand’s top competitor Carnival Corporation remains the leading global cruise company in terms of revenue. In 2019, the revenue of Carnival Corporation & plc stood at 20.8 billion U.S. dollars and was primarily generated via ticket sales and onboard purchases such as alcoholic drinks, casino gambling, spa treatments, and shore excursions. As the name suggests, the Carnival cruise line fleet focuses on onboard entertainment options ranging from waterslides to rollercoasters. This focus on experience continues to boost the industry’s ability to compete with land-based vacation alternatives and attract new customer bases. Whether this strategy will be enough to rekindle traveler demand once cruise lines resume operations in 2021 remains to be seen.

Key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Cruise industry" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

North American cruise market

Major companies

Cruise ships & destinations

Cruise passengers

Interesting statistics

In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the {amountStatistics} most important statistics relating to "Cruise industry".

Cruise industry

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Cruise industry - statistics & facts

Cruises are among the fastest-growing sectors of the global travel industry. Over the past decade, cruise industry revenue grew to 37 billion U.S. dollars, marking the most successful and perhaps most transformative period in the industry’s history. While river, sea, and ocean cruises were considered outdated not too long ago, new travel destinations and a vast selection of cruise products, services, and customizable experiences have made cruise trips a mainstream vacation choice for audiences around the world. This demand for leisure, fun, or luxury sea travel has fueled the production and deployment of vessels growing in both numbers and size: In 2019, the average passenger capacity of the global cruise market reached an all-time high of 550 passengers; however, this capacity was mostly left untouched in 2020 following the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which hit the cruise market hard and continues to put the entire global travel and tourism industry on hold.

Cruise passenger demographics

Cruise tourism has become more popular than ever. Between 2009 and 2019, the number of ocean cruise passengers worldwide increased from 17.8 million to 30 million, with North American passengers making up the vast majority of cruisers. This growing interest in cruise vacations is powered by a range of innovations that the global tourism industry has embraced in recent years: Not only have cruise companies started to promote luxury exhibition cruising in Arctic and Antarctic waters for thrill-seekers, but today’s ships also offer amenities targeted at young travelers with smaller budgets. By introducing single occupancy cabins, single-oriented activities, and two- to three-day micro-cruises, the industry is adjusting to the changing demographics and ever-evolving needs of today’s cruise passengers.

What are the leading cruise companies worldwide?

Today’s global cruise market is dominated by a handful of U.S.-based players, namely Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean Cruises, and Norwegian Cruise Line. While Royal Caribbean Cruises operates some of the largest and most expensive cruise ships worldwide, the brand’s top competitor Carnival Corporation remains the leading global cruise company in terms of revenue. In 2019, the revenue of Carnival Corporation & plc stood at 20.8 billion U.S. dollars and was primarily generated via ticket sales and onboard purchases such as alcoholic drinks, casino gambling, spa treatments, and shore excursions. As the name suggests, the Carnival cruise line fleet focuses on onboard entertainment options ranging from waterslides to rollercoasters. This focus on experience continues to boost the industry’s ability to compete with land-based vacation alternatives and attract new customer bases. Whether this strategy will be enough to rekindle traveler demand once cruise lines resume operations in 2021 remains to be seen.

Interesting statistics

In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the {amountStatistics} most important statistics relating to "Cruise industry".

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