Cruise vacations are still a favorite choice among Americans according to new consumer research from AAA. Forty-one percent say they are considering a cruise in the future, with Millennials even more eager as over half (52%) say they are ready to return to the open seas. AAA Travel booking data shows that cruising is making a strong comeback with 2022 bookings nearing pre-pandemic levels. Of those Americans who say they are likely to cruise again, 41% cite a better understanding of the risks presented by COVID-19 as influencing their decision.
“The cruise industry has done an excellent job of prioritizing the health and safety of its guests while still creating a memorable onboard experience that makes cruising so special. This includes every major cruise line continuing to exceed CDC guidance, even though it is now voluntary,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president, AAA Travel. “As things continue to improve, travelers are eager to return to the high seas to unplug and relax with those they love most.”
Something for Everyone
AAA found that 58.3 million (23%) Americans are considering a cruise in the next two years. The all-inclusive experience, quality time with family and friends and shore excursions top the list as the most attractive aspects of a cruise vacation. Younger generations, like Gen Z, are most excited about spending time with family and friends (57%) and outdoor activities such as the pool and other similar amenities (44%).
“Cruising is a unique experience because it’s as much about the journey as it is the destination,” continued Twidale. “In one sailing, you may visit new corners of the world. And the best part – there is something onboard that appeals to every age.”
When it comes to cruising, international destinations like the Caribbean and Mediterranean are the most popular choices. Demand for all things travel – including cruising – is increasing, which means travelers should start planning their next trip. Cruise lines open up reservations as early as two years ahead of sailing and sometimes offer better rates for booking early.
AAA found that Americans view cruising as safe as resort vacations and safer than exploring large cities. In fact, 43% of Americans who plan to cruise in the future are satisfied with the cruise industry’s overall response to the pandemic. Cruise lines have implemented several safety protocols onboard, such as vaccination and testing requirements for passengers and crew; enhanced medical facilities; upgraded ventilation systems; hand washing and hand sanitizer dispensers in high traffic areas; contactless room service; use of medical-grade cleaning supplies and virtual safety briefings.
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