How you benefit from Asia’s cruise boom


Huge choice and amazingly competitive prices will be the big benefits for Asians taking cruise holidays in the next 12 months, according to a new report.

The region’s ocean fleet has swelled 51 per cent to 60 ships taking 3.2 million passengers to 17 countries, the Asia Cruise Trends report from Cruise Lines International Association states.

Two of the fleet are mega-sized like Ovation of the Seas, 15 are large, 21 are mid-sized and 16 are small. Six expedition ships round out the fleet, and 14 are now based in the region year round.

We have an astonishing 1,560 sailings scheduled for 2016 to 204 destinations across – making Asia the fastest growing region in the world.

“It’s fair to say the dramatic increase of new cruise products and modern ships will give Asians a wider choice of high quality itineraries,” says Ted Blamey of Chart Management Consultants, which created the new report.

“As Asian cruisers become more sophisticated, more cruise lines are responding to their demand.  Asian consumers are in the box seat.”

Most cruise within the region – eight out of ten chose to stay in Asia, with only 16 per cent travelled to Europe and other areas.

They are younger than their American and European counterparts, with 40 per cent under 40 years old.

Jeju Island, South Korean, is the most visited port in 2016 with 460 calls, beating China’s monolithic port Shanghai with 437 calls, Singapore at 391 calls, and Fukuoka, Japan, at 258 visits.

After enormous numbers of ships calling there, China’s passenger numbers have grown at an annual compounded rate of 66 percent – growing an amazing 40 per cent last year alone.

Last year, 986,000 passengers were from mainland China, representing close to half of the Asian volume, compared to 703,000 in 2014.

Sean Treacy, Regional Vice President Asia Pacific for Royal Caribbean, which operates Asia’s largest fleet, said: “Despite these impressive figures, we are just scratching the surface of the potential for the region where the combination of a growing middle class and low cruise penetration rate allows for much more cruise capacity in the years to come.

“In South East Asia, Royal Caribbean International is tapping into this potential by offering its longest season ever for the 2016/2017 cruise season with a record 55 cruises from Singapore.”

Where Asian’s went:

Japan 1,526 port calls in 2016.

China had 850 calls

South Korea had 745

Vietnam had 466

Malaysia had 422

Singapore at 391.