Asian cruise set to break new record in 2015

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A new report has painted a dramatic picture of the opportunities presented by Asian cruise passengers.

There are now more Asian cruisers than ever – and they are much younger than their European counterparts. And 2015 is set to be a “record-breaking year”.

According to the Cruise Lines International Association Asia report, which was released last week in Miami, there are also now more cruise ships, more ports and 20% more cruisers since 2013 in Asia.

The report says cruise ships carried almost 1.4 million Asian travellers last year, which represents a 34% growth since 2012.

China alone showed a 79% increase in cruise passengers between 2012 and 2014.

“The Chinese love cruises and the market’s growth rate is the fastest in the world…yet that is only a drop in the bucket in terms of total Chinese outbound travel, so we see much more potential,” Adam Goldstein, chairman of CLIA told CNBC Asia.

“2015 will be a record-breaking year in Asia with more travellers cruising the region than ever.”

The report found four out of 10 Asian passengers were younger than 40 in the cruise markets in China, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, while the average age of cruise passengers worldwide is 49 years old.

The figures also show the majority of Asian cruisers (48%) spend four to six days at sea and the second most preferred option at 38% are two to three day cruisers.

Only 12% went on cruisers spanning seven to 13 days.

In 2015, 52 cruise ships have 1,065 sailings planned in Asia and according to the report, can accommodate for up to 2.17 million passengers.

The top Asian port calls across 18 countries planned include Japan (646), Malaysia (580), South Korea (377), Singapore and Thailand with 374 calls each.

President and CEO of Carnival International Arnold Donald told CNBC last month: “China will overtake the U.S and Europe at some point to be the largest cruising market in the world, so we are really excited to be here.”