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Accounting for over 30 million passengers every year, the cruise industry is one of the largest and fastest-growing sectors of global tourism. Every single cruise voyage is the result of incredible feats of engineering, a hardworking crew, and a long history of sea travel.
We’ve put together a list of shocking cruise ship facts and statistics. Whether you are a seasoned sailor or a first-time cruiser, you are bound to learn something new and fall in love with the incredible cruise ships on our list.
At its peak in 2019, the cruise industry catered to over 30 million passengers
The total guest capacity of the cruise ship industry is almost 500,000 guests
The cruise industry is the fastest-growing sector of the leisure travel market, with 7.4% year-over-year growth since 1980
A quarter of US citizens have taken a cruise vacation.
Cruisers average about 3.5 years between cruise vacations.
Carnival Corporation & plc is the largest cruise operator in the world with an estimated 45% of passenger volume. The cruise operator owns Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Holland Americal Line, Seabourn Cruises, Cunard Line, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, P&O Cruises, and P&O Cruises Australia. (Statista)
Carnival Cruises, the largest cruise line by passenger volume, accounts for 21.3% of all cruise passengers.
The second-largest cruise line, Royal Caribbean International, accounts for 16.67% of cruise passengers.
The crew has their own bars and dining rooms on the crew decks.
Food & Alcohol
Passengers aboard a single cruise ship can consume more than 5,000 eggs daily.
Of the 5,000 eggs used daily, 1,956 are scrambled, 984 are used in omelets, 480 are eaten soft-boiled, 552 are served sunny side up, and 976 are made into other dishes.
As well as 2,000 steaks and 1,000 baked potatoes every day.
For any average 7-day cruise, approximately 5,040 pounds of lamb, 1,680 pounds of sausage, 24,236 pounds of beef, 7,216 pounds of pork, 10,211 pounds of chicken, 4,500 pounds of veal, and 3,156 pounds of turkey are consumed by passengers.
And 400 bottles of champagne are drunk every week aboard a cruise ship.
During a world cruise, more than 312 bottles of gin, 840 bottles of vodka, and 285 bottles of scotch will be drunk.
Several celebrity chefs have restaurants aboard cruise ships, including Jamie Oliver, Atul Kochhar, and James Martin.
A large cruise ship can go through 20,000 ice cream cones each week!
And 600 gallons of ice cream.
Approximately 17 tonnes of fruit will be consumed on an average week-long cruise.
All this food consumption means that approximately 10,000 glasses, 12,500 plates, and 15,000 items of cutlery need to be washed up every day.
The food is eaten off of 8,000 tablecloths, with 16,000 napkins.
An average of 4,000 cups of coffee is served on a cruise ship daily.
Carnival Cruise Line used to place over 10 million chocolates on passenger pillows annually before eliminating pillow chocolates.
This is in addition to the 500 kilos of chocolates consumed on a 7-day cruise.
Cunard Cruise Line purchases $500,000 worth of caviar in a single year.
P&O Cruises is the world’s oldest cruise operator – tracing its history back to 1837.
In its history, more than 100 ships have sailed for Cunard Cruise Line.
The first cruise ship to set sail was the Prinzessin Victoria Luise in 1900.
The first swimming pool on board a cruise ship didn’t appear until 10 years later, in 1910.
The first cruise ships had cows onboard to produce fresh milk for passengers
Marcello De Lio
Marcello's been cruising since he was 12 years old. He loves the freedom that cruising provides, meeting new people, and exploring amazing new ships. Marcello created High Seas Cruising to share his passion for cruising and travel with readers and grow a community of passionate voyagers.