Over 1.8 million German vacationers took a trip on a cruise liner last year - more than from any other nation in Europe. Britain and Ireland combined were a close second.
According to the Hamburg-based Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), last year almost 6.6 million Europeans booked a cruise - 3.1% more than in 2014. That passenger volume comprises around 30% of all cruise passengers worldwide.
Germany accounted for the largest share of passengers in Europe: 27.5%. There is potential for further growth, says the CLIA’s Helge Grammerstorf - except cruise ship capacity is currently insufficient. With more ships being introduced to the market, however, he is confident of the two million passengers mark being reached this year.
Britain and Ireland combined were just behind Germany, with a market share of 27.2%. They are followed, at some distance, by passengers from Italy, France and Spain. Together these larger nations make up for 83% of bookings.
In an extensive analysis the CLIA puts the value of the cruise ship industry to Europe at just under €41 bn. The figure includes both spending by cruise operators, passengers and crews as well as taxes and indirect effects. The industry supports over 360,000 jobs in Europe, 45,700 of them in Germany.