U.S. Agents Report Growing Demand For Cruises To Faraway Destinations
Frank Del Rio
Until very recently, the consensus in the U.S. has been that drive-market demand is greater than demand for cruises involving air travel. However, of late agents have been telling Cruise Week that there is growing demand for bookings that require a flight.
"Customers booking very far out are assuming travel will return to normal," explains one top seller.
This sentiment was confirmed during the recent Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings earnings call when management indicated they're not seeing a difference in drive-market demand vs. air-market demand.
"For the Oceania and Regent brand, their number one itinerary in terms of demand for Q1, early Q2, is Japan, it's Dubai, several of the World Cruise segment. So, therefore, you have to fly there," said NCL President/CEO Frank Del Rio.
"This notion that people aren't going to want to cruise to faraway places or exotic destinations, what we're seeing is defying that.”
Del Rio added the brand is not seeing any particular area of strength.
“Other than the Japanese itineraries and these World Cruise segments that are literally sold out, no particular destination is performing particularly well or particularly bad,” he said.