Deployment of the Global Cruise Fleet, 2008-23

Deployment of the Global Cruise Fleet 2008 23

Source: adapted from Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

The Caribbean and the Mediterranean are regional and complementary markets accounting for more than 50% of the global deployed capacity of the cruising industry (measured in the number of bed-days). They are complementary because the Caribbean is dominantly serviced during the winter while the Mediterranean experiences a summer peak season. Both also have different main source markets that are not interchangeable, with the United States for the Caribbean and the European Union for the Mediterranean. An important factor behind the popularity of the Caribbean and Mediterranean is that the distances between port calls are relatively short and involve various cultural experiences.

In recent years, the fastest-growing market has been Asia, as it represented a new source of cruisers, particularly for China. Cruise lines, rapidly deployed ships, and developed itineraries in the region. However, the COVID-19 pandemic, which initially got global attention as the passengers of some Asian cruises got infected in early 2020, had the most significant impact on the East Asian market. Its share of the deployed capacity went down from 10% in 2019 to 6.7% in 2023.