Sign Up for Our Monthly Cruise Newsletter
According to Cruise Line International Association member lines and travel agents, trends in the cruise industry in 2014 include an increase in first-time cruisers, improved technology and an increase in luxury products and services.
CLIA said the trend toward an increase in luxury cruising, including luxury category ships and onboard upgrades, is stimulated by an improving economy and increased consumer confidence.
That trend is particularly good news for travel agents, according to Beth Levich, owner of Cruise Holidays in Portland, Oregon.
“The successful agent will lean toward the luxury traveler,” Levich said. “I won't sell four-day cruises or some of the lower-priced lines — you don't make money and the customer is there to shop you, to ask you to beat his Internet price. Being able to offer something above and beyond is what distinguishes the good travel agent, and that is what the high-end client appreciates."
Other CLIA-identified trends include:
CLIA cruise line members report that trending itineraries and destinations for 2014 include Trans Pacific cruises, world cruises, U.S. river cruises, South America, Antarctic, Middle East, Canada/New England, Africa and exotic river cruises.