Asian Cruising Sees Double Digit Growth
The number of Chinese passengers who stepped aboard a cruise ship grew an impressive 79 percent per year between 2012 and 2014.
The number of Chinese passengers who stepped aboard a cruise ship grew an impressive 79 percent per year between 2012 and 2014, signaling the growing popularity of cruising in the region.
Last year, 697,000 passengers from mainland China chose to spend their holidays aboard a cruise ship, according to a new report from the Cruise Lines International Association
In total, cruise lines hosted nearly 1.4 million Asian vacationers in 2014, representing a 34 percent compound annual growth rate since 2012.
To meet the growing demand, passenger capacity in the region is expected to reach 2.2 million in 2015, tying for fourth place with Australasia for passenger capacity deployment.
The report also outlines a few key differences in the Asian cruising market compared to the Western market.
Given their limited vacation entitlements, for instance, shorter sailings are preferred among Asian consumers.
In 2014, the most popular package chosen by 48 percent of travelers were four to six-day cruises, followed by two to three-night sailings (38 percent). Meanwhile, only 12 percent opted for seven to 13-night cruises.
This year, 52 cruise ships will operate around Asia, with 1,065 sailings scheduled for 2015, including one of the most talked-about liners out on sea today, the Quantum of the Seas.
The game-changing vessel, that comes complete with a bumper car ring, skydiving chamber and 90-meter high observation capsule, will make Shanghai its home port this year.
And in 2013, Hong Kong opened a $1.1 billion cruise terminal at the former site of an airport, in a bid to become Asia’s cruising hub.
The report also reveals that the majority of cruisers stay within Asia (91 percent), while the remaining nine percent flew to cruise destinations like Europe, Alaska and the Caribbean.
The busiest port calls planned for 2015 are Japan, followed by Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand.