Pierfrancesco Vago, chairman, Cruise Lines International Association Europe, has announced from the 30th annual Cruise Shipping Miami conference that more Europeans than ever booked a cruise in 2013.
Number reached a record of 6.357 million.
This is a four per cent increase since 2012 and a doubling of the European cruise market in just eight years.
Since the beginning of the Economic Crisis, the European cruise market grew by 43 per cent, proving the cruise industry’s resilience.
The long term trend shows strong growth with a five-year annual average European passenger growth of 7.1 per cent.
The five-year trend is upward in all European markets, with Italy bouncing back after a challenging year and recovering a four per cent growth.
Similar to previous years nearly four out of five Europeans chose to cruise in Europe with the most popular destination the Mediterranean, which saw more than 3.5 million European passengers visiting the region.
Pierfrancesco Vago, chairman, CLIA Europe said: “The impressive figures on the European cruise market 2013 released today clearly show the strong growth trend of an industry which already generates 327,000 jobs and €37.9 billion of economic benefits annually.
“More than six million Europeans chose to book a cruise vacation in 2013, and the long term trend shows a continuing positive growth which proves the cruise industry’s resilience despite the economic downturn.
“The persisting economic fragility in Europe continues to present challenges, but we are optimistic that the cruise industry will continue to grow in 2014.”
The number of British cruise passengers grew one per cent to 1,726,000 in 2013, with the UK remaining Europe’s largest source market responsible for 27 per cent of the continent’s cruise traffic.
Over the past five years, despite a challenging economic climate, the market has grown by an annual average rate of 3.2 per cent.