The Cruise Lines International Association report anticipates that the Australian cruise industry will hit the 1 million passengers per annum mark by 2016.
A record-breaking year for the Australian cruise industry saw passenger numbers in 2013 hit an unprecedented 833,348 - the highest ever recorded according to a report by the Cruise Lines International Association.
The record number is equivalent to 3.6% of the entire population of Australian population taking a cruise holiday in the calendar year. This means Australia has the largest global penetration rate of any cruise source market in the world.
Cruise companies have increasingly relied on the Australian market as the cruise industry in the country has grown an average of 20% over the last 11 years and more ships are being based in the country.
With incomparable access to South Asia and the endless beautiful islands of the South Pacific; Australia finds itself in a fantastic and unique position to offer passengers incredible cruise itineraries. Cruises to the South Pacific Islands account for 40% of the total cruises taken by Australians in 2013.
Not only is the number of Australian cruisers on the rise, so is the length of their trips with 8-14 day cruises surging in popularity. This spike now represents 57% of all cruises taken in 2013. Even longer cruises are being enjoyed by record numbers as the amount of passengers taking long-haul trips to Europe surged by 34%.
Away from the seas, river cruising has also enjoyed a strong year with the total number of passengers growing 25% from the year 2012 to 2013.
The demographics of Australian cruise holidaymakers remains roughly the same as 2012 with an even spread of passengers above and below 50 years of age - demonstrating the industry's appeal to families, young couples and retirees alike. The varied itineraries of the cruises setting sail from Australian ports are proving enduringly popular across all demographics.