Cruise Month sets the scene for a vibrant cruise season Down Under
Australia and New Zealand are gearing up for a vibrant summer sailing season as the local cruise industry celebrates a renewed public passion for holidays at sea and a successful 2022 Cruise Month.
At the end of September’s four-week focus on cruising, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has released figures showing public sentiment around cruising has rebounded sharply as ships return to local waters.
Independent market research conducted in Australia shows the level of enthusiasm for cruising among past passengers has returned to pre-pandemic levels. Commissioned as part of a global CLIA research project in July, the Australian data shows:
- Among Australians who have cruised in the past, 81% said they would cruise again in the next few years. This is up significantly from the 73% shown in November last year and is close to the 82% recorded prior to the pandemic in December 2019.
- Among Australians who have never cruised before, sentiment has rebounded strongly. Fifty-six per cent of non-cruisers said they were open to cruising. This is below the 63% shown before the pandemic in December 2019, but well above the 43% recorded in November 2021.
- Among both cruisers and non-cruisers in Australia, 65% said they were likely or very likely to book a cruise in the next two years. This has overtaken the pre-pandemic figure of 64% in December 2019 and is well ahead of the November 2021 figure of 53%.
CLIA Managing Director Australasia Joel Katz said the research was a strong sign of cruising’s resilience ahead of the 2022-23 summer season, when 20 CLIA cruise lines will operate in Australasian waters.
“Australians and New Zealanders have always been among the world’s most passionate cruisers, so it’s great to see enthusiasm among past guests is back at pre-pandemic levels,” Mr Katz said. “Sentiment has climbed even higher in other countries where cruise operations have been running for some time, so we can be confident of a similar rise in our region as we move forward.”
CLIA’s Cruise Month initiative was the first since 2019 and brought together cruise lines, travel agents and cruise fans to help mark the return of cruising to Australasia. Under the theme of #LoveCruise, Cruise Month put a spotlight on cruising through cruise line promotions, newspaper travel features, social media campaigns and travel agent initiatives, running throughout September.
Mr Katz said this year’s Cruise Month had been met with a huge wave of support, reflecting excitement around the worldwide renaissance in cruising.
“Cruise Month has had a heavy focus on social media and we’ve seen some fantastic pick-up among travel agents and cruise fans who have amplified the initiative through their own channels,” Mr Katz said. “The sight of magnificent international cruise ships back in Australian and New Zealand waters has created a huge sense of anticipation and cruise lines are reporting good demand for cruising over the coming summer and into the future.”