Oceania Cruises, the world’s leading culinary- and destination-focused cruise line, recently surveyed over 600 South Africans in order to determine their confidence around booking and embarking on cruise holidays in the near future.
International travel firmly on the horizon
Based on the results of the survey, it would seem that whether they are setting sail or staying on dry land, a significant portion of South Africans intend to keep their holidays local for the time being. When asked where they are likely to go on their next vacation, 14% of survey respondents said somewhere in South Africa and 9% planned to venture slightly further afield in southern Africa. However, an overwhelming majority (28%) have their sights set on Europe, showing that more and more people are getting comfortable with the idea of international travel once again.
Strict health and safety protocols still paramount
Unsurprisingly, over 92% of the survey respondents rated strict health and safety protocols as ‘very important’ or ‘important’ when it comes to deciding whether to cruise or not in a COVID-19 world.
Other notable considerations highlighted by respondents as ‘very important’ or ‘important’ were favourable travel regulations in their home country and chosen destination (92%), ease of air access and visas (92%), good deals (92%), and overall cruise experience (76%).
Value for money and convenience ‘make’ the cruise
“Knowing how critical the overall cruise experience is for the cruiser in a COVID world, it is vital to establish what factors play a part in maximising this experience from start to finish,” stated Riet Goetschalckx, Director of Sales and Marketing at Oceania Cruises.
According to the survey respondents, 96% insist that ease of travel is either ‘very important’ or ‘important’. Value for money came in next with 95% agreeing on its importance. Visiting multiple destinations on one trip followed in third place with 84% highlighting this as a must for a memorable cruise encounter.
The results also showed that over 52% liked the idea of cruising on larger contemporary ships, while 42% preferred the idea of taking to the waters on premium, smaller ships and 26% were interested in exploring the prospect of river cruising. A majority of 52% favoured shorter cruises of between 7 – 10 days, while 34% preferred their cruises to last 11 – 14 days.
While 24% were still undecided, Mediterranean cruises were a firm favourite amongst the respondents, with 31% selecting the Mediterranean as their preferred cruise destination. Cruises to Northern Europe were also popular with 16% hoping to explore the option in the coming months or years.