Cruise customers are still prioritising their holidays at sea despite the current increases in the cost of living, research has revealed.
A survey of 1,015 people by cruise specialist, cruise.co.uk, has found that almost 70 per cent have booked or will book a voyage this year.
Of this 70 per cent, around three-quarters will travel on their first-choice sailing, with the final quarter still cruising but opting for a lower-priced option than they would usually book.
Of the remaining survey respondents, 20 per cent stated they will go on a non-cruise holiday this year, either in the UK or overseas, while the final 10 per cent have postponed their holiday plans until 2023 or beyond.
Nearly 20 per cent of the overall respondents have at least one sailing lined up in both 2022 and 2023.
There is a 50/50 split between cruisers either sailing from the UK or flying overseas to meet their ship, with “little sign the ongoing issues at airports have affected plans”, according to a statement.
For those yet to book, the Mediterranean comes out on top as the favourite destination, with the Caribbean second and Norwegian fjords/north Scandinavia third.
Cruise.co.uk’s survey also stated that the popularity of river cruises continues, with a European waterway voyage in fourth place.
‘Cruise is great value for money’
Cruise.co.uk deputy managing director Tony Andrews said: “For those who are still able to get some time away, a cruise remains an incredibly attractive choice because there is so much variety out there, with options to suit a wide range of budgets.
“The fact cruise lines include meals and a host of other inclusive benefits in their booking price means a holiday at sea still represents great value for money.
“It’s easy to see why the Med is such an attractive option. It offers guaranteed sun, a wealth of eye-catching destinations and is straightforward to budget for when travelling via a cruise ship.”
Additional research by cruise.co.uk earlier this year showed that almost three-quarters of people who sailed on a cruise in 2021 have already booked at least one itinerary for 2022.