Cruises remain a booming industry segment, according to IPK International’s World Travel Monitor, with growth largely driven by Asian markets whose demand has more than tripled since 2007. Around 27 million international cruises were undertaken worldwide in 2017, with North America accounting for 56% followed by Europe with nearly a third. Cruise travellers from Asia/Pacific rank third, while South Americans only account for 1%.

The report puts the popularity of cruise holidays down to an ideal combination of relaxation and creating new experiences. International travellers especially enjoy relaxing, sightseeing during local excursions, good food and the diverse on board entertainment. Speci c aspects such as experiencing “sea and nature” along with international harbours and sea ports are also important.

Even if cruises are said to no longer be as exclusive or expensive as they used to be, spending in this holiday segment is still significantly higher than in others at an average €230 per night.

In recent years, efforts have been made to tap into new and younger target groups. Now the age pro le of cruise passengers is evenly balanced between those 55 years or older, and those from young and middle-aged groups. More than two thirds of all cruise customers belong to higher income and education demographics.