Global cruise travel continues to grow at a record pace according to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
Nearly 24 million passengers will take a cruise this year, which is a big increase on the 15 million taking a cruise a decade ago.
CLIA members operate 471 cruises ships, with an additional 27 new ocean, river and specialty ships taking to the water this year.
Here, australiancruisingnews.com lists CLIA’s take on cruise trends.
Rise in river cruising: CLIA members operate 170 river cruise ships with 18 new river cruise ships on order for 2016, which is a 10 per cent increase.
On the map: Five years ago, cruise travel was almost unheard of in Asia, yet today it is the fastest growing sector. Between 2012 and 2014, passenger volume grew from 775,000 to nearly 1.4 million, a 34 per cent annual growth.
Aussie G’day: Australia continues to experience record growth, exceeding more than one million passengers in the 2014 calendar year.
Staying connected: Travellers’ desire to stay in touch has seen most of today’s cruise ships offering Wi-Fi, texting and data option onboard.
A love for luxe: Luxury touches are on the rise with cruise lines offering yachting experiences, concierge services, exclusive tours, gourmet dining, and personal butler services.
Ship the destination: While cruise ships take passengers to destinations, many of today’s cruise ships are destinations in themselves with onboard experiences from Broadway productions and designer shops to zip-lining and bumper cars.
Stay the night: Many cruise lines now offer overnight stays at designated ports so that cruisers can fully immerse themselves in the destination.
Grand(parent) travel: Inter-generational cruising has become popular for family reunions with onboard activities to satisfy every age from toddlers to seniors.
Voluntourism: Some land excursions allow passengers to volunteer in areas of need around the world. These brief encounters allow cruisers to embrace the local culture while making a difference.