CruiseCruise sales are going through the roof this summer, with customers eager to spend quality time with loved ones on the high seas.

Yes, revenge summer cruising is a thing

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Sold out: Cunard reported its busiest sales day on record for its newest ship, the Queen Anne, sailing on her maiden voyage on 4 January 2024.
Sold out: Cunard reported its busiest sales day on record for its newest ship, the Queen Anne, sailing on her maiden voyage on 4 January 2024. Photo Credit: Cunard

Cruise lines are sharing record sales numbers, a sure sign that cruise travel is rebounding and the traveling public is raring to get out on the world’s lakes, rivers and seas.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises is one of several brands to witness record sales this season. The luxury brand’s 2025 world cruise sold out before bookings officially opened, breaking its record time for the fourth consecutive year. Corporate cousin Oceania Cruises similarly saw one of its best-ever single booking days when it released its 2024 voyage collection.

Cunard Line is another that just recorded its busiest booking day in a decade, when reservations for the new Queen Anne opened. Windstar Cruises, meanwhile, recently marked its best week of reservations since the start of the pandemic (which also happens to be one of the best in the line’s history).

“We’re optimistic to see this type of booking activity during our Windstar Week sale (from May 3-13), which points to a return in demand for vacations and especially small-ship cruise vacations,” said Christopher Prelog, president of Windstar Cruises. “People are discovering the advantage of small, yacht-like sailing and all-suite cruising to aspirational destinations.

Back in March, InteleTravel tallied a 50% increase in cruise reservations over the prior month. The host agency has further seen a 20% rise in Viking cruise bookings already in 2022 versus all of 2019.

Comparably, CruiseCompete’s June trends report also lists Viking’s river cruises as the most popular river brand, while Royal Caribbean International comes in for premium/contemporary lines, and Oceania Cruises ranks for luxury ones.

Customers are also seeking to cruise sooner, rather than later. Of the most popular sailing months requested, June 2022 wins for the river category, July 2022 reigns for the premium/contemporary category and August 2022 is No.1 for luxury cruising.

The Agency at UF, a student-led communications agency at the University of Florida, in collaboration with Carnival Cruise Line, studied 21.3 million online uses of key travel terms, and found that today’s travellers care more about who — family members, significant others or friends — they travel with than where they go.

The findings resonated with Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

“Bringing loved ones together for a fun-filled, stress-free vacation is what we do, so we are happy to find that today’s traveller is craving just that,” she said. “On a Carnival cruise, we take care of all of the details — transportation, dining, entertainment and much more — so that our guests can focus on what’s really important: quality time with those they love.”

But the allure of specific destinations shouldn’t be discounted. The survey also found that about 10% of mentions still allude to targeting tropical, sunny or beach regions. And, thankfully, consumer confidence is rising to match the desire to flee, with a 58% increase since January and about a 63% increase in users expressing optimism regarding the 2022 travel environment.

“Many indicators point to a 2022 summer travel season that will meet and exceed pre-pandemic levels, as vacationers feel more eager than ever to reclaim the opportunities for memory-making that only travel provides,” said Dr. Rachel Fu, director of the Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute and chair of the department of tourism, hospitality and event management at the University of Florida.

Source: Travel Age West

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