With the number of travelers expected to cruise on course to surpass 22 million for the first time in 2015, Cruise Holidays International reports on the most popular longer itineraries – 15 or more days – which allow vacationers to experience more destinations and the cruise ships themselves in greater depth.
Cruise Holidays also identifies the most popular ships being selected by groups for 2015 in its Cruise Holidays 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.
Top 10 Cruise Itineraries of 15 Or More Days
1. 15-day Hawaiian Islands from San Francisco, California - This itinerary is offered on a variety of dates throughout 2015 on Princess Cruises.
2. 15-day Panama Canal [Westbound] from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida - This itinerary is available on numerous dates and through a variety of cruise lines in 2015.
3. 16-day Trans-Atlantic [Eastbound] from Miami, Florida - Of numerous trans-Atlantic options in 2015, this 16-day itinerary by Celebrity Cruises is the most popular.
4. 15-day Hawaiian Islands from Los Angeles, California - This sailing from Los Angeles is offered on numerous dates by two different cruise lines.
5. 18-day Trans-Pacific from Sydney, Australia - Passengers on this April 2015 Celebrity Cruises sailing will travel from Australia to Hawaii via New Zealand and Tahiti.
6. 15-day Trans-Atlantic [Westbound] from London, England (Harwich) - This repositioning cruise on Royal Caribbean International allows passengers to have more time to enjoy the ship and spectacular North Atlantic ports as it shifts from a summer in Europe to North America for the fall and winter.
7. 21-day Suez Canal from Istanbul, Turkey - This ambitious itinerary on Oceania Cruises brings guests from Istanbul to ports in Israel, Egypt, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.
8. 15-day Panama Canal [Eastbound ] from Los Angeles, California - Guests eager to explore the Caribbean and the engineering marvels of the Panama Canal have numerous dates to choose from in 2015.
9. (tie) 15-day Panama Canal [Eastbound] from San Diego, California - There are additional opportunities to sail through the Panama Canal for passengers departing from San Diego.
9. (tie) 21-day Southern Caribbean from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida - This three week itinerary enables travelers to explore lesser-visited islands such as Antigua, Barbados, Bonaire, Curacao and Martinique.
here is a limited selection remaining on these itineraries through March 2015 aboard Holland America Line.
The Cruise Holidays Cruise Trends report also looked at the size of the most popular ships being selected for 2015, no matter what the itinerary.
“It stands to reason that two of the world’s largest cruise ships are in our top five, not only due to their ability to carry so many passengers but because they are truly ground-breaking in their design,” said Weisner.
One of the ships in the top five – Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Summit - is not even among the world’s 50 largest cruise ships, Weisner notes, who says group cruising – typically meaning a block of eight or more staterooms – continues to be a growing trend in 2015.
Top 5 Cruise Ships for Groups:
1. Celebrity Summit
2. Celebrity Reflection
3. Independence of the Seas
4. Norwegian Dawn
5. Oasis of the Seas
“Groups are often able obtain special perks aboard the ship that individual travelers may not have access to. Plus, with it being virtually all-inclusive, a group cruise is an ideal way to manage costs, ” added Weisner.