Luxury Cruise Industry Makes a Big Splash with Americans

Traveling is an American hobby that has only grown over the years. In 2021, outbound tourism from the US rebounded, with 49.1 million people traveling outside the country. As travel means and experiences continue to evolve, a 2023 automotive and travel insurance company AAA survey highlights that a shift towards cruise lines may be impending. Findings indicate that 52% of American adults are just as likely or more likely to consider taking a cruise vacation than before the pandemic — up from 45% in 2022.

November 2022 was also a record-breaking month for cruise bookings among Americans, much thanks to Black Friday. Compared to other means of travel, many cruise lines today offer a wide range of cuisine, room service, food, and snack bars, and much more. More luxury-oriented cruise lines also take it a step further by offering curated offshore excursions, live entertainment, and onboard fitness and spa services.

Cruise vacations are also a great alternative for wary travelers who may be sick of the inconveniences associated with other means, like air travel. In a previous post, we highlighted an unfortunate situation from 2022 at Chicago’s Midway International Airport, during which hundreds of flights were canceled after a winter storm. Along with canceled flights, passenger baggage was scattered on carousels, leaving people stuck at the airport for two days.

Cruising to new destinations

One of the many benefits of traveling by cruise is the variety of itineraries you can explore. Instead of planning out every step of your travel destination, most cruise lines offer destination packages with options for curated onboard and port excursions. Luxury cruise line Explora Journeys offers a variety of destination experiences from North America and Hawaii to Western Europe and the Arabian Peninsula. Each of these destinations has specialized experiences paired with them, such as trips to Hawaiian volcanoes or trips to view Mykonos sunsets in Greece.

Of course, if traversing the world is out of your budget or a challenge for time management, you also have the option for shorter, more domestic cruises. In 2023, American Cruise Lines announced a journey through Northern California, which starts and ends in Sacramento. Dubbed the “Napa Valley Cruise”, the luxury cruise sailed through the Sacramento River, San Francisco Bay, San Pablo Bay, the Napa River, and the San Joaquin River.

Most luxury cruise lines offer these destination packages all year round, while others offer them for a limited time or only seasonally. For those itching to travel but hesitant to be in charge of itinerary and accommodation details, luxury cruises come in as a convenient alternative.

Onboard five-star service


Finally, aside from the variety of destinations available, another edge for cruise enthusiasts is the top-quality service passengers will surely get when aboard a luxury cruise ship. Many refer to cruise ships as five-star hotels on water, and rightfully so. This Conde Nast Traveler details the extent of this five-star service onboard luxury cruise by delving into onboard personal butlers. These butlers are trained to provide more than just domestic service and often go above and beyond to provide passengers with the best and most luxurious experience possible.

Anecdotes from butlers and onboard hotel directors include butlers disembarking to buy specific brands of coffee, coordinating special off-menu dishes with the chefs, and even planning a personalized treat for a couple of passengers celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. One butler, in particular, stood out for successfully attending to a passenger’s request to golf from the Great Wall of China.

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