In 2024, the cruise industry is set to break all records with passenger numbers growing 8% compared to 2023, despite the impact of geopolitical instability and inflation, along with concerns about future environmental and safety requirements.

In 2023, the industry saw 31.7 million passengers globally, surpassing the high of 2019 by 7%. For 2024, projections suggest over 34 million cruise passengers, potentially nearing 35 million, according to Theodore Kontes, honorary president of the Union of Cruise Ship Owners and Shipping Agencies.

Global passenger capacity is estimated to grow from 677,000 berths in 2024 to 745,000 by 2028. The cruise industry’s economic contribution reached 150 billion dollars in 2023, up from 138 billion dollars in 2022. Additionally, 55% of cruise passengers are repeat tourists, boosting overall tourism.

The Caribbean leads the cruise market with 35.8% of the industry, followed by the Mediterranean at 18.6%, and Northern Europe and the United Kingdom at 13.1%.