CLIA: 53 Pct More Cruise Ships Plying Asian Waters

In 2017, 66 cruise ships are being deployed in Asian waters, a 53 percent growth since 2013 when only 43 ships were cruising in Asia, a new report released by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) finds.

Five of these are mega ships (more than 3,500 passenger capacity), 13 are large (2,000 to 3,500 passengers), 26 of the deployed ships will be mid-size, and 17 seasonal small upscale ships will be active in the Asian region.

In addition, the Expedition niche will have 5 ships deployed in limited seasons.

Furthermore, a total of 3.1 million Asians took cruises in 2016, 55 percent more than in 2015, the report reads.

The 2017 Asia Cruise Trends report also indicates that of these, 68 percent or 2.1 million were from mainland China, a market which almost doubled as it grew by 99 percent last year and at a 4-year CAGR of 76 percent, confirming China as the world’s fastest growing major source of passengers.

The Asian cruise industry has 10,196 operating days in Asia scheduled for 2017, an increase of 137 percent from 2013, and a 25 percent increase when compared to last year. The increased operating days in 2017 provide a total capacity for 4.24 million passengers. This passenger capacity has nearly tripled from 1.51M passengers in 2013.

Asian travelers predominantly take cruises within the region.  In fact, out of the 2,086 sailings scheduled for Asian waters in 2017 – 1,992 cruises (or 95.4%) will remain within Asia, with exclusive Asia-to-Asia itineraries.


“While the Asian cruise market has grown tremendously within the past four years – it has the potential to capture a much larger percentage of the Asian population, which could catapult Asia’s capacity share ahead of competing markets,” said Joel Katz, executive director, CLIA.

With these studies, CLIA aims to provide industry stakeholders with actionable, meaningful information to assist in structuring and supporting this emerging region.”

The direct economic contribution of cruise tourism across all of North Asia consisted of the USD 3.23 billion in direct expenditures, USD 1.51 billion in value added goods and services, and 23,697 full- and part-time jobs paying USD 754.5 million in employee compensation, CLIA’s 2016 North Asia Economic Impact Study shows.

CLIA member cruise lines reported that they employed a total of 19,304 residents of North Asia as shoreside staff or crew.

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