The cruise fleet will be able to carry some 32.2 million passengers annually by 2032, according the new 2012 Cruise Industry News Annual Report. Published since 1987, the annual report tracks industry growth and it’s forecast is based on new ship orders, cruise lines stated building intentions and ship deployment changes and withdrawals over the time period from 2012 to 2032.

The near-term forecast, from 2012 to 2016, brings industry capacity up from 18.1 million in 2011 to 21.4 million in 2016, for an average annual growth rate of 3.4 percent. The biggest jump comes this year with a 7.4 percent capacity increase, which subsequently drops to 1.6 percent in 2013, up again to 4.7 percent in 2014, 3.0 percent in 2015 and, for now, down to 0.5 percent in 2016.

From 2016 to 2032, the average annual capacity growth rate is forecast to stabilize around 2.5 percent.

In the short term, the report concludes that the slower building pace will allow the industry to better deal with the economic downturn, and may over the longer term allow the cruise lines to raise ticket prices as demand catches up with supply.