Our monthly Cruise Search Index reflects change in cruise demand as measured by the number of visitors to online cruise websites.
For the month of April 2009, U.S. online cruise search is estimated at 11.4 million monthly unique individuals. This represents a 5.4% decrease from the month prior (typical for the season) and a 13.7% increase over the same time last year (April 2008).
The chart below illustrates the unique visitors to cruise sites by month over time. Reflected in the chart is the decline in demand beginning in August 2008 (below previous year levels) and the steep increase in interest beginning in January 2009.
It is very interesting to note that the total number of annual cruisers worldwide is estimated at 16 million. With cruise websites getting monthly traffic of 11 million unique U.S. visitors there seems to be a considerable amount of interest/research being conducted. A portion of this is apparently not resulting in bookings, suggesting some unmet potential for the cruise lines.
The following chart represents traffic for the top four visited Cruise Line websites.
The following chart represents traffic for the top four visited Cruise Line booking sites.