PHOTO: Cruise ship sendoff from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (photo by John Roberts)
The online marketplace CruiseCompete has revealed its latest CruiseTrends report, and once again the insights are telling. Below is the latest snapshot of what is currently popular among cruise consumers (based on the total number of quote requests) and our analysis.
Most Popular Cruise Lines
1. Premium/Contemporary: Royal Caribbean International
2. Luxury: Oceania Cruises
3. River: American Cruise Lines
Touting the largest cruise ship in the world certainly garners attention, and Royal Caribbean continues to reap the benefits of the Harmony of the Seas. Carnival Cruise Line comes in second, indicating the brand’s staying power despite smaller vessels. Also interesting here is American Cruise Lines coming out just ahead of ubiquitous Viking River Cruises. It appears regional river cruising is picking up steam accordingly.
Most Popular Cruise Ships
1. Premium/Contemporary: Oasis of the Seas
2. Luxury: Queen Mary 2
3. River: America
Somewhat surprisingly, it’s Royal Caribbean’s Oasis, not Harmony that is now moving the dial. As the mega-ship that led the way for its slightly larger sister, it stands to reason that it would still be appreciated, however. Also showing size matters, the largest luxury ship in the world—the Queen Mary 2—comes out on top, but Azamara Club Cruises’ more intimate alternative Azamara Quest is second. Following the former category, American Cruise’s America also appropriately leads.
Most Popular Cruise Regions
1. Premium/Contemporary: Caribbean
2. Luxury: Europe
3. River: Europe
Among the mainstream, the closer Caribbean remains a top contender, as expected, followed by North America itself. Despite growing interest in domestic river cruise brands, it would seem Europe is still the top choice for now, though North America also comes in second for the category.
Most Popular Cruise Departure Ports
1. Premium/Contemporary: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
2. Luxury: Miami, Florida
3. River: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Again, people prefer to depart on cruises from their own backyards. Fort Lauderdale and Miami homeports come in at number one for mainstream and luxury sailings with only Amsterdam beating out regional equivalents along the rivers of the world.
Most Popular Cruise Ports Visited
1. Premium/Contemporary: Cozumel, Mexico
2. Luxury: Kotor, Montenegro
3. River: Cologne, Germany
Coastal and inland European destinations prove appealing with once-less-frequented Kotor getting much-deserved love at number one for luxury seekers. Following the popularity of the Caribbean above, Cozumel shows a degree of proclivity to western itineraries, but the eastern Nassau came in second.
Most Popular Countries Visited
1. Premium/Contemporary: Mexico
2. Luxury: Italy
3. River: Germany
The Mediterranean continues to hold interest for luxury and river cruising, but particularly nice to see is Mexico coming in the highest for mainstream as the Mexican Riviera regains its popularity. It’s worth noting that once more the United States comes in just behind at number two for luxury. Needless to say, plenty of cruise ships will stay local for the foreseeable future.
Most Popular Cabin Types
1. Premium/Contemporary: Balcony
2. Luxury: Balcony
3. River: Outside
Remarkably, balcony cabins are not universally the top pick for cabin categories, although it was last month’s number one for river as well. Perhaps, people are realizing they can save some money—on a river or otherwise—by choosing an outside alternative when so much time is actually spent away from one’s stateroom.
Number of Cabins Requested
1. Premium/Contemporary: 1
2. Luxury: 1
3. River: 1
This one is a bit more of a no-brainer as the majority of people are likely to seek accommodations for themselves and a loved one, but group sales are also big as t cabins came in second across the board.
READ MORE: Key 2017 Cruise Trends
Most Popular Cruise Itinerary Lengths
1. Premium/Contemporary: 7 nights
2. Luxury: 7 nights
3. River: 8 nights
The veritable sweet spot remains solidly at a week. Even fewer than 5 nights came in second for the mainstream. Only luxury at 10 nights came in as a longer option in spot two.
Most Popular Sailing Months Requested
1. Premium/Contemporary: July 2017
2. Luxury: August 2017
3. River: July 2017
At the moment, consumers are definitely considering the high-time of summer, but waiting only a few months more will free up crowds and costs in the fall.
This post first appeared on TravelPulse.