The cruise industry carried more than 20 million passengers last year, according to an estimate released at a CLIA briefing in New York.
The industry's global 2012 passenger count was 20.3 million, with 17.2 million sailing from North America.
CLIA estimated the 2011 global passenger base at 16.3 million this time last year.
For 2013, its projections call for slightly less than 21 million passengers, including 17.6 million sailing from North America.
CLIA President Christine Duffy said that 3,000 new travel agent members have affiliated with CLIA with the recent combination of global cruise trade groups into one worldwide network. That is in addition to 14,000 agent and agency members in North America.
The number of cruise line members has grown from 26 to 55, she said.
CLIA unveiled a new logo to represent the global association it has become.
Duffy said 167 new ships have been built since 2000 for the industry. Another 20 are in progress, CLIA marketing committee head Jim Berra said, representing an $8 billion investment.