Icy waters or tropical seas? Cruising remains one of the most popular ways to travel among those who’ve tried it at least once.
Cruising continues to be the vacation style of choice, according to Expedia’s Wave Report, an annual analysis of cruising trends. 6,867 respondents – Expedia travelers who have cruised at least once – revealed their favored ports of call, most desirable destinations, attitudes towards cruise safety and other preferences.
Fifty-five percent of respondents expect to take a cruise within 2014. Fifty-three percent of respondents consider cruises to be superior vacations to any other type of vacation, while more than three-fourths of respondents feel cruises are either superior, or at least equal to, other forms of travel.
- SAFETY AT SEA: 87 percent of Expedia Wave Report respondents consider cruising to be a perfectly safe travel activity with only five percent reporting serious concerns about onboard safety.
- DECISION MAKING: 33 percent of respondents cite “ports of call” as their top consideration when booking a cruise. Price was the second consideration, at 28 percent, while “port of origin” and “cruise line” tied for third, at 13 percent.
- CRUISE COMPANIONS: Cruising is largely a family affair. Sixty percent of cruisers travel with their spouse/significant other, while 44 percent travel with immediate and extended family members. Two percent of respondents cruise solo.
- BEST FEATURES: Respondents cite the ability to “explore multiple destinations” (60 percent) and the “all-inclusive nature” as favorable features. When asked to rank on-board cruise criteria, 58 percent of respondents pointed to “food quality” as intrinsic to their satisfaction, followed by cabin cleanliness (36 percent) and quality of the excursions (34 percent).
The report also revealed 2014’s most-coveted destinations as the Eastern Mediterranean, featuring exotic ports along the Adriatic Sea including Croatia, Cypress, Greece, Israel, Eastern Italy and Turkey, followed by Alaska in the number two spot. The top cruise destinations that made Expedia cruisers wish lists for 2014 are:
- Eastern Mediterranean;
- Western Mediterranean;
- Australia/New Zealand;
- Southern Caribbean and Hawaii (tie);
- Northern Europe/Baltics/Scandinavia/Russia;
- Western Europe/British Isles;
- South Pacific;
- Eastern Caribbean;
- Panama Canal;
- Western Caribbean (Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, etc.)
- South America;