Passenger cruise travel in 2003 increased by 7 percent over 2002 levels, according to data released by the Maritime Administration today. The top 10 cruise lines carried 2 million passengers on 932 North American cruises in the second quarter of 2003, an increase of 7 percent from the second quarter of 2002. In addition, the first two quarters of 2003 reflect a 9 percent growth from the same period in 2002.
Miami remained the largest departure port, accounting for 23 percent of the total traffic. However, Port Canaveral replaced Fort Lauderdale in the second position, after several ships operating from Fort Lauderdale shifted in the second quarter to seasonal markets elsewhere. The western Caribbean remained the most visited destination, but its share of the total market declined as operations in seasonal markets increased. Alaska moved into second place, accounting for 16 percent of the total passenger days.
These figures are the second installment of a statistical series issued by MARAD on U.S. cruise passenger traffic, which covers the 10 major cruise lines operating cruise ships with a capacity greater than 750 passengers. The cruise lines included in the database are Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Disney Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line
, Costa Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Crystal Cruises, Princess Cruises, and Cunard Line
. For each cruise, the database provides the number of passengers carried, departure port and date, destination, cruise length and ship capacity.
The database chronicles the shifting of 12 cruise vessels this year to European markets, beginning with the March 31 sailing of the Norwegian Dream from Miami. It also tracks the movement of the 24 large vessels serving Alaska this summer as they shifted from other markets.