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Seatrade Cruise GlobalAs the global cruise sector converges in Miami for the Seatrade Cruise Global event, a groundbreaking study titled “From Shore to Ship: Attracting the Next Wave of Cruisers” has been released. It reveals pivotal shifts in the industry’s dynamics. This research, conducted by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) in collaboration with MMGY Global and Travelzoo, targets a vital demographic: the first-time cruiser.

The study emerges at a critical juncture as the cruise industry ramps up its fleet to meet a burgeoning global demand. The findings underscore a significant transformation in the perception of cruising, notably its value proposition. Previously, 60% of potential customers hesitated due to cost concerns, but this figure has plummeted to just 36% today, illustrating a marked improvement in perceived affordability and value.

Influences on potential cruisers are diverse, with 58% of respondents citing friends and family as key advisors. Destination-specific websites attract 34%, while travel review platforms and online travel agencies draw 29%. This indicates a broad spectrum of trusted sources fueling the decision-making process for new cruisers.

Regionally, destinations proximal to the United States hold particular allure. The Caribbean and Bermuda top the list with 63% favorability, followed by Hawaiʻi and various Mediterranean locales, preferred by 48% and 40% of respondents, respectively. Such preferences highlight the geographic and cultural considerations pivotal to potential cruisers.

Environmental sustainability emerges as a dominant theme, with a majority willing to invest more in travel options demonstrating ecological responsibility. This shift mirrors a broader consumer trend towards sustainable choices and practices across industries.

When probing more deeply into what could enhance the cruise experience, respondents emphasized the need for promotional offers (52%), precise information on health and safety standards (39%), extended exploration time at destinations (37%), and a diversified destination portfolio (36%).

The study not only charts prospective cruisers’ preferences and behaviours but also sheds light on broader trends such as health and safety concerns, personalized experiences, technological integration, solo travel, and the evolving role of travel advisors.

As the cruise industry prepares to navigate these new waters, it stands on the cusp of a renaissance, propelled by informed insights and a deeper understanding of its future passengers. The insights from “From Shore to Ship” are poised to steer the industry towards a horizon filled with promise and potential, making it an exciting time for new and seasoned cruisers alike.




Written by: Michelle Warner