Cruising is more popular than ever, with the latest figures from Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) revealing that 2016 is shaping up to be one seriously lucrative year. According to the latest State of the Cruise Industry Outlook, global cruise travel will continue to grow at a record rate in the New Year.
While 2006 saw 15 million passengers take to the seas, 2016 will see ships welcome a record 24 million passengers on board! The cruise industry is completing the boom with the launch of 27 new specialty ships, with ocean liners alone worth a colossal US$6.4 billion. Across the globe the industry growth is having a hugely positive economic impact, supporting 939,232 full-time employees, as well as local tourism communities.
2016 shaping up to be spectacular
So what can we expect in 2016?
- River cruising is one of the biggest growth areas, offering passengers the chance to visit intimate and off the beaten track locations that simply aren’t accessible in larger ships.
- Cruisers will enjoy more choice than ever, with a total of 471 vessels set to sail seas and rivers in 2016.
- Lines will be shining the spotlight on Asia, with Australia also pegged as a popular choice. In the last 10 years Down Under cruising has skyrocketed, growing from 158,000 in 2004 to over one million in 2014.
- Across the globe over 30,000 CLIA-member travel agents will help travellers book their perfect getaways.
- Specialty cruise lines will be upping the ante with yachting shore excursions, concierge services, VIP tours, gourmet dining experiences, personal butlers and more. This goes hand in hand with the concept of ships becoming destinations in themselves.
Cruising elevated to the next level
High profile brands will also start to expand their presences, with household brands such as LEGO, Dr. Seuss, Hermes, Veuve Clicquot and Johnny Rockets all making an appearance. In addition to boutique shopping opportunities, many cruise lines will be incorporating overnight stays into their itineraries. This gives passengers the chance to delve into the nightlife of some of the world’s liveliest ports! Want to set sail on a holiday that makes a difference? In 2016 companies will also start introducing ‘voluntourism’ experiences that offer guests a rare chance to enrich the lives of local communities.
Join the cruise movement!
Want to be a part of the 2016 cruise boom? If you haven’t joined the cruise movement yet, what are you waiting for? Next year you’ll be spoilt for choice, with a huge range of Cruise 1st UK itineraries to suite every budget! Take a look today or give our friendly team a call on 0808 274 6777 for a chat about all of the exciting options. We look forward to hearing from you!
Image via Flickr Creative Commons. Credits: Mig Rodz, Kabacci