THE lure of convenient luxury has won over Queensland hearts with a 30% increase in people taking cruises in 2015; the biggest surge in the country.
The Cruise Lines International Association Australasia's 2015 Australian Cruise Industry Source Market report revealed New South Wales had the highest number of cruisers (421,950), but it was the Sunshine State's new love affair with the industry that saw it catching up.
The report revealed the growth of cruising among Australians rose almost 15%, or 135,000 people, in 2015, off the back of a record year in 2014 where the industry surpassed a major milestone of more than one million passengers in a calendar year. Compared to 2004, the number of Aussies cruising has increased six-fold. And it's not declining any time soon.
The Queensland Government Business and Industry Portal predicts solid long-term growth for the state's mega cruise sector with a total estimated economic output of $1.46billion by 2024-25.
The 2015 Australian Cruise Industry Source Market report revealed the South Pacific was our favourite destination attracting more than one third of cruisers. Domestic cruises were the second favourite.
Europe remained the leading long-haul destination, coming in third overall, and New Zealand cruises rose by 13.5%.
Short-break cruises (four days or less) rose in popularity by 25% and 15-21 day cruises went up a huge 50%.
But almost 90% of all cruises in 2015 were 14 days or less.
So just what is it about cruising that has the world in a frenzy?
Flight Centre revealed the top five reasons to cruise:
#Convenience: You only need to unpack once, but get to experience destinations you always dreamt of visiting.
#Variety: There are so many activities on board and you can choose to do as little or as much as you like.
#Value: All meals and on board activities are included in the initial price, which makes it easy to budget for additional expenditure (like alcoholic drinks and spa treatments).
#Satisfaction: Customer satisfaction surveys report a 90% satisfaction rating among passengers.
#Your own terms: Whether you want to travel in a group, with your partner, for adventure or relaxation, there is a cruise to suit everyone.
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