There’s been lots of exciting news in the cruise industry lately with 124 ships and over 260,000 berths on the order books between now and 2027. 37 brands are expanding, making space for 2,181 guests per vessel on average.

These orders are the result of an increasing demand for cruises amongst passengers across the world. An estimated 30 million travellers are expected to embark on cruises in 2019 – up 6% from 28.2 million in 2018.

Below we examine some of the reasons that the industry has seen such rapid expansion in the past few years.

Growth in younger passengers

In 2014 the average age of a cruise line passenger was 56, now it’s 47- showing that the average cruiser is getting younger by the year!

Young cruisers love the entertainment focus of cruises, and with lines like Carnival and Royal Caribbean introducing more and more bars, clubs and parties on their ships, millennials are flocking to come aboard! The appeal of multiple destinations in one holiday also appeals to the wanderlust of Generation Z – who want to explore as many locations as possible for an affordable price.


The new generation of modern cruise ships are becoming increasingly like smart cities at sea, with connected apps easing passengers through check-in, itineraries and accessing deals and offers. Lines like Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines have developed smart technologies that help passengers navigate the ship, book their dinner reservations and more. These exciting developments keep the cruise experience fresh, encouraging passengers to come back time and again for a new experience.

Alongside this have been innovations in sustainability – which appeals to more eco-concious travellers.

The rise of solo travel.

With Google searches for solo travel rising by more than 100% in the last year, more and more travellers are looking at holidays for one. Cruising is the ideal holiday for a solo traveller, with plenty of options to socialise and make new friends. The organised nature of cruises also makes it easy for solo travellers to visit myriad locations without requiring lots of co-ordination, or having any security worries.

Most lines now arrange meet up events for solo travellers on board, and many are adding single berths to their ships.


Cash concious travellers are starting to see that cruising is more affordable than outdated thinking would suggest. With buffets running all times of the day and night, staffed kids clubs and evening activities all provided for free on-board, families are starting to see cruises as an affordable holiday option. When considering value for money – few holidays offer so many activities or cover so many locations for a such a price!

Whatever the reasons, it’s clear that the cruise industry is expanding at a rapid pace – and shows no signs of slowing down – excellent news for all of us in the marine industry!