Expedia.com has released the Expedia Wave Report, an annual analysis of cruising trends. 6,867 respondents - Expedia travelers who have cruised at least once - revealed their favored ports of call, most desirable destinations, attitudes towards cruise safety and other preferences.
Of the Expedia cruisers who participated in the study, cruising continues to be the vacation style of choice. Fifty-five percent of respondents expect to take a cruise within 2014. Fifty-three percent of Wave Report respondents consider cruises to be superior vacations to any other type of vacation, while more than three-fourths of respondents feel cruises are either superior, or at least equal to, other forms of travel.
"Cruisers are repeat customers. In fact, the average cruise traveler in our study has taken at least four cruises," said Koreen McNutt, Senior Director of Expedia Cruise. "Whether it's the food, the ports of call or the convenience of unpacking just once, cruising remains one of the most popular ways to travel among those who've tried it at least once."
Other findings of the Expedia Wave Report include:
Safety at sea: 87 percent of Expedia Wave Report respondents consider cruising to be a perfectly safe travel activity with only five percent reporting serious concerns about on-board safety.
Decision making: 33 percent of respondents cite "ports of call" as their top consideration when booking a cruise. Price was the second consideration, at 28 percent, while "port of origin" and "cruise line" tied for third, at 13 percent.
Cruise companions: Cruising is largely a family affair. Sixty percent of cruisers travel with their spouse/significant other, while 44 percent travel with immediate and extended family members. Two percent of respondents cruise solo.
Best features: Respondents cite the ability to "explore multiple destinations" (60 percent) and the "all-inclusive nature" as favorable features. When asked to rank on-board cruise criteria, 58 percent of respondents pointed to "food quality" as intrinsic to their satisfaction, followed by cabin cleanliness (36 percent) and quality of the excursions (34 percent).
Mediterranean and Alaska top destinations
The Expedia Wave Report also revealed 2014's most-coveted destinations as the Eastern Mediterranean, featuring exotic ports along the Adriatic Sea including Croatia, Cypress, Greece, Israel, Eastern Italy and Turkey, followed by Alaska in the number two spot. The top cruise destinations that made Expedia cruisers wish lists for 2014 are:
Southern Caribbean and Hawaii (tie)
Western Europe/British Isles
Western Caribbean (Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, etc.)
The Expedia Wave Report was fielded in January 2014 and features responses from 6,867 travelers that have cruised at least once and used Expedia.com to shop for their cruise.