Making waves: Holiday cruise industry set for huge comeback

cruise-Image by stokpic from Pixabay

After the pandemic seemed to sound the death knell of the industry, the big ocean cruise looks to be the holiday of choice for Brits this year as it stages an impressive comeback!

That’s according to new data from search experts, MediaVision, which reveals a huge uptick in interest in cruises and cruise related Google searches in the first three months of the year compared to the same period in 2022. (1 January – 26 March 2023 v 1 January – 26 March 2022).

Cruise searches

Key findings from the analysis showed:

  • Searches for the term “Mediterranean cruise” has seen an increase of 104%
  • “Caribbean cruise” is up by 54% with over 50,000 searches
  • “Cruises from Southampton” has the largest number of searches at over 94,000
  • “Booze cruise” is also up 22%

New and veteran cruisers are also looking for the best deals money can buy since the price of holidays has risen up to 70% since last year, according to consumer champions, Which?.

Searches for “cruise deals” and “cheap cruises” saw whopping increases of 88% and 85% respectively.

The surge in interest is good news for cruise providers, with:

  • P&O cruises have had the most interest, with searches totalling almost 850,000 – an YoY increase of 69%
  • Of all the companies monitored, Marella Cruises had the highest jump, with searches increasing by 95%
  • MSC Cruises also increased by 90%
  • Celebrity Cruises is up by 48%
  • Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruises have all seen increased levels of interest, both over 14% up on last year with search numbers reaching over 300,000.

It’s a far cry from three years ago when the industry was on the brink, with cruise ships being labelled as Coronavirus super-spreaders.

Memorably, at the time of its voyage, Princess Cruises’ ship, Diamond Princess, was reported as having over 700 positive cases among its 3,700 passengers and crew members – the largest cluster of confirmed cases outside of mainland China.

Louis Venter, CEO of MediaVision, said: “Who would have thought cruises would be the comeback story of the year, especially after the pandemic fallout?

“Search behaviour is always a powerful indicator of consumer intent, and we have been monitoring the cruise trends during the “golden period” for cruise bookings (January-March).

“Now cruise companies are reporting record bookings, it turns out that our prediction was right – cruising is back! See you on the starboard side!”

The analysis was carried out by organic first search agency MediaVision using their proprietary Digital Demand Tracker tool, part of their Metis technology that produces search insights four times faster than standard industry SEO tools.