p1020858.jpgAUSTRALIA is punching well above her weight on the international cruise scene.

The comment comes from Gavin Smith, Australasian chairman of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), on the release of a report that shows Australian cruise passenger numbers soared by 20 per cent in 2013.

According to the Association’s Cruise Industry Source Market report, a record 833,348 Australians – that’s almost 4 per cent of the population – took a cruise last year. notes that this is more than double the growth of any other major cruise market.

Australia now has a larger number of cruisers per head of population than the world’s largest cruise passenger market, North America where 3 per cent of the population took a cruise in 2013.

The CLIA’s Gavin Smith says Australia is a relatively young cruise market, yet the number of Australians taking a cruise has grown by an enviable 20 per cent a year for the past 11 years.

Key findings of the Cruise Industry Source Market report for Australia include:

The South Pacific continues to dominate as a cruise destination, with almost 80,000 more Australians cruising the region in 2013, taking the total number to more than 330,000 (40 per cent of the Australian market)

River cruising numbers leapt 25 per cent as almost 50,000 Australians took to inland waterways around the world.

 Asian cruising is on the rise with passenger numbers up 28 per cent to a record 44,000.

 The number of Australians cruising to New Zealand has reached almost 100,000

 Europe continues to be a favourite overseas destination for Australian cruisers with numbers surging by 34 per cent to more than 77,000 Australian cruisers, with Mediterranean ports the strongest drawcard.







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