A new survey of travel advisors by travel insurance and assistance provider Allianz Partners USA finds that most travel advisors surveyed say that cruise itineraries are driving the majority of their business, with more than a quarter responding that cruises make up more than 75% of their bookings. The survey was conducted by Allianz Partners in October and polled 9,000 travel advisors that offer its travel protection products.
The survey also found that travel advisors and their clients value travel insurance. According to the review*, 92% of travel advisors feel their customers get peace of mind when they have Allianz Travel Insurance, and 82% believe clients are more confident about cruising when they have a policy on board.
The travel insurance provider analyzed the breakdown of reported travel advisor bookings, tracking the percentage of cruises versus other types of travel to reveal across the board that cruising is a significant driver of travel advisor bookings. More than 75% of those surveyed indicate that a majority of their bookings were for cruise travel (27% said that 76-100% of bookings are cruises; 25% said 51-75% are cruise; 26% said 26-50% were cruises) versus 17% who identified that only 6-25% were cruises and 6% of advisors who said than less than 5% of bookings were cruises.
Ocean Cruises Continue to Make Waves, Strong Interest in Repeat Expedition Voyages
In other findings, ocean cruises proved the most popular (81%) this past year according to travel advisors, followed by river cruises (16%), expedition (2%) and themed cruises (1%). The expedition cruise market, though relatively new, is quickly growing in popularity and earning repeat business as most passengers indicate their desire to book another for a future trip.
Upcoming Cruise Plans + Booking Window Changes
Travel advisor respondents were split on whether the booking window for clients choosing cruises changed this year versus 2022 – the majority, 40%, believe the booking window has gotten longer, 36% believe it’s consistent with last year and 24% said it has gotten shorter. When asked how soon after purchase the sailings were scheduled to take place, more than half (52%) said within six months to a year, followed by three to six months (27%), and within three months of purchase (11%). Those travel advisors with clients booking more than a year in advance comprise just 10% of respondents.
Emerging Cruise Travel Trends
When surveyed on rising interest for cultural-related themed cruises that include immersion and exploration, 35% of travel advisors said they’ve seen more interest this year than in prior years (48% said they haven’t; 17% are unsure). Almost half, 49%, of advisors surveyed said they have not witnessed a shift in the number of travelers in cruising parties, while more than a quarter (26%) reported more multi-generational groups. Solo travel also has made some gains with 13% of travel advisors reporting they have seen more solo cruisers than in the past few years, while 12% said there are more couples.
“When travel advisors help secure a cruise vacation with an Allianz Travel insurance policy, they provide travelers the ability to relax and focus on the adventure ahead, knowing they’re protected against covered, unexpected events that could ordinarily sink an unprotected travel budget.”
Allianz Partners offers travel insurance through most major U.S. airlines, leading travel agents, online travel agencies, hotel companies, cruise lines and directly to consumers.