The Cruise Lines International Association
(CLIA) estimated that its 19 member cruise lines will carry
approximately 11.7 million passengers this year, 500,000 more than
the number of people who took a cruise in 2005.
estimated year-end statistics, 2006 projections and the results of
a travel agent survey last week.
The cruise industry
will invest $135.5 billion in building at least 22 ships before
2009 draws to a close, and six new ships coming on-line this year
will increase net capacity by 4.5%, according to CLIA.
predicted to remain flat at 103%, the association said.
And the results of
a survey of member travel agents indicates that CLIA agents are
ready to help fill the new crop of ships.
About 55% of
retailers surveyed for the report said they have high hopes for a
significant or moderate rise in sales during the current Wave
Retailers were less
ebullient about projections for 2006 than they were in closing out
2005, however, when 71.7% reported their cruise sales were up
moderately or substantially.
The makeup of the
surveys 850 travel agency respondents is news in itself -- 55% of
CLIAs member agencies are home-based.
reflects an evolution in the balance of CLIAs agent members, and
indicates the strength of the home-based agency as part of the
cruise distribution system, CLIA Chairman and Norwegian Cruise Line
Executive Vice President Andy Stuart said during the
by CLIA said 47.2% of their clients booked six months or more in
suggests that by achieving a better balance of pricing and demand,
the cruise lines may have pushed out the booking window, Stuart
This is the first
year that CLIA asked agents specifically about advance-booking
Agents surveyed by
CLIA said the top five regions for cruising in 2006 would be the
Caribbean, Alaska, Hawaii, the Mediterranean and Europe.
somewhat wryly, that Hawaiis occupation of the No. 3 position was a
surprise, especially when you look at capacities in the
Mediterranean and Northern Europe.
It bodes well for
whoever happens to be in Hawaii at the moment, he said.