According to Greg Schulze, the SVP for Transport and Cruise for Expedia, they’ve noticed a jump in the average length of stay by travelers when booking cruises. This statement was made during the opening day of Expedia Cruises’ 2021 Virtual Conference.
In 2019’s Q1, the average length of stay booked by travelers going on a cruise was at nine days. In Q1 of 2021, the average days of stay is at 11 days. On top of that, the average spending per cabin jumped by 100% during the same times.
Summer travel is currently in full swing and travelers are not just booking flights. There are those who are looking forward to the return of cruises. According to Expedia, 44% of new bookings for cruises in Q1 in the US are set for 2021 departures. 20% of this number is scheduled this summer.
During a pre-conference survey, 70% of attendees believe that cruising will be back to its 2019 levels by 2022. Expedia Cruises President Matthew Eichhorst said that “there is great optimism” for the industry despite the current problems that the industry has to face.
Though travelers are spending more, Expedia Group and Wakefield Research discovered that pricing still plays a major role in how travelers spend. They’ve discovered that travelers consider low pricing as their priority when booking a trip. On the other hand, Gen Z travelers take a closer look at the environmentally friendly policies of the cruise lines.
One of the biggest challenges in recent months is how to get the large ships to sail again. On the other hand, Expedia noticed an increase in the popularity of small-ship and river cruises. Last year, the conditional sailing order made it possible for river cruises to continue to operate given the limited capacity of these ships. Eichhorst said that people are now “more comfortable with overall cruising”.
The CDC now allows cruise ships to sail. However, the cruise ships should have 95% of their crew and passengers fully vaccinated. The CDC even gave cruise lines the option to conduct simulated voyages in case they can’t meet the vaccination threshold.