Cruise lines have reported reaching a record number of bookings this past Black Friday and Cyber Monday commercial holidays, signaling a rise in popularity and demand that often outstrips pre-pandemic levels.
Royal Caribbean’s 53-year history, this Black Friday broke records as the single largest booking day ever, while the entire commercial holiday week broke another booking record – the third time a weekly booking record was broken in 2022 alone.
Norwegian Cruise Line and Celebrity Cruises
both reported November 25 as the best booking day in the cruise lines' history, and November 28 as the best Cyber Monday on record.
Holland America Line experienced Black Friday booking volumes that exceeded 2019 levels by 20 percent, while Carnival experienced volumes for Cyber Monday that exceeded its own 2019 levels by 50 percent.
"Momentum is strong and there is no better evidence of this than our record-breaking performance this November, the best-booked month in the history of our cruise line," said Harry Sommer, President and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line.
"This achievement is even more impressive when considering November is historically one of the slower booking months for our business. On the heels of the successful launch of our groundbreaking Norwegian Prima, which has already received numerous accolades, we are well on our way to a banner year. I’m very excited about 2023 and all that is yet to come,” continued Sommer.
Besides the sales during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, November is traditionally not a big month for booking travel, such as the so-called “wave season,” which occurs during the first two or so months of the year. Yet many major cruise lines have reported record-breaking booking numbers.
The reasons are most likely a few factors: people love saving money, and these lines all offered savings on a lot of cruises, especially into 2023. Travelers are also booking closer to their travel dates, which can change when they like to book.
Travelers are also incredibly interested in cruising now that many pandemic-related requirements are gone. And with gas prices decreasing, travel methods are also becoming less expensive, which could also lead to a greater desire to travel while prices are lower.