American Express Agents Survey Shows Strength in Cruising During 2014

norwegian getawayCruising is continuing to make waves this year, according to a recent survey which queried nearly 250 American Express Travel counselors. The agents said 32 percent of customers are seeking a cruise vacation this summer.

The survey also found that 27 percent of agents cited mega-ships such as the Norwegian Getaway as popular. Upscale cruises lines also fared well with 15 percent of agents mentioning such lines as Oceania Cruises and Silversea Cruises.

Most impressively, though, 71 percent of the respondents noting an increased demand for river cruising this year, with 36 percent of their customers looking to roll on the river this summer.

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RELATED: cruise3sixty: Cruise Execs Discuss Opportunities, Challenges and the Role of Agents

Additional Key Findings

What drives customers to book? Value remains an important factor with 43 percent of agents noting that price discounts are most effective in driving customers to purchase a cruise. Shipboard credits were cited by 25 percent of agents in that regard.

Once booked, 43 percent of customers seek onboard credits as their most popular request when cruising, while 20 percent prefer a stateroom upgrade. ·

When the agents were surveyed, 43 percent said they've received more cruise bookings this year, compared to last year.

Average cruise length? Of the American Express agents responding, 56 percent said the average cruise length spans seven nights.

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