Almost three-quarters of expedition cruise lines have seen their sales increase, according to the Expedition Cruise Network (ECN).
The industry bodied surveyed its members, 70% of which said they had seen a growth in sales of their expedition cruise product. Another 25% said that there sales were on a par with 2022.
The ECN revealed the first results of the 2023 annual insights report, which will be published later this year, at their first member and media networking event on Tuesday 17 October.
Martin Johnson, chairman of the Expedition Cruise Network said: “2023 was the right year to launch the Expedition Cruise Network as the appetite and the enthusiasm for the sector is unprecedented and we are now proud to have over 800 travel trade members signed up to our database.
“Our expedition cruise operator members provide utterly incredible experiences by providing unrivalled access to destinations well off the beaten track and in so doing create natural ambassadors for sustainability by showcasing fragile environments in a sensitive way.”
While 56% of expedition cruise operator members reported that more than 50% of their business comes through travel trade channels, only a third of these members generated more than 20% of their expedition cruise sales from the UK travel trade market, meaning that the UK trade has got an enormous opportunity to develop its sales of expedition cruise.
As part of the insights report, the ECN is surveying travel trade professionals to gain insight into agents’ relationship with the expedition cruise sector and revealed that Africa is the destination most respondents would like to see appear on expedition cruise itineraries, with 40% of respondents naming the continent as a favourite for new routes. It is followed by the Indian Ocean (35%) and Asia (27%).