The cruising-focused website CruiseCompete has released its CruiseTrends™ 2018 Annual Report, which provides a snapshot of the most popular consumer trends in cruising during the year just ended.
The report is compiled from actual consumer quote requests and transactions taking place on CruiseCompete.com
, an online cruise marketplace since 2003. Through the website, consumers
request an average of more than 25,000 cruise quotes per month.
Among the interesting trends is the length of the booking window, which is the average number of days between the date a cruise was booked and the date it sails. When my wife and I decided to take and Alaska cruise in 2016, we actually booked it more than a full year in advance. Apparently, we're the oddballs.
Numbers show a wide variance between mainstream, luxury, and river lines.
Contemporary/Premium cruise lines, ranging from Carnival to Princess, average 177 days before sailing. Passengers who prefer luxury lines - including Seabourn, Silversea and Viking Ocean Cruises - tend to plan farther out, and book 265 days before sailing. River cruisers book 288 days before sailing, which may be a reflection of the popularity of that form of cruising.
The report lists the most popular cruise lines in the three categories just mentioned along with the most popular ships, cruise regions, departure ports, ports of call, most popular counties/regions, cabin types, and other data for the true wonks among us. A sampling is below; the complete report can be viewed here
Most Popular Cruise Lines
|Holland America's ms Amsterdam|
Ranked by the total number of quote requests for each particular line in 2018.
|Royal Caribbean Int'l.|
|Carnival Cruise Lines|
|Norwegian Cruise Line|
|Holland America Line|
|Disney Cruise Line|
|Costa Cruise Lines|
|Viking Ocean Cruises|
| Luxury |
|Regent Seven Seas|
Viking Ocean Cruises
|American Cruise Lines|
|Viking River Cruises|
|American Queen Steamboat Co.|
|Uniworld River Cruises|
|Amadeus River Cruises|
|Imperial River Cruises|
Most Popular Cruise Ships
Ranked by the total number of quote requests for each ship.
|Harmony of the Seas*|
|Allure of the Seas*|
|Oasis of the Seas*|
|Anthem of the Seas*|
|Symphony of the Seas*|
|Queen Mary 2|
|Queen of the Mississippi|
|Queen of the West|
|NCL's Norwegian Pearl|
Most Popular Cruise Regions
Ranked by the total number of quote requests for each region.
Most Popular Cruise Departure Ports
Ranked by the total number of quote requests for each departure port.
|The Ruby Princess|
Most Popular Cruise Ports Visited
Ranked by the total number of quote requests for each port visited during cruise itineraries.
(Excludes departure ports).
| Luxury |
Most Popular Countries Visited
Ranked by the total number of quote requests for each country visited during cruise itineraries. (Excludes countries of departure).
|Virgin Islands (US)|
Most Popular Cabin Types
Ranked by the total number of quote requests for each cabin type.
Interestingly, river cruising seems to be most successful at attracting first-time cruisers. Data showed that 91 percent of river cruise passengers had not sailed on their chosen line before, while only nine percent were repeat customers. Luxury cruisers showed a somewhat greater propensity to reprise their sailing experience; 36 percent had sailed on their chosen line previously. Passengers in the contemporary/premium space showed either the greatest loyalty or greatest desire to "do it again"; 57 percent were repeat guests on a given cruise line.
Also worth noting is that a relatively small percentage of travelers requested travel insurance. While TheTravelPro
recommends protecting your travel investment in one manner or another, the reason may well be that savvy travelers are charging their trips on credit cards that already provide that type of protection, as I detailed in a previous article, "Counting the cost of a cruise
* - Symphony of the Seas is the world's largest cruise ship followed by Harmony at No. 2, Allure and Oasis tied for No. 3 and Anthem No. 7. The four largest have passenger complements exceeding 5,000 passengers.
Visit my main page at TheTravelPro.us for more news, reviews, and personal observations on the world of upmarket travel.
Photos by Carl Dombek
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