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Jason

Strong Demand fuels 1st Quarter Growth

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STRONG DEMAND FUELS 1ST QUARTER PASSENGER GROWTH FOR CLIA-MEMBER CRUISE LINES

New York (June 07, 2005) - Strong consumer demand for seagoing vacations drove robust passenger growth in the first three months of 2005 as the member fleets of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) carried 2.63 million worldwide guests in the first quarter of 2005, an 8.9 percent increase over the same period in 2004. North American passengers grew by 12.9 percent during the quarter to 2.34 million guests, up from 2.10 million first-quarter guests one year ago.

The 2005 first-quarter passenger figures are new statistics released today by CLIA, whose 19 member cruise lines represent nearly 98 percent of the cruise capacity marketed in North America. In addition to the growing passenger totals, CLIA cruise lines also posted impressive occupancy figures, with a 104.3 percent occupancy factor in the first quarter of 2005 compared with 103.3 percent for the year prior.

"The cruise industry's strong first-quarter 2005 passenger totals provide further evidence of the fertile consumer interest and demand for cruise vacations. The positive results are also testament to the hard work and productivity of CLIA 16,500-plus member travel agencies," said Terry L. Dale, president and CEO of CLIA, the cruise industry's chief marketing and training organization and North America's largest travel industry association.

"As the cruise lines continue to attract more and more consumers through non-stop innovation and new onboard options, CLIA-member agencies also continue to play a key role, providing today's consumers with the latest cruise product information and unmatched counsel and sales expertise," Dale added.

CLIA's first-quarter passenger carryings report also found:

·Itineraries of 1 to 5 days accounted for a 31.7 percent share of the cruise market; itineraries of 6 to 8 days accounted for 54.3 percent; 9 to 17-day itineraries accounted for 13.7 percent and itineraries of 18 days or longer accounted for .4 percent of the market.

·The average length of a cruise in the first three quarters was 7.33 days versus 7.09 days for the same period in 2004

Source - cruisingorg

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I really think that some of that increase came from people taking equity out of their homes with the recent increase in property values. Although The first quarter numbers look good. I am more interested in seeing what the numbers do for 4th quarter of 05 after the feds raise interest rates .. JMHO

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