Asian cruising in all sectors including luxury is booming, according to data from the “2016 Asian Cruise Trends” survey released today by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
For 2016, 16 luxury ships as well as six expedition ships will sail within Asia; that’s in addition to the industry’s two mega-ships and 15 large ships. For those seeking the very best, four luxury lines will operate voyages within the region.
Top highlights overall? Asian source markets experienced the most growth -- compared with other global markets -- year over year in ocean cruise passengers. The region posted an impressive 24 percent increase in passengers from 2014 to 2015. Nearly 2.1 million Asian passengers sailed in 2015.
Cindy D'Aoust, CLIA's president and CEO, says the industry has been nimble in responding quickly to meet Asian demand and in delivering cruise ships with amenities and experiences tailored to Asian traveler. "Even we were surprised by 24 percent growth and that is unprecedented," she says. "We see no signs of slowing down."
Cruising in the region includes more than 204 destinations across 17 countries. Japan is again the biggest destination country with 1,526 port calls in 2016, followed by China (850), South Korea (745), Vietnam (466) Malaysia (422) and Singapore (391).
The most visited port in 2016? That’s Jeju Island, South Korea (460 calls), closely followed by Shanghai (437), Singapore (391) and Fukuoka, Japan (258).
As for Asian cruisers themselves, the average age of all Asian cruisers was 45. India trended younger at an average age of 37, while Japan was older at an average age of 58.
Cruise lines have recognized the need to bring their best ships and amenities to the region, CLIA said in its survey announcement. New onboard offerings tailored to the Asian guests now include inclusive onboard activities aimed at multi-generational families, high-end shopping, languages, adapted menus to include familiar favorites and regional cuisine, cabin amenities and high-tech features.
The report reveals much data about specific sourcing markets – from Cambodia to China, Japan to Malaysia and beyond. Luxury travel advisors can read more about the 2016 Asian Cruise Trends survey here.
A version of this story originally appeared on www.travelagentcentral.com.