Source: data adapted from Cruise Market Watch. Cruise port visits based upon the published itineraries of about 90% of the global cruise shipping capacity.
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The Global Cruise Port System
The global cruise port system is characterized by a high level of regional concentration as well as a clustering of port visits. The observed destination patterns are clearly underlining the prominence of port visits around the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, in line with the operational characteristics of 7 days cruises calling 3 to 5 ports. Other clusters of significant activity concern the US Northeast and Atlantic Canada, Alaska, Hawaii, Hanseatic ports and the coast of Norway. Limited cruise activity takes place in in East and Southeast Asia in spite of the significant economic development processes that occurred in the region in recent decades. Therefore, the geography of cruise and commercial ports is completely different in terms of the dominant ports and the regions being serviced. It is also indicative that new cruising clusters may emerge to serve a latent demand from a growing middle and upper class in Asia, the Middle East and South America.