More than 25 million people – the equivalent of the entire population of Australia – will take a cruise holiday next year, a new report has forecast.

In its ‘State of the Industry’ report for 2017, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) revealed that the expansion of the cruise sector will continue, with new ships driving global growth.

An estimated 25.3m people are expected to take a cruise holiday in 2017. This would mark a 4.5% increase compared to the 24.2m passengers projected for 2016, and a 60% jump in global passenger numbers in the last decade, from the 15.8m who took a cruise in 2007.

More ships will set sail in 2017 as well; CLIA reports that cruise lines are scheduled to debut 26 new ocean, river and other vessels next year, with a total investment of more than US$6.8 billion. From 2017-2026 the industry is expected to introduce a total of 97 new cruise ships with an estimated investment of US$53bn.

“The cruise industry is responding to global demand and we are highly encouraged by both the short-term and long-term outlook,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president & CEO of CLIA. “From technological advancements and deployment of new ships to new ports […]