More than four million Asian cruisers took to the sea for a cruise holiday last year – an increase of 20.5 per cent over the previous year, according to the latest figures from Cruise Lines International Association.
Asian cruisers now comprise 15 percent of the total global passenger numbers of 26.7 million, an increase of 6.3 per cent over 2016.
The average age of cruisers was 47 years old who preferred to take shorter cruises of 7.2 days compared to the previous year.
Americans still dominated the global cruise numbers with 13 million cruisers followed by Europeans with seven million cruisers, Asian cruisers came in third with more than four million, Australians at fourth position with 1.4 million and South Americans at 850,000.
“Once again, the cruise industry has raised the bar and exceeded projections and expectations,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO of CLIA.
“I am proud to be part of this dynamic industry that continues to grow and evolve bringing the cruise vacation experience to millions each year.”
With more ships being launched, CLIA has predicted that the global cruise numbers will grow to 28 million this year.
Asia was the most popular long-haul fly-cruise destination for Australians attracting more than 97,000 cruisers, followed by the Mediterranean at 61,000 and Alaska at 37,000.
Most Australians who cruised to Asia for their holidays were middled aged around 58 years of age.
Asian cruisers were also attracted to visit Australia with 7000 cruising to Australian shores last year.
Steve Odell, senior vice president and managing director Asia Pacific of Norwegian Cruise Line said that Asia is doing very well for NCL.
“The market is maturing and we are getting more premium passengers from India, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.
“Asians like our Oceania and Regent ships. Premium passengers prefer to travel as an extended family and we are also seeing younger and rich entrepreneurs cruising. Fly-cruise is our core business.”