The number of global cruise passengers is set to rise again in 2017 after several years of consecutive growth, according to the largest industry trade group.
The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) released its 2017 outlook on Thursday, estimating 25.3 million passengers will set sail next year, up from 24.2 million expected to travel in 2016. The forecast shows the robust ramp-up in voyagers since 2007 when only 15.8 million traveled.
Jaime Katz, equity analyst at Morningstar, sees 2017 as providing the industry with the ability to increase prices as the number of passenger rises.
"China, the recent growth engine for demand, remains underpenetrated, and should remain accretive, and the North American consumer remains healthy thanks to the wealth effect (equity markets and home prices remain elevated supporting consumer willingness to spend)," she said in an email to CNBC.
"In our opinion, if geopolitical events in Europe remain at bay, the 2017 summer season abroad still has the opportunity to be successful.The real risks come from an economic slowdown, geopolitical events and the strengthening of the dollar," she concluded.
The CLIA also reported 26 new vessels are scheduled to debut in 2017, for a total investment just shy of $7 billion.