Almost seven million Europeans took ocean cruises in 2017, says CLIA

Almost seven million Europeans took ocean cruises in 2017, says CLIA
CLIA Europe chairman Kyriakos Anastassiadis expects 2018 to be another positive year for Europe's cruise industry (Image: Celestyal Cruises)

Almost seven million Europeans took an ocean cruise in 2017, a 2.5% rise from 2016, according to a Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) survey.

CLIA’s report found that Europe’s cruise market has enjoyed 10 years of steady growth, led by top source markets German, the UK and Ireland, and Italy. 2017 was no different, with Germany’s passenger market increasing by 8.5% to reach a record of nearly 2.2 million, and UK and Ireland’s market growing 0.5% to surpass 1.95 million cruise guests (read more from CruiseBritain here). Italy and Spain took third and fourth position in the passenger source market table, experiencing 2.5% and 6.4% growth respectively.

Europe remained the most popular destination for 75% of European cruise travellers, with 50% choosing the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Canary Islands, and 25% opting for destinations in northern Europe and the Baltic. In fact, Northern Europe bookings rose 8% in 2017, while ports in Austria, Belgium, Netherlands and Switzerland, all showed between 3-6% growth. The remaining 25% of European travellers favour transatlantic and Asian itineraries.

According to survey findings, the average European cruise passenger is aged between 42 (Italy) and 57 (UK) years old. Statistics indicated that while younger cruisers tend to book Mediterranean voyages, older travellers prefer the Canary Islands and the Baltics. They also tend to opt for longer cruise holidays.

“We expect another positive year in 2018, with the arrival of 16 new ships,” said Kyriakos Anastassiadis, chairman of CLIA Europe. “Our cruise industry will continue to thrive in Europe and beyond because of the increasing variety of cruise ships and the level of personalisation it is able to offer to its guests.”

CLIA will release its 2018 CLIA European Economic Contribution Report later this year.

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Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson
Friday, March 9, 2018