It’s no secret that Australians love cruising. Last year, 1.35 million Aussies hit the high seas on a sailing holiday. But where did they go?
According to the latest figures from the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), most Aussies cruised around Australia and to New Zealand and the South Pacific.
A total of 467,000 cruised around Australia, 434,000 to the South Pacific and 129,000 to New Zealand.
Fly-cruise holidays are on the rise, with many Australians flying to Europe, Asia and to Mediterranean ports to board cruises.
The Mediterranean attracted 74,000 passengers, Asia 72,000, northern Europe 35,000 and the Caribbean 28,000. Alaska was also high on the list, attracting 37,000 Aussie cruisers.
“The increasing number of Australians flying to ports overseas shows the market is still strong and holds great potential for the future,” said CLIA managing director Joel Katz.
“Cruising continues to be exceptionally popular among Australian travellers after many years of growth and world-leading market penetration.”
Overall, the average age of cruisers was 49, with longer cruises attracting an older crowd aged in their 60s.
While the number of cruisers in 2018 increased, the rate of growth has eased from 4.4 per cent in 2017 to just under one per cent in 2018.
Mr Katz says that limited facilities in Sydney are to blame for stunted growth and that the development of new berthing facilities remains the most urgent infrastructure priority for the cruise industry.
Still, 5.8 per cent of the Australian population (one in 17) went on a cruise – the highest penetration in the world and well ahead of the US at four per cent, the UK (three per cent) and Germany (2.8 per cent).
Did you cruise last year? Where did you go?