Cruise Lines International Association Releases Official Global Passenger Numbers For 2016

May 23, 2017

Today, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) announced the cruise industry has surpassed 2016 ocean cruise passenger projections, reaching 24.7 million cruise passengers globally up from a projection of 24.2 million. For 2017, based on current new vessel launch schedule and expected regional deployment, CLIA is projecting another positive year of growth for the industry with a passenger forecast of 25.8 million.

“One of the many reasons that the cruise industry continues to thrive is because of the personalization it is able to offer to its guests from around the world,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA. “Never before have I been a part of or seen an industry that is so good at listening and reacting to what its customers want, and this is why we are going to see our industry continue to grow.”

Top Cruise Destinations in 2016

  1. Caribbean (35 percent)
  2. Mediterranean (18.3 percent)
  3. Europe w/o Med (11.1 percent)
  4. Asia (9.2 percent)
  5. Australia/New Zealand/Pacific (6.1 percent)
  6. Alaska (4.2 percent)
  7. South America (2.5 percent)

Much of the industry’s growth can be attributed to the continuing development of the Asian market, with ocean capacity rising to 9.2 percent in 2016, a 38 percent increase from 2015. The increased capacity in the region, combined with travelers in this region going on shorter, and more frequent cruises, has kept this marketplace at the top of emerging markets within the cruise industry.

New Ships 

Globally, the 2016 CLIA fleet was comprised of 458 ships and welcomed nine new ocean ships and 17 new river vessels for a total of 26 new ships. These new ships represent an additional 28,000 passenger capacity.

Cruise Line


AIDA Cruises






Amadeus by Luftner


American Cruise Lines


APT Group

RV Samatha

Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Vista

CroisiEurope Cruises

MS Elbe Princesse

CroisiEurope Cruises

MS Daniele

CroisiEurope Cruises

MS Deborah

Crystal Cruises

Crystal Mozart

Emerald Waterways

Emerald Belle

Holland America Line

ms Koningsdam

Regent Seven Seas

Regent Seven Seas Explorer

Royal Caribbean International

Harmony of the Seas

Royal Caribbean International

Ovation of the Seas

Scenic Tours

Scenic Amber

Scenic Tours

Scenic Azure

Scenic Tours

Scenic Spirit

Scenic Tours

Scenic Aura



Dream Cruises

Genting Dream

Tauck River Cruises

ms Grace

Tauck River Cruises

ms Joy

TUI Cruises

Mein Schiff 5

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection

Ganges Voyager II

For more information, the latest research findings and visuals, please click here.  

About Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) – One Industry, One Voice

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is the unified voice and leading authority of the global cruise community. As the largest cruise industry trade association with 15 offices globally, CLIA has representation in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australasia. CLIA's mission is to support policies and practices that foster a safe, secure and healthy cruise ship environment for the more than 24 million passengers who cruise annually, as well as to promote the value, desirability and affordability of the cruise vacation experience. Members are comprised of the world's most prestigious ocean, river and specialty cruise lines; a highly trained and certified travel agent community; and cruise line suppliers and partners, including ports & destinations, ship development, suppliers and business services, committed to the sustained success of the cruise industry. For more information, visit or follow Cruise Lines International Association on CLIA Facebook and Twitter pages.


Press Contacts

Travel Industry & Marketing

Sarah Kennedy – Manager, Public Relations & Marketing
Tel: 703-628-7389 

Industry Policies/Regulatory & Legislative Issues

Catharine Montgomery – Director of Public Affairs
Tel: 202-759-6758