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Maritime Bureau
Trends in Japan cruises in 2004
March 22, 2005
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Maritime Bureau, International Shipping Division
(Extensions: 43323, 43324)
TEL: 03-5253-8111 (Reception)

 1.  The cruise population of Japan
    In 2004, the cruise population (Note *1) of Japan numbered about 160,000 persons. The year 2004 posted an increase of 14.3% over the level of the previous year, putting a halt to the trend to decrease for three consecutive years. Within this figure, the number of passengers on oceangoing cruise ships was about 73,000 (up 24.7% on the year), and the number of cruise passengers on domestic ship was about 87,000 (up 6.8% on the year) (cf. Graph -1).

 2.  Trends in ocean-going cruises
    The number of oceangoing cruise ship passengers in 2004 put a stop to three consecutive years of decrease following a peak in 2000, thus showing a trend to recovery in comparison with the previous year, which had been negatively affected by the SARS scare. The number of passengers of Japan-registered oceangoing cruise ships (refer to Attachment 1) operated by Japanese shipping lines increased by about 16,000 over the previous year. Broken down by area, Oceania and Micronesia showed three-fold growth. The number of passengers of foreign cruse lines (including foreign ships managed by Japanese shipping lines) rose to about 58,000 (refer to Graph 1).
  With respect to the total number of passenger-overnights, including fly-and-cruise packages and Japan departure/arrival cruises, there was a decline in passengers of short cruises (2-3 overnights) and an increase in longer cruises (4-13 overnights), whose share increased from 41.8% to 44.5%. Consequently, the number of passenger-overnights increased to around 689,000, with the average number of overnights increasing to 9.4. It appears that the number of people simply enjoying a cruising is increasing (refer to Graph 4).
  Broken down by objective, the number of passengers of ocean-going cruises whose objective was leisure amounted to 90.3%, the second consecutive year in which this objective scored over 90%. In contrast, passengers of group tours decreased by 1.0%, marking the second consecutive year of decline (refer to Graph 2).
  With respect to cruise area broken down by number of passengers, Asia had the greatest share when Baltic Sea of two overnights or shorter are excluded. Moreover, the Caribbean, North America, Alaska, and Mexico doubled, posting record-high growth(refer to Graph 6).

 3.  Trends in Domestic Cruises
    The number of passengers on cruises in coastal waters has continued on a decline for seven consecutive years since its peak in 1995. Last year, however, the number increased, and in 2004, the number of passengers was about 87,000, marking the second consecutive year of a switch to an upward move (refer to Graph 1).
Broken down by the number of overnights, 1-3 overnights accounted for 78.0%, with 2-3 overnights occupying the largest share(refer to Graph 5).
  Moreover, the number of passenger-overnights on coastal water cruise ships operated by Japanese ocean-going cruise shipping lines was about 225,000/day. Although the number of passenger-overnights increased over the previous year, the average number of overnights, which was 2.7, decreased slightly from the previous year. It is thought that there is an increase in the number of passengers of one-night cruises, who simply want to enjoy a cruise, and there is a possibility of a trend to growth at the lower levels of the cruise population (refer to Graph 5-2).
Broken down by objective, leisure accounted for 82.7%. Within that figure, one-night cruise accounted for 25.1%, an increase over the previous year (refer to Graph 3).

 4.  Oceangoing passengers on regularly scheduled lines
    The number of Japanese passengers who were board on regularly scheduled lines with Japan departure/arrival (14 lines operating 14 routes as of the end of 2004; refer to Attachment 2) amounted to about 457,000, an increase of 35.9% over the previous year (refer to Graph 7). This is thought to be the result of a large increase in the number of passengers of Korea routes, reflecting efforts to boost the number of faster trips in connection with an increase in the number of high-speed ships in service on Korea routes and the construction of and service by new, faster ferries.

  This material is a statistical summary of trends of Japanese cruise passengers*2, which has been made annually since 1986.

 Note *1:  Cruise population:
  The number of Japanese passengers, including passengers on cruises in coastal waters and ocean-going cruises. This figure covers on-board passengers of one overnight or longer but excludes day-trip passengers. The number of coastal water cruise passengers includes the number of passengers on coastal water ferries, which since 1997 have been included in the number of passengers on coastal water cruises by Japan-registered oceangoing cruise ships.

 Note *2 Survey method:
  A questionnaire survey (with replies from 132 companies; response rate: about 97%) was carried out. The survey covered Japanese cruise lines, agencies of ocean-going cruise shipping lines, and travel agencies that handle overseas travel including cruises (136 companies). In 2004, nine companies were added to the list of companies covered by the 2003 survey.

   Trends of cruises, etc. in Japan in 2004
   (Attachment 1) List of oceangoing cruise ships in Japan
   (Attachment 2) Status of service for oceangoing passengers on regularly scheduled lines
   (Reference) Cruise-related policies and measures
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