Expedia Group said that new search data points to early signs of recovery for the cruise industry.

Global searches between April and September for 2021 cruises have been increasing on a monthly basis, spiking as much as 30% between August and September.

The majority of U.S. travelers searching for cruises in September were looking at sailings in January 2021, with the most popular 2021 destinations being the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Europe and Alaska.

Expedia said that a Sept. 24-26 promotion run by Expedia Cruises and Princess Cruises yielded almost 9,000 passengers booked on 2021 and 2022 cruises. Of those, a third were for the Caribbean.

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The data also indicates that increased interest in cruise vacations is positively impacting the wider travel industry, with cruisers searching for lodging options as part of their trip. In the past four weeks, for example, U.S. travelers are increasingly searching for lodging options in Florida and Seattle for January stay dates, with an average week-on-week growth of almost 20% for each destination.

"2020 has undoubtedly been one of the hardest years in history for the cruise industry, but these early signs of recovery are extremely encouraging," said Matthew Eichhorst, vice president of global cruise at Expedia Group, in a statement. "While we know there are still a number of obstacles facing the industry, we're optimistic that demand is there, and the CDC's recent announcement is an incredibly positive step forward."

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