Cruise lines carried 11 percent more passengers from U.S. ports in the first quarter of 2003 than they did in the first quarter of 2002, the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) reported. Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International maintain the largest market share among the top 10 cruise lines, accounting for 32.7 and 26.4 percent, respectively. The statistics are part of a new 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. Cruises in the 6-to-8 day category had the largest share of both cruises and passengers, accounting for 64 percent of the total passenger-days during the first quarter 2003. Miami and Fort Lauderdale were the departure ports for 49.2 percent of the total traffic, while the western Caribbean was the most visited destination, accounting for 43 percent of the passengers. For calendar year 2002, the data identifies 3,575 cruises and 7.6 million passengers carried by 10 cruise lines.
MARAD's new data product will provide the industry with a new source of timely and accurate market information, useful not only for industry analysts, but also for port authorities wishing to increase their cruise line traffic. With very few exceptions (such as transatlantic positioning cruises), all North American cruises with a U.S. port of call are included. For each cruise, the database provides the departure port and date, destination, cruise length, ship capacity and number of passengers carried.
The data is being issued quarterly in both Access or Excel format. It is being offered on a subscription basis at $1,200 per year. Two years of historical data (2001 and 2002) are also available. A sample dataset for July 2002 is being made available free of charge to anyone interested. Certain high level aggregate data from the database will be available on the Maritime Administration website at www.marad.dot.gov/marad_statistics.