According to key travel agents in Spain, the cruise industry is booming, helped in part by the new MSC Seaview and Symphony of the Seas embarking guests in Barcelona over the summer.
“There is high demand for new ships and new destinations,” said Carmen Santa Ana, product manager for cruise at Viajes El Corte Inglés, in the 2019 European Regional Report by Cruise Industry News.
At Rumbo, a major Spanish booking website, Commercial Director Laura Amoretti said the most popular products were MSC, Costa, Royal Caribbean and Pullmantur.
The surge is being driven by marketing spend in digital media and television, added Alejandro Recuenco, director of cruise at Atrápalo, another major online agency.
“The cruise lines have a major presence in digital and on television recently, and the brands are strong not only in Spain, but also in Latin America,” he said.
Recuenco commended new deployment options in helping to drive interest for returning passengers.
“In addition, cruise companies also look to innovate when it comes to itineraries,” he said. “There are several notable new options in Northern Europe, including the British Isles and Iceland.”
Santa Ana, from Viajes El Corte Inglés, said the main factors driving the purchasing decisions was the ship or itinerary, with pricing second.
For Recuenco, however, price is number one.
“Spanish passengers opt mainly for cruises in the Mediterranean because of price, wanting to embark locally,” he said. “There is a more premium market that goes to Northern Europe, for example.”
Recuenco has not only seen prices rise, but told Cruise Industry News the booking window was moving outward.
“Recently, people are booking further out, especially families, and bigger staterooms for them are in high demand,” he explained.
Learn more about the European cruise market in the 2019 European Regional Report by Cruise Industry News.
The 2019 European Regional Report outlines all European cruise brands and goes in-depth into growth strategies through 2027. Plus information on the major source markets and all key ports, as well as data sets and more. 120+ Page PDF.