The Gist: Among potential cruise-takers, interest seems to huddle around Iceland and Norway. While Cuba will still be a desirable destination for cruise-takers, executive management might want to look at expanding Iceland and Norway cruise destinations as well.


Summertime is almost here, which means family trips, vacation hot spots, and cruise destination season has officially kicked-off (almost). Cruise providers have not wasted any time introducing new destinations and “doubling down” on current or suspected long-term favorites.


Per a recent Bloomberg article, “Carnival, Royal Caribbean Cruises, and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, the world’s three largest carriers, have added dozens of voyages to the island nation between now and 2019, betting that their floating resorts are perfectly suited to introduce tourists to the underdeveloped isle of Cuba.”


Per a recent New York Times article, “A summer cruise around Iceland is an ideal way to appreciate the country’s landscape, which includes geysers, waterfalls and glaciers.” These cruises seem to be covered predominantly by smaller carriers such as MSC, Viking River, and Variety Cruises. However, the large players do offer limited cruise options, although they don’t appear nearly as central to their growth plans.



Our survey data show that among people who want to take a cruise, Cuba lags behind Norway and Iceland.


Our polling data show that 45% of people who have never been on a cruise but plan to would like to go to Iceland.


Our opinion polls show that 40% of people who have never been on a cruise but plan to would want to travel to Norway.


Our data suggest that respondents who have “been on one (or more) and plan to go again” AND “never been on one, but plan to go” are more likely to go on cruises to Iceland (33%, 45%) or Norway (41%, 40%). Cuba (28%, 25%) still shows strong results amongst both segments, but not nearly as high as I would have expected.


The results of our data were surprising given the amount of money being spent on the Cuba destination by cruise companies, especially the large ones. The data suggest Cuba will still be a desirable destination for cruise-takers, but executive management might want to take a second look at starting or expanding Iceland and Norway cruise destination offerings as well.

Interested in other insights? Check out our recent findings into Heineken’s new commercial, growing interest in Virtual Reality, and why Millennials are preferring student loan repayment programs to 401ks.