Cruise Industry Continues Record-Breaking Pace

Member lines of the Cruise Lines International Association continued at a strong pace in 2006, as demand in the cruise industry remained robust; CLIA predicts that 2007 could be even better, highlighted by new ships coming on line, new itineraries and ports of call and richer onboard programming. CLIA points to the 100 new ships that already have or will enter service between 2000 and 2010. This year, six new ships debuted and seven more are set to launch in 2007. Furthermore, the luxury cruise market is experiencing a surge as many travelers-with more money to spend-are seeking out the chic amenities that these luxury ships provide. Domestically, CLIA says that 8.6 million passengers embarked on cruise vacations from U.S. ports and that with ship capacities increasing, the number of guests boarding each ship grew. CLIA reports that much of the growth is credited to the baby boomer generation, which has money, time and-perhaps above all-the desire to incorporate many activities and adventurous elements into their vacations.