Ocean breezes. Exotic ports of call. Endless activities. Cruising is a vacation like no other. Yet are cruise companies Targeting their unique value proposition to The Right Travelers in the right ways? Not always.

We asked 2,500 travelers in five countries about their attitudes toward cruising. 58% OF PEOPLE ARE OPEN TO A CRUISE VACATION. This is good news for the industry.

The catch? Although most people open to a cruise vacation are concerned about pricing and cost transparency, one-size-fits-all strategies to capture interest and grow share of wallet do not work.

Because All Cruisers Are Not Alike

The Cruise

The Cruise Enthusiast

“I live to cruise—it’s my favorite vacation.”


The Open-Minded

“I enjoy cruising, but it’s not my first choice.”

“I don’t typically cruise, but I’d think about it.”


The Landlubber

“From what I know now, cruising isn’t for me.”

“Forget it. I wouldn’t take a cruise if my life depended on it.”


On Board

The cruise industry has untapped opportunities to get even more travelers on board with cruising. Maximizing return on investment means focusing efforts on the massive persuadable market: The open-minded cruiser.

The goal is to Turn The Open-minded Into Cruise Enthusiasts With Education And Targeted Marketing Messages to understand and influence attitudes, consideration, and vacation planning and booking preferences.

The Million Dollar Question

What would get open-minded travelers to consider going on a cruise?

Better Pricing

Better Pricing Options

want better pricing.

Fun Beyond
The Ship

Fun Beyond The Ship

want better choices for off-shore excursions/activities.


Convenient Access

want better ports of departure and return.

When booking a cruise, open-minded cruisers—like cruise enthusiasts—care most about ADVANCED CUSTOMIZATION and TRANSPARENT PAYMENT OPTIONS.

want to customize cruising options at the time of booking

want to customize cruising options at the time of booking.

want to pre-pay for the cruise to avoid hidden or extra charges

want to pre-pay for the cruise to avoid hidden or extra charges.



Cruise companies that focus marketing, education and the cruise experience— from booking through debarkation—on baby boomers as the stereotypical cruisers are missing the boat.

This Is Not Grandma's Cruise

Millennials are more than mildly interested in cruising. 68% are open to a cruise vacation. Yet only 27% of them are cruise enthusiasts—a small fraction of millennial cruisers.

What would get the 63% of open-minded millennial cruisers to consider going on a cruise?

51% Want better pricing options

25% Want better off-shore excursions/activities

25% Want unique on-board experiences/activities

25% Want better on-board entertainment

24% Want better cabin space

Millenials Graph
Millennials Matter


The World

Cruisers want better pricing and pre-pay options. Beyond this, views of cruising differ by country—reflecting consumer behaviors, cultures, availability and geography. Country-specific strategies are key to expand the cruise market.

China Mobile
  • 37% want better pricing
  • 31% want unique onboard experiences
  • 30% want better off-shore excursions
France Mobile
  • 57% want better pricing
  • 26% want better cabin space
  • 24% want better off-shore excursions
Japan Mobile
  • 56% want better pricing
  • 31% want better dining options
  • 24% want better ports of departure
UK Mobile
United Kingdom
  • 52% want better pricing
  • 29% want better cabin space
  • 27% want better ports of departure
USA Mobile
United States
  • 37% want better pricing
  • 24% want better ports of departure
  • 23% want better off-shore excursions
  • 23% want better cabin space



Cruise companies are well positioned to grow bookings among open-minded cruisers. It’s about the right marketing messages and education—and the right products and services on and off the ship.

Get the price message right.
Too many cruisers are unaware of what an economical vacation a cruise can be—or of all-inclusive cruise pricing. The industry must be aggressive in publicizing pre-pay options and decomposing the costs involved in cruising compared to land vacations. Pricing messages will likely resonate with the large group of open-minded cruisers who are in low and medium income brackets.
Design to delight millennials.
Millennials are not their parents and grandparents. They want experiences, from on-board entertainment to excursions, made for them. As a group, millennials tend toward authentic travel experiences. The more that cruise companies can be relevant to millennials, the more successful the industry will be in attracting the next generation of cruisers.
Double down on personalization.
The cruise industry is behind other segments of the hospitality industry in personalization options. Cruisers definitely want to customize vacation options during booking. Companies that enable cruisers to personalize the things that matter most to them—points of departure, off-shore excursions, activities—will have an advantage.
Advance digital booking options.
Travelers who book their trips using online travel agencies—and many do today—are missing out when it comes to cruises. While travelers can get a lot of information to book land vacations through this channel, this is not the case with cruising. Pricing and customization options are not clear, which contributes to awareness gaps around how affordable and accessible cruising is.