The U.S. economic impact of the cruise industry grew 4.6% last year to $42 billion, according to a study done annually for CLIA.
That compares with an increase in the U.S. gross domestic product of 2.2% in 2012.
Direct spending by the cruise lines was pegged at $19.6 billion, up 4%, according to the study by Business and Economic Research Associates.
The study said the cruise industry generates 356,311 jobs in the U.S with wages of over $17 billion.
North American cruise lines carried 16.95 million passengers last year, a 3.8% advance over 2011.
Florida, which accounted for 60% of cruise embarkations, benefited the most from the cruise industry, garnering 36% of all spending.
Ten states account for 80% of the cruise industry's economic impact: Florida, California, Texas, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, Alaska, Georgia, Washington and New Jersey.Follow @tstravelweekly on Twitter.