Almost ¾ of a million Canadians cruised in 2013 but growth flat

Almost ¾ of a million Canadians cruised in 2013 but growth flatFORT LAUDERDALE — Close to three quarters of a million Canadians took a cruise last year but growth over the last five years was the slowest of cruising’s top 10 markets.

Canada ranked sixth with 734,000 sailing in 2013 but this number was up just 1.3% over a five-year period.

More than 11 million Americans took a cruise last year, more than half of the global total at 51.7% and this number has grown 15.1% over the five-year period as cruise lines based more and more ships in ports such as New Orleans, Baltimore, New York City, Norfolk and other cities as well as basing more ships in major ports such as Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

Canada also trails the UK & Ireland, Germany, Italy and Australia, with the latter seeing growth of 130.3% in the past five years.

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and its cruise line members are looking forward to a positive year of growth with a 2014 passenger forecast of 21.7 million worldwide guests on CLIA’s 63 member lines, according to data released in the association’s annual State of the Cruise Industry findings. To meet demand, these member lines will introduce 24 new ships in 2014-2015 adding a total passenger capacity of 37,546, representing a capital investment of approximately $8 billion in ocean going and river cruise categories.

CLIA 2013 global passenger numbers are estimated at 21.3 million, with a 2014 forecast expected to reach 21.7 million passengers. North America is the world’s biggest cruise market (55.1 percent passenger source share) – with significant growth of internationally sourced passengers – especially Europeans at 6.4 million.

The leading cruise destination in terms of ship deployments remains the Caribbean, accounting for 37.3% of all global itineraries followed by the Mediterranean (18.9%), Northern Europe (11.1%), Australia/New Zealand (5.9%), Alaska (4.5%), Asia (4.4%) and South America 3.3%).

In 2014, markets experiencing increased ship deployments include the Caribbean (+12%), Northern Europe (+5.2%), Asia (+31.6%) and Australasia at +22%.