CLIA Releases Annual Cruise Study for 2018

Findings reveal cruising breaks income barriers and generational stereotypes By: Kenneth Shapiro
Millennials are increasingly drawn to luxury cruising. // © 2018 Getty Images
Millennials are increasingly drawn to luxury cruising. // © 2018 Getty Images

The Details

Cruise Lines International Association
www.cruising.org

What:
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) recently released the 2018 Cruise Travel Report, an annual analysis of cruisers’ and non-cruisers’ attitudes, behaviors and travel preferences. Findings include that millennials are seeking out luxury cruises; 24 percent say they sailed on a luxury cruise line within the past three years.

Why It Matters:
Cruising is a vital travel category for advisors, so anything that sheds light on consumer preferences can be a major benefit to them. In particular, the millennial data indicates that agents can’t make assumptions when matching clients to various products and trip styles. In fact, the report also shows that cruising is popular across all income levels — 66 percent of people who make less than $100,000 per year named cruises as a preference over land-based options, as did 70 percent of those making more than $200,000 per year.

Fast Facts:
- Travelers who take a cruise are 40 percent more likely to travel with friends, partners/companions or children than land-based peers.

- Cruisers are loyal to cruising. In fact, more than half of cruisers (58 percent) believe a cruise is the best type of vacation. They find high satisfaction in river cruises (81 percent) and ocean cruises (73 percent), followed by land-based hotels and resorts (62 percent). Nine out of 10 say they “probably or definitely will” cruise again

- On average, about 41 percent of cruisers say they are interested in childcare services, including babysitting, and programs for children and teens, but only 13 percent report that they use these services. In contrast, only 32 percent say they want onboard entertainment while more than twice that many (70 percent) attend once onboard. Overall, entertainment, including shows, musicals and comedy, is the most used feature on cruises.

- A large percentage of cruisers hail from Florida (17 percent), but California (11 percent), Texas (9 percent) and New York (6 percent) are also big players in the marketplace.

- Travel agents are the most likely influencers of vacation-planning and decision-making for cruisers, who are twice as likely (70 percent) to use a travel agent when booking a vacation than non-cruisers (37 percent).

What They Are Saying:
“Industry research efforts, like the ‘2018 Cruise Travel Report,’offer valuable insight to how and why cruise vacations are on the rise and becoming the vacation choice for millions by charting changes in the preferences and behaviors of both cruisers and non-cruisers,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO of CLIA. “The study confirms, cruise travel continues to break down income and generational barriers proving that today there is a cruise for every travel preference, style and budget.”

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