Traveltek chief commercial officer Cressida Sergeant highlights how, according to the data, last year showed real progression for the cruise sector.
I hope you managed some well-earned rest and relaxation over the festive period and are now in the full swing of work and knee deep in fabulous cruise bookings.
I’m certainly full of much more optimism as we enter another year of recovery. This time last year, we were all a little concerned, but thankfully the recovery was fast and furious for the UK market.
A great thing about having all your bookings in a technology system with good data insights and reporting capability is that you can track trends and use this for marketing purposes.
For example, during 2022 we tracked against 2019 as the last year of normality. Our data tells us that 2022 cruise bookings were up 24 per cent compared to 2019 for the UK cruise market.
The average price in the UK paid for a cruise in 2022 was £2,600 – four per cent higher than in 2019.
In 2019, the most popular month to make a cruise booking was January, very much reflective of the usual peaks behaviour, but in 2022 the most popular month was August 2022, which highlights new booking patterns.
Our most popular duration of cruise – at 51 per cent – was seven-night itineraries, followed by 14-night cruises at 26 per cent of bookings.
The most popular month for sailings was September, which is a month earlier, while last year we also saw 49 per cent of bookings for 2024 and 10 per cent of bookings made for 2025.
Early indications for 2023
In 2019, the most booked future date was February 2020, compared to 2023, which is May.
As for destinations, last year the Canary Islands was the hot cruise destination, followed by Northern European itineraries, the Norwegian fjords, Mediterranean and then the western Med. It is probably not a huge surprise that people stayed closer to home in 2022.
Looking forward to 2023, the Norwegian fjords has the top spot, followed by the Mediterranean and then the Canary Islands.
However, although the Norwegian fjords again hold the top spot for 2024, the Caribbean features second and then the Mediterranean third, showing that consumer confidence is strong on the return of long-haul travel for the UK market.
Drilling ever further down, in 2022 Royal Caribbean was the most popular cruise line for guests, while the likes of Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises, Celebrity Cruises and MSC Cruises also featured prominently.
- Look at your data. Is it in the right shape so you can use it to make informed decisions on marketing? If not, contact a technology company and ask for advice
- Check out CLIA’s regular reports for data insights to the cruise market
- Look to external resources such as Cruise Trade News, ABTA and others who collate cruise data