According to a survey by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), demand and perception of cruise holidays are now greater than in 2019.
The survey, of 4,000 domestic and international travellers, also revealed the economic benefits cruise brings to the areas that ships visit.
The main results of the survey showed:
* 85% of respondents who have cruised previously said they intend to take a holiday at sea again, a 6% increase from 2019.
* Furthermore, among travellers who have taken a cruise in the last six months, 90% said they intend to cruise again.
* Of those who have never cruised, 66% are open to cruising, a 0.5% increase from 2019.
Overall, 69% of international cruise holidaymakers stayed at least one night in their local destination prior to embarkation, with 43% extending the stay by two or more nights. And 67% stayed at least one night after disembarkation, with 34% extending by two or more nights.
Some 60% said they later returned to a destination they had first visited by ship.
In addition, as cruise lines continue to advance their sustainability initiatives in pursuit of net-zero carbon cruising by 2050, the percentage of international travellers who say the cruise industry is a leader in responsible travel reached 51%, a 9% increase over the past year.
Andy Harmer, CLIA UK & Ireland Managing Director (pictured), said: “This year has been enormously encouraging for cruise, and it’s heartening to see demand for a holiday at sea is set to continue. The sheer number of repeat passengers we’re anticipating, combined with interest from those yet to sail, means the appeal of going on a cruise remains as strong as ever.
“The economic advantages passengers bring to the destinations they visit is also clear, meaning local businesses – from taxis, to restaurants to hotels – benefit accordingly. And we’re delighted to see the raft of sustainability initiatives we have in place, including our 2050 net-zero carbon goal, were recognised,” he said.
This data was based on an independent, international survey of 4,000 holidaymakers taken in eight countries – the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the US, Canada and Australia.
CLIA UK & Ireland also revealed that its 2023 conference will be held from between 12th and 14th May in Southampton.
The 15th to be held and the largest annual travel agent event of its kind in Europe, next year’s conference will include multiple ship visits, conference sessions, a trade fair and a celebratory dinner.
In addition to the conference, on 11th May, CLIA will be adding a half-day training session for new to cruise agents. The in-person session will include sales training and product updates to support selling cruise, and can be booked when conference registration opens.
CLIA also said that it welcomed the decision by the Canadian Government to remove mandatory measures and publish public health guidance.
This decision was a testament to the effectiveness of the industry’s comprehensive and robust protocols. Cruise has demonstrated its leadership in health and safety protocols for decades. Even prior to the pandemic, cruise has shown that the incidence of major illness on board is significantly lower on a ship than on land.
Passengers sailing on CLIA-member cruise lines will continue to see health and safety protocols in place that evolve commensurate with the public health situation, the association said.
In another move, newly resurrected Crystal Cruises has joined CLIA.
“We are honoured to join CLIA and fully participate in their important work to promote the work of the industry and provide a unified voice across the entire global cruise community,” said Jack Anderson, Crystal Cruises President.
“I would like to thank Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago, President & CEO Kelly Craighead, and the entire CLIA team for their leadership, vision, and extraordinary efforts on behalf of the cruise industry.”
“Our commitment to building a better future extends well beyond minimising environmental impacts, it also includes harnessing the power of travel to contribute to health and well-being of people and places by creating positive travel experiences that inspire lifelong cruisers and generations of new to cruise travellers to sail responsibly,” said Kelly Craighead, CLIA President, and CEO.
“Cruising has a good story to tell—and will have even more examples and positive stories to share as a result of Crystal Cruises being part of the CLIA membership fleet.”