Travel Courier
Issue Date: Aug 09, 2018
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Fulfilling ‘Bucket lists’ driving increase in cruise spending

Interest in cruise travel remains strong and travellers are spending more and seeking out new adventure-filled destinations to fulfill their “bucket lists,” this according to the latest Travel Agent Cruise Industry Outlook Report.

In fact, nearly all (95%) agents surveyed attribute the spike in new destinations and adventure to cruisers seeking to knock things off their “bucket list.” The report uncovers that three-quarters (75%) of agents say customers are spending more and embarking on “bucket list” river cruise adventures and new cruise destinations. The latest report from Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), offers key insights and uncovers current cruise travel trends directly from travel agents.
“Cruise travel is an easy, convenient way to fill ‘bucket list’ adventures, so it comes as no surprise travel agents are citing this key motivator for an uptick in cruise bookings,” says CLIA president Cindy D’Aoust. “Many have adventure travel on those bucket lists and, as it gains in popularity, so will key destinations filled with exciting exploration opportunities such as Alaska.”
Key findings from the report include:
Sixty-two per cent of agents revealed an increase in cruises booked to Alaska making the American destination one of the fastest-growing in the cruise industry. Other popular adventure-filled destinations where customers plan to set sail include the Caribbean/Bermuda/Mexico (41%), Mediterranean Europe (36%) and Canada/New England (36%).
Agents are also seeing a spike in cruise travel interest from adventure seekers. Alaska reigns supreme as the top destination for adventure or expedition travel with nearly eight out of 10 (78%) travellers choosing the region as their destination when booking adventure travel. Other adventuresome destinations of choice include the Galapagos Islands (59%), the South Pacific (51%) and Antarctica (43%).
Adventurers of all ages are booking cruises, too. More than a third of agents report that travellers ages 40-49 (39%) and 30-39 (43%) have expressed increased interest in adventure travel over the last two years. Older demographics are getting in on the action too, 34% of agents are seeing an increased interest in adventure travel from cruisers ages 50-59 and nearly a quarter (24%) ages 60-69.
More and more travellers are booking cruises and these travellers are also spending more. Three-quarters (75%) of agents surveyed reported an increase in cruiser spending. Some of these spends include travellers adding more land-based excursions to their itinerary, as well as pre- and post-cruise experiences.
Agents are finding that cruise customers are booking on a variety of vessels. River cruises also continue to rise in popularity with a booming 75% of travel agents reporting an increased booking in river cruises. Six out of 10 agents say they are seeing an upswing in customer requests for mega ships, especially from cruisers hoping to travel on a brand new ship.
When it comes to cruising, travellers are looking for a few things: unique and exclusive experiences (92%), exotic itineraries (90%), wildlife (87%), enrichment and education (84%), and thrill seeking (61%).