How Old is the Average Cruise Passenger?


If you’ve never been on a cruise before, this might be one of the first questions on your lips. What kinds of people will you meet? Will it be mostly couples, singles, families, or groups of friends? Will there be anyone near your age?

Cruising attracts all kinds of people. Other than a love of travel and a desire to see the world, cruise passengers are as diverse as the destinations they travel to. You might meet couples on their honeymoon, families with small children, or retired couples trying to see the world on a cruise. The age of the passengers you’ll meet depends on the cruise line and the voyage itself.

While it’s impossible to generalise or predict exactly who you’ll meet on your next cruise, we can learn a thing or two from statistics. Read on to find out more about the average age of cruise passengers – and how Cruise1st passengers stack up compared to industry averages.

How old is the average cruise passenger?

two pairs of couples

How old are the people who go on cruises? According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Global Passenger Report, the age of the average cruise passenger was 46.7 years old, holding steady from the previous two years. However, 40- to 49-year-olds made up just 15% of all cruise passengers that year – probably due to a handful of families with small children bringing down the average age. The median age was between 60 and 69 years old, with a full 19% of cruisers falling under this demographic.

Average Passenger Age Groups


Average Passenger Age Groups (CLIA)

Source: CLIA Global Passenger Report 2018

How do Cruise1st passengers compare to other cruise passengers?

views of the sea

And how about Cruise1st passengers? In 2018, people who booked a cruise with Cruise1st and our parent company, Dreamlines, were more squarely concentrated in the Generation X and Baby Boomer age ranges, with a full 82.6% of passengers between the ages of 35 and 74. More Cruise1st and Dreamlines guests were between the ages of 55 and 64 than any other age range – a full 25.7%.

% of Trips by Age Range

Average Passenger Age Groups (Dreamlines)

Source: Cruise1st/Dreamlines

The average age of Cruise1st cruisers varies, however, by cruise line. For Cruise1st’s and Dreamlines’ most popular booked cruise line, MSC Cruises, the average passenger age in 2018 was 52.1 – about six years older than the industry standard. Among passengers who booked with Cruise1st or Dreamlines, TUI and AIDA attracted a slightly older crowd – 58.5 and 54.5, respectively. Norwegian Cruise Line passengers were on average 52.5 years old, and even family-friendly Costa Cruises had an average age of 52.2.

For the cruise lines that really aimed at attracting families with kids, however, the average age was noticeably lower. Disney Cruise Line had the lowest average age of any major passenger who booked with Dreamlines in 2018, at 44.6, and the average Carnival Cruise Line passenger was only a few months older, with an average age of 44.9. Royal Caribbean International passengers had an average age of 48.8.

The cruise lines that attracted the oldest passengers were mostly river cruise lines. For European river cruise line CroisiEurope, the average age was 68.3. The cruise line with the oldest passenger base was FTI Cruises, a small German cruise line with only one ship, where the average passenger age was 77. Other river cruise lines which attracted an older crowd included Phoenix Reisen (66.2) and Nicko Tours (65.8).

Among major ocean cruise lines, Holland America Line also attracted an older passenger base, with an average age of 64. Luxury brand Oceania Cruises had an average age of 64.1, but premium Cunard, with its specialisation in traditional cruising, had an average age of just 60.5. Ultra-luxury brands also catered to an older crowd, with the average age of Seabourn Cruise Line passengers at 66.3 and Regent Seven Seas Cruises at 62.4. Silversea Cruises, however, had an average age of just 59.5.

Passenger age varies by destination

young people having fun

Passengers’ age doesn’t just vary by cruise line – it varies by destination as well. According to the CLIA 2018 Global Passenger Report, short, close-to-home cruises are most likely to attract younger passengers, whereas cruises with longer itineraries and exotic destinations tend to attract older cruisers.

Transatlantic and world cruises are particularly popular among an older crowd, probably because pensioners have the most time to spend on a long cruise. Family-friendly destinations such as the Caribbean, the west coast of North America, Australia, and the Mediterranean have the lowest average ages as well as the shortest average voyage lengths. The rise in popularity of short, close-to-home cruises has made cruising more affordable and accessible than ever, even for families with limited resources, resulting in lower average ages for people on these itineraries.

Average Age and Cruise Length by Destination - Trade Route, 2018

Source: CLIA Global Passenger Report 2018

So, how old is the average cruiser? Who will you meet on your next cruise? The answer is, it depends. While the average cruiser is in their late 40s, ages range from small children travelling with their parents to retirees in their 60s, 70s, or even 80s! On high-energy, family-friendly cruise lines and shorter, close-to-home itineraries, you’re more likely to meet families with kids, bringing the average age down. On transatlantic and world cruises, and especially on exotic and longer itineraries, you’re more likely to find yourself among baby boomers and even members of the Silent Generation.

But even if you’re not surrounded by people your own age on your cruise, that’s no reason to get nervous – cruising is a great way to meet new people whom you wouldn’t have otherwise had contact with, and you might wind up having more in common than you think. So, go on and give it a chance – you might make a friend for life! Check out our hottest cruise deals or ring our dedicated Australia-based cruise experts on 1300 857 345 to start organising your dream cruise holiday today!



Leave A Reply