Cruise Industry Trends for 2020

Each year new trends emerge in the cruising industry that pave the way for the future of cruising. In 2019, we saw an increased demand for off the beaten path destinations, tech-driven features on ships, and an increase in working nomads – to name a few. In 2020, a big focal point of the industry will be on making cruising more environmentally sustainable, placing more importance on responsible tourism, the decrease in the generational gap in cruisers, and more options for solo travelers!

Environmental Sustainability

Sea Turtle in OceanEnvironmental sustainability is not a term that is new in the cruising industry. The last few years have seen cruise lines ramping up their efforts to preserve the oceans they sail on and the destinations they visit. Cruise travel has become increasingly popular over the last decade with the projected number of travelers having almost doubled since 2009. 32 million people are expected to cruise in 2020, which is 2 million more than the previous year, and 13 million more than 20 years ago (CLIA)! With this consistent upward trend of passengers showing no signs of slowing down, the cruise industry is increasingly aware of the responsibility it has in reducing its environmental impact.

So how exactly is the cruise industry tackling this important task? For starters, they have invested $22 billion into new energy efficiency technologies and cleaner fuels, they’ve set a 40% target for reduction in rate of carbon emissions by 2030 (compared to 2008), and they are reducing the average age of their fleets (CLIA).

Liquified Natural Gas

Liquified Natural Gas are natural gasses that are drawn from the earth’s core and then are super cooled to become liquified natural gas. This liquified state makes the gas odorless, colorless, non-toxic, and non-corrosive. The advantages of adopting LNG are impressive as it creates a cheaper, more efficient, and more environmentally friendly gas. LNG releases zero sulfur, has 99% less particulate emissions, 85% less nitrogen oxide emissions, and 25% less greenhouse gas emissions.

Almost all cruise lines are opting to use LNG for all the new ships being built in the future, as this will result in a longer lifespan with less wear and tear on the engine, low maintenance costs, and cleaner emissions. For existing ships, the cost of converting to LNG would be too substantial so cruise lines are looking to other methods for these ships, such as exhaust gas cleaning systems.

Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (ECGS)

An exhaust gas cleaning system, also known as a scrubber, allows ships to continue using heavy fueled oil, while reducing their Sulphur oxide and particulate matter emissions. In short, this scrubber will literally scrub away harmful sulfur oxides from exhaust gases. Adopting ECGS will allows ships to reduce their sulfur oxide levels by 98%, reduce total particulate matter by 50%, and reduce nitrogen oxides by 12%.

Shore-Side Power

More and more ships are becoming equipped with the ability to receive shore-side electricity while in port. This allows ships to turn off their engines and tap into cleaner energy available at ports, cutting emissions and harmful toxins. This becomes more important as cruise lines spend time in port to allow cruisers to truly experience all that their destination has to offer.

For more details on what cruise lines are doing to lessen their impact on the environment, here are a few cruise line sustainability websites:

Responsible Tourism

Couple on The Great Wall of Chine

Responsible, or sustainable tourism, is just as important as environmental sustainability, as these practices often go hand in hand. As economically advantageous as it to draw hundreds, if not thousands, of visitors to a destination, the disadvantages of overcrowding, and careless behaviors by tourists, are a detriment to the unique heritage, landscape, and way of life of the places visited. As the demand for cruising increases steadily with each passing year, cruise lines are aware of their responsibility to not only preserve the physical land they allow passengers to traverse, but also to respect, protect, and value the culture and environment of the places they visit.

Cruise lines are working with local communities to brainstorm creative ways to manage the flow of tourists they bring to shore, as well as implementing the highest standards of responsible tourism (CLIA). For example, Princess Cruises embodies a concept of “socially conscious” cruising. “It’s about creating a small group that have immersive training onboard, and then when they go ashore, it’s about doing things that are good for the local communities,” Vice President of North American Sales for Carnival Corp. and Princess John Chernesky said. Other examples include how CLIA Cruise Lines, in collaboration with the Mayor’s office and the City Council, developed new measures to alleviate tourism flow issues in Dubrovnik; in Santorini, the cruise industry worked with local authorities on a new ship arrival management system to spread the flow of tourists visiting the system; and in Alaska cruise lines have implemented more stringent waste water requirements than even the communities on land (CLIA).

Positive Cruise Attitudes in Younger Generations

Retirees, empty-nesters, and old couples – this is what most people considered to be the cruiser demographic in the past. But not anymore! The cruising world has drastically changed as younger generations are favoring experiences and adventures over material goods. And the numbers don’t lie – more and more stats are proving how much the cruising demographic has changed over the last few years with more than 66% of Generation X and 71% of Millennials having a more positive attitude about cruising, compared to two years ago (CLIA). Although Millennials are said to be the largest living adult generation in the US, Generation Z (the generation following the Millennials) is set to become the largest consumer generation by 2020 (CLIA). As the preference for experiences becomes an increasing trend, cruise lines are adapting by creating innovative, cutting-edge, and entertaining ships, as well as itineraries that cater to a younger crowd. These include, but are not limited to, music festivals at sea, remote destination itineraries, tech-inspired ships, and endless activities onboard.

It’s important to note that with all this attention given to younger generations, cruise lines have NOT forgotten about the older generations; their bread and butter that brought cruising to the forefront of vacation planning. There are still plenty of cruise lines, ships, and itineraries that cater to a more refined taste and traditional way of cruising, with elegantly designed staterooms, traditional dining rooms, and culture-rich onboard and off-shore experiences.

You get a cruise, and you get a cruise, and you get a cruise – every generation gets a cruise!

Solo Cruising

Woman with backpack overlooking ocean

Let’s face it, cruising has always been geared towards “couples” or “families”, so much so that staterooms on cruise ships were designed with 2+ beds and stateroom fares were charged based on double-occupancy (solo travelers had to pay for themselves as well as a single-supplement fee of 10% to 100% of the double occupancy rate – yikes!). But luckily, times are changing. Over the last few years, solo cruising has finally received the attention it has so desperately been craving and cruise lines are retrofitting their ships, and changing policies, to cater to this emerging trend.

Solo cabins, although much smaller than double-occupancy cabins, are the answer solo travelers have been waiting for. The ability to unpack once, have all your meals included, and explore multiple destinations, all without paying a single-supplement fee, has made cruising a much more affordable and exciting vacation option for those opting to travel alone.

Here is a list of a few of the major cruise lines doing their part to assist solo travelers:

  • Royal Caribbean International
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Holland America Line
  • Costa Cruises
  • Cunard Line
  • AmaWaterways

Although solo cruising is still a fairly new concept for cruise lines, and there is a lot more progress to be made, the fact that they’re starting to finally acknowledge the need for this not-so-niche market is definitely something worth celebrating. We have no doubt that we’ll be seeing more solo-cruiser features and amenities in the future.

For more details about the Expedia Franchise opportunity fill out the form below or take a look at this six-step overview of our retail travel agency franchise opportunity here.

Expedia CruiseShipCenters’ 2019 Year In Review

2020 marks Expedia CruiseShipCenters’ 33rd year of franchising. As a company, we have always been proud of the fact that our Franchises are the go-to cruise experts in their communities. Each location, although specializing in cruise, offers a full range of travel products from air, hotel, and car, to all-inclusive vacations and customized getaways. Our diverse group of knowledgeable, professional, and service-oriented Franchisees and Vacation Consultants hail from a variety of backgrounds but all have one thing in common – they are experts at navigating spectacular vacation experiences for travelers.

With each year that passes we like to reflect upon, and highlight, the milestones, and growth that we have experienced throughout the year. We are excited to announce that 2019 was another successful year with new innovative programs, key wins, and many new beginnings for our Franchisees.

Reflecting on 2019

2019 brought tremendous growth for Expedia CruiseShipCenters as we awarded a record 33 new franchises and opened 22 locations. These 33 franchises helped us reach, and surpass, the milestone of 300 retail Expedia franchises awarded! This is a promising step towards our long-term goal of 500 Expedia franchise locations over the next several years. The expanded reach of our Centers also resulted in the expansion of our network of spectacular Vacation Consultants to 6,800!

While we did grow our reach in Canada, with a few Franchisees expanding their Canadian market, most of our growth has been and will continue to be, in the United States. With lots of room to grow in the US, our Centers are working to capture a major portion of the 32 million people expected to cruise in 2020, as estimated by CLIA.

Multi-Unit Offers

Expedia CruiseShipCenters began offering multi-unit franchise agreements in 2018 and, following our initial multi-unit deal that year, we awarded an impressive 5 multi-unit agreements in 2019. These agreements ranged from 2 units to our very first 4-unit agreement! This offer is presented to entrepreneurs who are motivated, with an impressive work ethic and want a more aggressive approach to business ownership.

As a leading seller of cruises in North America, we have a proven business model that is affordable to start and extremely scalable. This allows potential Franchisees the ability to invest in multiple locations at once, and the support of 140+ corporate staff members will assist them every step of the way.

 

Expanding Coast to Coast

The continued demand for travel and cruising has fueled the growth of Expedia CruiseShipCenters. In 2019 we expanded, yet again, from coast to coast awarding franchises in Washington, California, Texas, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Indiana, and Florida. With a booming travel industry, that is showing no signs of slowing down, there has never been a better time to open an Expedia Franchise. According to CLIA, 80% of cruisers are likely to book a cruise as their next vacation, and with repeat customers being this high, we expect 2020 to be another memorable year.

Celebrating Our 100th US Location

2019 marked one of our best years in franchising history! Not only did we break our record for the most US locations awarded in a single year, but we hit many milestones along the way. The most profound of these milestones was the opening of our 100th US location in Jacksonville, Florida.

Opening a 100 locations in a span of 9 years is no small feat, and we are thrilled at the growth experienced, not only in Florida but across the US. We truly believe that Expedia’s massive brand, paired with a proven business model and our commitment to exceptional customer service, has helped us grow into a leading seller of cruise travel in North America. It’s an exciting time at Expedia CruiseShipCenters and with our eyes set on a record-breaking 2020, we are more driven than ever to find Franchisees who share the same vision as us.

Award-Winning Year

Each year Expedia CruiseShipCenters continues to make waves in the cruise industry by strengthening our partnerships and expanding our reach. We are honored to have received the following awards in 2019:

Franchise Awards

Entrepreneur Franchise 500® 2019
Franchise Business Review’s Top Multi-Unit Franchise

Industry Awards

Celebrity Cruises: North American Partner of the Year
Royal Caribbean International: President’s Award for Overall Achievement
MSC: Canadian Consortium Partner of the Year
Carnival Cruises: Retail Travel Partner Excellence Award
Crystal Cruises Sales Award Gala Top Producer 2018
Carnival Cruise Line: Ted Arison Founder’s Award (Expedia Group)
Holland America Line: Chairman’s Award
Cunard: Franchise Agency Network Excellence Award
Princess Cruises: Retail Travel Partner Excellence Award
Norwegian Cruise Line: 2019 Elite Partner of The Year

Center Awards

Carnival Cruise Line: Retail Travel Partner Excellence Award (Expedia CentrodeCruceros)
Norwegian Cruise Line: Partner of the Year: Southeast (Expedia CruiseShipCenters Venice)

For more details about the Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise opportunity fill out the form below or take a look at this six-step overview of our retail travel agency franchise opportunity here.

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In the News: Expedia® CruiseShipCenters® Newest Center in Brookfield, WI

We are excited to announce Greg Ponto and Peter Nys opening the doors of our newest Expedia CruiseShipCenters in Brookfield, WI.

Greg and Peter’s Center is located at 15375 W Bluemound Road, Suite 120 Brookfield, WI 53005

For more details about the Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise opportunity fill out the form below or take a look at this six step overview of our retail travel agency franchise opportunity here.

In the News: Expedia® CruiseShipCenters® Newest Center in Delson, QC

We are thrilled to announce Daniel and Celine Louvet opening the doors of our newest Expedia CruiseShipCenters in Delson, Quebec.

Daniel and Celine’s Center is located at 37 Boulevard Georges-Gagné Sud Suite 3, Delson, QC, J5B 2E5

For more details about the Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise opportunity fill out the form below or take a look at this six step overview of our retail travel agency franchise opportunity here.

In the News: Expedia® CruiseShipCenters® Newest Center in Snohomish, WA

We are excited to announce Shawn and Mary Lynne Bracewell opening the doors of our newest Expedia CruiseShipCenters in Snohomish, WA.

Shawn and Mary Lynne’s Center is 2809 Bickford Ave, Suite B, Snohomish, WA 98290

For more details about the Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise opportunity fill out the form below or take a look at this six-step overview of our retail travel agency franchise opportunity here.

In the News: Expedia® CruiseShipCenters® Newest Center in Jacksonville, FL

We are excited to announce Debbie Moreland opening the doors of our newest Expedia CruiseShipCenters in Jacksonville, FL.

Debbie’s Center is located at 10915 Baymeadows Rd. Unit 111, Jacksonville, Florida.

For more details about the Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise opportunity fill out the form below or take a look at this six-step overview of our retail travel agency franchise opportunity here.

In the News: Expedia® CruiseShipCenters® Newest Center in Plantation, FL

We are excited to announce Howie Geib and Wil Pabon opening the doors of our newest Expedia CruiseShipCenters in Plantation, FL.

Howie and Wil’s Center is located at 10095 Cleary Blvd, Plantation, Florida.

For more details about the Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise opportunity fill out the form below or take a look at this six-step overview of our retail travel agency franchise opportunity here.

In the News: Expedia® CruiseShipCenters® Newest Center in Marlton, NJ

We are excited to announce Linda Shaps-Shanin and Martin Shanin opening the doors of our newest Expedia CruiseShipCenters in Marlton, NJ

Linda and Marty’s Center is located at 918 RT. 73 North, Marlton, New Jersey.

For more details about the Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise opportunity fill out the form below or take a look at this six-step overview of our retail travel agency franchise opportunity here.

In the News: Expedia® CruiseShipCenters® Newest Center in Pickering, ON

We are excited to announce Irene Melnick opening the doors of our newest Expedia CruiseShipCenters in Pickering, Ontario.

Expedia Cruise Ship Centers celebrated its grand opening at 1794 Liverpool Rd. in Pickering Sept. 28. September 28, 2019.

Irene’s Center is located at 1794 Liverpool Rd. Unit 5, Pickering, ON. Please congratulate her and her team of Vacation Consultants.

For more details about the Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise opportunity fill out the form below or take a look at this six step overview of our retail travel agency franchise opportunity here.

In the News: Expedia® CruiseShipCenters® Newest Center in Woburn, MA

We are excited to announce Clara Mak opening the doors of our newest Expedia CruiseShipCenters in Woburn, MA

Clara’s Center is located at 186 Cambridge Rd. Unit 10, Woburn, Massachusetts. Please drop by her beautiful Center if you are visiting the area.

For more details about the Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise opportunity fill out the form below or take a look at this six-step overview of our retail travel agency franchise opportunity here.