Associated Press

Want to go on a cruise? There's a variety of cruise ships, companies, and itineraries to choose from. Here's a list of trends in the industry to be aware of, according to the Associated Press.

Booking a cruise
Associated Press

Approximately 17.2 million people are expected to take a cruise in 2012. That's a 5 percent increase from last year, according to the Cruise Lines International Association.

International business
Lynne Sladky, AP

Two years ago, only about one third of cruise ship passengers came from North America. That number is currently at 68 percent.

Room for growth
Joe Kafka, AP

Only about 3 percent of people in the U.S. have ever been on a cruise, according to trade industry surveys.

New ships
Costa Crociere, AP

Fourteen new cruise ships are entering the market in 2012. The new ships have capacities as little as 32, but others can hold up to 3,690.

Disney's ship

The Disney Fantasy went on its debut voyage to Caribbean in March, and its base will be in Port Canaveral Fla.

The family-oriented cruise ship is the twin ship to the Disney Dream.

Disney's new ports
David Roark, AP

Disney will have ships sail from three new ports this year; Seattle, New York, and Galveston, TX.

Carnival's newest
U.S. Navy, Petty Officer 3rd Class Dylan McChord, AP

Carnival's newest ship is the Breeze. It has a capacity of 3,690 passengers, and will start its 12-day Mediterranean voyages in June.

After summer, it will be based in Miami, Fla., where it will make regular year-round trips to the Caribbean.

Celebrity Reflection
Oscar Sosa, AP

The Celebrity Reflection has a passenger capacity of 3,030, and will make it's debut voyage in October.

It will be the fifth ship in Celebrity Cruises' Solstice class. It will launch from Miami and go to the Eastern Caribbean.

New Carnival ports and itineraries
Carnival Cruise Lines, Andy Newman, AP

In April, the Carnival Miracle will start its first year-round cruise program from New York.

The Carnival Glory will start a new schedule of cruises from Boston to Canada in June.

Celebrity, Holland America, and Princess

In the 2012-13 winter, Celebrity will send a ship to Australia and New Zealand.

Holland America will add a 14-day cruise from Hong Kong to China and Korea, and several other European Voyages.

Princess has the biggest European cruise schedule so far, with 57 itineraries, and seven ships.

American river cruising
Great American Steamboat Company, AP

River cruises in the U.S. and Europe are expected to increase passengers in 2012. Two ships will cruise the Mississippi river this year as the 436-passenger American Queen, the biggest steamboat in the world, was bought by the Great American Steamboat Co.

Big Muddy
Gene J. Puskar, AP

American Cruise Lines will debut its 150-passenger Queen of the Mississippi in August.

It's the first new ship for Big Muddy in 15 years, Spencer Brown told the Associated Press.

Cruising Europe
Associated Press

Avalon Waterways will add three new river cruise ships to its fleet in 2012.

The ships will have passenger capacities of 32, 128 and 166.

Alaska's boom
Diana Zalucky, AP

This state is expected to have a big season in the cruise ship business in 2012, as the price for airfares to Europe rise.

In previous years, Alaska had a "head tax" for cruise passengers, which resulted in fewer itineraries. Since the tax was removed in 2010, cruise ships have returned to the state.

The Disney Wonder will say from Seattle to Alaska this year.


Some crimes have been highly publicized in Mexico recently, leading some cruise ships to withdraw from Mazatlan

In February, 22 cruise passengers were robbed by men with guns in Puerto Vallarta. The cruise line got rid of that excursion from its port offerings.