A record 20 million people took a cruise last year, an increase of almost 2 million, according to the latest industry figures.
While North America (11.5 million) and Europe (6.2 million) are the main markets, the Australian cruising market grew by 30 per cent, to more than 500,000 passengers. Figures were compiled from industry associations including the Cruise Lines International Association, which predicts that Australian cruise numbers are likely to double by 2020.
Meanwhile, the 2,667-passenger Carnival Spirit makes Sydney its home port next month, cruising a schedule of eight- to 12-day Pacific Island voyages and 13-day New Zealand itineraries. A Carnival competitor, the Royal Caribbean line, is sending the massive Voyager of the Seas to cruise Australian waters from November.