LATEST figures show that Australian cruise numbers have broken through the magic million passenger mark. That’s equivalent to over four per cent of Australians taking a cruise holiday in 2014.
The record result confirms Australia’s position as the world’s fastest growing source of cruise passengers.
It shows there is no sign of Australia’s love affair with cruising abating as passenger numbers surged over 20 per cent last year to reach the million milestone.
Gavin Smith, chairman of Cruise Lines International Australasia – which released the new figures – says Australians passion for cruising is unparalled around the world.
He says Australians realise that cruising is an easy, relaxing way to holiday and great value for money. What’s more, there is now a huge range of ships and itineraries to choose from across the globe.
The magic milestone comes 6 years before originally anticipated, and if growth continues at over 12 per cent annually for the next six years, Australia will celebrate two million passengers by 2020.
Carnival is the world’s largest cruise company, with cruise lines such as P&O, Cunard, Holland America, and Princess Cruises under its wing. The company’s Australian CEO, Ann Sherry, says the million passenger milestone confirms cruising as the stunning success story of Australian tourism and that it is growing from strength to strength.
She says that when the cruising industry first talked about targeting 1-million passengers by 2020 it was considered a wildly audacious goal, yet that record was achieved it six years earlier than expected.
Not surprisingly the most popular cruise destination for Australians is the South Pacific, taking in the islands of Vanuatu, New Caledonia, and Fiji.