A total of 1.35 million Australians went on an ocean cruise in 2018 -- a slight increase of 0.9 per cent on the previous year’s record.
According to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), which today released the 2018 Australia Ocean Source Market report, the result still showed a higher number of Australians choosing a cruising holiday than ever before. Nearly one in every 17 Aussies, or 5.8 per cent of the population, took a cruise last year, giving Australia the highest market penetration rate of the world’s major established cruise markets -- ahead of the US (4 per cent), the UK (3 percent ) and Germany (2.8 per cent).
Cruising in local waters (Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific) grew by just 0.1 per cent, reflecting current infrastructure constraints in the gateway port of Sydney. But this was offset by growth of 3.4 per cent in the number of Australians taking fly-cruise holidays in destinations further afield.
“Cruising continues to be exceptionally popular among Australian travellers after many years of growth and world-leading market penetration,” said CLIA Australasia Managing Director Joel Katz. “A lack of berthing capacity in Sydney has hampered cruise lines’ efforts to expand their operations in local waters, but the increasing number of Australians flying to ports overseas shows the market is still strong and holds great potential for the future.”
CLIA’s report says a subdued growth trend will continue in the short term into 2019, but it predicts a return to stronger growth in the near future.
“Cruise lines have already announced significant new vessel deployments in this region from the 2020-21 season, with smaller, older ships to be replaced with newer, larger options,” Katz said. “Combined with the construction of a new International Cruise Terminal in Brisbane and other projects announced in Cairns, Eden and Broome, this is expected to reignite growth in the Australian market.”
Other findings from the report include:
Meanhwile, a record 112,000 New Zealanders cruised last year, marking a 14.6 per cent increase, according to the CLIA 2018 NZ Ocean Source Market report.
The result is a faster growth rate than the United States (9.4 per cent) and Europe (3.3 per cent), with growth largely driven by a 20 per cent rise in the number of Kiwis cruising the South Pacific, Australia and domestically.