A cruise voyage is a vacation trip on a cruise ship, during which various ports are reached in the time of travel where passengers can disembark. Cruise trips differ depending on their shipping routes: sea or river cruise trip. The ship trips are offered as an all-inclusive tour with a collective package of travel services.
The most important cruise trip markets are, besides North America (USA/ Canada), these European countries – Great Britain/ Ireland and Germany. In 2012, according to the German Travel Association (DRV), 3.4 percent of the North American population were passengers on a cruise ship. In Great Britain, this was true for 2.8 percent and in Germany for 2.4 percent. In each case the percentages describe the penetration rate on the market. In 2013, the German cruise trip industry contributed with roughly 3 billion euros worth of direct expenditures through cruise trip companies, passengers and crew members to the total economic performance. In turn, the expenditures generated roughly 45.6 thousand jobs in 2012 (direct, indirect and indicated), which were paid for with 1.7 billion euros. Direct expenditure in the German cruise industry amounted to roughly 2.95 billion euros in 2015, putting Germany in third place behind the United Kingdom and Italy in second and first place respectively.
A total of 150 river cruise ships belonging to German tour operators were active on the German river cruise market in 2012. Roughly 437 thousand German passengers participated in a river cruise that year. This is a decrease of 5.4 percent compared to 2011. Popular travel destinations for river cruise trips were the Danube, Rhine and tributaries, as well as the Nile. In total, sea and river cruises made up 12.7 percent of the total sales revenue of the German tour operator market in 2012. Prominent German cruise trip companies in the sea cruise trip category are AIDA Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten and TUI Cruises. For river cruise trips they are A-ROSA, Phoenix-Reisen as well nicko tours.
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