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New research shows demand for cruises on the rise, says Expedia Group

SEATTLE — People can’t wait to cruise again and the numbers prove it, says Expedia Group.

According to new research from the company and Environics Analytics, there has been more than a 20% month-on-month increase in demand in Canadian cruise searches for travel in Q4 2021 and Q1 2022.

Additional research by Environics Analytics measured a sample of approximately 3,000 post-pandemic ‘early adopters,’ defined as having booked trips after March 1, 2021 that depart between July 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022. Findings revealed that there was a higher percentage of total Canadian passengers ages 30-49 (29%) cruising in Q4 2021 compared to the U.S. (22%) for the same time period.

In addition, nearly half of Canadian passengers in Q4 2021 (46%) have children at home, compared to only 21% of U.S. passengers, suggesting that cruises appeal to a slightly younger, family-based audience for Canadians who may feel cruise is a safer option than other types of vacation at the moment.

Expedia Group search data for Canada also showed that the Caribbean (40%), the Bahamas (5%), Mexico (5%), and Europe (5%) accounted for nearly 75% of all Canadian searches. In a year-over-year comparison, the Caribbean remains the most sought-after destination for North American cruise travellers.

Other findings include:

  • Search windows have shortened since travel restrictions have been lifted. Around 25% of Canadian cruise travellers’ search windows are less than 30 days, 20% are between 1-2 months, 15% are between 2-3 months, 30% are between 3-6 months, and 10% are for 6 months or more.
  • The 2-3 month search window, in particular, has seen an upsurge of demand, with more than 140% of growth within a month-over-month period.
  • 85% of searches for Alaska have a more than 3-month search window, indicating a rising interest in longer duration cruise trips.
  • The search window is even longer on the year-to-date basis, with approximately 85% of travellers beginning the search more than 2 months in advance, and 75% beginning 3 months in advance.

Matthew Eichhorst, President of Expedia Cruises, says that the company is “pleased” to see the increased desire for cruises post-pandemic.

“These insights will be critical in helping our cruise partners assess demand, ensuring the necessary processes are in place to continuing to provide the safe and stellar services cruise travellers expect in today’s evolved landscape,” he said. “At Expedia Cruises, we’re always looking for ways to support our partner sin the industry, from clear communications on our platform, to a wide range of choice for our diverse group of cruise customers to book, whether online, in-store or on the phone.”