The European Cruise Market

Key figures from IPK’s World Travel Monitor

In recent years, cruises have become a boom segment of the travel industry, with a volume of around 22 million cruises worldwide last year. Behind North America, the undisputed leader with a market share of 59%, is Europe, on 32%.

Cruises to European destinations account for 78% of the European market, with Spain being the most popular destination. The Caribbean occupies second place and is the only destination among the top five destinations of European cruise tourists that is outside Europe. The third most popular cruise destination among Europeans is Italy.

DIVERSITY AND RELAXATION WHILE SPENDING MORE MONEY

Few other types of holidays offer similar opportunities for relaxation as well as for making new experiences, either on board or on local excursions. When on cruises, Europeans especially enjoy relaxing, sightseeing as well as exploring foreign countries and cultures. Ultimately, it is also important to them to enjoy “the sea, water and nature”. There are many opportunities for tourists to spend extra money while being on a cruise – be it on an excursion, while shopping or enjoying an on-board spa. Even if cruises are said to no longer be as exclusive or expensive as they used to be, spending in this holiday segment is significantly higher than in others. While Europeans on average spent 107 euros per night on all holiday trips, cruise tourists doubled that figure with an average of 218 euros.

LARGE NUMBER OF TRAVEL AGENCY BOOKINGS & HIGH GROWTH OF YOUNGER TRAVELLERS

At 60%, the internet is also the preferred booking channel of Europeans when it comes to cruises. However, travel agencies continue to account for an above-average number of cruise bookings. On average, 25% of European holiday makers book via travel agencies, whereas among European cruise tourists this figure is 42% and hence much higher than in any other holiday segment.