Addressing the Seatrade Cruise Global 'State of the Industry' seassion on Tuesday, CLIA president and CEO Kelly Craighead put the 2019 forecast at 30m.
North American increase 9%
The number of North American travelers increased 9%, to 14.2m in 2018.
Moderate Asia growth
When compared to the rapid increases of the past, 2018 saw moderate passenger growth throughout Asia and China, with a 5% increase in cruisers from the region, totaling a still impressive 4.2m.
When it comes to cruise destinations, Mediterranean sailings moved up in popularity by 8% from 2017 to 2018. More than 4m passengers sailed in the region.
Some 11.3m passengers cruised in the Caribbean last year, a 6% increase for what remains the world's No. 1 cruise destination.
Alaska boom continues
Alaska experienced double-digit growth with a year-over-year 17% increase in passengers in 2017 and another 13% increase in 2018, accounting for more than 1m cruisers.