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This Week in Cruise: What to Expect From 2015January 5, 2015
This week in cruise saw the industry looking ahead to the coming year. From our own cruise industry forecast to an in-depth survey from Cruise Holidays, here's what to expect.
Cruise Holidays released its Cruise Trends report, based on actual cruise bookings made for the year ahead by its network of 1,300 cruise-focused agents.
“A 7-day cruise is the most popular length because it allows vacationers ample time to experience their ship, plus typically experience about three or four cruise ports,” said Kevin Weisner, senior vice president of sales for Vacation.com, of which Cruise Holidays is a part.
“However, as travelers become more educated that a cruise can be much more than a brief sojourn, they are increasingly selecting longer itineraries, and in some cases, cruises of multiple weeks or even months,” said Weisner.
The survey also looked at the most popular itineraries of 15 or more days, as well as the top cruise ships for groups.
In our Cruise Forecast (part of our Forecast Issue), front-line agents, consortia leaders, host/franchise group executives and cruise industry executives reported sales are looking good headed into Wave Season.
Sales were up an average of 26 percent per agency this year, and 2015 advance bookings were 44 percent higher than this time 2014, said Michelle Fee, co-founder and CEO, Cruise Planners.
Cruise ships are also set to make waves in Asia in the coming year.
Most notably, Quantum of the Seas will homeport in Shanghai for the spring and summer season. China will represent 10 percent of RCL’s summer capacity, while Asia overall will be 15 percent of the company’s deployments, up from 12 percent this year, said Robin Farley, a cruise industry analyst for UBS Investment Research.
Additionally, Carnival Corporation has sent Alan Buckelew, its chief operating officer, to Shanghai to head all Carnival brands’ operations there. As of summer 2015, the company will have four ships based in China.
Keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for the latest travel industry news, trends and research.