Demand for cruise travel over the past decade has grown 62 percent, according to a recent speech by Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), at the Seatrade Cruise Global conference in Port Everglades, FL.
In all 25.3 million passengers sailed on CLIA cruise lines in 2016, d’Aoust said. Looking ahead, over $50 billion in new cruise ship orders are on the books currently – more than twice that of a decade ago.
The number tracks with other recent positive signs in the cruise industry. In CLIA’s most recent quarterly Travel Agent Cruise Industry Outlook, three quarters of cruise-selling travel agents CLIA surveyed said that cruise spending is on the rise. River cruises and cruises on large ships were particularly popular, with 67 percent and 62 percent of travel agents, respectively, reporting growth in those areas.
Cruise lines, too, have been highlighting strong booking numbers in their most recent earnings reports. Carnival Corporation just said that 2017 advance bookings and pricing are both up year over year coming off a strong Wave Season.
Previously, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. had reported that forward bookings are at record levels in its full year 2016 earnings report. For all of 2016, the cruise company’s U.S. GAPP (generally accepted accounting principles) earnings and adjusted earnings rose 25 percent over 2015.
With Wave Season winding down, we’re taking stock of how bookings have been trending heading into the rest of the year. How have your Wave Season bookings been trending? Let us know in the poll below: