first_img<a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Over 13 million travellers took a cruise in 2009, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) estimated last week.CLIA said despite a dismal year for the travel industry, its 25 member lines were able to fill its ships, carrying a record13.445 million passengers.It said average occupancy was 104.4%, with the average length of cruise at 7.2 days.The record numbers have been attributed in part to the arrival of new ships according to USA Today.Major lines such as Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line and Cunard are collectively spending $6.5 billion this year to launch 12 new ships.A surge in the number of non-American cruise passengers is also a contributing factor with ships comprising of 23.5 percent of international passengers in 2009 compared to less than 10 percent a decade ago.”CLIA’s member lines and travel agents responded amazingly well to the economic crisis and have put themselves in a very strong position to succeed in 2010″ said CLIA chief executive Terry Dale, said in a statement.CLIA forecasts that member lines will carry 14.3 million passengers this year, an increase of 6.4 percent over 2009. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: J.Llast_img

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