The number of Australians taking a cruise holiday in 2010 reached a record 466,692 – a 27 per cent increase on the previous year’s figure of 366,721.
The 100,000 rise in passenger numbers represents the biggest increase in the number of Australians choosing a cruise holiday on record. The result also represents the eighth consecutive year of growth for the Australian cruise industry since the Council passenger statistics were first compiled in 2002.
Overall numbers have grown by 306 per cent since 2002 (116,308) with an average annual growth rate of 19 per cent.
The latest figures reveal that 2.1 per cent of the Australian population took a cruise in 2010, compared to just 0.6 per cent of the population in 2002.
Cruise Destination – Market Share
The most popular cruise destination in 2010 was the South Pacific with 37 per cent of the market (171,857 passengers).
Australia ranked as the second most popular destination, with 19 per cent of the market (90,751).
New Zealand accounted for 10 per cent of the market (46,643) ahead of Asia and Europe both at 8 per cent (37,267 and 35,061 respectively).
Worldwide river cruising attracted 6 per cent of the market (28,587) while Alaska accounted for 4 per cent (19,018). Other Americas – including destinations like Hawaii and the Caribbean - attracted 5 per cent (21,233).
Cruise Destination – Growth
Most destinations experienced growth in 2010. The biggest increases in actual passenger numbers compared to 2009 came closest to home, with Australia increasing 36 per cent from 66,759 to 90,751 and the South Pacific up 25 per cent from 137,473 to 171,857. New Zealand rose 32 per cent from 35,329 to 46,643.
Europe also grew significantly, rising 51 per cent from 23,256 to 35,061 while Other Americas grew 71 per cent from 12,381 to 21,233.
Asia rose 14 per cent from 32,637 to 37,267 while river cruising grew 12 per cent from 25,506 to 28,587. Alaska rose 8 per cent from 17,594 to 19,018.
Cruises of between 8-14 days remained the most popular, accounting for 46.8 per cent of the market.
The number of passengers opting for shorter cruises of seven days or less rose slightly from around 34.9 per cent to 37.2 per cent.
Meanwhile cruises of 15 or more days dropped from 21 per cent to 16 per cent of the market.
Overall the estimated annual sea days rose by 18 per cent to 4.72 million.