Cruise demand to hit record in 2012

High-profile launches to boost passenger numbers to 20.3 million

Despite some forecasts predicting a flat year for cruise demand in 2012, a new trends forecast is pointing to a record year. Passenger numbers will reach a record high of 20.3 million in 2012, according to industry analysts Cruise Market Watch, which would be a 5.6% increase on this year. Essentially, the cruise market will benefit from high-profile launches of new vessels in 2012, such as Disney Fantasy, Carnival Breeze, Costa Fascinosa and MSC Divina. A further eight ships are due to come into service by 2015. These vessels will bring an additional $2.3 billion in annual revenues for the cruise industry, to reach $34.1 billion in 2012.
People from North America and Europe make up 86% of all cruise passengers worldwide. However, regions like Asia are steadily emerging as source markets.
[pictured: image of Disney Fantasy; courtesy Disney Cruises]