The Global Cruise Port System

The Global Cruise Port System

Source: Data adapted from Cruise Market Watch. Cruise port visits based upon the published itineraries of about 90% of the global cruise shipping capacity.

The global cruise port system has been characterized by a high level of regional concentration as well as a clustering of port visits. However, this concentration diminishes as an expansive itinerary building by cruise lines and a growing interest in advancing cruise activities by many cruise ports has increased the number of ports hosting notable levels of cruise activities.

The observed destination patterns are clearly underlining the prominence of port visits around the Caribbean and the Mediterranean Sea, in line with the operational characteristics of 7 days cruises calling 3 to 5 ports. Other clusters of significant activity concern the US Northeast and Atlantic Canada, Alaska, Hawaii, and North Europe. In the 2010s, Asia has been the most significant growth market for the industry. New cruising clusters are emerging to serve a latent demand from a growing middle and upper class in Asia, the Middle East, and South America. With a number of cruise vessels deployed in the Australian market offering their services in the region, cruise ports are developing in all parts of the world.