UK cruisers: Preferred destinations, booking and spending habits revealed

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LONDON, England – The results of an annual survey revealing insight into preferred cruise destinations, and the booking and spending habits of UK cruisers were announced today.

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LONDON, England – The results of an annual survey revealing insight into preferred cruise destinations, and the booking and spending habits of UK cruisers were announced today.

Desirable destinations – next cruise

Survey participants were asked which destinations they would most likely visit on their next cruise, and while the Mediterranean is king, the Caribbean is hot on its heels. The top five choices were:

• Mediterranean (including Greek islands): 49%

• Caribbean: 30%

• Norwegian Fjords: 18%

• Canary Islands: 15%

• Baltic: 13%

Young at heart – cruise is for all ages

• A quarter (26%) of respondents are aged between 35-54

• Two thirds (64%) of respondents are under the age of 65

Cruising company – travel companions

When asked with whom they are most likely to cruise, a huge 84% of respondents selected their spouse/partner. Other selections included:

• A friend or group of friends: 17%

• Extended family: 9%

• On my own: 5%

Regular wave rider – cruise frequency

Three quarters (74%) of those surveyed cruise regularly (every couple of years or more), with a quarter (25%) taking to the high seas several times a year.

• Just over a fifth (21%) of respondents have yet to cruise or have done so only once

It’s all about the money – cruise fare cost

• Almost half the respondents (45%) typically spend between £1,000-£2,000 on their cruise fare per person (not including air fares or onboard costs)

• Those spending less than £1,000 accounted for around a fifth (21%) of respondents

• Around half (49%) of those who cruise once per year spend at least £1,500

• According to the survey, people are spending the same in 2015 as they did four years earlier

So much choice – number of lines sailed with

• Respondents have sailed with three different lines on average

• Those who have cruised between 11-20 times have tried approximately five different cruise lines

Cruise don’t lose – deals

With many cruise deals now available both on and offline, survey participants were asked where they look for these, and the Internet came out top:

• 94% look for deals on travel sites

• One third (33%) consult a travel agent

• One quarter (26%) like to hunt for deals in newspapers, compared with only 6% of US respondents

Planning tips – the importance of reviews

When planning a trip, cruise reviews remain the most important tool to help with the process, ahead of advice from family/friends and travel agents:

• Almost all respondents (95%) rate reviews as very or somewhat important

• 89% regard advice from Cruise Critic members/forums as very or somewhat important

• One quarter (26%) deem professional advice from travel agents as very important, while two thirds (66%) rate advice from non-professionals, such as family/friends and Cruise Critic members, as very important

• Around half (52%) say that social media advice is important
“It’s interesting to see cruisers reporting that spending is flat, most likely because cruise lines have looked to onboard costs and add-ons to increase revenues, to keep base fares competitive. To this end, it’s important to make sure that when you are booking a cruise, you look at what the total cost of your holiday is likely to be, including shore excursions and onboard spending. As a rough measure, we advise budgeting for about a third of the base fare in additional costs,” explained Cruise Critic, UK editor, Adam Coulter.

The survey, which ran on the Cruise Critic site in 2015, received responses from 5,814 people.

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