Travel Pulse released their findings outlining what Travel Agents are revealing about Cruise Trends in 2016.
Here are some excerpts:
Disney Cruise Line – Star Wars At Sea
The popularity of the latest installment of the Star Wars Franchise, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” has propelled Disney Cruise Line to create a Star Wars Day At Sea aboard certain sailings. These cruises are trending because they offer something extra to the guests like special Star Wars deck parties, Star Wars themed fireworks, music and characters. There is even a Jedi Training Academy onboard these sailings. Sailings for 2016 are over, but Disney brought them back in 2017 for dates from January to March on certain seven-day sailings to the Eastern or Western Caribbean.
More Sailings Out of Different Ports
Until recently local cruisers would have to fly to ports in Florida, Alaska or even Europe to get on a specific boat. Thanks to the introduction of ports in New Jersey, New York City and Galveston Texas, more options are now available. Cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, and Norwegian Cruise Line, all sail from local ports from Cape Liberty in New Jersey and the piers in New York City. They travel to destinations in the Caribbean, Bermuda, New England and the Bahamas.
River Cruising is the NEW Cruise Experience
Many clients want smaller ships with newer, unique experiences. The retired and empty-nesters are opting for cruises that let them to enjoy unique experiences without dealing with mega ships and large crowds. Some examples of the experiences they’re looking for include a concert in a private Vienna palace with the palace owner, private tour of a 14th-century monastery or lunch with a Chinese family.
Travel Pulse quotes Rich Skinner, Co-Owner of Cruise Holidays of Woodinville, Washington: “Some agents are calling this cruising season unusual, but say that their clients haven’t been too deterred. “While world events have disquieted some travel consumers, a vast majority are going ahead with their vacation plans, which often include cruise vacations.”
Skinner said that Europe is still the leading choice for river cruises, but Asia and new destinations like Africa and India are adding interest to the consumer. “The all-inclusive nature of river cruises brings excellent value to a product that appeals greatly to big ship ‘blue water,’ cruises,” he said. “Alaska, South America, Panama Canals are attracting a great deal of attention.”
Opportunity for Great Cruise Deals
Vacationers are cashing in on good availability from those who canceled plans due to the most recent terrorist attacks. Canadians realize their dollars are better spent overseas than the US and US guests are realizing terrific value when booking cruises in Europe. Prices have remained steady and good values are still available for travel to Europe this summer.