Affluent Reveal Large Untapped Sales Potential for Cruises in New Survey


In a new survey by the American Affluence Research Center of the wealthiest 10% of U.S. households, less than half of the affluent said they had cruised during the past 10 years.

The survey identified the number of cruises (3 nights or longer) taken in the past 10 years by type (ocean cruises and river cruises) by the wealthiest 11.4 million U.S. households represented by this survey.

With 54% of these affluent households reporting no cruises taken during the past 10 years, this means over 6 million households with a minimum net worth of $800,000 and an average income of over $260,000 are potential prospects for the purchase of what would probably be their first cruise.

This represents great sales potential for travel agents and cruise lines. “Cruises of all types could be winners as this new survey validated previous estimates in our surveys of about 3.5 million annual affluent cruisers across contemporary, premium, and luxury categories”, according to Ron Kurtz, President of American Affluence Research Center and the innovator of the yacht cruise concept with the Sea Goddess ships (now Sea Dream) in the early 1980s.

In addition to providing data on the percentage of the affluent that have cruised, the new survey revealed that the affluent cruisers average one cruise every three years and that 7% of them, over 350,000 of the affluent cruisers, average more than one cruise every year.

Only 8% of the affluent have taken a river cruise, a product that offers new sales potential with the growth in capacity that has been introduced recently and the further growth that is planned.

Kurtz, who was also the Chief Marketing Officer of Norwegian Cruise Line and Windstar Cruises, added that the survey determined for each of 19 listed cruise brands which the affluent cruisers have cruised with during the past 5 years, are familiar with but have not cruised with, feel are overrated, and believe attract status seekers, quality oriented cruisers, experienced travelers, value oriented cruisers, cruisers younger than me and /or travelers like me

The 19 listed cruise lines were Azamara, AMA Waterways, Avalon Waterways, Carnival, Celebrity, Crystal, Cunard, Disney, Holland America, Norwegian, Oceania, Princess, Regent Seven Seas, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea, Viking River, Uniworld, and Windstar.

The Spring 2014 Affluent Market Tracking Study #25, the latest in a series of twice-yearly surveys, is based on a national sample of 330 men and women who have an average annual household income of $268,000, an average primary residence value of $1.1 million, an average net worth of $3.1 million, and average investable assets of $1.5 million.

Detailed highlights of the Spring 2014 survey and a description of the methodology can soon be viewed at:




Ron Kurtz
(770) 740-2200


About Us: Established in 2001 and with an exclusive focus on the affluent market, The American Affluence Research Center conducts the original and only continuous twice-yearly tracking studies of the mood and future spending plans of the wealthiest 10% of U.S. households based on net worth. AARC has become a recognized authority and a credible source of reliable insight and marketing information about the values, lifestyles, attitudes, and purchasing behavior of America’s most affluent consumers.