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Cruises - US - January 2012

Many companies operating in the leisure travel industry, including cruise lines, struggled during the recession as Americans cut back on leisure spending due to high unemployment, declining median household incomes, and a lack of confidence in their future economic prospects. During this time, cruise lines deeply discounted their base fares and offered a variety of enticing promotions which kept the average capacity utilization above 100%. In 2011, improved macroeconomic conditions—as well as the arrival of new ships, which further increased capacity—served to drive sales. While increased revenues in 2010 and 2011 indicate that the industry is poised for future growth, it is also apparent that competition for cruise travelers will increase and cruise lines will need to focus their development and marketing efforts on consumer preferences to differentiate their brands.

The report addresses the following questions:

  • How has the North American cruise market fared during the recession, and what is the forecast for 2012-16?
  • What impact do macroeconomic conditions have on per passenger spending and annual revenues?
  • What are the leading companies, and what major changes have occurred in recent years?
  • What innovations have leading companies introduced to drive sales?
  • How are leading companies marketing their brands, and how do consumers perceive them?
  • How has the incidence of cruise travel fluctuated in recent years, and approximately what proportion of consumers plan to take a cruise ship vacation in 2012?
  • What types of activities do consumers most enjoy when vacationing?
  • What are the primary drivers for choosing a cruise ship vacation, and what factors discourage some consumers from going on a cruise?

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Data sources
        • Sales data
          • Consumer survey data
            • Advertising creative
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                • Executive Summary

                    • The market
                      • Figure 1: North American Cruise Industry sales and fan chart forecast of market, with best and worst cases at current prices, 2006-16
                    • Market factors
                      • Increased capacity will drive growth in passenger numbers
                        • Figure 2: North American Cruise capacity, 2001-15* and utilization, 2002-10
                      • Older adult population growth accelerates
                        • Figure 3: Population by age, 2006-16
                      • Declining median household income undermines growth
                        • Figure 4: Median household income in inflation-adjusted dollars, 2000-10
                      • Leading companies
                        • Carnival and Royal Caribbean remain dominant brands
                            • Figure 5: Share of North American Cruise Passengers, by Cruise Line, 2010
                          • Brand perceptions
                            • Figure 6: Overall brand perceptions of major cruise lines, September 2011
                          • The consumer
                            • Past three-year cruising incidence is relatively stable
                              • Figure 7: Past three-year cruise ship vacation incidence, May 2003-June 2011
                            • Most cruise with spouse/significant other and/or family
                              • Figure 8: Most recent cruise companionship, by age, September 2011
                            • Travel agents are used more than any other method to book cruises
                              • Figure 9: How most recent cruise was booked, September 2011
                            • Tropical destinations and Alaska remain most popular
                              • Figure 10: Cruise ship destination, by household income, April 2010-June 2011
                            • Sightseeing and beach travel most popular vacation activities
                              • Figure 11: Vacation activities, April 2010-June 2011
                            • All-inclusive packages are a key driver, cost perception is primary barrier
                              • Figure 12: Motivations for having taken a cruise, September 2011
                              • Figure 13: Reasons for never having taken a cruise, September 2011
                          • Insights and Opportunities

                            • Drive customer engagement and recommendations with passenger bloggers
                              • Smartphone apps may be developed to enhance passenger experience
                                • Vow-renewal offers could boost wedding revenues
                                • Inspire Insights

                                    • Trend: A Simple Balance of Health
                                      • Trend: Cam Cam
                                      • Market Size and Forecast

                                        • Key points
                                          • Total cruising revenues rebound from 2009
                                            • Figure 14: Total revenues and forecast for the North American cruise industry, at current prices, 2006-16
                                            • Figure 15: Total revenues and forecast for the North American cruise industry, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2006-16
                                          • Fan chart forecast
                                              • Figure 16: North American Cruise Industry sales and fan chart forecast of market, with best and worst cases, at current prices, 2006-16
                                            • Per-passenger revenues increase in 2011 after two years of decline …
                                              • Figure 17: Total revenues of the North American cruise industry, per passenger, 2011-16
                                            • … but passenger daily spending remains below 2006 levels
                                              • Figure 18: Total revenues of the North American cruise industry, per passenger per cruise day, 2006-11
                                            • Number of passengers in 2010 well above pre-recession levels
                                              • Figure 19: Number of North American cruise passengers, 1990-2010
                                            • Longer cruises becoming more common in the industry
                                              • Figure 20: Number of North American cruise passengers, by length of cruise, 1990-2010
                                          • Market Drivers

                                            • Key points
                                              • Build it and they will come
                                                • Figure 21: North American cruise capacity changes and utilization, 2001-15
                                              • Growth of population aged 55-74 will contribute to future sales growth
                                                • Figure 22: Population by age, 2006-16
                                              • Declining spending power undermined growth between 2008 and 2010
                                                • Figure 23: Median household income in inflation-adjusted dollars, 2000-10
                                              • Consumer confidence shaky but may be on the upswing
                                                • Figure 24: Consumer confidence, March 2007-December 2011
                                              • Traveler sentiment declined in Q3 2011
                                                • Figure 25: Traveler sentiment index, March 2007-October 2011
                                            • Competitive Context

                                              • Industry faces competition from land-based resorts
                                                • In some cases, expansion may serve to cannibalize
                                                  • Need for passport may discourage some from cruising, may put local land-based resorts at an advantage
                                                  • Leading Companies

                                                    • Key points
                                                      • Carnival remains dominant but some other lines growing quickly
                                                        • Figure 26: Number of North American Cruises, by Cruise Line, 200-5-10
                                                        • Figure 27: Number of North American Cruise Passengers, by Cruise Line, 2005-10
                                                      • Leading companies often win with innovation and luxury
                                                        • Carnival Cruise Line
                                                            • Figure 28: Carnival Cruise Line global revenues, 2008-10
                                                          • Royal Caribbean International
                                                            • Figure 29: Royal Caribbean Internatioal global revenues, 2008-10
                                                          • Disney Cruise Line
                                                            • Norwegian Cruise Line
                                                              • Princess Cruises
                                                                • Celebrity Cruise Lines
                                                                • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                  • Cruise ship innovation key to driving sales, differentiating ships and brands
                                                                    • Brands using community to drive sales and loyalty
                                                                      • Royal Caribbean Crown and Anchor Society
                                                                        • Royal Caribbean neighborhood concept
                                                                          • Some use unique cabin configuration to drive sales
                                                                            • Norwegian Cruise Studio Staterooms
                                                                              • Royal Caribbean Royal Loft Suites
                                                                                • Companies use niche cruises to appeal to specific segments
                                                                                  • Crystal Cruises themed cruises
                                                                                    • Holland America Vampire Cruise
                                                                                      • Royal Caribbean and Universal Studios partnership
                                                                                        • Masculine activities and personalities can drive sales
                                                                                          • Carnival Cruise Line and Food Network star Guy Fieri launching restaurants on ships
                                                                                            • Royal Caribbean Poker Tournament
                                                                                            • Brand Perceptions and the Advertising Landscape

                                                                                              • Overview of the brand landscape
                                                                                                • Brand perceptions key to understanding how cruise brands are positioned
                                                                                                    • Figure 30: Overall brand perceptions of major cruise lines–part 1, September 2011
                                                                                                    • Figure 31: Overall brand perceptions of major cruise lines–part 2, September 2011
                                                                                                  • Brand perception map
                                                                                                    • Figure 32: Cruise line brand attributes correspondence map, September 2011
                                                                                                  • Social media metrics
                                                                                                    • Figure 33: Social media presence of major cruise lines, Jan. 3, 2012
                                                                                                  • Brand analysis: Carnival Cruise Line
                                                                                                    • Figure 34: Brand analysis of Carnival Cruise Line, 2011
                                                                                                  • Carnival Cruise Line TV ads
                                                                                                    • Figure 35: Carnival Cruise Line, Milestones TV ad, 2011
                                                                                                    • Figure 36: Carnival Cruise Line, 150 reasons to cruise TV ad, 2011
                                                                                                  • Brand analysis: Royal Caribbean International
                                                                                                    • Figure 37: Brand analysis of Royal Caribbean, 2011
                                                                                                  • Royal Caribbean International TV ads
                                                                                                    • Figure 38: Royal Caribbean, have fun now TV ad, 2011
                                                                                                    • Figure 39: Royal Caribbean, Why not choose incredible, TV ad, 2011
                                                                                                  • Brand analysis: Disney Cruise Line
                                                                                                    • Figure 40: Brand analysis of Disney Cruise Line, 2011
                                                                                                  • Disney Cruise Line TV ad
                                                                                                    • Figure 41: Disney Cruise Line, Behind the scenes TV ad, 2011
                                                                                                  • Brand analysis: Norwegian Cruise Line
                                                                                                    • Figure 42: Brand analysis of Norwegian Cruise Line, 2011
                                                                                                  • Norwegian Cruise Line TV ad
                                                                                                    • Figure 43: Norwegian Cruise Line, The freedom of freestyle cruising, Line TV ad, 2011
                                                                                                  • Discounts through third-party vendors
                                                                                                    • Luxury Lines
                                                                                                      • Celebrity Cruise Lines
                                                                                                        • Figure 44: Celebrity Cruises, Modern Luxury print ad, 2011
                                                                                                      • Crystal Cruises
                                                                                                        • Figure 45: Crystal Cruises, World’s Best Cruise Line print ad, 2011
                                                                                                      • Seabourn
                                                                                                        • Figure 46: Seabourn, Believes print ad, 2011
                                                                                                      • Silversea
                                                                                                        • Figure 47: Silversea, All-Inclusive Luxury print ad, 2011
                                                                                                      • Holland America Line
                                                                                                        • Figure 48: Holland America Line, A Signature of Excellence print ad, 2011
                                                                                                    • Cruise Ship Vacation Incidence

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • Cruising incidence remains steady despite fluctuations in annual revenues
                                                                                                          • Figure 49: Past three-year cruise ship vacation incidence, May 2003-June 2011
                                                                                                        • Adults aged 55+ are more likely to have taken a cruise vacation
                                                                                                          • Figure 50: Cruise ship vacation incidence, by age, September 2011
                                                                                                        • Those from households earning $75K+ most likely to have gone on a cruise
                                                                                                          • Figure 51: Cruise ship vacation incidence, by household income, September 2011
                                                                                                        • Upper incomes and ages 25-54 are key segments
                                                                                                          • Figure 52: Planning a cruise ship vacation in the next 12 months, by age, April 2010-June 2011
                                                                                                          • Figure 53: Planning a cruise ship vacation in the next 12 months, by household income, April 2010-June 2011
                                                                                                      • Cruise Line Recognition

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • Carnival most well-known overall, 18-24s more familiar with Disney
                                                                                                            • Figure 54: Cruise line recognition, by age, September 2011
                                                                                                          • Affluents more likely to be familiar with smaller, premium lines
                                                                                                            • Figure 55: Cruise line recognition, by household income, September 2011
                                                                                                        • Cruise Lines Ever Used

                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                            • Majority of cruisers have used only a single line
                                                                                                              • Figure 56: Number of cruise lines ever used, September 2011
                                                                                                            • Adults aged 55+ more likely to have used most cruise lines
                                                                                                              • Figure 57: Cruise lines ever used, by age, September 2011
                                                                                                            • Royal Caribbean resonates with many upscale cruisers
                                                                                                              • Figure 58: Cruise lines ever used, by household income, September 2011
                                                                                                            • Cruisers without children more likely to use Norwegian Cruise Line
                                                                                                              • Figure 59: Cruise lines ever used, by presence of children in household, September 2011
                                                                                                          • Preferred Destinations and Vacation Activities

                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                              • The Bahamas is the most frequently visited cruise destination
                                                                                                                • Figure 60: Cruise ship destination, by age, April 2010-June 2011
                                                                                                              • “Other Caribbean” destinations popular among $100K+ cruisers
                                                                                                                • Figure 61: Cruise ship destination, by household income, April 2010-June 2011
                                                                                                              • Sightseeing is the most popular vacation activity
                                                                                                                • Figure 62: Vacation activities, by gender, April 2010-June 2011
                                                                                                              • Many consumers are interested in fine dining
                                                                                                                • Figure 63: Vacation activities, by age, April 2010-June 2011
                                                                                                              • Spa visits popular among those from $150K+ households
                                                                                                                • Figure 64: Vacation activities, by household income, April 2010-June 2011
                                                                                                            • Most Recent Cruise Details

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • Companionship
                                                                                                                  • Most cruise with a spouse/significant other
                                                                                                                    • Figure 65: Most recent cruise companionship, by gender, September 2011
                                                                                                                  • Many young adults cruise with parents
                                                                                                                    • Figure 66: Most recent cruise companionship, by age, September 2011
                                                                                                                  • Those from households with incomes of $75K+ more likely to cruise with a spouse/partner
                                                                                                                    • Figure 67: Most recent cruise companionship, by household income, September 2011
                                                                                                                  • Duration
                                                                                                                    • Young adults more likely to take shorter cruises
                                                                                                                      • Figure 68: Most recent cruise duration, by age and by household income, September 2011
                                                                                                                    • How long since most recent cruise
                                                                                                                      • Men are more likely to have cruised recently
                                                                                                                        • Figure 69: How long ago most recent cruise, by gender, September 2011
                                                                                                                      • Those from households earning less than $50K cruise the least
                                                                                                                        • Figure 70: How long ago most recent cruise, by household income, September 2011
                                                                                                                      • Booking method
                                                                                                                        • Travel agents are most frequently used method to book cruises
                                                                                                                          • Figure 71: How most recent cruise was booked, by gender, September 2011
                                                                                                                        • Young adults most likely to book through a cruise website
                                                                                                                          • Figure 72: How most recent cruise was booked, by age, September 2011
                                                                                                                      • Motivations for Taking a Cruise

                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                          • All-inclusiveness is the most enticing aspect of cruises
                                                                                                                            • Figure 73: Motivations for having taken a cruise, by gender, September 2011
                                                                                                                          • 18-54s often attracted to cruises by desire to try something new
                                                                                                                            • Figure 74: Motivations for ever having taken a cruise, by age, September 2011
                                                                                                                          • Middle-income cruisers like the all-inclusive aspect and getting a good deal
                                                                                                                            • Figure 75: Motivations for having taken a cruise, by household income, September 2011
                                                                                                                        • Reasons for Never Having Taken a Cruise

                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                            • Price is the main obstacle for most who have never cruised
                                                                                                                              • Figure 76: Reasons for never having taken a cruise, by gender, September 2011
                                                                                                                            • 18-34s more likely to have simply not thought of going on a cruise
                                                                                                                              • Figure 77: Reasons for never having taken a cruise, by age, September 2011
                                                                                                                            • Affluent consumers most likely to prefer other types of vacation
                                                                                                                              • Figure 78: Reasons for never having taken a cruise, by household income, September 2011
                                                                                                                          • Impact of Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                              • Whites and Asians most likely to have gone on a cruise
                                                                                                                                • Figure 79: Cruise ship vacation incidence, by race/Hispanic origin, September 2011
                                                                                                                              • Blacks and Asians most likely to say they plan to cruise in the coming year
                                                                                                                                • Figure 80: Planning a cruise ship vacation in the next 12 months, by race/Hispanic origin, April 2010-June 2011
                                                                                                                              • Princess and Celebrity more well-known among whites and Asians
                                                                                                                                • Figure 81: Cruise lines familiar with, by Hispanic origin/race, September 2011
                                                                                                                              • Hispanic cruisers more likely to have used Carnival Cruise Line
                                                                                                                                • Figure 82: Cruise lines ever used, by race/Hispanic origin, September 2011
                                                                                                                              • Appeal to Asians with sightseeing and shopping offers
                                                                                                                                • Figure 83: Vacation activities, by race/Hispanic origin, April 2010-June 2011
                                                                                                                              • Hispanics more likely to cruise with family
                                                                                                                                • Figure 84: Most recent cruise companionship, by race/Hispanic origin, September 2011
                                                                                                                              • Blacks go the longest between cruise vacations
                                                                                                                                • Figure 85: How long ago most recent cruise, by race/Hispanic origin, September 2011
                                                                                                                              • Hispanics more likely to book through a cruise website
                                                                                                                                • Figure 86: How most recent cruise was booked, by race/Hispanic origin, September 2011
                                                                                                                              • Blacks like diverse entertainment and food choices on cruises
                                                                                                                                • Figure 87: Motivations for ever having taken a cruise, by race/Hispanic origin, September 2011
                                                                                                                              • Non-cruising blacks less likely to be aware of cruising as a vacation option
                                                                                                                                • Figure 88: Reasons for never having taken a cruise, by race/Hispanic origin, September 2011
                                                                                                                            • Custom Consumer Groups

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                • Married couples more likely than singles to have gone on a cruise
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 89: Cruise ship vacation incidence, by gender and marital status, September 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Single travelers more likely to take a voyage with parents
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 90: Most recent cruise companionship, by gender and marital status, September 2011
                                                                                                                                    • Married travelers somewhat more likely to book with an agent
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 91: How most recent cruise was booked, by gender and marital status, September 2011
                                                                                                                                    • Married couples often motivated to sail by the all-inclusive aspect of cruise packages
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 92: Motivations for ever having taken a cruise, by gender and marital status, September 2011
                                                                                                                                      • Many singles avoid cruises because they do not have a travel partner
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 93: Reasons for never having taken a cruise, by gender and marital status, September 2011
                                                                                                                                      • Appendix A: Brand Perceptions, by Age

                                                                                                                                        • Overview
                                                                                                                                          • Carnival Cruise Line
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 94: Brand perceptions of Carnival Cruise line, by age, September 2011
                                                                                                                                          • Disney Cruise Line
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 95: Brand perceptions of Disney Cruise Line, by age, September 2011
                                                                                                                                          • Royal Caribbean International
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 96: Brand perceptions of Royal Caribbean International, by age, September 2011
                                                                                                                                          • Norwegian Cruise Line
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 97: Brand perceptions of Norwegian Cruise Line, by age, September 2011
                                                                                                                                          • Holland America Line
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 98: Brand perceptions of Holland America line, by age, September 2011
                                                                                                                                          • Princess Cruises
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 99: Brand perceptions of Princess Cruises, by age, September 2011
                                                                                                                                          • Regent Seven Seas Cruises
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 100: Brand perceptions of Regent Seven Seas Cruises, by age, September 2011
                                                                                                                                          • Celebrity Cruise Lines
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 101: Brand perceptions of Celebrity Cruise Lines, by age, September 2011
                                                                                                                                          • Oceania Cruises
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 102: Brand perceptions of Oceania Cruises, by age, September 2011
                                                                                                                                        • Appendix B: Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                            • Figure 103: Cruise lines familiar with, by gender, September 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 104: Cruise lines familiar with, by region, September 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 105: Cruise lines familiar with, by cruise ship vacation incidence, September 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 106: Cruise lines ever used, by generation, September 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 107: Most recent cruise duration, by generation, September 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 108: Most recent cruise duration, by race/Hispanic origin, September 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 109: How long ago most recent cruise, by race/Hispanic origin, September 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 110: How long ago most recent cruise, by generation, September 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 111: Most recent cruise was booked, by generation, September 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 112: Motivations for ever having taken a cruise, by generation, September 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 113: Reasons for never having taken a cruise, by gender and marital status, September 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 114: Reasons for never having taken a cruise, by generation, September 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 115: Most recent cruise details, by use, Carnival Cruise Line only, Royal Caribbean International only, September 2011
                                                                                                                                        • Appendix C: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                          Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                          • American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
                                                                                                                                          • American Express Company (The)
                                                                                                                                          • American Society of Travel Agents
                                                                                                                                          • Apple, Inc
                                                                                                                                          • Carnival Corporation
                                                                                                                                          • Cruise Lines International Association
                                                                                                                                          • Crystal Cruises
                                                                                                                                          • Cunard Line
                                                                                                                                          • Disney Cruise Vacations
                                                                                                                                          • DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc.
                                                                                                                                          • Expedia Inc.
                                                                                                                                          • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                          • FOX Broadcasting Company
                                                                                                                                          • Google, Inc.
                                                                                                                                          • Holland America Line Inc.
                                                                                                                                          • Home Box Office, Inc.
                                                                                                                                          • MSN (USA)
                                                                                                                                          • NCL Corporation
                                                                                                                                          • Nickelodeon Networks
                                                                                                                                          • Oceania Cruises, Inc.
                                                                                                                                          • Orbitz Inc.
                                                                                                                                          • P&O Cruises
                                                                                                                                          • Princess Cruises
                                                                                                                                          • Regent Seven Seas Cruises
                                                                                                                                          • Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
                                                                                                                                          • Seabourn Cruise Line
                                                                                                                                          • SeaDream Yacht Club
                                                                                                                                          • Silversea Cruises
                                                                                                                                          • Starbucks Corporation
                                                                                                                                          • The New York Times Company
                                                                                                                                          • Twitter, Inc.
                                                                                                                                          • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                                          • U.S. Bureau of the Census
                                                                                                                                          • U.S. Department of Transportation
                                                                                                                                          • Universal Studios Inc.
                                                                                                                                          • University of Michigan, The
                                                                                                                                          • US Department of Commerce
                                                                                                                                          • USA Today
                                                                                                                                          • Walt Disney Company, The
                                                                                                                                          • Windstar Cruises
                                                                                                                                          • YouTube, Inc.

                                                                                                                                          Cruises - US - January 2012

                                                                                                                                          £2,684.63 (Excl.Tax)