Almost 80% say it’s spend, spend, spend on this year’s holiday

In a survey produced by Yougov, on behalf of Carnival UK for its annual Cruise Report, it was found that even during the ‘credit crunch’ 78%* of British holidaymakers were still planning on spending the same amount on a holiday as they did in 2008; in fact nearly a third are planning to spend more.

When asked what they would be willing to forgo to fund their annual holiday consumers only put buying quality food and saving ahead of the all-important two weeks away.

One of the biggest surprises from the survey came when holidaymakers claimed that whilst away they missed the comfort of their own bed – over friends, pets and even their family.

The report also highlights:

  • The introduction of Ventura for P&O Cruises and the first full year’s operation of Cunard Line’s Queen Victoria, combined with strong performances from its other lines to secure 20% growth for Carnival UK brands in 2008.
  • With the British providing up to 30% of passengers sailing on Carnival Cruise Lines’ brand new superliner Carnival Splendor last year, CCL successfully adapted its entertainment on board and even made sure that it offered a proper cup of English tea.
  • The UK market exceeded expectations for Costa Cruises in 2008 and the British have proved the largest market single market for Costa’s Asia cruises – ahead of the Italians and other Europeans who usually provide the majority of Costa’s passengers.
  • 30% of Cunard Line’s QE2 farewell voyagers were new to Cunard and the final departure to Dubai sold out in just 36 minutes. Those who had never sailed on QE2 were desperate to do so while they still had the chance!
  • By the end of 2010, Holland America Lines will have spent about £300m on upgrading its entire fleet since 2003.
  • Ocean Village is now carrying 44% first-time cruise passengers (56% repeat cruisers) and has introduced the first activities specifically aimed at the 13-17 age group: the self-explanatory How to be a TV presenter course and the Girls Night in Spa pampering package.
  • P&O Cruises research has found that people go online to do most of their pre-booking research and that the brochure is becoming almost just a timetable.
  • 95% of those travelling with Princess Cruises say they would recommend the cruises to their friends.
  • With informality and al fresco dining emphasised on Yachts of Seabourn cruises the average age has lowered with many passengers in their 40s.

Carnival UK chief executive officer, David Dingle said:

“The findings from YouGov have confirmed for us that there are still plenty of holidaymakers out there planning a holiday for 2009 despite the current economic situation.

“Considering a cruise holiday today includes accommodation, almost all food, entertainment and flights, it really does provide exceptional value at a time when the credit crunch is hitting our wallets in every aspect of our daily life – and our beds are very comfortable.”

The Cruise Report 2009 also reveals facts and statistics on weddings at sea, shore excursions and environmental initiatives.