In the latest survey of the most affluent 10% of US households by The American Affluence Research Center, only 14% of the respondents indicated plans to cruise during the next 12 months. This is the same as the level recorded in the Spring 2008 survey and effectively the historic low for this series of twice yearly surveys, which were started in Spring 2002.

Those most likely to cruise are age 60+ (18% of this group) and those with a net worth of $6 million or more (29% of this group). Given that these surveys are representative of the 11.2 million US households that comprise the wealthiest 10% of all households, this market segment represents the potential of 1.6 million cruise buying households (for 3.2 million cruisers).

The AARC research has consistently shown over the years that the affluent represent over 3 million cruisers per year and that most of their cruises are with companies that would be considered premium or contemporary brands. This survey included a series of questions for which the goal was to identify how the affluent define luxury, in terms of price points and brands, for each of 37 different products and services. The price points and brands reported in this survey for a European cruise are consistent with prior survey findings.

The Affluent Market Tracking Study #14 is a national survey representative of the wealthiest 11.2 million households (as defined by net worth in the most recent Federal Reserve Board research). The 552 survey participants have an average income of $304,000 and an average net worth of $3.1 million.

Survey highlights are posted at

AARC provides marketing research, mailing lists, and consulting services to businesses that focus on the affluent. For more information: Ron Kurtz at or 770-740-2200.