Caribbean tops cruise passenger destination survey
The Cruise Holidays 2012 Cruise Trends survey has found that Western Caribbean was the most popular destination overall, followed by Eastern Caribbean and the Southern Caribbean.
Minneapolis, United States, Monday January 9, 2012 - The Caribbean continues to be the destination of choice for most cruise passengers, according to a new survey.
The region topped the Cruise Holidays 2012 Cruise Trends ranking with 59.88 per cent bookings, leaving Europe (including Mediterranean, Baltic, Scandinavia & Greek Isles) a far second at 11.47 per cent.
Western Caribbean cruises were the most popular overall, followed by the Eastern Caribbean and Southern Caribbean.
Cruise Holidays experts predict the best cruise values will remain in the Caribbean and Europe.
“These two regions are the clear-cut leaders when it comes to the bang for the buck that a cruise vacation can provide,” stated Mark Schiffner, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Cruise Holidays.
“On the flip side, with fewer cruisers turning to the Mexican Riviera as a top vacation choice, its value proposition is increasing. Mexico’s famed Gold Coast is pulling out all the stops to showcase its world-class beach communities, which depend on tourism for their livelihood.”
Prices to the region and the Mediterranean are still averaging lower than 2008-10, the survey said, though there has been a slight increase since 2011 because of increased demand for travel.
Additionally, it appears that cruisers’ tastes are becoming more sophisticated since Celebrity Cruises – a “premium” cruise line – boasts the most popular new ships for both 2011 and 2012, according to Cruise Holidays cruise experts across North America.
The Celebrity Silhouette was selected as the favorite ship to debut in the past calendar year, while the fifth and final Solstice-class ship, Celebrity Reflection, was voted as the most anticipated ship for 2012.
Looking ahead to the first three months of 2012, known in the cruise industry as the “Wave Season”, the level of optimism is at a three-year high for Cruise Holidays experts.
More than 73 per cent of the 118 consultants surveyed between December 21, 2011 and January 4, 2012 said they are very optimistic or somewhat optimistic.
The survey is based on actual bookings from Cruise Holidays’ proprietary booking system and a supplementary opinion survey taken by top Cruise Holidays owners and agents.