Cruising continues growth trend
Member fleets of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) carried 2,419,921 worldwide guests in the first quarter of 2004, a 9.13 percent increase over the same period in 2003. North American passengers grew 6.8 percent during the same period, to 2,071,797 guests in the first quarter of 2004, up from 1,939,841 first-quarter guests one year ago. Cruise line guests sourced from outside of North America increased 25.42 percent year-over-year to 348,124.
The 2004 first-quarter passenger figures are new statistics released today by CLIA, whose member lines represent over 95 percent of the cruise capacity marketed in North America. In addition to the growing passenger totals, CLIA cruise lines also posted a 103.3% occupancy factor in the first quarter of 2004, up 2 percentage points from the 101.3% occupancy posted one year ago.
"The CLIA lines' positive first-quarter figures are another result of the successful partnership between the cruise lines and the travel agents who sell the overwhelming majority of cruises, as well as the industry's emphasis on meeting our guests' vacation desires," said Terry L. Dale, CLIA's president and CEO. "These figures confirm cruising's broad appeal, high value and the traveling consumers' increased demand for a vacation at sea."
CLIA's first-quarter passenger carryings report also found:
First-quarter 2004 capacity was up 6.82 percent compared with 2003 (to 16,533,133 available bed-days from 15,496,319 in 2003).
Itineraries of 9 to 17 days showed the highest rate of growth, with 25.6 percent more passengers in 2004 compared with a year earlier (277,743 to 221,078). Itineraries of one to five days declined 1.3 percent (from 631,903 to 623,575), while six- to eight-day itineraries grew 7.74 percent (from 1,077,043 to 1,160,448).
The average length of cruise in the first quarter was 7.09 days versus 7.16 days for the same period in 2003.