Global Cruise Market Expected To Be Worth $15 Billion by 2028

Global Cruise Market Expected To Be Worth $15 Billion by 2028

Row of cruise ships in New Providence, Bahamas. (photo via iStock/Getty Images Plus/Brand X Pictures)

Not only is the global cruise industry bouncing back from its pandemic-era slump, it’s being forecast to reach new highs over the next six years, says one U.S.-based market research and intelligence company.

According to a new report from Grand View Research, Inc., the global cruise market is expected to be worth $15.1 billion by 2028. That figure is based on a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11 percent that’s predicted for the forecast period between 2022 and 2028. By comparison, the global cruise market’s 2022 size valuation is $7.67 billion.

Grand View Research stated that this degree of market growth is being markedly driven by the rising popularity of themed cruises that attract a range of traveler types. The special-interest onboard programming offered during themed cruises likely adds extra appeal to time spent at sea, on top of the destinations.

Key Findings and Insights

— North America commanded the global cruise market in 2021, accounting for roughly 50 percent of the overall revenue share. Grand View credits the continent’s well-developed cruise sector, the presence of key players (e.g., Carnival Corporation & Plc. and Royal Caribbean Group), and higher consumer spending on travel and tourism as factors that contributed to its domination of the market last year.

River cruising is anticipated to see the highest growth rate, with the average CAGR forecast to be 13.3 percent from 2022 to 2028. Analysts believe this increased growth rate will be driven by the rising popularity of river cruise packages and the reduced operating ability of ocean liners as a result of the pandemic.

Europe came second behind North America in 2021, claiming 25 percent of the revenue share. The market research firm said that predicted market growth during the forecast period will be fueled by rising demand within the region for sustainable tourism options, which should benefit small- and medium-sized tour operators.

Cruise Market Growth Trends

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) reports that, over the forecast period, Gen Z is likely to outpace the Millennial generation as the largest consumer of cruise industry products. Gen Z (born 1997–2012) travelers enthusiastically seek out travel, and unique or authentic experiences, which is expected to fuel cruise market growth. However, the market’s expansion is likely to be constrained by the limited number of cruise companies at play and escalating concerns over environmental pollution, particularly in the world’s oceans.

The ocean-cruising segment held over 80 percent of the sector’s revenue share in 2021. That’s largely because the global ocean cruise industry is simply more developed than other cruise segments, with more ocean cruise lines in operation. Overall, vacationers also continue to prefer ocean cruises because of the sheer amount of space ocean liners offer, with larger decks and cabins, and more options for onboard entertainment, onshore activities and intercontinental destinations.

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