Cruise Nearly 11.7M passengers cruised from U.S. last year By Tom Stieghorst / October 04, 2017 Share 1 -- An economic study done for CLIA says 11.66 million passengers got on a cruise at a U.S. port in 2016. That's a record number and 5.4% higher than in 2014, the last time the study was published. For the first time, the number of global passengers embarking from a U.S. port exceeded the number of passengers that were sourced from the U.S. The number of U.S.-sourced passengers grew from 11.33 million in 2014 to 11.5 million last year.The study, conducted by Business Research and Economic Advisors, pegged spending in the U.S. by cruise lines, passengers and crew at $21.69 billion. Florida accounted for 60.7% of U.S. embarkations, down slightly from 2014, while California accounted for 9%. The fastest-growing port from 2014 to 2016 was Galveston, which expanded 35% due in part to the Port of Houston’s decision to exit the cruise business.