Cruise tourism is big business! So big, in fact, that in 2019 (before the COVID crash), the global cruise industry welcomed 29.7 million passengers, created jobs for 1.8 million people around the world, and contributed over $154 billion to the global economy.
Cruise tourism is essentially a form of enclave tourism and it encompasses all aspects of the tourism industry: accommodation, transportation, hospitality, and attractions. Cruising has become the fastest growing segment in the travel industry across the world and it’s no surprise with the wide variety of cruises on offer nowadays.
What is cruise tourism?
Cruise tourism refers to holidays that are entirely or partly based on a cruise ship. It allows tourists to have a multi-centre vacation, where they spend time at various locations throughout their trip.
Cruise ships vary from small yachts to megaships and can take place on the ocean, rivers, or fjords. Cruise tourism is popular in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, and Arctic, among other destinations.
In essence, cruise tourism is a luxurious form of travel, involving an all inclusive holiday on a cruise ship of at least 24 hours with a set and specific itinerary in which the cruise ship calls at several ports or cities. Cruise tourism is characterised by the concentration of large numbers of people who visit one particular destination at the same time.
If you are studying or teaching cruise tourism, then I absolutely recommend that you consult the texts Cruise Ship Tourism and Cruise Operations Management: Hospitality Perspectives. These texts will cover all of the areas that I discuss in this post in more detail, as well as discuss the impacts of cruise tourism and relevant management perspectives.
History of cruise tourism
Cruise tourism has a long and fruitful history. The first notable leisure cruising began with the formation of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company in 1822. While the company started out as a shipping line, it soon introduced round trips to a range of destinations. Over the next century, more cruise liners began to emerge around the world, and in the late 19th century, Albert Ballin, director of The Hamburg-America Line was the first to send its transatlantic ships out on long southern cruises during the worst of the winter season in the North Atlantic.
Cruise tourism companies
There is a wide range of cruise companies, although the market is largely dominated by the big five names. Guiders Education was fortunate for having placed few students with top cruise companies.
Cunard Cruises have been operating for more than 180 years, and they specialise in luxury cruises with their famous White Star Service. This formal and traditional cruise company is ideal for couples and the older generation.
Royal Caribbean Cruises is the leading cruise company for innovation. Offering everything from surfing to Broad Way shows, the cruise line is popular among a wide range of cruise tourists, including families, couples, and solo travellers.
This is the most popular cruise line in the UK. It appeals to a range of customer types, including families and couples. It offers traditional cruise products and services.
Norwegian Cruise Line
Another cruise line that is popular with UK cruise tourists, Norwegian Cruise Line, offers an American-style service on board their ships. You can sail from the UK or take a flight.
Princess Cruises offers sailings around the world using a traditional, American-style cruise approach. Princess cruises are popular all over the world with couples,families, and premium travellers.
Cruise ship facilities
Cruise ships are pretty incredible. They will often have everything you could want on board. In fact, many are like a small city!
• Swimming Pool
• Fitness centre
The final step in the cruise reservation process is the preparation and issuance of the cruise ticket. The cruise ticketing is mostly done by the cruise companies or by the tour operators and travel agencies that are authorised to hold stock and issue the tickets. A cruise ticket is a legal contract between the cruise line and the passenger that entitles him/her or groups to travel and use specified cruise facilities (i.e., cruise products or services) for a set price during a specified time period. Acceptance of the cruise ticket thus implies acceptance of the terms and conditions contained in the passage contract ticket. In our Courses, Guiders Education Impart a few modules on Cruises around the world.