CLIA Expects Nearly All Ships Back by July, Full Recovery by 2023

Nearly 6 million passengers have sailed on cruise ships since the cruise industry's restart last year. In addition, 16 new ships will set sail this year include five liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered vessels and nine expedition ships. In addition, more than 75 percent of oceangoing capacity is already back in service—and nearly 100 percent is expected back in operation by August 2022. Best of all, travel advisors and passengers will likely see a full cruise industry recovery in 2023.

Those and other newsy tidbits were released today by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) within its "2022 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook" report. 

Opportunity to Reflect

“The '2022 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook' report provides an opportunity to reflect on how far our industry has come as CLIA ocean-going cruise lines have welcomed more than six million guests onboard since resuming operations," said Kelly Craighead, CLIA's president and CEO. 

Noting that "coastal and maritime tourism is an important economic driver," Craighead said that CLIA "continues to work in partnership with cruise destinations so that communities thrive from responsible tourism." 

When compared to 2019, the 2020 economic data gathered by CLIA illustrates the pandemic’s far-reaching effects and the importance of cruise tourism to economies around the world.

  • For 2020, there were 5.8 million cruise passenger embarkations, down 81 percent from 2019.
  • In 2020, the industry supported 576,000 jobs, down 51 percent from normal.
  • Total economic contribution to the global economy was $64.4 million in 2020, down 59 percent.

As for assessing the "value of cruise tourists," CLIA offered these factoids:

  • Every 24 cruisers results in the creation of one full-time equivalent job.
  • Cruisers spend an average of $750 per passenger in port cities over the course of a typical seven-day cruise.
  • Six in 10 people who have taken a cruise say that they have returned to a destination that they first visited via cruise ship

Also stressing the importance of "destination stewardship," CLIA said it is continuing to collaborate with local communities in the destinations cruise ships visit—calling that a "critical focus for the cruise industry." It mentioned efforts in such destinations as Dubrovnik, Croatia, the Greek destinations of Corfu and Heraklion, and the City of Palma in Spain's Balearic Islands.

The 2022 outlook report also contains reflections from cruise industry partners and community members around the world, including from Robert Courts MP, maritime minister, the United KingdomMato Franković, mayor of Dubrovnik; Laura McDonnell, a shop owner in Juneau, AK; Alex Fraile, a tour guide in Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Danny Genung, CEO, Harr Travel; and Mandy Goddard, a CLIA Elite Cruise Counselor (ECC).

"While our focus on health and safety remains absolute, our industry is also leading the way in environmental sustainability and destination stewardship," Craighead noted. Here are some statistics on that front.

  • By 2027, CLIA member lines will operate 26 LNG-powered cruise ships.
  • At that time, 81 percent of ships will be fitted with advanced wastewater treatment systems.
  • Also,174 cruise ships will offer shore-side power connectivity.

To view the full "2022 CLIA State of the Cruise Industry Outlook" report, visit

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