Growth in Expedition Cruise Sector

Hurigruten ship in Antarctica

Initial findings from the Expedition Cruise Network’s (ECN) first annual survey has revealed that 70% of the organisation’s cruise line operator members have seen a growth in sales, with another 25% reporting that sales were on a par with 2022.

The ECN revealed the first results of its 2023 annual insights report, which will be published in full later this year, at an industry event held in London.

As part of the insights report, the ECN is surveying travel trade professionals to gain insight into agents’ relationship with the expedition cruise sector. This revealed that Africa is the destination most would like to see featured expedition cruise itineraries. A total of 40% of respondents named the continent as a favourite for new routes, and this was followed by the Indian Ocean (35%) and Asia (27%).

The ECN, which was launched earlier this year, comprises 18 specialist expedition cruise lines – AE Expeditions, Albatros Expeditions, Australis, Hapag Lloyd Cruises, Heritage Expeditions, Hurtigruten, Intrepid, Latin Trails, Lindblad Expeditions, Ponant, Quark Expeditions, Seabourn, Silversea, Swan Hellenic, UnCruise Adventures, Metropolitan Touring, Polar Latitudes and Oceanwide – plus travel agents, tour operators and other industry representatives involved in expedition cruises.

Martin Johnson, Chair of the ECN 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.”

Author Bio:

Known as the ‘River Cruise Queen’, Jeannine Williamson is an award-winning travel writer, cruise expert and our cruise correspondent, who has clocked up thousands of nautical miles.

Photographs courtesy of Hurtigruten/Oscar Farrera

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