In cruise planning, clients go for big-ticket and family travel

The Oceania Insignia. Cruise lines and travel advisors are reporting that demand for world cruises and longer voyages is strong.
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World cruises and other long voyages are proving to be exceptionally popular, with at least three world cruises for 2023 already sold out, said Annie Scrivanich, senior vice president of Cruise Specialists. 

"This is the first year in our history we've had two years of world cruise departures to sell," she said during an online media briefing by Internova travel executives. "Already one third of the 2023 world cruise departures are sold out."

And those are programs where the fares begin at $50,000 per person, Scrivanich said.

"Demand is strong, and it continues to grow, and we're pleased with our booking pace," she said. "There is tremendous pent-up demand."

Scrivanich said the lines that sold out world cruises are sister brands Regent Seven Seas and Oceania Cruises, which both recently revealed their 2023 world cruises had sold out in record time, and Viking Ocean Cruises. 

Another bright spot is the tendency among clients to spend more as they push their 2020 vacation budgets into their next trips. 

"Consumers are buying up, and they are moving their travel budgets forward," she said. "They are buying up by purchasing a nicer cabin, such as a suite or verandah, or selecting a longer voyage or one-off itinerary."

A safari in Tanzania.
A safari in Tanzania. Photo Credit: BlueOrange Studio/Shutterstock.com

Clients want "bucket list destinations, private villas, private island rentals, longer stays and working remotely for an extended period of time."

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Cruise lines have been able to maintain pricing integrity by adding value instead of reducing fares, such as including Wifi, gratuities, onboard credits and tours, she said. 

Cruise Specialists is also seeing an uptick in multigenerational travel.

"Nuclear families are possibly tired of being together, but they are very excited about seeing their extended family,"  Scrivanich said. "Many are making plans to vacation together again."

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