Asian Cruise Market Growth Continues -Report

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

July 23, 2018

  • © napa74 / Adobe Stock
  • (Source: CLIA)
  • © napa74 / Adobe Stock © napa74 / Adobe Stock
  • (Source: CLIA) (Source: CLIA)

Cruise vacations are growing increasingly popular in Asian markets, according to the latest report from trade association Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

Asian-sourced ocean cruise passenger numbers hit another record high in 2017 with more than 4 million taking an ocean cruise (up 20.6 percent), CLIA’s 2018 Asia Cruise Trends report revealed.

Asia accounted for about 15 percent of total global ocean passenger volume in 2017 as mainland China maintained its dominance as a key source market, accounting for almost 60 percent of all Asian passengers.

“Asia once again showed impressive results in 2017 with most Asian source markets registering double-digit year-on-year growth,” said Joel Katz Managing Director for CLIA Australasia & Asia.

Between 2012 and 2017, Asian cruise passengers grew from 775,000 to nearly 4.052 million, almost a 40 percent compound annual growth rate.

“After another year of exceptional growth which saw Asia outperform other established markets, it’s clear that cruising is continuing to grow in popularity as cruise lines continue to deploy significant capacity in the region, including brand new, large cruise ships purpose-built for Asian consumers,” Katz said. “2018 is expected to deliver another year of growth as Asian travelers increasingly recognize cruising as an easy, relaxing and great value for money way to travel.”

According to CLIA, 2018 will see 38 cruise brands deployed and more ships in Asian waters. There will be a broader variety of cruise products with significant increases in large (2,000 to 3,500 passengers) as well as small upscale ships deployed in Asia. 2018’s scheduled cruise calls are slightly down from the planned calls in 2017 but are maintaining an upward five-year trend. In 2013, only 43 ships cruised in Asia, marking an 80 percent growth since 2013.

South East Asia in particular will see more than 20 percent increase in port calls in 2018, the report found. In total there will be more than 7,100 port calls in Asia with Japan, mainland China, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia expected to receive the most number of cruises.

East Asia, meanwhile, accounts for 60 percent of the port calls, followed by South East Asia (36 percent) and the remaining in South Asia (4 percent).

The report also noted that Asian travelers continue to predominantly take cruises within the region (91 percent) with shorter sailings of four to six nights by far the most popular.

With a weighted average age of 44.6 years old, cruise passengers from Asia are one of the younger cruise travelers globally.

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