Solo Cruises, Mini Cruises and Sustainability: CLIA Reveals 2020 Cruise Industry Trends

Author: Isabella Sullivan

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Expect less plastic, more cruise and stay holidays and 19 new CLIA ocean ships…

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is one of the most trusted voices in the cruise industry, so when they reveal any potential cruise trends, we listen.

CLIA has today (12 December) released its 2020 State of the Industry outlook report, in other words, a comprehensive guide to all things trending in the cruise world in 2020.

The good news is the report shows that the cruise industry has increased its commitment to sustainability, focusing on the environment and protecting cruise destinations.

Cruise trends 2020: Hurtigruten
Hurtigruten will launch another hybrid cruise ship, MS Fridtjof Nansen, in 2020

The report highlights the industry’s $22 billion investment in developing new energy-efficient technologies, partnerships with local governments and reducing carbon emissions by 40 per cent by 2030.

This includes the use of new fuel practices, with 44 percent of new-build ships relying on LNG (liquified natural gas) fuel for primary propulsion.

“While demand for cruising has reached new heights, the cruise industry is accelerating our efforts to be a leader in responsible tourism,” said Kelly Craighead, president and CEO of CLIA. “Our members are at the forefront of best practices designed to protect the sanctity of the destinations we visit and enhance the experiences of travellers and residents alike.”

Cruise trends 2020: Cape Town
Cape Town is the perfect city to cruise and stay

With no signs of slowing down, the new data shows 32 million passengers are expected to sail in 2020. Meeting this demand, CLIA Cruise Lines are scheduled to debut 19 new ocean ships in the new year, including the likes of Celebrity Apex, Silver Moon and Scarlet Lady.

The report shows cruise passengers are also likely to contribute to positive economic progress in communities around the world, spending $276 in port cities before their cruise and $101 in each port during the cruise.

Other trends highlighted in the report include the rise in cruise-and-stay holidays, with 65 per cent of cruise passengers spending a few extra days at embarkation or debarkation ports.

Not so surprisingly, solo cruising is also set to be huge in 2020, with marriage rates declining and the number of single adults on the rise. As a result, cruise lines are offering studio cabins, single-friendly activities, eliminating single supplements.

Cruise trends 2020: CMV Baltics cruise competition: Magellan ship
CMV offers affordable mini-cruises around Northern Europe

Finally, ‘micro travel’ is expected to be huge in 2020, with many travellers looking for quick trips. Cruise lines like Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Fred Olsen and Cunard are offering bite-sized cruises over a three-to-five-day period offering shorter itineraries to a variety of destinations, or even just ship staycations.

“The industry’s economic impact is a big part of the story, especially as it relates to our passengers’ contributions to local economies and the diverse workforce onboard our ships,” continued Craighead.

“We recognise that with growth comes increased responsibility to raise the bar in all aspects of what we do to ensure cruising remains a force for good and the best way to experience the world.”

For the full report, head to