Australians jump aboard the cruising trend in record numbers

While many over 50s are seeking adventure in a holiday, cruising is emerging as one of the most popular forms of travel as more and more Australians seek convenience, luxury, value for money, and safety in a holiday. 

Holidaymakers are taking advantage of unpacking only once while waking to a new destination almost every day. The lure of having your transport, accommodation, food, entertainment and sightseeing wrapped up in one package is undeniable.

This trend is supported by some compelling statistics. The Australian cruise industry is now ranked number one in the world for market growth and penetration, with latest figures revealing a record 833,348 Australians took a cruise last year.

General Manager of cruise agency, Cruiseabout, Jarrod Pask says one of the emerging markets for first-time cruisers is with the over 50 demographic.

“We see a lot of retirees attracted to the sea to join their families on a multigenerational holiday.”

“Otherwise more experienced travellers might get their first taste of cruising aboard an expedition cruise that is often a bucket list style trip to get up close and personal in places like Alaska, the Galapagos and Antarctica, or include a cruise on a longer travel itinerary to break up the trip or see the destination from another perspective,” Mr Pask added.

Australia leading the charge

  • Australian cruise passenger numbers are more than double the growth rate of any other major cruise market, with the equivalent of 3.6 per cent of the Australian population taking a cruise in 2013, outstripping the world’s largest passenger source market, North America. 
  • Other cruising trends
  • The number of women over 50 travelling alone to exotic destinations is growing and cruising allows them to do that safely and enjoyably.
  • Cruiseabout also singles out river cruising through Europe as being increasingly popular with retirees seeking a mix of culinary and cultural pursuits while staying aboard a luxurious vessel.

Fascinating Cruise Facts

  • Top cruise destination: The South Pacific continues to dominate here - with almost 80,000 more Australians cruising the region in 2013
  • River cruising popular: numbers leapt 25 per cent as almost 50,000 Australians took to inland waterways in 2013
  • Asian cruising on the rise: Australian passenger numbers up 28 per cent in 2013
  • The number of Australians taking a cruise has grown by an enviable average 20 per cent a year for the last 11 years
  • Cruises across the ditch popular: The number of Australians cruising to New Zealand has almost reached 100,000
  • Europe top destination for long haul cruise: numbers surging 34 per cent to more than 77,000 Australian cruisers. While Mediterranean cruising remains the strongest draw card
  • Average time at sea: Australian holidaymakers enjoy 10.25 days on average on an ocean cruise and 14.4 days on river cruises
  • Cruise passenger ages: These continue to be spread broadly across all age brackets

For more information visit

Cruising facts: 2013 CLIA Australasia Cruise Industry Source Market Report for Australia

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