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CLIA agent survey finds more interest in longer cruises

CLIA agent survey finds more interest in longer cruises
According to a recent survey of travel agents by Cruise Lines International Association, 37% of agents reported an increase in bookings of 14- to 100-day cruises.

Longer sailings, including world cruises of several months, are increasingly popular among retired and affluent travelers, according to the agents. They also reported that the top advantage of long cruises is the ability to see many places hassle-free, without having to deal with multiple airports and packing and unpacking. Plus, travelers like the itineraries to places around the world that would be difficult to visit on land.

The survey of 434 CLIA travel agents was conducted in September. Distributed via Survey Monkey, it drew data related to short and long sailings.

Long and world cruises are offered by several lines. Among them, Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Sun returns to South America for the first time in five years with 14-day cruises between Valparaíso and Buenos Aires from November 2015 through March 2016.

Carnival Cruise Line has a 12-day 'Journey of Discovery' sailing from Galveston on Carnival Triumph, March 2.  It includes Carnival's maiden call to Santa Marta, Colombia. On the West Coast, Carnival Miracle will operate three 15-day round-trip cruises from Long Beach to Hawaii, embarking Oct. 17 and Nov. 28, 2015, and Nov. 16, 2016.  From Baltimore, Carnival passengers can cruise on Carnival Pride for a 14-day eastern Caribbean cruise, March 13, 2016.

All three Cunard vessels will operate world cruises in 2015, the line's 175th anniversary.

Princess Cruises has sailings of 10 days and longer, including a 40-day world cruise segment on Sea Princess, embarking in New York on July 25 and taking passengers to Sydney by way of the Panama Canal and South America, French Polynesia and New Zealand. Highlights will include a visit to Easter Island.

The line's world cruise on Pacific Princess will be the first time a Princess circumnavigation begins and ends in North America.  The 111-day voyage sails round-trip from Los Angeles, embarking Jan. 23.

Among the other operators with longer cruises and world voyages are Holland America Line, Silversea Cruises, Crystal Cruises and Costa Cruises.