Cruise Holidays - Attheta Travel

I am proud to be certified by CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) as an Elite Cruise Counselor. The Cruise Counselor Certification Program is CLIA's most comprehensive training which requires agents to successfully complete a number of compulsory training courses and exams, attend cruise conferences, and conduct ship inspections. Anita Thompson, Attheta Travel

Friday, December 28, 2012

2013 Cruise Trends

In 2013, Europe will be a cruise destination to be reckoned with. Plus, while cruise prices to Europe remain relatively low, there are signs that pricing for the second half of 2013 may be on its way up – a positive sign for the cruise industry that leisure travelers are once again creating demand. With this in mind, travelers are advised to lock in their preferred itinerary at least eight months in advance. These are a few of the headlines from the 2013 Cruise Holidays Cruise Trends survey – which draws actual cruise pricing and booking statistics from more than 550 cruise specialists across North America.

2013 Cruise Pricing for Europe, Caribbean and Alaska

Cruise Holidays consistently studies pricing for three of the most popular cruise destinations and shares it via the Cruise Trends survey. Compared to bookings made in 2011 for 2012, sample pricing for a 12-day Mediterranean cruise for 2013 is lower by about $35 per person, per day. “However, keep in mind that this number reflects reservations that go back to early 2012, when demand may not have been as strong as it is now,” said Mark Schiffner, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Cruise Holidays International. “Pricing for some of the premium and luxury cruise lines that many of our passengers favor is actually ahead of last year,” continued Schiffner.

Caribbean pricing for a 7-day cruise is virtually the same as last year, and 7-day Alaska cruises are up about $20 per person, per day, compared to cruises booked in 2011 for 2012. These figures include all cruises booked by Cruise Holidays* as of December 17, 2012, sailing in 2013, aboard all cruise lines – from luxury to casual or “contemporary.”

Top Cruise Destinations for 2013

The Caribbean remains the undisputed leader as a cruise destination for travelers globally. Here are the top 10 cruise destinations being booked for 2013 by Cruise Holidays cruise experts:

1. Caribbean (includes Bahamas)
2. Europe (includes River Cruises, Mediterranean, Baltic, Scandinavia & Greek Isles)
3. Alaska
4. Bermuda
5. Hawaii
6. (tie) Panama Canal
6. (tie) Trans-Atlantic
8. South Pacific (including Australia)
9. South America
10. Maritime Canada & New England

Top Cruise Destinations – Who’s Gaining On the Caribbean

The top five cruise destinations remain unchanged from 2012 to 2013. However, the Caribbean’s overall dominance fell slightly, from nearly 60% in 2012 to under 55% of total bookings for 2013 so far. The difference is made up by Europe taking a larger piece of the pie, climbing from 11% to 13% of the total, and Alaska climbing from 6.7% to 8.5%. Hawaii also inched up.

262: The Magic Number

The magic number for booking a cruise prior to departure is 262 days out, or just under nine months. That’s the average amount of time prior to their cruise that Cruise Holidays clients book their vacations. “We have some cruises booked for late 2014 that were booked quite early in 2012. We even have a small number of passengers already booked for 2015,” said Schiffner.

Popular Cruise Itineraries Trump Price

While price is an important consideration in all vacation choices, the cruise itinerary continues to be the number one factor in locking in travelers’ final vacation decisions. Here are the top five factors Cruise Holidays cruise experts hear from their customers regarding their reasons for taking a particular cruise:

1. Itinerary
2. Price
3. Cruise line
4. Embarkation Point
5. Cruise Ship

Other factors include accommodations available, such as a suite, balcony, or concierge-level stateroom; amenities onboard the ship, such as specialty dining or surfing simulators; and shore excursions available.

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